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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?

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

IHeartKingThistle Thu 26-Sep-13 14:44:27

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>

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