Hurt by dc's behaviour now I am alone(8 Posts)
Recent single parent.
Suddenly without a man in the house the children's behaviour has gone completely sideways!?
Pushing boundaries and simply ignoring usual requests for normal things such as bedtime, teeth brushing etc.
It really feels like a case of their mindset being 'you and whose army'
Like they are fully taking advantage of me being the only adult in the house.
I love them to pieces and always try to remain calm and collected. I am very clear about what needs to be done and why and am just so personally hurt that when I thought they would rally around me, knowing I am now on my own - they are instead taking the piss out of me - or so it feels tbh.
Their ages are 4, 8 and 14 so although I expect sometimes challenging behaviour from my youngest, I really was not prepared for the older two's complete disregard for me at a time I thought we would all team up and start this venture together.
I should also mention they were happy about the break up as they did not like exP.
Particularly eldest child kept telling me I would be better off with out him as ea seemed to be getting worse.
I am just tired and feel picked on and am overwhelmed at how unfair it all seems..
I try to be strong and put on a happy face for their sakes and think keeping routine is so so important for them (And me) whilst I figure out being a single parent and what my next move should be.
When exP was here we would just say ' bed time' and off they would go! Now it's getting to 11pm with the older two waking up the younger one and everything i say and do being met with total defiance.
Any advise would be appreciated. Maybe they just don't respect me now I am alone and I don't know how to restore balance?
I am sorry about that, it sounds awful especially if they were happyu with the break up.... I can't advise you as I really don't know why they would do that.... Maybe though they are happy about it, it still destabilise them and they still feel like thir lives have been turned upside down. Maybe even though they are happy about the seperation they are hurt somewhere and they lost their landmarks, but didn't realise how they feel until it was done?? I don't think it has anything to do with you, I think they are maybe struggling with their feelings and contradictions? I am only trying to give you possibilities, I don't know. I have been seperated for 2 years and though my son was only 4 (but he wasn't happy about it) he is still behaving worse and he is full of anger. He used to through things out of his room almost every night as screams until 10:30/ 11:30pm it was horrible. He did that for several months but even now he is easily angry and shows despair and cries still because of the split and still says he miss one parent or the other... It's not easy for children either and maybe, yours are not reacting as well to it as they thought they might...????
It might not be much of a consolation but this just be their way of exhaling. Is it possible that they followed the rules without question previously because they were intimidated by your partner? This might not be personal - it could be them feeling comfortable and confident. If so, it will hopefully be transitional. I hope so.
I'm in a similar situation and my DC 6 & 10 are running rings around me at night. Watching with interest for advice. I'm hoping that back to school on Monday will sort it. I've always done bedtime alone so nothing's changed.
Oh yes and my 10 yr old has started copying the 6 yr old's tantrums because 'he gets away with it'.
As a single parent I found "Just do it" worked for me. No threat but menacing undertones!
I definitely find the quieter you say your instructions and the less you engage with a debate the better but mine are defiant in a way I would never have considered or dared to be.
My 2 did this when I left my ExH (their dad). They were 10 and 12. I learnt not to get into a shouting match about it. Keep it calm. I also found 'just do it' worked.
They are pushing new boundaries. In my case my kids would never have argued with or disobeyed their dad. They would with me! I also found out later on that when the kids moaned to their dad about me telling them off he was saying that he'd 'sort her out'. . They then would respond to me disciplining them with 'Dads going to sort you out'.
Just stick with what you say/tell them to do. Once they realise you're in charge and they settle into a new dynamic they'll be fine. Took my 2 about 2 years but their dad was causing trouble in the background.
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