AIBU? Just don't get how parents can live like this!

(72 Posts)
finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 12:55:22

I have 2 friends in particular who I'm thinking about when asking this question. Both lovely people, sensible, normal etc. But they seem to have blinkers on when it comes to their dcs. Their dcs seem to completely control the household - what happens, what is eaten for dinner, and when and if the parents are allowed to go out. One of them has only 1 dc, the other has 2 but there is 11 years between them.

One of the friends is very kind to me, always inviting me over with my dcs. I've tried to reciprocate the invitation but there's always a reason why she can't come, always related to her dd and what her dd wants. Is she not allowed to have a life? I've stopped asking now. She is always complaining about how demanding her dd is and how tired she is from trying to keep her happy. So why do you do it, I want to ask!

My dcs play with my friends' dcs but get fed up because it always has to be on the friends' dcs' terms. Mine are no angels but they know the parents are in charge and that's just that, no matter how important the dcs are and how much we consider their wishes.

AIBU to wonder why parents create such a ridiculous situation for themselves?

HatieKokpins Thu 26-Sep-13 13:01:38


YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:01:38

I think parents who try and keep their dcs happy at all costs are setting them up for a fall later in life for a start. It's really not doing a child any favours.

Life is full of disappointments but learning to deal with that with a happy demeanour is a hell of a lot more useful in achieving true happiness.

SweetBabyCheeses Thu 26-Sep-13 13:03:06

I know parents like this, it makes me roll my eyes. But they think I'm a hard hearted cow because my kids have to fall in to line sometimes.

One woman I know has to run the dinner menu past her 3 year old or face having the dinner fired on the floor. I have been given her son's list of demands regarding what lunch to eat when they come for lunch. I've pretty much stopped seeing them, I can't cope that she moans about his behaviour but does feck all to stop it.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 13:03:31

mmmn, there's no children more spoilt than friends children.

our own of course are perfect and if they play up/ cry etc it's because they are tired or hungry and not at all spoilt brats like those other kids.


DoJo Thu 26-Sep-13 13:04:46

I guess it's just a slippery slope - you let one small thing go, and then another and another and before you know it you are Supernanny fodder. I suppose it starts off as taking the easy option, but, as you and they are discovering, the end result is a lifestyle which is a lot harder than it would have been to be firm in the first place.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:07:44

Well that's the problem, I like spending time with my friend, and I like her dd too, but it's so hard to be together when I'm constantly biting my lip about the way she controls the whole family. It's just unbelievable at times. The latest example is my friend wanting to change the date of another friend's birthday dinner just because her dd wants a sleepover on the night it was arranged for.

mrsfuzzy Thu 26-Sep-13 13:09:37

maybe i'm getting old but.... i blame the parents. these parents obviously have never heard of the word 'no' and have indulged their kids too much, rein 'em folks before it gets worse and it will do.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:11:25

We all take the easy option every now and again. I don't think that's a huge problem - like if you're not well you might let the kids watch more tv/eat rubbish just to get through the day kind of thing.

I know one young man who was never ever told no, or told off. At 7 he could not cope with being told no at school and would jump up and down screaming. I think his mum finally realised she had created a 'monster' when he did this in front of parents and teachers at a school event. With a bit more maturity on his side and his mum taking a slightly harder line, he has turned out to be a really nice young lad with many more friends than he had before.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:12:07

I work with a woman whos dd rules her life she has an adult left the home dc too who is lovely and seems to treat her mum well, anyway this child demands and stomps and tells her mother what to do I am stood opened mouth most of the time, thing is the mum seems to think she is normal and her eldest dd was easy going, I feel sad for the woman and tend to grit my teeth until my jaw hurts the girl is a young teenager gets right on my wick

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:09

I have a family member whos adult children treat her like shit but imo she let it all happen ,

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:09

people parent how they choose. you can choose to step back from them and their dcs.

personally I detest mummy and daddy martyrs but ultimately it's personal choice.

oh to have the gift to see ourselves as others see us! wink

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:17

Yanbu. I know a handful of these types too, and I could honestly shake them!
I had a friend leave me sitting in a cafe waiting for her on my own for half an hour once, because her dd (4) didn't want to put her coat on to leave the house. I was not impressed at all. Of course, this girl rules the roost.
It's bonkers.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:15

I remember being in a supermarket once and there was a mum and her young daughter (maybe about 5/6 years ish).

She was getting her some food but was having an arguement with the staff because her daughter didn't like anything on the menu so why couldn't the chef just cook something she'd bought in the shop.

The chef said no, it was a cafe. Obviously.

Bloody hell, what child doesn't like anything on a menu (it's a supermarket caff FFS). If it was me I would have said tough, we're going home. But no, she expected the cafe to cook something she'd already bought and couldn't understand why they wouldn't!

Shakes head...

SweetBabyCheeses Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:18

grin thebody.

I'm so aware my kids can be demon children. But when they behave like that they get punished. I hate the "Oh he's tired" excuse. I had this from the woman after her son gouged at my sons eye with a car key. I don't care if he's tired, he can't stab people in the eye! But I'm the worse parent because my food isn't organic hmm

As you can tell, I'm a bit ragey about the whole thing. I blame the pregnancy hormones.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:39

you are right thebody but it is so bloody frustrating sometimes

Preciousbane Thu 26-Sep-13 13:19:03

My dsis has always been a mummy martyr now she is a granny martyr, she is one of the unhappiest people I know.

It stems from our Mother being a total evil bitch it meant my dsis has always bent to the will of her dc and she is a complete doormat.

Ledkr Thu 26-Sep-13 13:20:11

I've got big age gaps and yes if course my older child doesn't want to sit in soft play or at a friends house with toddker toys.
It's much easier when they are closer in age but yes I do allow my chikdren to make choices within reason.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:23:33

Oh mine can be little brats too. That's normal (I think).

It's the dictating I find unbelievable. The getting everything they want materially is one thing, that's the parents' choice even if I wouldn't do the same. What does she think is going to happen if she tells her dd that no, she will not get out of bed to make cereal for a 12 year old? (her dd will kick off big time, but she has caused that imo)

Loa Thu 26-Sep-13 13:24:03

tired she is from trying to keep her happy.

Tiredness can mean you give in to dam much at times - then it can be a slippery slope to get break that cycle which takes huge effort. It might also mean they become used to the situation.

Maybe they don't have support from their DP and get undermined. Friend whose eldest was a nightmare like this was because he and her DH undermined each other constantly and they had other family members stirring as well. It was like a constant fight over eldest DC affections by getting her what she wanted.

I stopped seeing her and avoided mets ups with DC in the end - caused she'd moan but change nothing and I got fed up of dealing with it.

I might well be getting judged at minute as DS is going through a fucking awful testing stage. However he isn't getting his own way though I'm not always prepare to deal with the every little thing especially if I have an audience - I'm picking battles and trying to avoid triggers till he's a bit more settled.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:24:13

My dsis has always been a mummy martyr now she is a granny martyr, she is one of the unhappiest people I know.

my aunt was a granny martyr I felt sorry for her but she genuinelt felt responsible for her childs kids they ran her ragged and now she doesn't see them at all

ledkr there is family choices and running the household though especially with little children

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:25:45

Ledkr of course choices within reason is normal. I do that too. But I will not compromise everything I want to do just to suit my dcs. My friend teases me in a jokey way about how I'm a wicked witch and not to be messed with. I'm not that strict!

sparechange Thu 26-Sep-13 13:49:34

I have a friend like this. Her 7yo DD doesn't like her going out, ever.
If I go over, her DD will get out of bed a few times in the evening and just come and check on us downstairs.
If you ask her what she is doing "just checking mummy is still here"

There have been a couple of times when I've left, and when she has heard the front door open, she will at the top of the stairs in a flash and will say something like "you better not be leaving as well". She does it all with a massive grin, so it just seems like a big game to her.
On the occasions that we do actually want to go out, the only way for her to get 'away with it' is for her DD to have a sleepover.

DD also dictates which supermarket they go to, based on which drive/route she wants to do that particular day. And she can't go to the supermarket without DD, ever.

There are other examples which might out me/her, but the whole thing is exhausting, and she doesn't seem to want to make any attempt to address it, so life revolves around their DD

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:57:42

sparechange I think we have the same friend!

This is more than listening to dcs and giving appropriate choices. I wish I understood why they do it, especially since the complaining I hear tells me that it's not something they want to do or chose to do.

There seems to be a lot of guilt for some reason. I don't have much guilt, maybe I should have more. Just last night my dcs were grumbling about the dinner I cooked. Well, eat it or don't, but there's nothing else. My friend does a nervous laugh if I tell her things like this. I've seen her dd say she's not hungry at mealtimes, then demand that her mum makes her something else as soon as she sits down to eat her own dinner. Maybe that's why she won't come to our house!

Lovecat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:58:02

This is where my sister is heading. She's told me quite crossly that her children are not used to hearing 'no' and that's why they're tantrumming on the floor because evil auntie Lovecat told them to stop breaking their cousin's toys and never keeps up consequences for misbehaviour because she wants a quiet life and gives in at the first whinge. Apparently it's 'easier' to avoid a tantrum by giving in, but as far as I'm concerned once they realised they weren't going to get away with it, the tantrums would surely cease?

It came to a head when we went on holiday together and, having spent half an hour schlepping around the whole town looking for a restaurant that met her children's approval, she then ended up having no dinner as one child burst into hysterical tears and insisted she swap with her because the ketchup on the side of the plate 'tasted funny' (Dsis is veggie and although the child could eat her pasta, she couldn't eat the rejected meat-containing meal). She agreed to this. The waiters were looking at us like they could not believe what was happening, and quite frankly neither could DH and I. This child is only 7. Madness.

LaRegina Thu 26-Sep-13 14:06:56

I have a family member like this. The TV is always on - and it is always set to a cartoon channel. Whether or not the DC are around, as long as they are in the house, it is on because 'they like it in the back round'.

A few days ago we were there until about 10pm. The DC (youngest aged 2) stayed up all the time we were there 'because they don't like missing out on the fun when people visit'. And yes, the cartoons were on. The 'family member' told me she's not watched any adult TV for about five years; but 'that's all the fun of having kids!'.

I think she's gone ga ga....

lainiekazan Thu 26-Sep-13 14:25:34

It's a very slippery slope.

My mother was like this with my eldest sister. She completely pandered to her every whim, even when my sister was 50 years old. She had been a difficult child and I think my mother did anything for a quiet life. My sister treated my mother absolutely appallingly but the worse she behaved, the more my mother tried to please her.

The trouble is if you behave like a doormat then people will wipe their feet on you.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 14:27:27

Why do you think they do it? I mean, we all worry about our dcs, but if you're so concerned about them being happy, do them a favour and show them a bit of the real world. My friend's dd is just going to be very entitled and unfortunately adults like that are hard to be around so she's not doing her any favours in the long term. As well as running herself into the ground.

Lottapianos Thu 26-Sep-13 14:34:30

'Why do you think they do it?'

For a quiet life, at least in the short term. Because they want their children to be as convenient as possible, so they give in all the time. Because they feel that if they are not giving giving giving to their child all the time, they are a 'bad parent'.

YANBU at all OP. I have no idea how people can live like it either! Part of being a parent (or an adult in charge of children) is having to say no. What sort of young people do they think their children will turn into if they are used to dictating how the entire household runs from such a young age?

sparechange Thu 26-Sep-13 14:41:23

Guilt, a quiet life, feeling they have to live up to expectations?

I don't want to get all armchair Freud, but I think my friend feels she is making up for her not having a blissful childhood, plus leaving it later than she wanted to have children, and going back to work when DD1 was a baby, but then being a SAHM when DD2 was born.
We haven't actually discussed it though, so I might be waaay off the mark.

It is probably just that different people have different expectations of parenting, and different patience and tolerance levels

My lovely friend does this - the 4 year old is in charge. My friend gets no sleep, never comes out, can't eat a meal in peace, can't hold a conversation with another adult without being screamed at, and is regularly walloped. Some days the DC is lovely, but not enough.

I have a child the same age who hit me once. It's ever happened again because there were serious consequences (I didn't hit back btw!). I don't think I'm loved any less because of it.

It makes me sad to say it but it makes me enjoy spending time with my friend less.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 15:05:30

I feel the same IHeartKingThistle. Unfortunately having to stop myself saying something whenever my friend's dd is being rude and demanding makes the time together much less pleasant. I don't feel it's my place, but I want to tell the girl to stop treating her mother like that!

My dcs seem happy enough with a grumpy mother. We'll see what they say in 10 years.

SilverOldie Thu 26-Sep-13 15:44:48

I knew two children like this. They were never told no to anything - one climbed up a floor to ceiling wall unit to get to a bar of chocolate. Upon seeing this the mother said in a soppy voice oh don't do that. The child grabbed the chocolate and the mother said alright you can have one piece then.

We ate dinner, the cheese platter was brought to the table - every single lump of cheese had a child size bite in it. Nothing was said.

The boy liked to kick and bite people, he tried it with me and I pinned him to the ground and told him in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable behaviour. The mother's face was a picture grin

kilmuir Thu 26-Sep-13 15:48:28

And what a delight those children must be in school!

Arabesque Thu 26-Sep-13 15:50:20

I know someone like that. Not only will she not say 'no' to her daughter herself but she expects everyone else to fall in with this. She is constantly marching down to the school complaining because the teacher gave out to her dd, or she didn't get a speaking role in the nativity play, or such and such a child won't play with her.

To be honest she's doing the child no favours. She is a little tyrant who is impossible to like even though she's only 7. I don't think she has any friends either as she just doesn't understand that she can't always have her own way in everything.

FrigginRexManningDay Thu 26-Sep-13 16:09:14

I know someone like that too. Her 3 year old is asked every evening what she wants for dinner. If she says McDonald's, its McDonald's, if she says beans its beans. She dosen't discipline her either,if dd wants a toy that another child has then she is given it. She once came over and slapped me across the face for no reason and the mother didn't even flicker although she saw it. I don't see her any more and I told her its because she's turned her dd into a complete brat.

Tabby1963 Thu 26-Sep-13 16:13:06

kilmuir, these children are indeed a 'delight' when they arrive at school. What a shock to their little systems to actually have to do as they are told! They often respond badly; screaming, tantrums etc., being common (and this can carry on through primary school for those who simply cannot learn to control themselves when they don't get their own way). Makes it all the more difficult for teachers to actually teach.

Sadly, the number of children like this is increasing year on year. They are ungovernable because they have been indulged, appeased and given control at home "for a quiet life".

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 16:14:28

The thing is my friend's dd is fine at school and with me. She's smart and I guess has worked out how to behave with others. It's almost like her mum is scared of her though, and her dd senses it and manipulates the situation. I have to admit that I sometimes go along with things I might have said no to if my friend wasn't there - just trivial things like buying ice creams - just to keep the peace. Other times I do say no to my dcs but there's always a fuss then as my friend never says no to her dd.

ZingWantsCake Thu 26-Sep-13 16:27:10

some children get treated like shit.then they grow into adults who are used to being treated like shit and can not say no or stand up for themselves

exhibit A - my mother.

not everyone can say or learn to say no - they might be "weak" through very little fault of their own

YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 16:31:05

I had one 'little prince' today - pushed a child off a computer because his wasn't working rather than coming to me and asking me to help. Pushed the other child again when she tried to help him log on. Barged through everyone when it was time to go and then went in a huge sulk because I told him his behaviour was not on and I would have to speak to his teacher. Then started fighting on the way back to his classroom. He would not accept 'no' and tried blaming anyone near him.

He'll be spending a lot of playtimes indoors if he's like that with me every week.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 16:39:17

YoutheCat I'm sure they have a steep learning curve once they get to school!

Zingwantscake I think what you say is sort of the case with my friend. I don't think she was treated badly but says she was a very quiet and unassertive child who never wanted to bother anyone. She's like that as an adult too really. Not her fault the way she is, and she's lovely, but it just amazes me that she can't see the situation with her dd for what it is.

Lottapianos Thu 26-Sep-13 16:40:53

'Sadly, the number of children like this is increasing year on year'

I agree and the teachers I have discussed this issue with say the same. Increasing numbers of children who cannot wait for anything, who really struggle with following any adult direction at all. It's a nightmare for the teachers but also puts the child at a disadvantage when it comes to learning.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 17:19:48

I think parents do it because they want to put their children first and perhaps the parents are rebelling to how their parents parented, iyswim so the adult children saw their parents putting them to bed as some sort of punishment or didn't feel listened too

my family member thought her childrens opinions mattered and their choices mattered a lot of their behaviour was them expressing themselves apparently hmm they now express themselves my telling their mother to fuck off . and one has punched her in the face now the behaviour is anger issues,

I work with little children and see this a lot, so n so doesn't want to do this he/she wants to do that , it baffles me

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 17:22:02

I can well believe that children are getting worse and worse I wouldnt be a teacher for love not money teachers cant teach for dealing with little missy having a strop because she has been told to sit on the carpet then mummy is ranting at the school for daring to tell little missy to sit on the carpet and forcing her against her will

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 17:38:26

A wee while ago I organised a game of rounders for all my local pals and their kids. During play, my friend's dd who is 4, never hears a no, and who organises her family's entire life for them, got a hold of the bat and tucked it under her arm, refusing to hand it back and running away with it.
Her mum's suggestion was that we just let her play with it as she'd get bored eventually. There were 23 other people involved in that game! confused

I just made a pffft noise, walked over to the girl and took the bat saying "we need that, thank you" and resumed play.

Cue meltdown followed by OTT crooning comfort from mum, before they packed up and brusquely left, sour of expression and nose out of joint.
She later told me she was very taken aback at how I had seen her dd in floods of tears over 'a bloody game'.

I told her that expecting 23 other people to hang around in the middle of said 'bloody game' to indulge her daughter was a tad unrealistic.
She changed the subject. I let her. Good luck to her with that approach though...she'll need it.
Makes me want to throw a bucket of cold water over her.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 17:48:48

good for you pictish mums going to have it harder and harder as she grows up, let her play with it until she gets bored, I honestly think these parents dont want their children to be upset because they think they children will hate them or something.

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 17:50:08

Not as in actually throw a bucket of cold water mind - just as in I would like her to wake up a little.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 17:50:57

the proverbial bucket of water i understand grin

LEMisdisappointed Thu 26-Sep-13 17:52:09

I think she finds you a terrible bore and is using her DD as an excuse not to visit

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 17:52:18

och we get gets like that where we work kids snatches toy mummy says on if you leave it he will give it back well no I wont leave it till he gives it back <harsh>

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 17:55:08

Yeah she's an intelligent woman, but not when it comes to this.

The thing is, I see rather more of this sort of thing than I'd like. There's a trend towards soft arse parenting. I think some people confuse respecting their children, with laying down and being enslaved by them.

ZingWantsCake Thu 26-Sep-13 17:56:09


I think that even if she sees what the problem is she has no idea how to change things and probably believes she can't.

especially if she has a strong-willed child (exhibit B - me) or two (exhibit C - my sister)

it's sad.
and it is hard to change because the one(s) in control will not want to give up the "power" and are already better equipped to fight for their position(s) tooth and nail.

I hope you can help her somehow though.
just offer her support

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 17:56:23

Who said she never visits Lem?

YoureBeingADick Thu 26-Sep-13 18:01:37

oh my best friend parents like this and it has all come back to bite her in the ass. I feel so so much for her tbh, her teen daughter is putting her through hell and best friend is just about the nicest person you could meet so will not stand up for herself. I have heard her DD in full swing and it is absolutely vile some of the things she says to her mum. tbh I struggle at times to remain polite to the DD at the minute because I see my friend in tears not knowing how to cope. it makes me very angry but I know my friend is partly to blame for letting the dcs dictate every single thing. but it's up to her how she parents.

Fayrazzled Thu 26-Sep-13 18:06:55

I have a friend like this. Her youngest child is totally over indulged and to put it frankly, a bit of a madam. she rules the roost in their home and it's sad because I can see it affecting her older siblings. I asked my friend outfor a coffee the other morning and she actually turned to her 3 year old and asked her if she would like to go to the coffee shop with me or should we have a coffee at their house. It wasn't up to the 3 year old! Said three year old also won't countenance mum leaving the house to go out for the evening, sleeping all night in her own bed, eating a meal sitting at the table etc etc. She has my friend and her husband wrapped round her little finger. My friend is also carrying her all over the place still. it would be one thing if the child was actually happy, but she doesn't appear to be, she is permanently whinging. There is always an excuse though, usually that she is tired, or hungry or it's hard for her because she's the baby, etc etc ad nauseum.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant.

Fayrazzled Thu 26-Sep-13 18:12:07

Mrs jay- I think you've hit the nail on the head. My friend can't bear to see her daughter upset so she always gives in. I mean, no-one likes to see their child upset but sometimes you just have to be the parent in a situation.

basgetti Thu 26-Sep-13 18:13:42

I was a bit like your friend OP.

I'm a lone parent and I basically put my life on hold for the first 4 years of DS' life. I wanted him to be happy, I think maybe I was trying to make up for the fact that I hadn't been able to give him the traditional family I'd dreamed of and that we spent the first few months of his life in a refuge.

He has never been a 'brat' and is a funny and very sweet kid but he certainly called the shots and never ever wanted to be away from me. I never used to go out without him, would feel guilty spending any money on myself and would even lie next to him pretending to be asleep until he drifted off because he wanted me to go to bed at the same time as him.

It came to a bit of a head when we went on holiday with family and I spent the weekend catering to his every whim. It was embarrassing for me when he decided we were going back from the clubhouse, or when he cried in the swimming pool if I tried to go off and do a few lengths whilst my mum supervised him.

I realised I was in danger of creating a monster and started making changes. It helped that ExP had sorted himself out by this point and became more involved and he backed me up with discipline and boundaries. A year on DS goes to bed by himself, I go out with friends, have a life away from him without feeling guilty, DS is more independent and I think we are both much happier.

Orangeanddemons Thu 26-Sep-13 18:14:29

I have 2 dc. Ds was amenable, would go with the flow, and did what he was told.

Dd is awkward, demanding and never ever does as she is told. Sometimes, just sometimes it is too difficult to be on top of a very difficult child all the time. I used to think exactly like you op when I just had ds, then I had dd, and it is about survival now

TheSeaPriestess Thu 26-Sep-13 18:36:41

I don't understand how people can live like that either.

I went to visit a friend the other day and she had another friend and her 4yr old DS there. The 4 year old was wandering around eating a sausage roll, no attempt was made to either contain the mess or clear it up and my friends room was covered in pastry!

He then proceeded to keep running up to the other two kids (2 yr olds) roaring 'You are so STUPID!!' In their faces, snatching toys and barging into everyone. Not once did the mum do anything apart from roll her eyes indulgently.

I had great difficulty in keeping my mouth shut. My DS can be a horror but that doesn't mean I bloody let him get on with it.

Kids with no boundaries or discipline tend to grow up to be unpleasant entitled adults.

Pixel Thu 26-Sep-13 19:10:28

My friend's boy is like this, everything has to be on his terms. I've seen them drive ten miles to another town to get a pizza because he didn't want one from any of the places in their own town. We used to go Christmas shopping together but it drove me mad because she'd have this huge long list that her son had written, (no cheap bits and bobs either), and she had to get everything on the list or else. (Every other shopping trip included a detour to get the latest game or gadget as well because if he had something he had to have a full set immediately). He would rummage around until he found his presents and bring them into the room in the full knowledge that she would go and buy him some more. I'm sure most of us have come across a pressie meant for us at some stage of our lives, whether deliberately or not, but we keep quiet and pretend to be surprised when we receive it don't we? And learn a valuable lesson about spoiling the joy of anticipation. In that sense I do feel a bit sorry for him because he's never had to wait for anything in his life, his things are less special iyswim.
They even bought a new big tv for their living room and the boy wanted it so they put it in his room so he could fall asleep watching cartoons (he wouldn't go to bed any other way), and they sat in the other room watching a tiny old fashioned tv. He was five at the time.

MariaLuna Thu 26-Sep-13 20:34:53

These kids are going to be in for a huge shock as they become adults and find out no-one will pander to them

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 21:10:29

Mrs jay- I think you've hit the nail on the head. My friend can't bear to see her daughter upset so she always gives in. I mean, no-one likes to see their child upset but sometimes you just have to be the parent in a situation.

I really thinks that is what is at the bottom of it the parent doesn't want to be the bad guy which imo isn't doing their children any good

Madeyemoodysmum Thu 26-Sep-13 21:21:46

PIXEL. Is this for real! He sounds like Dudley from Harry potter!

YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 21:23:16

Dudley was written as a caricature - seems some people took HP as parenting advice. grin

SummerRain Thu 26-Sep-13 21:36:19

dd's bf is a bit like this. Not to the extent in the OP but if she asks for something she gets it, anytime her mother goes to the shop with her she gets bought stuff and if dd is with them she gets stuff too. If she decides she wants a new ds game or toy she'll insist on having it now and it will happen, poor dd knows she has to wait til xmas or birthdays for the same gifts. They're a lovely family, and the girl is angelic at ours, and they treat dd as one of their own... but I do wonder how the girl is going to cope as an adult. They have adult children and they're still spoilt and demanding and they're in their 20's and one is a parent themself.... where will it end?

IceCreamForCrow Thu 26-Sep-13 21:46:21

Yaddnbu op. Turning children into the centre of everyone's universe does them no favours in the long run and does not make them happy.

The word no can be hard to say and hear, but if you hear it at appropriate times from a young age it does a lot of good.

Pixel Thu 26-Sep-13 21:57:47

Madey, I've never read Harry Potter or seen the films so I wouldn't know about Dudley, but yes 'tis true I'm afraid. He's not a bad kid surprisingly but I've had to do a lot of tongue-biting over the years (not that mine are angels but they wouldn't dare talk to me in the way that this boy talks to his mother, I've even seen him slap her). I did find an unexpected ally on one visit when his grandmother happened to be there. He was repeatedly jumping out through the window and running back in the door despite 'polite' requests not to which he ignored and the grandmother gave me a look that said she was keeping quiet for the sake of peace too grin.

finncotta Fri 27-Sep-13 01:15:32

pictish I would have done exactly the same as you.

LEM bit of a stretch to assume she finds me boring. There may well be other reasons why she hardly ever comes to see me and why we always have to go to her, but I honestly think it's mainly to do with her dd. I think she's so afraid of "upsetting" her that she won't challenge her at all just in case something is not exactly how she wants it. It's becoming a bit of a problem as every whim is indulged. For example, the dd fell out with another girl in her class, nothing big just normal 12 year old girl stuff. Soon afterwards there was a class trip but her dd refused to go on the school bus in case this girl was mean to her. So my friend took her in her own car instead. All the kids were asking why - it can't be good for the girl to be singled out like that.

basgetti I can totally understand how hard it must be having total responsibility for a child with little support. Good to hear you feel things are better with the changes - kids are bloody hard work.

Orangeanddemons I see what you're saying and yes all dcs are different. I have a tricky one myself who doesn't know the meaning of going with the flow and wants everything 100% his way. But he can't, that's not life. I listen to him and consider what he wants but in the end he knows (finally, after years of being a wall which won't fall down no matter how hard he pushed) he accepts that what the parent says is what goes. It's not right for kids to have too much control, they are not adults yet.

SummerRain yes this girl gets everything immediately too and I come across as a meanie for making my dcs wait until birthday or Christmas! Again they are very generous and will happily include my dcs in whatever they are doing, and I would also do the same for their dd if they would ever let me! Ah well, I use them as a lesson for my dcs in how you shouldn't compare yourself with others and how they actually have a bloody good life!

MrsMook Fri 27-Sep-13 08:33:55

I'm sure DS1 would happily rule the roost if allowed! It was tough when pg with DS2 and on crutches for SPD, and some things like TV on in the background were relaxed for an easy life. He's coming up towards 3 now. When I was recovered from DS2's birth, the TV habit was getting silly, so a timer was put on the TV so he can't turn it off and on at will. Saying "no" and sticking to it is paying off despite all the tantrums of the past as he knows we mean what we say. It's getting easier now we can reason and bargain with him. I know it's early days, but hopefully we've established a good foundation for a happy, reasonable, pleasant child.

I've worked with thousands of other people's children, and you can often spot those that are given free reign- they are very hard work, and some can be unpleasant, and the parents very often are as their expectations are very unrealistic. It's sad as the underlying personality of the children isn't necessarily unpleasant, they just can't deal with normal expectations of society.

I suspect it's a growing issue. The rise of parenting styles like "gentle parenting" can discourage assertive parenting. Often guilt is an issue, through working, health issues or hangovers from the parent's upbringing.

lljkk Fri 27-Sep-13 09:35:25

I distrust threads like this.
I have friends who think this is exactly who I treat my DC. That we indulge them ridiculously.
But if you ask my kids, they say we're the strictest meanest parents around!
Can't keep everyone happy.
Luckily Dd had a classmate whose mother had a very messy life with lots of problems, so DD has some clue how bad parents can be.

I am utterly confused at parents who still have huge own-lives in spite of many children. How in the world do they find the energy.... I know my parents found the energy to have their own vibrant social lives by not having a clue what was going on inside my head & ignoring how badly bullied i was at school.

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:25

There's a difference, Iljkk, between giving up a lot of your own life for your dc = sometimes reasonable, and expecting other dc always to have to conform to yours= not reasonable (and I'm sure you don't do it). Parents who do the latter are not helping their dc.

lljkk Fri 27-Sep-13 12:50:13

My guess is that what's what is a matter of arbitrary opinion & perspective.

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