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I never do anything with my kids anymore. Should I feel guilty???

(36 Posts)
BattlefieldWidow Sun 02-Aug-15 18:37:04

I used to love the summer holidays. I'd make a point of ensuring that my kids got one good day out a week. Theme parks, seaside, cinema, boating lakes etc etc...

Then they got older ....

The first time I realised it was getting difficult was when I took them to Turkey. They were 11 and 9. My eldest spent the entire time moaning that it was hot / boring / dirty / pointless and basically refused to leave the hotel.

3 years later I took them on a two week trip across America (New York, Vegas and La. They spent the entire time moaning, complaining, arguing, fighting and basically ruined it and almost wrecked my relationship with DP who said he didn't feel like they'd appreciated anything and he wishes he'd never come with us.

Since then I've not taken them on holiday anywhere. I just don't see the point. Not only that, but my eldest refuses to come on any trips, day outs etc with us saying we're far too boring and do crap stuff. He's 16. Youngest is 14 and moans and complains constantly. Never wants to get out of bed to do anything. Everything I suggest at cinema he doesn't want to see. Any day out I suggest he says sounds crap. This summer holidays he's barely left his room and I can't be arsed anymore. I'm taking him to a theme park next week but that will be his lot. Last year I took him out to xscape and he caused a huge argument with me before we set off because he couldn't be arsed to get ready. I felt like crying as dp was away with his own kids having a great time constantly sending me happy photos of them all.

Would it be unreasonable of me to stop feeling guilty that his summer holidays are shit? Eldest refuses everything (even the themepark) and youngest spoils everything we try and do anyway! I'm sick of trying.

pinktrufflechoc Sun 02-Aug-15 18:40:01

Poor you, sounds tough.

Could DP have anything to do with this? When did you get together?

I think kids do go through that stroppy, whiny, it's-boring stage (I know I did, I remember whining for an entire fortnight in Cyprus when I was 14!) I was a 'nice' teenager too!

I look back and realise my brother and I were incredibly irritating!

Sometimes it is best to leave them to it!

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Aug-15 18:42:10

They're at an age when they usually want to spend all their time with their friends - do they do that? Are they ever happy or do they literally complain all the time? Those holidays sounded awful for you and your DP. It's horrible when you've looked forward to something and then it all goes wrong just because of bad attitudes.

cleanindahouse Sun 02-Aug-15 18:44:25

I feel your pain. 14 and 13 year olds who are generally lovely apart from the fact that they're teenagers, everything is unreasonable and boring and i'm uncool.

They have NO IDEA how cool i am.

Coconutty Sun 02-Aug-15 18:48:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LindyHemming Sun 02-Aug-15 18:53:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anothermakesthree Sun 02-Aug-15 18:54:37

We are going on a holiday of a lifetime this Thursay, China & Hong Kong. Staying in lovely places. We were just discussing it at dinner. The complete lack of enthusiasm or interest shown by my DD15 & DS13 actually made me want to cry.

ReallyNotMe Sun 02-Aug-15 18:55:02

If it's any consolation I was like that at the same age, by the time I had reached adulthood I was back to my usual self and started enjoying time with my parents again. I think it's normal for kids to go through this, I guess in the natural world it's the age when they would break off and form their own tribe or whatever.

Hellion7433 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:02:26

Silly question but what are they actually doing in their bedrooms all day! If they are using screens non stop then they are probably hugely addicted.

What's your relationship like with them generally? Do they get much attention?

Traveling like that might be more suitable for young adults?

Can you give them a day to make a list of 10 things they each want to do. Let them use google to research. Maybe give them some starting web pages.

We do cheap stuff. Camping, bush craft, cycle rides, wild swimming.

Floralnomad Sun 02-Aug-15 19:03:49

anothermakesthree ,perhaps it's your holiday of a lifetime -not your dcs . OP ,don't feel guilty ,they are doing what teenagers do best ,moaning ,doing nothing in particular and probably gaming ,let them get on with it .

pinktrufflechoc Sun 02-Aug-15 19:08:04

YY Really

MadamArcatiAgain Sun 02-Aug-15 19:09:12

It is a huge PITA but totally normal.My eldest is 19 now and grown out of it and wants to go on family days out and trips.

Stanky Sun 02-Aug-15 19:11:52

I would leave them to it and enjoy days out/holidays without them. I'm just remembering myself at that age, and how I just wasn't interested in spending time with my parents. I just wanted to be left alone or be with my friends. I was a complete nightmare, and everyone would have had better days just doing their own thing. I love my parents and we have a great relationship now, but it must have been hard to love a stroppy teenager who "hated" them.

reni1 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:12:37

Go on YOUR favourite holiday, do what YOU and DP want. Leave them in the hotel room to moan to each other or better still, pack them off to a kindly granny or uncle if you don't trust them home alone.

ArgyMargy Sun 02-Aug-15 19:13:09

I think at 16 he should be going to cinema with friends, not with you. Probably 14yo as well. They need to do their own stuff - it may turn out to be what you would have done with them anyway but they don't want you tagging along now. I have 2 DS who are now grown so I've been there. But how they could not have enjoyed the USA trip is beyond me. My DS might have moaned & fought but once they got over that they were fine. I feel your pain.

mrsdavidbowie Sun 02-Aug-15 19:14:49

Dd last came on holiday when she was 15...hates them.
I hated family holidays due to arse of exh.
I do very little with my teens.. The odd meal or coffee. They are out with their mates all the time.
And that's how it should be.

Baddz Sun 02-Aug-15 19:15:01

My 2 DC are 12 and nearly 7.
We took them to an NT place after lunch today as the weather is so lovely for a change
The youngest moaned, cried and was basically a PITA the whole time.
We went to Northumberland on hols a couple of weeks ago and they just wanted to sit in the cottage on their iPads. Took them to lindisfarne...oldest Ds moaned every 5 mins and was obsessed that we would get caught out on the tide times.
I could have cried. holiday next year.
What's the point?

Baddz Sun 02-Aug-15 19:16:14

I have arranged a few meetings and outings this week...I am trying to prepare myself for the moaning sad

mrsdavidbowie Sun 02-Aug-15 19:16:40

I will never holiday with mine again. Bliss.

NurNochKurzDieWeltRetten Sun 02-Aug-15 19:22:38

I thought they were going to be younger...

It's not you it's them...wink

but they're normal - they're meant to be like that. It's a normal healthy thing to push your parents away and reject them a bit at that age - part of preparing to fly the nest.

You definitely don't have to go on day trips with a 16 yo unless they want that, nor holidays IMO (I stopped going on family holidays at 13 or so).

Would they like to go places with friends? I do believe you're meant to make them do chores for spending money and just be taxi driver wink

You can insist they join you for family meals and spend x amount of time outdoors in sunlight...

You can't make them enjoy going to the park with you though smile

They might come around or want to join you if you mention you are going to (acceptable coffee shop) and would they like to come - if they say no go anyway...

Maybe encourage 16 year old to get a Saturday job?

You aren't meant to be their entertainment any more though.

Coconuticetea Sun 02-Aug-15 19:34:48

I always make sure there is a kids holiday club to keep them occupied, which I drag them too despite their protestations and they always end up loving it.

However teenagers, that's a whole different ball game. Feel for you, and me when the time comes.

Send them off on a PGL holiday whilst you go somewhere else.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Sun 02-Aug-15 19:48:31

They're buggers though. Just when you think they'll never want to come on a family holiday or days out again and they've fecked off to uni, they discover that they do llike spending time with you after all and please can we all go on holiday together this year.
Seriously though OP, my youngest is 14 and a miserable sod but IME he'll grow out if it by 17 or 18 like his siblings did.

Glittery7 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:45:20

My eight year old is very like this. Doesn't want to go anywhere, moans a lot, is bored by everything whatever we suggest. I am terrified of her reaching her teens.

Lipstickandlashes Sun 02-Aug-15 20:55:03

When I was 15 my parents took us on an amazing holiday to California and Hawaii.

We (my brothers and I) did fuck all but complain. All I wanted to do was sit and read. It was the lack of autonomy that was the sticking point I think.

Now, aged 34, I can appreciate what an incredible thing it was to be taken there. Especially now that my husband and I are paying to go there ourselves this autumn!

Because despite all the moaning, some of the most striking memories of my formative life were formed on that holiday.

This thread has reminded me to thank my parents for it. I'm sure in 15 years your kids will feel the same wink

Earlybird Sun 02-Aug-15 21:02:28

You've come up with some fun and interesting ideas, and they've been negative / miserable. No fun for anyone, and immensely frustrating.

What would happen if you asked them what they'd like to do? Where they might like to go? Wondering if they might be more positive / enthusiastic if the ideas came from them.

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