Are you ever disappointed with who your children are?

(75 Posts)
Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 20:21:34

This is a very difficult post to write, so bear with me. I am having a tough time at the moment, in particular with my 5 year old DD. Today it came to a head and I made a spectacular mess of things.

We went to a local "sports sampler" camp at our local rec center. Forty-five minutes a week, a different sport each time. Emphasis is on fun - solely - no competitiveness whatsoever. I thought it'd be fantastic - my DD is a very active child, loves the playground, bike rides, gym class, and frankly we need some outlet for her seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy.

She walked in, sat down in the corner of the room and refused to join in. Cried when anyone tried to jolly her into the group. I tried gentle cajoling ("I'm right here", etc) to no avail. We talked briefly about how important is was to try new things, even if they made us a little scared at first, and how we never know if we'll enjoy something until we try. And I told her repeatedly that it doesn't matter if she doesn't do well (in response to her "I can't do it!" the only thing that matters that she tries. If she tries and hates it, we will never play that sport again, etc. Still refuses to stand up, let alone join in.

To my shame, I lost my temper and basically dragged her out of the room by her arm, told her if she didn't get in and join in we would go straight home and she would stay in her room the rest of the day. Obviously not my finest moment. Needless to say, we left. (In case you're wondering why my reaction was so extreme - it's not the first time that she has refused to join in a group sport setting, and this time was the final straw).

On the way home I really let her have it. I told her how disappointing she was to me, because she didn't even try. I know that this is a terrible thing to say, but in my dark moments, that really is how I feel. I look at my daughter and sometimes I struggle to see that she is kind and loving and very outgoing (people often comment on how social she is, she's very much a "leader" in many ways) and all I see is a stubborn, lazy child. I know that's not fair to her. When I was a child I would have killed for the opportunities she has (such as the sport sampler camp) and it drives me insane that she just turns her nose up at it.

I know the problem is primarily me, but I am really struggling to deal with these feelings. The early part of my life was something of a struggle and I was constantly "out of my comfort zone", and I just had to get on with it. I sometimes wonder if this is why I am so irritated by her refusal to do anything that causes even a modicum of discomfort.

Graceparkhill Tue 18-Jun-13 20:29:06

Can I ask why it is so important to you that she does the sports camp? If it is meant to be for her benefit and she doesn't want to then why not just leave it at that?

Januarymadness Tue 18-Jun-13 20:33:20

She is 5. She doesn't know who she is yet so how can you. Is it possible that you actually just want it to be you who had those opportunities and you actually want her to be you?

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 20:35:01

I can't be disappointed in my eldest anymore. Or anything other than sad. She died of complications from cancer treatment nearly a year ago, age 9.

Get a grip!

burberryqueen Tue 18-Jun-13 20:37:52

maybe she is just not into team sport things - i know my son hated football, used his cub scarf as a gangster mask and then refused to go to cubs at all ('candy arsed monkey suits') - afraid we just have to go with what they are like and what they like doing eventually.

WhereMyMilk Tue 18-Jun-13 20:38:27

I'm never disappointed by who my children are TBH-they are lovely little people.

Saying that I am sometimes disappointed in their behaviour eg fighting with each other and would then say so.

I understand that you obviously want your DD to have the best opportunities, but if she chooses not to do them then you are projecting onto her. TBH your DD is very young still to do stuff like that. My DD still struggles at 8, but that is who she is. She has recently started to join things-but they are at her instigation.

DS just isn't interested in organised stuff at all. I offer, he says no! There is no reason for me to push him into doing things he doesn't fancy as he will get no enjoyment from them and that is key IMO

If I were you I'd talk to her. Apologise for losing your temper and for what you said. Ask if SHE wants to go again to try. Listen if she says no and don't force her. There is plenty of time for her to do things when she finds what she's interested in.

Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 20:38:45

Thanks for your responses - graceparkhill As much as my daughter has a lot of energy, she is also prone to laziness, for a want of a better word. I have been concerned lately that she has been too eager to put the TV on (even if given the choice to go to the park she would say "Can I watch TV?" too often for my liking.) I think it's vital that she is active, and I think that the team environment has so many benefits to impart. I also think that it's good for kids to do something that is out of their comfort zones, it teaches them to overcome their "fears" as such. Kind of "feel the fear but do it anyway".

januarymadness Yes, I wonder how much of my feelings about my (lack of) opportunities in childhood are feeding into my anger about my DD's behaviour. Sometimes I just think "I'd have LOVED this! How are you not even arsed enough to give it a try?

Dorange Tue 18-Jun-13 20:39:10

your poor daughter.
yes, the problem is you.
get help.

SpooMoo Tue 18-Jun-13 20:39:41

How is she at socialising generally? Maybe there were competitive events at school/preschool/nursery which have given her legitimate reason to dislike this kind of participation.

In any case, five years old seems very young to be deciding this is her personality for life and that she "never" tries - she's still new to everything. Write this one off and try again in another context, don't make her aware of your pressure or anxiety.

Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 20:41:34

expat I'm really sorry to hear that. I too have lost a child, so I have some understanding of how you must be feeling. Unfortunately my "be grateful for your healthy children" mantra doesn't always help me, iykwim?

gamerchick Tue 18-Jun-13 20:43:18

She's 5? Jesus sad

SpooMoo Tue 18-Jun-13 20:43:21

Cross posted. feel the fear but do it anyway" is the wrong attitude to have with a 5yo. A 10yo maybe! But at 5 she needs to feel listened to and secure, not pressured into doing things she doesn't want to, that's a bad lesson for her about the world.

carlywurly Tue 18-Jun-13 20:44:54

Oh blimey, your poor dd. I think you really need to explore why you over reacted so massively. She will need lots of reassurance now or you're laying foundations for some future issues.

She's 5, that's no age. My ds is 5. I don't push him to do anything, it should be all about play and fun at that age outside school, not stress and dramas.

I'd give up on the camp and next year she may be completely different.

And expat, so sorry. hmm

Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 20:45:56

Yes, I do wonder if I am unreasonable in my expectations of what a 5 year old should be capable of. Since my DS was born, she suddenly seemed so much "older". Perhaps I need to add "she's only 5" to my longer-by-the-day mantras.

Moomoomie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:46:14

For goodness sake, she is 5 years old. I expect she is in Reception at school? She is probably exhausted and justs wants time to relax.
Be careful what you say to her now, it is all remembered and will come back and haunt you in years to come.
By the way, I love my three girls unconditionally.

megmagmog Tue 18-Jun-13 20:46:57

Instead of imposing your own expectations, try to see her more as an individual, and put your energy into seeking out what her strengths/interests actually are - you might get a surprise! Relax, she's five. If you're like this now, how will your relationship with DD be when she's 15?

ShadeofViolet Tue 18-Jun-13 20:48:16

I wonder if your DD feels disappointed in you.

runningonwillpower Tue 18-Jun-13 20:49:33

Your child is an individual. Please don't try to quash that or mould that to suit some pre-set notion of your own.

You think it's good for her to be out of her comfort zone? She 6 for goodness sake. Teaching her to overcome her fears? Be very careful, you may just be reinforcing them.

Listen to your daughter. Enjoy her for who she is and please don't go trying to shape her according to some arbitrary ideal.

carlywurly Tue 18-Jun-13 20:49:50

The words you choose bother me. It sounds as though there are some anger and control issues going on. All 5 yr olds ask to watch tv, it's pretty normal behaviour ime rather than indicative of laziness.

Please don't give a 5 year old hang ups. She isn't a replica you, she may not want the same opportunities you sound so bitter at missing out on. Let her find her own way.

num3onway Tue 18-Jun-13 20:50:34

My ds would probably go very shy put in this situation, he is 5. You shouldn't be so hard on her. Are you sure she even likes sports or does she want to please you?
I've looked at leaflets for sports things this week. They say age 4+. But I have decided my 4 and 5 year olds are too young IMO.

dianettey Tue 18-Jun-13 20:51:29

You're going to create a huge amount of anxiety around this for her, probably forever. Stop it.

Laying into her in the car. Awful, awful, awful.

Do you do any sport? I suggest you take one up ASAP.

Then let your daughter be active and sociable in a way that suits her. As a totally different and independent being from you.

Notsoyummymummy1 Tue 18-Jun-13 20:52:25

I'm sorry but your behaviour was disgraceful - you should be disappointed in yourself not her - poor little thing shock

Viviennemary Tue 18-Jun-13 20:52:52

She is only five so I'd just forget all about today. Kids can be really annoying at times but you did take this much too seriously. Just put it down that your DD had an off day and don't give it another thought.

MatersMate Tue 18-Jun-13 20:53:04

Yes, Anglo chill out honestly.

They are still so little (my DS is 5) and he gets tired. Also, being pushed into something you so definitely don't want to do,can be worse than never having the opportunity.

Talk to her.

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 20:53:15

Unfortunately my "be grateful for your healthy children" mantra doesn't always help me, iykwim?

Then I don't know what will if you're this whacked out about a sports camp for a five-*year*-*old*, tbh, except some serious counselling for you.

hmm

Graceparkhill Tue 18-Jun-13 20:53:18

I am going to be blunt here- if you do want her to do things out of her comfort zone then you will need to support and encourage her not shout and belittle her .
Just my opinion but I honestly think you need to re consider your views and let her be a wee girl with a happy childhood.

heliotrope Tue 18-Jun-13 20:54:47

I've a 5 yo DS who is not a joiner at all - e.g. will not do summer play schemes, swimming lessons etc and has been like this from a young toddler. I'm not disappointed in who he is at all, but sad for him that he finds these things difficult.
I also wish he would join things, there are so many wonderful things for them to do. I'm sure it is partly projection that I would like to do those things in his place, and also it is actually very frustrating because I know he finds it so difficult but if he could just get over the initial discomfort he would enjoy them, so he is missing out and I wish I could find a way to help him over his shyness - this is why I've pushed a little bit, e.g. signing up for the swimming anyway and giving it a few weeks but to no avail.
He's not doing it to be awkward, he just is deeply averse to those situations. At school he's found an environment where he feels secure and trusts the adults and is blossoming - will now join clubs and afterschool activities in that environment only, which is great.
And as others have said 5 is very young to expect them to do these activities, even though many kids take to it so well.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 18-Jun-13 20:54:49

Blimey poor kidsad

Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:30

Thank you, all of you, for your comments. You have really given me food for thought. I certainly knew that my behaviour today was shameful, but some of the other comments have been really helpful. It's always good to get an outsider's perspective, I struggle to see it when I'm in the moment, as it were.

Pinebarrens Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:30

i think you need to take a step back & without making you feel bad, have a think about your reaction.

Anger is the emotion you mentioned that you felt, whilst it can be difficult when you're in the thick of it, anger seems extreme in the context of the situation you've described.

she's 5 & was being pushed to join in with strangers & had an angry mummy to deal with too, all sounds very stressful for a small child to deal with.

Hassled Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:45

Yes, add "she's only 5" to your mantras, but also add "she's not me".

I think that maybe you think she should be more like you - or more like you wish you were? She never will be - she's her own person, and like the rest of us, she's flawed. But I bet for every time she's lazy or unadventurous, there are times she's sweet and thoughtful.

Try and spend some quality time with her - something you both like doing. Try to have a laugh, a bit of fun with her - I don't doubt that you love her, but we don't all always like our children, and that's what you've got to find again.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Procrastinating Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:59

I'm never disappointed with who my children are, they are individuals rather than copies of me. It is your job to try and understand your daughter rather than turn her into something else. Poor thing.

Personally I think sport is shit, but I hide that very well when I watch my 6 year old son playing tennis (his choice).

StyleManual Tue 18-Jun-13 20:58:55

Goodness, give her a break. Your post made me sad. You say she has an inexhaustible supply of energy, so I don't see how she can be lazy. It sounds like quite an intimidating setting for a 5 year old - trying something new every week. I used to give music lessons to a 5 year old and I was surprised that even with me, who he saw every week and in his own home, he was still scared of trying something new - and that was all based around the same instrument. Gosh, it makes me sad to think that she was worried about trying a new sport and then got told off for feeling that way.

usualsuspect Tue 18-Jun-13 20:59:27

Do you want her to remember how disappointing you found her? How lazy you thought she was?

How she didn't live up to your expectations?

Because she will.

WhereMyMilk Tue 18-Jun-13 21:00:47

Hear hear to Expat.

With every post you make I feel sorrier for your poor DD sad

Go give her a cuddle, apologise and then let her be...

MrsPnut Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:00

I would probably feel exactly the same way that you are, Anglo. I expect you've done the gentle cajoling, the supporting to take part and now you are at the end of your patience.

I maybe wouldn't have laid into my daughter in the car but I certainly would have felt like it. Children are such ungrateful scrotes sometimes and it only gets worse as they get older - it's natures way of making us let go of them as they approach adulthood.

You've had a bad day with her, it might not have been your finest hour but take a deep breath, regroup and face tomorrow afresh. I'd maybe put the sports camp on hold until next time and try it again later.

yamsareyammy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:24

Oh dea, oh dear. Sorry but this is awful
Your poor child.
Yes, the problem is you.
Never in a million years, is she going to be you.
And that is what you are trying to make her be. You.

TheBuskersDog Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:43

I clicked on this thread expecting it to be from a parent with a teenager that's gone off the rails, a mother driven to the brink of despair by a son who steals or something like that, not a 5 year old that doesn't want to join in a game!

SpooMoo Tue 18-Jun-13 21:03:39

Don't be too hard on yourself - a lot of these comments will be hard to take, but remember: tomorrow is another day!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 18-Jun-13 21:04:43

It's going to become a vicious circle though isn't it? You go and try a new venture with her, she's a little shy and hesitant, you react in the way that you did today, the next new venture becomes an even bigger obstacle in her eyes.

Do you say 'no' to screen time? I wonder if allowing her to be bored would encourage her to be more active? When my children were little we had no CBBC or CITV to watch so they were limited in when there was stuff they wanted to watch on TV, I was strict with the amount of time they were allowed to watch videos and I found that them being bored encouraged them to go outside and play.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 21:05:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

inneedofrain Tue 18-Jun-13 21:06:41

Op you were out of order here (but I think you know that)

Does your dd have a natural flair for sports? Out of interest what sorts of sports were on offer?

I think everyone needs to find a balance in life yes it's important that dd exercises but it is import that she loves doing it. If she enjoys it it will become life long if she is forced she will retaliate against it at the first opportunity

I think your desire to give her opportunities is getting in the way of her being a kid. Do you do stuff together both physical like bike ridding together and making cards or baking? She needs to find her passions they may be the same as your or totally out of your comfort zone

You made a mess if today but you can turn it round tomorrow what about asking her what she would like to try and see if you can sort it? Ie my should runs a karate class specifically for parents and their kids together (he runs others to) this one is more fun iyswim

Kids see us as there comfort zone and we need to help give them a good sense of self

The thing I am most proud of is my kids I hope one day you will know what I mean

Go and give dd a kiss even if she is asleep

Januarymadness Tue 18-Jun-13 21:07:07

Expat sorry for the hijack. I can't believe its been a year. I only knew you both through your threads but your dd changed me forever. The strength of every one of your family is and was amazing.

Angloamerican Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:06

spoomoo yes, you're not wrong about the comments. Although many are deserved, they do not make for easy reading. Perhaps that's what I need, though.

To answer some other questions - we have started limiting screen time down to 30 minutes a day (I always liked to keep it to an hour a day but that has been creeping up to two, which I was unhappy about.)

And yes, anger is the root of most of this. I'm angry all the time, and I'm not even sure why half the time. But that's for another post..

LondonBus Tue 18-Jun-13 21:09:58

She's not stubborn and lazy, she's nervous and scared.

Let her watch a couple of sessions before expecting her to join in.

I had a similar moment when DS1 refused to join in with tennis lessons. I told him if he didn't take part I would put the racket I'd recently bought him in the bin, which I did as we were leaving.

It was a nice new racket, and I had to then go back and get it, saying I would give it to some child who would appreciate it.

Looking back, it was my most twattish parenting moment ever.

I think I we have high expectations of our own children, much higher than we would of other peoples children. I have no idea why.

I bet you are a lovley mummy the rest of the time.

Atavistic Tue 18-Jun-13 21:10:40

The problem is not "primarily you", it's all you. You are being a pushy Mum, setting your poor DD for a lifetime of feeling a failure. You are there to protect her and make her feel safe. You are her number one provider of comfort and love. If you continue like this, you will be letting her down. Terribly. Say sorry, and mean it. Your poor little child.

Hugs to Expat.

inneedofrain Tue 18-Jun-13 21:12:46

Sweetie I'm sorry if you feel attacked its not meant if you feel angry most of the time it must be horrid for you. I just want to say this the most awful time I ever had in my life (which has not been a piece of cake) was living with some one that was angry all of the time. Please please consider seeing your g p and asking for some counciling to try and get to the bottom of your anger I promise it will help you and your dd

musickeepsmesane Tue 18-Jun-13 21:14:39

The early part of my life was something of a struggle and I was constantly "out of my comfort zone", and I just had to get on with it. I sometimes wonder if this is why I am so irritated by her refusal to do anything that causes even a modicum of discomfort.

You are repeating your childhood. You knew she wasn't a joiner in yet you took her anyway.
Why would you want you child to feel discomfort.

That being said, it is hard to stand back and allow your 5 year old to make choices. It has been said she is only 5, but she is able to let you know her likes and dislikes. You should apologise and spend time with her expending her energy in ways you both enjoy.
(Also, maybe she doesn't like the size of the rec centre? Too big and echoey?)
I would hate to come on here and put my parenting mistakes out there, very brave of you! Proves you are aware and don't want to repeat your childhood.

Quangle Tue 18-Jun-13 21:18:31

Anglo I had perhaps a similar experience with my 5yo for whom I'd booked swimming lessons for a week. Day 1 she got in and went through the motions. Day 2 she wouldn't even put her costume on! Cue cajoling, bribery, anger ....nothing worked. We had to come home. I was spitting feathers. All that money! But also I'd been excited about her swimming - had done a lot of research to find the right pool and teacher. I really lost it. But I'd invested too much emotional energy in it myself and I was an idiot. She was only 5

So yes you did the wrong thing. But you know that. And yes it's you not her. But you know that too. But don't be too hard on yourself. We're all out of order sometimes. And it seems like you've taken ownership of this problem and want to fix it. Not sure what next step is though. Counselling to help you let go of your own lost childhood? Good luck and don't fret too much. Just go and kiss her and have fun together next time.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Jun-13 21:18:41

I think that being occassionally disappointed in our children is part of motherhood. None of us are perfect and both parents and children make mistakes. It is easy to have unrealistic expectations.

My son is generally a lovely boy, however several years ago he was involved in a really nasty bullying incident aged 7. A group of boys had ganged up on another child and banged the poor kid's head against the wall. The school punished the five boys involved by making them miss the end of term christmas party. As far as I know he has never done anything similar since.

I was deeply disappointed that my son had followed the group like a sheep and didn't think about how his poor victim felt. I felt that I had failed as a mother by not teaching him how to behave. With hindsight I realise that making mistakes is part of growing up and the important thing is to learn from them.

There have also been times when my son has exceeded my expectations as well. He was commended recently for stopping a bullying incident among so younger children as playground buddy.

Children are surprising robust and you will not pychologically scar your child with the occassional parenting mistake.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 18-Jun-13 21:21:05

Don't beat yourself up OP, you have recognised there is a problem and you have time to fix it. It is a brave person that can own up and seek help. You have given us one snap shot of one incident in her life, it isn't the full picture. There is time to sort this and make both of your lives happier.

californiaburrito Tue 18-Jun-13 21:23:43

Anglo What is your relationship with your DD like usually? Do you have something you like do together?

Obviously, today was not one of your better days. I have a lot of not so good days too. I can also relate to having a lot of anger since becoming a mother and I feel like all the shit from my childhood that I had to deal with to become an adult I have to deal with again to become a better mother.

So can I make two suggestions?

Tomorrow, apologise to your DD, you love each other and it's ok to make mistakes sometimes.

And keep trying to get rid of the anger and face up to these difficult feelings.

yamsareyammy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:23:53

"Anger is the root of most of this. I am angry all the time..

I think it is about this post.
I realise that this is a parenting board, and not a different one, but it sounds like it is your anger that is really the issue in your life.

Do you have anger about losing your child? Obviously dont answer that if you dont want to.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Jun-13 21:33:04

Children deserve to be loved unconditionally, however this doesn't mean that we always have to love their behaviour.

Prehaps you need to rethink how you get your daugher active. Maybe you could do a sporting activity as a family.

IsItMeOr Tue 18-Jun-13 21:40:31

Anglo tough times for you, obviously.

As others have said, sounds like you could really do with getting some help with your anger. It must be absolutely exhausting for you to feel angry so much. And yes, of course it won't be great for DD.

I hope you feel able to set up some help for yourself. If you're in England, your GP should be able to refer you.

When you've got something lined up for you, I'd recommend you look at Lovebombing, by Oliver James. It's a brilliantly practical technique to help re-build the bond between parent and child, is written in a very compassionate way and has worked wonders for us and our DS.

You don't need to feel this bad Anglo. I hope you are able to change things soon. xx

Mollydoggerson Tue 18-Jun-13 21:44:33

Love her for who she is, not for who you want her to be.

If you want her to love exercise and be excited about it and try new things, then lead by example, don't force her.

littlecrystal Tue 18-Jun-13 22:11:22

I have not read the responses but my first idea perhaps she is just not into team sports. My DS1 does not enjoy (understand) team sports so we are on the look for individual sports. For example, he does love his swimming lessons.

pickledsiblings Tue 18-Jun-13 22:39:54

How much ground work did you do OP before you took your DD along to sports camp? I have found that my DC are most willing to do something new when they can see the point behind doing it, know when they will be going, where they will be going, who else is likely to be there, what they will be expected to do, what I will be doing whilst they are there, what they are supposed to wear (new trainers?) etc.etc ad infinitum. Basically, lots of conversations leading up to the event and a big 'deconstruct' afterwards.

Notsoyummymummy1 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:49:49

I'm sorry but a five year old was bullied and humiliated by her own mother just for not joining in, how can this be ok? Let this be your wake up call to get help with your anger issues.

MyShoofly Tue 18-Jun-13 22:51:07

your not encouraging her to try new things by making them adversarial emotionally charged events. gentle patience and exposure will be more of a friend to you both. Since you can't physically make her do it (or like it) no good can come from making it a losing power struggle that harms your relationship. his is not about her though, truthfully it's entirely about you.

ghosteditor Tue 18-Jun-13 23:01:09

Anglo I think you're more than aware that the situation got out of hand and that your reaction was extreme, which was why you posted.

All that aside, you sound angry and upset and like you're struggling. Have you thought about seeing a therapist or coach? I have recently had some sessions through work and have found them really helpful with some of my crazy. They have incidentally helped me with dealing with my 18 mo DD.

Practically speaking - can you apologise to your DD and tell her you love her? Maybe try a 'love bombing' style weekend or do something fun together. And show her that you are happy to try things that are hard for you because it's ok to get things wrong while you're learning?

MyShoofly Tue 18-Jun-13 23:03:17

Would like to add that I've been taking my oldest to a gym class once a week and one of the other mums participates with her son who is clearly very shy and non participatory. as far as I can tell she just takes his lead, doesn't push, backs off according to his cues.....2 months in I see that child starting to come out of his shell more, trying new things - she celebrates his baby steps. I think we could all learn a lot from her approach, which is tailored to her child's specific needs.

invicta Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:38

California - great idea about apologising. It removes the 'blame' from the child to the mother and the child will realise he has done to hung wrong.

Anglo-A - we all have the odd off day. I think I big life lesson I've learnt is not to compare your child to other children ( although I still do this!). There will always be someone who's more popular, sociable, cleverer etc then your child.

invicta Tue 18-Jun-13 23:11:44

Sorry, nothing wrong

hellohellohihi Tue 18-Jun-13 23:22:04

My DD (18mo) is a watcher, initially at least. It usually takes her the best part of an hour to warm up in a toddler class, and sometimes even to a friends house. All the other kids get there and get stuck in but DD will sit on my lap for ages then tentatively dip her toe in (usually 5 mins before we're going home!) and then gets into it.

I remember being pushed away from my mums legs if I was being shy, a kind of 'encouragement' to not be so shy and I really can't work out whether its helped or hindered me. I remember feeling a little betrayed and resistant in these circumstances and for as long as I can remember I've had a horrific fear of speaking in public and still don't relish being centre of attention. Saying that, new situations and meeting people and just joining in don't phase me at all...

Anyway op, I guess I echo some of the other replies: no this wasn't your finest hour and sounds like some perspective is needed, but that the nearest and dearest to us are the ones who push our buttons the most, so it's not the end of the world if you lose your rag on the odd occasion, everyone does. But - if it's a recurring situation then yes you need to address it.

My mum deals with things by shouting and ranting. I feel myself doing the same sometimes and have to reign it in. I've seen how that approach doesn't work, though its hard to live by that when you're seeing red.

I'm sure your daughter doesn't really disappoint you, and it's more that you just had different expectations of the whole event to what the reality was. I think we all have an element of that in planned days out, holidays etc, its never in reality the smiley happy go lucky day we'd imagined.

I don't know much about parenting yet as DD is my first, but I remember hearing somewhere (super nanny maybe??) that you always condone the behaviour rather than the child, so perhaps try that. Also there are always sessions at our local children's centre on positive parenting so maybe something like that would help.

Good luck, I don't think you're awful, I just think you can't see the wood for the trees at the mo

Angloamerican Wed 19-Jun-13 03:43:23

I had a good talk with my daughter and I feel much better about the incident today. That's not to say that this will be a quick fix - it won't - but I think I have a good idea of where to start.

Thanks for all of the responses, both supportive and otherwise. I appreciate them all.

Cosmo89 Wed 19-Jun-13 09:17:00

I can't bear to read all of these posts!
So apologies if someone sensible has come along after p. 1.
The OP shows that she knows it is her problem not her daughters. I think everyone would be lying if they said their attitude to their children wasn't influenced by their own upbringing. For some, like the op, it's much more emotionally charged than others. Stop bashing her already.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Jun-13 09:19:40

OP - your daughter is five years old. Give her a break!

Anglo I think you have agreed that the issue is with you. However, I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I had a truly terrible childhood, and I find myself being disappointed with my children when they don't take advantage of things that were never offered to me. I fully understand that the problem is with me, but I also understand that at times I'm not acting like an adult, I'm acting like a scared child. However, that's a reason, but there are no excuses - I am the adult, and it is my role to support my DCs, and provide a safe, warm, environment for them to grow physically, and emotionally.

I talk to myself to stop myself from being unkind to the DCs when I feel like that (I can recommend 'What to say when you talk to yourself'), and if I am grumpy I always apologise. I am much, much better than I used to be, and I am able to look at my children, and appreciate their amazing qualities.

Pinebarrens Wed 19-Jun-13 10:31:35

that's great Anglo hopefully you'll be able to move forward from here. good luck

ZZZenagain Wed 19-Jun-13 10:40:11

you say she is already a very active child, she cycles, goes to gym class and loves the playground. So I don't think she can be lazy and that you need worry too much about sports. Maybe these sports sampler camps are too intimidating because there are so many people and it is all new. If you do something like that, why not try and get a friend of hers to go along too, so she is not on her own in the new environment?

Maybe she would enjoy more sport but something a bit calmer, smaller group, quieter setting.

My dd is 12 now and looking back, 5 seems so young, it really does. Not every 5 year old is very coordinated and some hate that whole business of picking sides which comes with organised sports. I don't think you need worry too much if she is shy or as you see her stubborn/lazy at 5, she will change.

What I would do is teach your 5 year old to swim and take her to the pool through summer if you can. Get a cheap badminton set and play around in the garden - or one of those poles you stick in the ground which has a ball attached by a rope and let her thwack it with a racquet.

cory Wed 19-Jun-13 18:21:28

I do remember feeling...not perhaps disappointed but certainly surprised and maybe a bit sad when I realised that dc were never going to share my interests, that opportunities that I would have killed for meant nothing to them. Over the years I have come to realise two things:

a) if dc seemed totally uninterested in something that I would have given my eye teeth for, then that probably meant there was something else, completely different, reserved for them that I would never have thought of

b) if I got very hung up on something that I thought they ought to appreciate, that meant I was unfulfilled in that area and needed to do something for myself instead

cory Wed 19-Jun-13 18:23:58

Just to give some examples, ds doesn't care for literature, but he is very interested in modern history and politics- doesn't do it for me, but you can see that it's not a bad interest to have.

Dd really doesn't like sailing, but gets the same happiness from acting instead; who am I to say that is inferior?

My mother still thinks it dreadful that I won't throw out my fishtanks (which I use to breed endangered species for conservation) to make room for a piano (because to her a life without live music isn't worth living.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 19-Jun-13 18:33:20

My dh was a bit like you op...couldn't understand why ds who is very sporty, didn't want to go to cricket any more. He had a very difficult childhood, with a dad who never took much notice of him, and this has affected dh.

He recognised he needed help...had some therapy and is much more empathic.
Sounds as if you could go with some help. Don't be afraid to ask for it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now