I cannot cope with my children, and I am tempted to put my eldest on a flight back to Britain.

(63 Posts)
QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 22:22:56

I know they fight and bicker, but they have taken manipulation to a new level. They know I dont want to punish the non-culpable child, so they both deny their own part in what has been going on, as well as coming up with so many stories I cant see right from wrong.

We flew out to Norway on Friday evening.

I am so tempted to send ds1 back to Britain on a flight tomorrow evening, so dh can take him to a camp and bring him back with him.

But, the repercussions are going to be too big. Ds2 will then be treated to quality time with me, while ds2 have to fly home alone and go to a camp he will not enjoy, so that is disproportionate.

But, I have no control over them. They dont do as they are told. They are putting pressure on for me to buy them things, and the are not doing stuff I am asking of them. Ds1 told me this morning that he would have cleaned up his clothes, if only I had done as HE asked me, and ordered him a new phone cover that he had tailored himself on a made to measure website. His words "All that would have been avoided if you had only done as I told you" hmm

They started fighting on the pavement outside the shopping center, because they got impatient when my phone rang. It was a friend, and I was trying to arrange for her eldest to meet up with mine. They were not listening to me saying stop it several times. Ds1 said "It would not have happened if you were quick on the phone or had gone straight to the car". It is as illegal to talk on the phone here as in Britain!

Yesterday I could not get them to bed until past midnight. They currently share a room, and they were faffing about, in and out of bed, and generally being a nuisance. I was so wound up by their behaviour that I did not manage to fall asleep until 2 am. Woke up this morning by ds1 screeching at ds2. He had woken him up by climbing down from the bunk bed.

On the airport, coming here, I let them buy some sweets. I told them they could not have it all in one go, but to make it last. All gone. They even polished off the Hotel Chocolat that were treats, behind my back.

It seems to me that they are punishing me, or letting me have consequences for not doing as they want. The phone call and the fighting, the clothes mess on the living room floor (ds1 had emptied out the suitcase to find his phone charger) and the phone cover.

We were also late to leave the house yesterday because I battled so long with them over tidying the clothes (which they did not do in the end) that we were too late to buy shoes for ds2 before closing time.

It is so frustrating. I dont know where I am going wrong. I try so hard to be fair, but they are playing me.

After the shenanigans yesterday I told them if they were playing up at bedtime again, ds1 would sleep on the sofa of my sisters top floor flat, and ds2 in the sofa of my dads flat on the ground floor.

We are currently staying on the lower ground floor.

Of course they played up, and I had to stick to it. sad

I am a failure.

Auriga Sun 27-Jul-14 22:49:29

Sorry you feel like that. How old are they? Can you Skype with your DH and talk it over?

jonicomelately Sun 27-Jul-14 22:55:09

Take away the stuff they love until they improve their behaviour. It's all you can do in this type of situation.

LePetitPrince Sun 27-Jul-14 22:55:54

What ages are they? They sound quite old but are acting like toddlers.

I think a lot of kids are acting up at this stage of the holidays - no routine, going on holiday etc.

But find a punishment for each of them (access to tv or iPad, or whatever) and threaten them with no access for the day if they get 3 warnings. If they disobey, you must see the punishment through though!

Also - pick your battles, the sweets I would let go as a one off but the rudeness I simply wouldn't tolerate. Everyone's battles worth fighting will be different but the important thing is to be consistent.

Elderflowergranita Sun 27-Jul-14 22:56:58

Surely that means you have the space to yourself? Sounds like a result to me!

Honestly, holidays are very difficult. I would pick my battles, and probably have let the sorting the clothes stuff go.

We are on holidays right now, and I'm lurching between screaming harridan and the gin bottle!

GothMummy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:01:27

I agree, remove the things they like, phones eyc and definately no treats or spending money till they behave properly.

And no you are not a failure and you did the right thing separating them at night time. The rudeness and attitude would make me very angry!

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 23:05:36

They are 9 and 12! They most definitely behave like toddlers.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 27-Jul-14 23:05:52

Oh op, how draining for you sad

They are seriously vying for control, it's like coup in your house, and all aimed at you.

Any thoughts on what's causing it? Getting an idea of why might help you deal with it. Are they seeing disrespect modelled in their lives? Are they seeing someone else get away with trampling all over you?

Other than that... Don't play fair! Not punishing anyone (except yourself) as they hide behind your need to be scrupulously fair means they can run roughshod over you. And that's neither fair nor good for them. So change the rules.

And what the hell is the consequences crap about?! Their little game if consequences is vile, and actually quite abusive. I would wonder where they've picked up this way of behaving. From you? From someone doing it to you? Someone doing it to them?

That has to stop. Instantly.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 27-Jul-14 23:08:28

Agree with

- pick your battles
- follow through punishments
- and lastly... Don't do punishments that punish you more than them

Think about punishments before hand so spur of the moment backing yourself into a corner stuff is less likely to happen

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 23:08:41

I have just spoken to Dh.

We will either send them both North to the Wall! wink Catholic youth camp at the far north of Norway, with prayer, youth ministry, river fishing, kayaking and hill walking, or send the older one to dhs mum in Poland. Could do them both some good.

Aside from that, taking away things is difficult, as we are on holiday and it is only their phones. I have to give them back if we go out, in case we lose eachother.

helensburgh Sun 27-Jul-14 23:09:07

Normal behaviour but so hard to deal with. So first of all many hugs.

Secondly remove phones, games etc as punishment.

Sit down and explain how this behaviour is impacting on you all.

GothMummy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:10:07

Oh, they are younger than I thought you would say they were. In that case I think you can be a lot stricter and less nice in general till they behave properly to you.

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 23:10:44

Miscellaneous, this behaviour is new. Not sure where they have it. I have never before experienced that they are this tit for tat, and not bothering to do stuff until I have done stuff from them. I am shocked and disappointed.

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 23:12:45

I have explained how the behaviour impacts. Today was a good example, as we were meant to go on a mountain hike, and I was too exhausted/wound up to do that. So they spent the whole day at home doing nothing much, before the helped weeding in the garden a bit. (for £2.50 per hour)

GothMummy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:13:11

Just read your post about sending them to the wall, I like your style ;) Is this behavior only when you are away? Or are they like that at home too?

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 23:13:54

They bicker at home, but it is not this bad!

sanfairyanne Sun 27-Jul-14 23:19:14

not sure how the paying them to weed thing fits in? why not just make them do it?

GothMummy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:23:49

Im really sorry you are having a crap holiday by the way.
It sounds awful and exhausting.

ouryve Sun 27-Jul-14 23:25:28

You know, Quint, you might get some inspiration from reading The Explosive Child. It's normally recommended for older kids with ASD/AS/PDA, as parenting tends to have to be off the page for the sake of sanity, with them, but collaborative problem solving will probably work with your two. Explore their problem with each other, by all means empathise, even if you don't agree, but work together on a solution that makes life a lot more peaceful for all of you.

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Sun 27-Jul-14 23:26:59

Mine are only little, so I may be talking out if my arse, but could you hold a meeting and ask them wtf?

Maybe if they want to be treated more like adults they need a bit more responsibility? I wouldn't pay them either - if they want to be part of the family they need to start pulling their weight or you just stay at home ad chill, cook for yourself and just do your own laundry etc. I am sure they could manage to live off sandwiches and cereal for a few days. Just ignore them for a but until they start to be decent family members again.

But as I said, I know nothing! smile

stealthsquiggle Sun 27-Jul-14 23:28:17

I would suspend the "not punishing the non offending child" principles for the duration. They are ganging up on you. If they choose to work as a team, they get punished as a team.

Sending them north to the brothers sounds very tempting, but are you prepared to follow through on it?

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Sun 27-Jul-14 23:30:16

Disengage, that was what I was trying to say. They want you to do stuff for them? Then do nothing, then the "stuff" you do for them can be the simple things like making their dinner, finding a toy/fishing pole they want etc.

Hissy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:39:29

I agree, punish BOTH for whatever the other one does.

Divide and conquer. Just as they are adopting the join together and kick mumma's ass technique.

Bugger that!

Stop the buying of anything, stop paying them, and remove their phones/ privileges only returning them WHEN they can treat you with respect.

Sit them down and TELL them that they have reached your last nerve and that they have 24 hours to turn their behaviour around or off to camp they'll go, and future holidays will NOT include them.

Poor you, you really don't deserve this!

GothMummy Sun 27-Jul-14 23:41:01

Yes, definately punish both if they are ganging up on you. Do you have other family members to help you on this holiday?

If they bicker, punish them both. Don't try to be fair, don't try to identify which one is culpable. Tell them that they are both behaving intolerably and as a result both will lose X.
Don't buy them any treats, cancel events/activities they are looking forward to, let other people know that your DCs are missing out as a punishment. Every time thry much you about, bedtime moves 15 mins earlier. Go hardcore and follow through.
But if one of them is even a little bit kind, thoughtful or pleasant make sure you thank them, let them know you appreciate your effort and give them a hug. Hopefully they are bright enough to realise that they'll 'win' by being cooperative.

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