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to ask you for summer holiday (survival) advice? Only DD (9) is making life hell.

(16 Posts)
EnoughAlready999 Sun 09-Aug-15 17:09:31

These are the worst summer holidays so far.

DD just seems to want to watch TV unless we are going out somewhere. But settling on anywhere to go out is hard enough. She is so hard to please. DP says we (parents) should decide what we're doing for the day and just do it without consulting her. But then if she doesn't like it, it'll just be a day of whingeing.

For some reason, these holidays have been lonely in terms of friends/family etc. Some of her cousins visited before term ended (they live abroad) and the others are down when we are away on holiday unfortunately. I've seen one friend at a soft play for about an hour, she is away for 2 weeks now so won't see her again. New girl moved in over the road, DD sent her a note to say, she sent a friendly one back but DD had changed her mind by then. Another day, a friend text to say she'd be in a nearby park but no DD didn't like that park so didn't want to go. I've been trying to help her have some friends out school (all 3 of those examples were) but it just seems impossible.

You probably all think I'm soft as shit and she's a spoilt brat and I guess you're right. I do suffer from depression/anxiety and having her home 24/7 is killing me. GPs are all useless, all 3 bloody sets of them!

So fed up. Help please!

Binit Sun 09-Aug-15 17:13:36

Can you afford to book her into a sports activity thing for a few days? It would give you a break and she could spend time with other kids?

woowoo22 Sun 09-Aug-15 17:14:25

In the gentlest way, she's 9. I think you need to decide where to go on days out and tell her the expected behaviour.

googoodolly Sun 09-Aug-15 17:14:53

Can you take her over the road to meet the new girl, or when her friends text to ask her to play, drag her out anyway? I assume she can go and play in the park on her own for a while if she wants? So maybe forcing her to interact a bit more would help.

EnoughAlready999 Sun 09-Aug-15 17:26:11

She won't do any sports activity without a friend. I was hoping she would do a 3 day gymnastics one but she wanted to do it with a friend who is on holiday. With all clubs etc, we try to encourage and convince her but she just changes her mind all the time and eventually refuses.

I know its us that needs to decide woowoo but for some reason I have zero patience and as soon as its turning into an argument I just think 'forget it then'. I am so sick of it all and as I say its making me more depressed. What I would give for semi-decent GPs who can bothered with their grand-daughter once in a while.

I'm not sure I could physically drag her out googoo! I've discussed this with MIL before when asking what she did when her kids didn't want to go to a club etc. I can't imagine many parents need to resort to physically dragging their children to things. But then I expect most parents have a lot more authority than me.

Tbh, I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I was good at 0-5 but now its all shit and I don't have a clue. I think lack of parenting by my parents may be a factor. In addition to being soft as shit and not being able to cope with her being upset if we enforce things she doesn't like.

I wish I had a sister or good friend that could give RL help. I do appreciate your advice though.

sadwidow28 Sun 09-Aug-15 17:27:38

I used to look after DN (also an only child) in holidays from aged 6yrs to 14yrs and strategies used to have to change. But at 9yrs I would decide where we were going and discuss with him during the bed-time routine. I'd tell him what time I expected him to be awake and dressed, how long it would take to get there, what we would do when we arrived, what time we would be back so he could have 1 hour on the laptop etc.

If it wasn't a long journey, he sometimes asked if he could watch x on TV before we went and reduce his computer screen time. I didn't get any whinging that way because it was all agreed the night before.

The other thing I did was I took him to meet the neighbours' children and would offer to take them all to the park for football or something. There were 2 boys who he particularly liked and I found looking after 3 children and feeding them lunch was easier than looking after one. Then the other Mum would reciprocate because she found that minding a 3rd child was no harder than looking after her own two. Win-win!

DoreenLethal Sun 09-Aug-15 17:31:05

a - just leave her to get bored
b - just ignore her whingeing
c - if she whinges and tells you she is bored, then give her some chores to do.

Orangeanddemons Sun 09-Aug-15 17:35:04

My dd is like this. She won't go anywhere. I just leave her to skulk about, or force her out. It is hard work though

rookiemere Sun 09-Aug-15 17:37:56

Our DS aged 9 is an only so I share your pain a bit.

What I do ( and this is partly from necessity as am working for some of the hols) is check what sports camps and organised activities DS's pals are going to and book him on those. He moans terribly before any new activity he has gone to, but so far has enjoyed all of them.

I also ensure that I have arranged at least 2 days per week where either he's at a friends for part of it, or we have one or more of his pals.

We're also lucky that he plays with the DS next door so provided he's around then it's generally happy days.

Organising days out is hard. He does tend to complain in advance, but once we get him dragged out by ignoring his whinges, then he generally has a good time.

In your case I'd have ignored your DD's complaints and taken her to the play park that her pal was at as there was a good chance that once there she might have enjoyed herself.

A tactic that we found useful on holiday last year was for each member of the family to pick one days activities twice as we were there for a week. How DH moaned when DS opted for mini golf and the pool for his day, but it has to cut both ways or there is no point.

DustBunnyFarmer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:42:02

We decide what we are doing for the day and our boys go along with it. They are 10 and 7. We have remarkably little whinging, but probably because we were very, very consistent and firm when they were tiny and rode out the tantrums. I'm not trying to sound smug. We just watched an awful lot of Supernanny before we had children and both commented that giving in to whinging or a tantrum short term seemed a lot harder to unpick down the line. It did lead to some awful days when they were tiny, like the time DH issued the threat "you do that one more time and you're not going to X's party this afternoon!" when we were both holding out for the party to get an hour's respite for ourselves - and, of course, DS1 did it again and we had to see out the threat. Don't get me wrong, we do consult on family outings, but once we've decided we tell them and we get on with it. If they make a fuss or ruin it by being petulant, there are consequences (e.g. no computer for 24 hours). They've worked out it's not worth their while being arsey.

DustBunnyFarmer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:43:26

A tactic that we found useful on holiday last year was for each member of the family to pick one days activities twice as we were there for a week. How DH moaned when DS opted for mini golf and the pool for his day, but it has to cut both ways or there is no point.

Yep, we do this too.

Minicaters Sun 09-Aug-15 17:45:04

My eldest is 8.5 so a bit younger, but having structure still helps us a lot. We have a blanket ban on tv at certain times of day. When they had loads of tv we got an awful attitude from them when it was switched off, but now they don't expect it for much of the day they find other stuff to do, and it is easier to drag them out I think. There was, ahem, an adjustment period while they got used to the new set up! But they read, do puzzle magazines, get out craft kits, DD does some pink sparkly diary thing.

This won't last forever - you can'tban an 18 year old from tv before lunch - but at the moment it works ok.

We've also written a holiday wish list. She isn't going to get everything on her list but it helps with bargaining. It might also help that there is a lot of compromise in our holidays - more than 1 child and our work constraints. I think this might actually make it easier than your circs, where it is kind of all about her which adds a bit of pressure perhaps. I find sometimes the best way to get them to occupy themselves is to become clearly unavailable by cleaning the oven or something.

FarFromAnyRoad Sun 09-Aug-15 17:49:25

DustBunny speaks sense. Mine was an only. We did what we, the adults, decided we were doing and invariably he enjoyed it when we got there. Sometimes it involved a bit of jivvying along in a "Aren't we having FUN!" kind of a way but mostly he enjoyed himself. His Dad was very very good at engaging with his imagination so I suppose I was lucky there.
It sounds to me as though you're involuntarily locked in a kind of destructive spiral at the moment. It's crap that you don't have decent GPs to involve but given that you don't you'll have to make leisure time work without them.
I would say you should try - really try - to force yourself to quit 'giving in' to her - this will without doubt be sowing the seeds for trouble ahead. And consequences are good - they reallly are. If she wants to behave in a way that makes you feel shitty then she has to learn that it's not worth her while to do so. I wish you luck because you sound very beaten down with it all. flowers

SonjasSister Sun 09-Aug-15 18:06:01

I would back what others have said about firmness, I do actually think kids are a lot happier when they know exactly what to expect. It doesn't mean being less generous, but being soft is possibly being unkind because you ate being unclear, but at the moment she doesn't always know if you 'mean it' iyswim.

Easier said than done I know but work together with dp, make sure she knows there will be particular things to look forward to on trips out (ice cream, gift shop, or whatever) and be clear, and consistent and hopefully you will feel better about yourself.

And yes, get her to take responsibility for some chores, she'll feel better about herself too with luck. My dd loves arranging stuff so I get her to tidy the cutlery drawer etc.

And make sure you get you time for a walk/run/coffee/bath etc every day. It can feel bloody remorseless, I remember it well!

Booboostwo Sun 09-Aug-15 18:36:51

I'd give her a bit of choice. My 4yo gets to chose one activity a week that costs money from a list of pre-approved ones and I get to chose the timing of whe we do it. When we have free time she also gets to chose between pre-approved free activities, so she may get this choice once every couple of days in the summer. Having more control over her life may make her more willing to compromise at other times.

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 19:58:45

It can be hard and it can seem like a VERY long holiday! I think it can be tricky to sort out meet ups with friends because so many folk go away. My dd is a bit older and is quite jolly at the moment but she is going through a phase of following me around talking to me incessantly at the moment! It's driving me nut! I love her to bits but I really would love some space!

Anyway, things that have worked for us. Send a text to several friends suggesting a meet up in the park. Then hopefully some will come and the kids will play. Another thing I've done is to plan a little something every day such as a long walk/water fight/baking/trip to library. Then, as another poster said you know you have that happening rather than endless days stretching ahead of you. Ask your dd what she wants to do but make it clear that watching TV is not ok all day.

My dd's absolute favourite holiday tradition is when we go to the station and I let her choose a destination within an hours journey from our city and we just hop on the train and go there and then! It may be the seaside, a nearby town whatever, it makes for such a fun day and the element of surprise is lovely.

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