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Failing at lockdown parenting

(31 Posts)
Karlkennedyslovechild Mon 04-May-20 11:43:51

It’s just so bloody hard.
Just had DD in tears over a bloody maths sheet we were trying to do. She’s 6 and so reluctant to do anything or listen to me. I can’t force her to write a story or draw a picture and she just rushes and takes no care. Her handwriting is getting worse and worse. The main obstruction to getting stuff done is the 4 year old who wants to be involved but neither of them seem to be able to anything independently.

I know the responses will be homeschooling isn’t too important as long as we all come out with good mental health, etc but we’re not doing that either. Every activity takes far longer to set up than actually entertains them for. We barely go for walks anymore as they never want to. When I do drag them out it’s constant whining over tired legs within minutes. Screen time is through the roof but they don’t even want that just constantly bicker and fight. Just feeling like a complete failure as a mother at the moment.

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Karlkennedyslovechild Mon 04-May-20 12:24:12

Such a failure I can’t even get this to bloody post!!

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Bol87 Mon 04-May-20 12:45:19

Me too. I have a different set of circumstances. A 3 year old and 6 week old baby. Having a newborn who won’t be put down would have been hard enough under normal circumstances but at least my DD would have been out at nursery playing, learning, having fun with friends and also with her Grandparents for some fun filled family attention. But this utterly shit situation means she’s basically plonked in front of the telly while I feed, try stop baby crying, walk miles around the living room trying to keep baby asleep so not screaming.. I try get some kinda activity set up once DP has finished worked but I’m so exhausted, all I want to do is have a rest on the sofa or go to bed! DD was coming on leaps with numbers & letters before all this & really into drawing and crafts. Now she’s lost all interest 😢 it’s so hard.. I feel like an absolute failure & I really worry about the fact my DD hasn’t played with another child for 7 weeks. Yesterday, she asked why no-one wants to play with her anymore & was it because she did something unkind 😭 it literally broke my heart. I’m really hoping it’s just another month of this & nurseries/schools can re-open in some form in June! Even once a week would be beneficial for a lot of children I think!

Pandemonium27 Mon 04-May-20 12:48:22

Don’t be hard on yourself as this is an unbelievably hard time and we are all just trying to do our best. I have a 15 year old ds who I’m struggling to motivate to do the huge amount of work the school are sending. It breaks my heart as within a school setting he is very conscientious and had a glowing report for all subjects at his last parents evening. I’m worried that his education is suffering as he doesn’t seem bothered about doing the online work. He also sleeps until the afternoon and barely leaves his room. This coupled with having his 19 year old brother home from Uni and who thinks our house is a student flat is driving me to distraction! So don’t worry, I feel like I’m failing at lockdown parenting too and I’m sure there are many many of us in the same boat! Just take a deep breath and do your best - you are a great mother, otherwise you wouldn’t be worrying so much about your children.

FinallyHere Mon 04-May-20 12:53:06

Absolutely don't be so hard on yourself.

They won't remember the whining part, they will just remember lovely carefree days. That's the way it works, or the next generation would never have their own children.

Watchword: this phase will pass.

All the best, you are going a great job.

UndertheCedartree Mon 04-May-20 13:03:31

You really aren't alone! My DC are staying up all night and sleeping til late afternoon! I don't have the energy (mentally or physically) to try and correct their sleep pattern (I have bloody Covid)! My house is a tip, home learning amounts to watching the BBC Bitesize daily programme and there is tons of unhealthy snacks and screen time! It is hard! All we can do is our best!

Maybe try to set one goal a day - so one day - we will get some fresh air - is there a park you can run around in? Another day - we will watch a film together or bake fairy cakes or do an educational game on BBC Bitesize (my DD enjoys these!). Take it easy, take care of your self and try to relax flowers

aceyace Mon 04-May-20 13:12:37

Quite a few of the parents in my daughters class (R) are just not bothering with homeschooling now just doing short bursts of counting etc, just do what you can smile

BriefDisaster Mon 04-May-20 13:22:06

Oh god I feel your pain my 6 year old only wants to play xbox so rushes through his work and he knows he will get away with it because DH and I are trying to work so don't have time to constantly push him.

His sister (3) bugs him while he is trying to do stuff too which makes it harder and she just will not be amused by anything at all just now so screens are my go to a lot of the time.

Blackbeans Mon 04-May-20 13:48:12

My 5 and 6 year old are exactly the same. Mainly the 6 year old. In fact I just came here because of usual tears and drama over doing a maths worksheet. It's not any hardcore maths drills, it is ks1 type practical activities that would take 5-10 minutes to do together.

Younger one generally more manageable, content doing craft shit or pretend play and she cant tolerate more than an hour of TV.

Over the weekend when we go for lovely nature walks he's sulking and whining like a 15 year old, everything from eating together as family (which is a luxury as we didnt pre lockdown) to being outdoors is so lame, can we go home now etc.

Basically a real fucking downer when I'm trying to be positive and deal with it smiling like a customer service manager.

He hates BBC bitesize or any vaguely 'educational' videos. I am not a pushy parent and i think a few minutes a day to do these is quite reasonable. I gave up on writing weeks ago though occasionally i manage to get him to read a few pages to me which he struggles with being so out of practice.

There are moments of carefree play yes, which I encourage, but more bickering and physical fights/tears than happy play on balance.

Then there are the spiteful words like "I just dont want to be in lockdown with you and daddy"

Karlkennedyslovechild Mon 04-May-20 13:59:08

Thank you all! Really helps to know I’m not the only one not making magical memories and rainbows!
@Blackbeans this all sounds familiar. Especially the customer service management!! I am obviously stupid and she hates me too

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purpleme12 Mon 04-May-20 15:45:36

Mine is 6 too. Hates schoolwork at home.
(We have done some but hardly any compared to the hell of a lot the school have given)
I know I'm failing at it all I'm so stressed I'm stressed with work and her being here while working. Stressed with not being able to live our normal life therefore her not being able to run off energy, not having enough physical and mental exercise.
I have no mental energy to play with her and her behaviour's getting to me.
And I feel like I don't care anymore
It's not just you

cologne4711 Mon 04-May-20 15:49:36

I'm not really sure why so many parents are putting so much pressure on themselves to "homeschool". There's a reason you're not a teacher, and there's a reason you've not chosen to homeschool!

In my view, either the school provides work, or you plunk them in front of BBC Bitesize unless you have the teaching skills to do more. The only thing I'd be doing myself, with a 6 year old, is reading but I did that anyway when ds was small and at school.

Blackbeans Mon 04-May-20 15:59:13

@Karlkennedyslovechild you are doing your best, you clearly care and she's secure enough with you to express her frustrations and rebel.

Because people keep saying "oh they are learning" I tell myself their constant bickering, tatter tales, lies, excuses and snack negotiations, reactive complaints, self entitlement, sheer laziness, selective literacy and inability to do simple maths means they are being moulded into career politicians.

purpleme12 Mon 04-May-20 16:04:59

The school has provided work. Each day. My child would not do it herself without me with her. And I'm working too. It's not that simple.
I feel like I should be doing some work With her because I'm worried about when she goes back to be honest

Runningfar Mon 04-May-20 16:06:40

Op I've no advice to offer, but all of it sounds very familiar and completely normal.

As the weeks go by it's getting harder and harder and the dc are more reluctant to do things.

As you say, often it takes longer to set an activity up than it does any enjoyment they get out of it. My youngest is forever distracting my eldest.

Just arghhh, the sooner they're back at school the better!

Runningfar Mon 04-May-20 16:08:45

*Because people keep saying "oh they are learning" I tell myself their constant bickering, tatter tales, lies, excuses and snack negotiations, reactive complaints, self entitlement, sheer laziness, selective literacy and inability to do simple maths means they are being moulded into career politicians.*

Love this, so bloody true.

zafferana Mon 04-May-20 16:13:30

A six-year-old is NOT going to be able to get on with school work independently, so I would take the pressure off both of you right now and just accept that. I have a soon-to-be 9-year-old and he can barely do anything on his own either and the day I accepted that was a good day. Now I accept that between 9-3 (bar lunchtime), I need to help him if I expect him to get any school work done.

The other thing is to not expect too much or for too long. School lessons may be 40 mins long, but you're not going to get 40 mins of concentration out of a 6-year-old, so lower your expectations. If she has a worksheet to do with 10 questions, aim for five and then take a break. Get her to do some star jumps in the garden or let her have a lollipop or whatever and tell her that you'll start again when the little hand is on the 11 and the big hand is on the 12 and then go and make yourself a cuppa. Seriously, we're all tying ourselves in knots, but this too shall pass. Focus on reading, writing and maths, try and get them to do some running around and jumping and the rest of the time they can watch telly, help you prepare snacks, do jigsaws, make slime, plant some seeds, whatever. It really, really won't matter in the long run. So take the pressure off yourself - and them - right now flowers

InMySpareTime Mon 04-May-20 16:17:36

I have a Y11 and a Y13, they don't even have any work to do as exams are cancelled.
I have basically opted out of parenting apart from getting them to wash their hands when they get back from the shop.
They stay up all night playing Xbox, sleep in until lunchtime, eat rubbishy carbs, drink energy drinks, smoke, swear. I could spend my life nagging at them not to, but what would be the point? They're staying home, or maintaining social distance when I send them to the shop.
Do what you have to do to get through.
Come September they'll have a reason to keep sociable hours, work hard etc, but for now all the pressure is off and it's time to kick back.

PippaPegg Mon 04-May-20 16:21:47

Yup it's shit. The amount of screaming and crying is outrageous. But any activities are either NO MUMMY or do it for 2 minutes before throwing it / destroying it / wandering off. The walks are just a constant battle of NO MUMMY STOP - no sensible reasons are ever given hmm the TV is fine for 30 minutes then the fidgeting starts and it's rolypolys onto the floor and inevitably a leg or head gets knocked on something and the screaming starts again..

Honestly it's not right for DC to only interact with EVIL MUMMY and ADEQUATE DAD. It's got to be having a huge impact on them psychologically. I personally think a label will be invented for parents too - post lockdown PTSD.

Lynda07 Mon 04-May-20 16:37:07

Would it help if 'ADEQUATE' Dad took her out for a walk instead of you.? Or the three of you together. She might behave better with him and enjoy it more, kids are often like that. If he's at work, get him involved in a bit of school work in the evening, simple things like making up a story between them, writing it down, reading, drawing. It cannot be just your job and as she doesn't have to get up for school, bed times can vary.

I've wondered how I would have coped with lockdown if it had happened when I had a young child like yours. He was very into music from when he was tiny which would have helped but it would definitely have been difficult.

tmh88 Mon 04-May-20 16:48:39

A bit different circumstances but I have a ds age nearly 3! He just will not sleep anymore! It’s about 9pm every night now! It’s exhausting! I don’t get why I can’t tire him out like nursery can and I feel like I’m failing him without a routine at all really sad

SingingSands Mon 04-May-20 16:59:24

My teens are doing feck all. I'm working 8/9 hrs a day locked in my room at my laptop. I might see them for 30mins at "lunch". They spend all day gaming/watching Netflix/chatting to mates. They might go for a walk together if I need some shopping picking up.

They will have to work their arses off when they get back to school, they know it, and they will.

pfrench Mon 04-May-20 17:08:56

Don't do any school work. I'm a teacher with a 5 year old, we're not doing any school work. Just play.

MoltonSilver Mon 04-May-20 19:48:57

She's 6. Give her (and yourself) a break. There's no need to be stressing both of you out like that. Her ability to write a story now will in no way effect her future career choices.

Hannah2199 Mon 04-May-20 20:54:53

We are exactly the same, 7 year old 4 year old and a baby. 7yr old will do some work with endless amounts of encouragement 4 year old will do nothing tried removing treats and screen time etc but she would rather lie on the floor doing nothing than attempt the work. Meanwhile baby is causing havoc in the cupboards 😣

OH can help for short periods but is working from home.

No idea what the solution is but you're not alone.

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