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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?

HatieKokpins Thu 26-Sep-13 13:01:38


YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:01:38

I think parents who try and keep their dcs happy at all costs are setting them up for a fall later in life for a start. It's really not doing a child any favours.

Life is full of disappointments but learning to deal with that with a happy demeanour is a hell of a lot more useful in achieving true happiness.

SweetBabyCheeses Thu 26-Sep-13 13:03:06

I know parents like this, it makes me roll my eyes. But they think I'm a hard hearted cow because my kids have to fall in to line sometimes.

One woman I know has to run the dinner menu past her 3 year old or face having the dinner fired on the floor. I have been given her son's list of demands regarding what lunch to eat when they come for lunch. I've pretty much stopped seeing them, I can't cope that she moans about his behaviour but does feck all to stop it.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 13:03:31

mmmn, there's no children more spoilt than friends children.

our own of course are perfect and if they play up/ cry etc it's because they are tired or hungry and not at all spoilt brats like those other kids.


DoJo Thu 26-Sep-13 13:04:46

I guess it's just a slippery slope - you let one small thing go, and then another and another and before you know it you are Supernanny fodder. I suppose it starts off as taking the easy option, but, as you and they are discovering, the end result is a lifestyle which is a lot harder than it would have been to be firm in the first place.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:07:44

Well that's the problem, I like spending time with my friend, and I like her dd too, but it's so hard to be together when I'm constantly biting my lip about the way she controls the whole family. It's just unbelievable at times. The latest example is my friend wanting to change the date of another friend's birthday dinner just because her dd wants a sleepover on the night it was arranged for.

mrsfuzzy Thu 26-Sep-13 13:09:37

maybe i'm getting old but.... i blame the parents. these parents obviously have never heard of the word 'no' and have indulged their kids too much, rein 'em folks before it gets worse and it will do.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:11:25

We all take the easy option every now and again. I don't think that's a huge problem - like if you're not well you might let the kids watch more tv/eat rubbish just to get through the day kind of thing.

I know one young man who was never ever told no, or told off. At 7 he could not cope with being told no at school and would jump up and down screaming. I think his mum finally realised she had created a 'monster' when he did this in front of parents and teachers at a school event. With a bit more maturity on his side and his mum taking a slightly harder line, he has turned out to be a really nice young lad with many more friends than he had before.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:12:07

I work with a woman whos dd rules her life she has an adult left the home dc too who is lovely and seems to treat her mum well, anyway this child demands and stomps and tells her mother what to do I am stood opened mouth most of the time, thing is the mum seems to think she is normal and her eldest dd was easy going, I feel sad for the woman and tend to grit my teeth until my jaw hurts the girl is a young teenager gets right on my wick

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:09

I have a family member whos adult children treat her like shit but imo she let it all happen ,

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:09

people parent how they choose. you can choose to step back from them and their dcs.

personally I detest mummy and daddy martyrs but ultimately it's personal choice.

oh to have the gift to see ourselves as others see us! wink

pictish Thu 26-Sep-13 13:14:17

Yanbu. I know a handful of these types too, and I could honestly shake them!
I had a friend leave me sitting in a cafe waiting for her on my own for half an hour once, because her dd (4) didn't want to put her coat on to leave the house. I was not impressed at all. Of course, this girl rules the roost.
It's bonkers.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:15

I remember being in a supermarket once and there was a mum and her young daughter (maybe about 5/6 years ish).

She was getting her some food but was having an arguement with the staff because her daughter didn't like anything on the menu so why couldn't the chef just cook something she'd bought in the shop.

The chef said no, it was a cafe. Obviously.

Bloody hell, what child doesn't like anything on a menu (it's a supermarket caff FFS). If it was me I would have said tough, we're going home. But no, she expected the cafe to cook something she'd already bought and couldn't understand why they wouldn't!

Shakes head...

SweetBabyCheeses Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:18

grin thebody.

I'm so aware my kids can be demon children. But when they behave like that they get punished. I hate the "Oh he's tired" excuse. I had this from the woman after her son gouged at my sons eye with a car key. I don't care if he's tired, he can't stab people in the eye! But I'm the worse parent because my food isn't organic hmm

As you can tell, I'm a bit ragey about the whole thing. I blame the pregnancy hormones.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:39

you are right thebody but it is so bloody frustrating sometimes

Preciousbane Thu 26-Sep-13 13:19:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ledkr Thu 26-Sep-13 13:20:11

I've got big age gaps and yes if course my older child doesn't want to sit in soft play or at a friends house with toddker toys.
It's much easier when they are closer in age but yes I do allow my chikdren to make choices within reason.

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:23:33

Oh mine can be little brats too. That's normal (I think).

It's the dictating I find unbelievable. The getting everything they want materially is one thing, that's the parents' choice even if I wouldn't do the same. What does she think is going to happen if she tells her dd that no, she will not get out of bed to make cereal for a 12 year old? (her dd will kick off big time, but she has caused that imo)

Loa Thu 26-Sep-13 13:24:03

tired she is from trying to keep her happy.

Tiredness can mean you give in to dam much at times - then it can be a slippery slope to get break that cycle which takes huge effort. It might also mean they become used to the situation.

Maybe they don't have support from their DP and get undermined. Friend whose eldest was a nightmare like this was because he and her DH undermined each other constantly and they had other family members stirring as well. It was like a constant fight over eldest DC affections by getting her what she wanted.

I stopped seeing her and avoided mets ups with DC in the end - caused she'd moan but change nothing and I got fed up of dealing with it.

I might well be getting judged at minute as DS is going through a fucking awful testing stage. However he isn't getting his own way though I'm not always prepare to deal with the every little thing especially if I have an audience - I'm picking battles and trying to avoid triggers till he's a bit more settled.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 13:24:13

My dsis has always been a mummy martyr now she is a granny martyr, she is one of the unhappiest people I know.

my aunt was a granny martyr I felt sorry for her but she genuinelt felt responsible for her childs kids they ran her ragged and now she doesn't see them at all

ledkr there is family choices and running the household though especially with little children

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:25:45

Ledkr of course choices within reason is normal. I do that too. But I will not compromise everything I want to do just to suit my dcs. My friend teases me in a jokey way about how I'm a wicked witch and not to be messed with. I'm not that strict!

sparechange Thu 26-Sep-13 13:49:34

I have a friend like this. Her 7yo DD doesn't like her going out, ever.
If I go over, her DD will get out of bed a few times in the evening and just come and check on us downstairs.
If you ask her what she is doing "just checking mummy is still here"

There have been a couple of times when I've left, and when she has heard the front door open, she will at the top of the stairs in a flash and will say something like "you better not be leaving as well". She does it all with a massive grin, so it just seems like a big game to her.
On the occasions that we do actually want to go out, the only way for her to get 'away with it' is for her DD to have a sleepover.

DD also dictates which supermarket they go to, based on which drive/route she wants to do that particular day. And she can't go to the supermarket without DD, ever.

There are other examples which might out me/her, but the whole thing is exhausting, and she doesn't seem to want to make any attempt to address it, so life revolves around their DD

finncotta Thu 26-Sep-13 13:57:42

sparechange I think we have the same friend!

This is more than listening to dcs and giving appropriate choices. I wish I understood why they do it, especially since the complaining I hear tells me that it's not something they want to do or chose to do.

There seems to be a lot of guilt for some reason. I don't have much guilt, maybe I should have more. Just last night my dcs were grumbling about the dinner I cooked. Well, eat it or don't, but there's nothing else. My friend does a nervous laugh if I tell her things like this. I've seen her dd say she's not hungry at mealtimes, then demand that her mum makes her something else as soon as she sits down to eat her own dinner. Maybe that's why she won't come to our house!

Lovecat Thu 26-Sep-13 13:58:02

This is where my sister is heading. She's told me quite crossly that her children are not used to hearing 'no' and that's why they're tantrumming on the floor because evil auntie Lovecat told them to stop breaking their cousin's toys and never keeps up consequences for misbehaviour because she wants a quiet life and gives in at the first whinge. Apparently it's 'easier' to avoid a tantrum by giving in, but as far as I'm concerned once they realised they weren't going to get away with it, the tantrums would surely cease?

It came to a head when we went on holiday together and, having spent half an hour schlepping around the whole town looking for a restaurant that met her children's approval, she then ended up having no dinner as one child burst into hysterical tears and insisted she swap with her because the ketchup on the side of the plate 'tasted funny' (Dsis is veggie and although the child could eat her pasta, she couldn't eat the rejected meat-containing meal). She agreed to this. The waiters were looking at us like they could not believe what was happening, and quite frankly neither could DH and I. This child is only 7. Madness.

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