This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Depressed 5 and 6 year old(7 Posts)
Dh and I WFH full time. Both extremely whiny, TV-addicted, missing school, refusing to do any work (even reading and arts). Flit between rare moments of just playing (normally when I suggest going out for a walk they start playing), arguing, moaning and complaining about absolutely everything, such as food. Dont want to go out on weekends. Dont want to exercise. Dont want to play in garden or do anything. Dont want to bath or get dressed. Just simply atrocious behaviour. I know they are little but they are behaving like terrible unreasonable emotionally crazy 2 year old toddlers. and they were actually very nice toddlers.
I dont like my ungrateful children at the moment and trying very hard not to yell and smack them.
They are in the middle of a period of massive upheaval and they have no understanding of what's going on, except that literally everything is different and it's very scary.
Every adult i know is struggling with mood, motivation and passing the time right now, let alone small children. You're expecting way too much and it's frankly really unfair on your kids.
They're used to being stimulated and supervised 8 hours a day at school, with lots of interaction with their friends, lots of varied environments and lots going on. Now they spend all day at home, with distracted parents, and nothing to do. Of course they're miserable and whiny. It's awful! Their entire worlds have disappeared!
Instead of yelling at them or hitting them (jesus christ!!) have you tried engaging with them empathetically and talking about the situation, giving them each quality 1-1 time, time away from each other? Be kind to them! Stop expecting them to be fine with a situation that is very upsetting for the majority of adults facing them, and for the love of god don't fucking hit your kids. I don't care how frustrating theyre being.
Adults with fully developed brains are struggling with this.
How can you expect a 5 and 6 year to just ride it out.
I'm not an expert but I know well enough shouting at them or bashing them won't help.
What do they say they want to do when you ask them?
Perhaps make a colourful schedule for them with what they can do / when tv is allowed / when it isn't / when you will have lunch / when you will have some time for them? It might be less disorienting if they feel there is a structure, albeit a new one. Also, in your own head it might help if you know what activity you can redirect them to at any given moment, so you don't constantly feel as if you are reinventing the wheel. We are both still working as well and we have a 1yo and a 3yo, so I feel your pain!
Um I dont and have never smacked them, I said I was trying hard not to. I always walk away whenever I get angry.
They watch TV. Ds is fine playing on own with toys. Dd is younger, more willing to do art or garden or up for cycling round the block, but seems to be dragged down by dS recently. They like messing up the house, building forts or schooling teddies. All good as long as not destroying furniture and nobody getting hurt as thry inevitably fight a lot (13 month age gap, very intense pair)
The main tension comes with home learning sent by school for DS. All I expect from DS is about 20 minutes a day to do it. Over time I dropped "PE" (any video exercise), BBc bitesize, writing a few lines... because he simply wont do it. This is in place of 6 hours of a school day. He makes a huge fuss, excuses, shouts at us, negotiation etc but essentially he does not want to do it. So I force him to mostly. I assume that's why he acts out in defiance of food or getting dressed or going out.
They both understand there is a virus and I know it's awful for everyone but I just think, suck it up and dont make it more difficult than it is?
I dont feel I'm expecting much compared to mums like my sister, whose kids religiously do every piece of homework, sending them in to be marked and to me to show off how massively advanced my nephew is.
Actually today we made a timetable together so will see if it works tomorrow.
I know DS always needs routine and predictability while I and Dd are more adaptable. I'm finding it tough with work demands that cant always be scheduled.
Also 121 time is definitely much needed, good suggestion. Will be harder with DS as he's being a teenager.
Just typing these out helps so thanks for the suggestions...
A suggestion, spend an hour with them one day coming up with activities. Write them on paper and scrunch them up and put them in a bowl. Whenever one of them says they're bored tell them to fetch an activity out of the bowl and they have to do it, can't pick a new one.
Could be things like...
Draw a comic strip
Wash the outside windows
Have a teaparty
Read a book
Build a spaceship with Lego
Play the floor is lava game
Brush the dog
Find plates and cutlery around the house and bring to the kitchen
Make paper airplanes and fly them around the house
Make a xylophone from empty jars with water
Draw outside with chalk
And anything else they and you can come up with