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Camping alongside challenging behaviour - wwyd?

(28 Posts)
hummingbirdhostage Fri 22-Jul-16 10:18:30

We are going on a 2 week camping holiday with our best mates. We each have two kids and the kids seem to get on with each other quite well. Handy! Except their eldest poses constant challenging behaviour which they sometimes respond to and sometimes ignore. This drives me crackers. To be honest, their parenting approach has always been indulgent and non challenging which really contrasts with mine. Not a problem really until my kids start copying theirs and then they all look at me wild eyed to see why I am rebuking my kids. My kids feel I am being unfair too. I'm now really not looking forward to being with them and can't believe I'm feeling this way. It would be selfish and unreasonable to cancel it but I'm not sure how to handle the frustration. Please, tips anyone??!

Beeziekn33ze Fri 22-Jul-16 10:20:28

Plan something different with different friends for next year. Or discuss with your friends before you go.

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Jul-16 10:25:30

I don't think it would be selfish or unreasonable to cancel it, actually. Sounds like hell on earth to me.

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 10:26:20

Tbh I wouldnt go but since you are deal with yours as you normally do speak to your children before you set off say i know friends are not like me anddad but so i want no whinging if we tell you off also if their kids are doing something that is not safe or silly tell them too the other parents will just need to lump it imo

NickiFury Fri 22-Jul-16 10:28:24

Why would you agree to such a trip? Maybe they're a bit too soft but maybe they think you're a bit too tough on your kids? I don't go on holiday with other people because I can't be bothered to deal with this kind of thing. Holidays are supposed to be fun.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Fri 22-Jul-16 10:30:11

It would be selfish and unreasonable to cancel it

Why are you going on holiday with people you don't like and who make you feel stressed and upset? Do something else next year. Do something else this year, if you can.

IceRoadDucker Fri 22-Jul-16 10:30:20

This sounds hellish. Backing out would probably damage the friendship so you need to decide what's worse - putting up with that for two weeks, or losing/partially losing these friends?

I'd lose the friends.

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 10:30:36

It is not selfish or unreasonable to cancel it sounds hellish tbh. I was next to a group of 3 familys last week allthey did was bicker and tell the kids off and i heard 1 couple do that whisper argue thing it just sounded so stressful and not fun at all go on holiday on your own next year lot less stress

hummingbirdhostage Fri 22-Jul-16 11:42:32

Nicki I'm sure they do think I'm a bit tough. I know my kids do! Sometimes I think I overcompensate too so that doesn't help. I get why people say 'why go?' This resonates with a bit of me too. It's a bit of a tradition now and their eldest has definitely got worse over the last few years. Plus we really love these friends, therefore holiday planning over wine made it all seem like a great idea to go again. We hardly see them as they live in Scotland and we are down south, so when we do, it tends to be for intense chunks of time which probably means we see more of the bad bits of eachother too. You also definitely have a point about hols being meant to be fun though. I hear you!

MollyTwo Fri 22-Jul-16 11:50:10

Yanbu, you would be absolutely miserable. If they can't be bothered to control their kids you will be irritated throughout. It's meant to be a holiday, not a grin and bear.

pictish Fri 22-Jul-16 11:53:05

I can understand how this happened and yes, it does sound like a frustrating time. Two weeks is a long time to be managing such opposing parenting approaches amicably.
I don't envy you.

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 11:55:13

Could you do a week next time as kids get older its harder for them to mix i had to stop seeing my friend and her dc for a while for the same reasons and it used to be l8ng weekends nota fortnight that would have drove me nuts

pictish Fri 22-Jul-16 12:01:53

I have been in the situation myself where I have told my kids off for doing something another child is being permitted to. I can't imagine a full two weeks of it without obvious tension.

notquitegrownup2 Fri 22-Jul-16 12:06:32

How old are the kids? Could you put the kids in one tent and the adults in another, and so change the dynamic a bit?

As Mrs Jayy says, definitely set the groundrules with your kids before you go and say that it is business as usual for them; no whinging or moaning if they are told off, because you all want to enjoy your holiday, and you are all having to get along with other people around.

And if your friends are looking a bit wide eyed as you tell yours off, give them a big grin, and say something like "Hard work, this parenting lark, isn't it?" then get on with having fun.

If their older child is being a bit wearing, you could also suggest that you might do something separate some days - perhaps check out what they want to see/do and then find something they definitely don't want to do, before you suggest it. It will give you all a break, rather than feeling trapped.


MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 12:07:56

It does sound really tense I think time has come to cool off slightly i know the op lives in a different country but 2 weeks is a long time to be stuck on a campsite i would get tetchy

notquitegrownup2 Fri 22-Jul-16 12:08:43

Could you have a family illness/work situation and reduce the holiday to one week rather than two (or rather than cancel?)

One week sounds a lot easier to manage than two. You and your kids could then move onto another site/location for the second week, so still get your two week's holiday, with a second more peaceful week to look forward to.

hellswelshy Fri 22-Jul-16 12:14:53

I've been in a similar situation. My approach was to talk to my DC's before we went and make sure they knew OUR family rules and boundaries. The way I made them understand what was allowed and what definitely wasn't!!! Its hard though I know; our friends for example have a habit of giving their DS snacks all day and then wondering why he only ate hardly anything at meal time ...hmm
Good Luck op.

MrsJayy Fri 22-Jul-16 12:30:48

My friends were weirdly strict on what we thought was normal kids behaviour but wishywashy on the bigger stuff its really frustrating when you get different parenting going on we were obviously always right though wink

hummingbirdhostage Fri 22-Jul-16 13:40:46

Kids in both families are 8 and 5. Yes, good ideA, will definitely have a chat about 'our' boundaries before we go. Their older kid is being investigated for something behavioural which I probably should have mentioned. They do have a lot in their plate with the eldest and I don't want to increase their load by highlighting his behaviour or questioning their parenting. However the younger sibling is also badly behaved ( and they don't even see this) so i don't think the medics will find the full picture IYKWIM. Ffs. I need to remember this sense of foreboding when we go to plan next years thing!

Waitrosejunkie1 Fri 22-Jul-16 14:38:55

Ah ok, so there's other stuff going on too. Some behaviour can't simply be parented away with firm boundaries. And you can be sure that if drives you crackers then it'll be upsetting them too.

Either go, and go with it, or don't go, but don't go along and then judge.

hummingbirdhostage Fri 22-Jul-16 16:39:16

Waitrose, I would never intend to judge, but how is it humanly possible not to? Not in a nasty judgey way, more that we all make thousands of judgements a day. I get your point though. I guess I'm annoyed at myself but getting into this mess in the first place and hoping that we will emerge from the 2 weeks with at least our adult friendship intact. Thanks for all your comments. It's given me food for thought. I'm going to make a few plans and do a bit of prep to make sure we all get a sense of holiday, either together or apart.

Waitrosejunkie1 Fri 22-Jul-16 16:53:50

How is it not possible to judge? Well, she's your friend right? You love her, and presumably think she's a decent human being and not a fool. So you have to give her credit for knowing him best, and doing what she can. That can look like constant capitulation to a child that's being a pest, but actually it's more about picking your battles.

If in doubt don't go, and protect your friendship.

Stripyhoglets Fri 22-Jul-16 18:16:08

I feel for your friends. Fgs don't cancel now - maybe talk to them about tier sons possible diagnosis and how they are coping. Normal parenting just doesn't work with some SEN but maybe they've not had any help to try and find out what does work yet. Try and understand if it is an SEN their child won't be experiencing the world like yours do so won't behave like yours.

hummingbirdhostage Fri 22-Jul-16 22:26:54

I think you are right Waitrose. Good advice, thanks. Yes, hoglets, I really feel for them too. They are trying their best. Also, the usual techniques do not seem to work at school so probably don't at home either. All that being said, he hasn't had so much practice in responding to any boundary as few have been placed on him. I do feel guilty about even posting this and airing the dread I have but I guess it won't come out in real life. Thanks for your thoughts.

RadiatorBlues Fri 22-Jul-16 22:33:13

It might not be as bad as you are envisaging. Try not to fret about it as nothing has happened yet.

It would be fine to spend days separately as family units too to have a break from each other.

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