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I think I expect too much from my children and may have been too hard on them

(29 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 16:45:12

This hasn't worked as I have no control over them, they have no respect for anyone or anything and I have long realised I am not up to the job. Where do I go from here?

ragged Fri 02-Sep-11 16:46:28

Crikey, what specific incidents have kicked off this downer outburst?

ivykaty44 Fri 02-Sep-11 16:50:11

do you mean that you have set harsh punishemnts and then not seen them through?

I am sure you are up to the job just possibly having a few wobbles like everyone does smile

RumourOfAHurricane Fri 02-Sep-11 17:47:41

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TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 17:50:37

Just the end of the summer holidays where I have had to be a referee rather than a mum. And right on cue ds1 comes in saying dd hs done something and she follows saying "you did ....."

We set punishments like time out on the step, no tv/computer, time off bed time, so nothing that harsh. We mostly follow through though occasionally just ignore as we are knackered and at a loss.

I know it isn't their fault I am ill and feel pants but fgs can't they get on for 5 minutes? sad

thestringcheeseincident Fri 02-Sep-11 17:51:16

if they have no respect for anyone or anything, it sounds like you haven't been hard enough tbh

TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 17:51:29

Thanks for the reminder shiney.

I was just ranting as this has been a new realisation for me.

cat64 Fri 02-Sep-11 17:57:20

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TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 18:01:48

Because they never do as they are told.

PiousPrat Fri 02-Sep-11 18:11:03

Do they actually never do as they are told, or does it just seem like that?

I don't mean to diminish how you feel, at all,but I know that when things are getting a bit much for me I have a tendency to focus on negatives and not really see the positives as much. That tends to mean that I only remember the 4 million squabbles i have broken up that day, and forgotten about the times when they have done something thoughtful for each other or just been quietly playing.

That isn't to say that squabbles haven't increased this week, I think everyone finds it harder right at the end of the holidays simply because you have run out of things to do and cabin fever sets in a bit. Monday isn't far away now and I'm sure that when everyone gets a bit of a break from each other, that things will be back to normal.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 18:27:54

If pushed I would say 95% of the time we are refereeing their fights, asking them over and over to help.

I am really sad at the moment as I am not enjoying my children at all and we, dh and I, are fed up and knackered.

cat64 Fri 02-Sep-11 23:13:35

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ragged Sat 03-Sep-11 08:22:59

How are they on their own, FAB, do you get personality transformations if they don't have siblings around? Any one of mine is reasonably if not perfectly pleasant, reasonable, follows directions without protests, but put them together... omg.

(Don't credit too much of what I say, I'd idly watching my 3yo with a pair of scissors attacking his own hair as I write this... the fact that DH buzzed the 3yo's hair all down to 1mm after his last such attack seems to have escaped his notice grin).

TheOriginalFAB Sat 03-Sep-11 09:05:44

They are 10, 8 and 6.

When it is just the 2 of them it is so much easier.

Today is a new day and I think it it is me with the problem and me making everything bad so I am going to try hard to be better at this parenting lark today.

Ignore the bad.
Praise the good.
Enjoy my children.

I want so much to be a good mum and give them happy memories of their childhood. It isn't their fault mine was crap and I don't know what to do.

Sleepglorioussleep Sat 03-Sep-11 09:17:42

All together, end of holidays, late in the day. A perfect combination of factors for having a horrible time, and for you to forget the good times. I had cbt a couple of years ago and one of the things I have developed as a result is the ability to take a mental snapshot of the moments (however brief some days) of the good bits where all my dc are happy together and I look like a good parent. Then when I see someone else looking fantastic I kind of retrieve my fantastic moment picture and say "I'm like that too". Helped me to look at some rather too idyllic Facebook photos without crying last night....

TheOriginalFAB Sat 03-Sep-11 09:36:22

I know what the problem is but not yet how to sort it, but I will. [determined emoticon]

SaggyHairyArse Sat 03-Sep-11 10:58:11

This sounds familiar, and I have three though a bit younger and, yes, it is easier if there are two of them and one is doing something else.

One thing I do, and I don't know if it is right or not, is if they come to me schreeching that so and so has done this but so and so has done that, I don't get involved if I was not there and haven't witnessed the incident. I just tell them both/all to go to their rooms and come out when they've finished shouting.

It doesn't always work, they don't always go to their rooms without a fight but I am not going to take sides or get involved in an arguement between a 9 and a 7 year old kwim?

Also, I find that if I get out the house for a bit fairly early in the morning it seems to help them get on better than them getting cabin fever on each others nerves.

Dont know if any of that is much use but I am sure you are doing a fab job and what you have said sounds normal to me!

Oh, and re getting them to help, I exchange pocket money for chores, so they all have to tidy their own rooms, they take their plates to the kitchen, clear up any mess they make, set the table etc etc.

Now, my problem with my three is getting them to not sabotage the weekly trip to the shops....

overmydeadbody Sat 03-Sep-11 11:06:07

OH FAB, I really sympathise and feel the same a lot of the time.

DS has been horrible today and it's only 11am, I am dreading the rest of the day astuck with him.

But I do find that when I praise praise praise every little thing he does that is what I want to see, he is far nicer in return and then it spirals.

But when I don't have the time, energy or patience to praise every little tihng it spirals the other way, out of control.


I scrapped all punishment though, a while back, and that at least has reduced the tension and horrible incidents and outbursts.

jamaisjedors Sat 03-Sep-11 11:09:32

I'm afraid I wouldn't agree with ignore the bad.

We are zero tolerance with the bad, it's tiring, but I think it gets results (particulary on sibling fighting).

TheOriginalFAB Sat 03-Sep-11 12:31:04

When they physically hurt each other it is really hard to ignore and I genuinely worry they will put each other in hospital. We haven't found consequences yet that = them doing as we ask.

jamaisjedoes - what does your zero tolerance equal?

ragged Sat 03-Sep-11 16:40:59

I've had pretty awful moments of DC attacking each other, but most of it is low grade pushing the boundaries (hard). Do you ever stick both sides at bottom of the stairs FAB (I'm talking about the low-grade stuff).

I find the prospect of being bored witless for 5-20 minutes gets them to tone down the rough behaviour a lot. And yes I have to hover to keep them there, and sometimes one is in the corner & one on the stairs or they'd be at it again in a heartbeat.

TheOriginalFAB Sat 03-Sep-11 17:33:27

Yes, we use the step. Not sure that is right when one of them is there because they pushed the other down the stairs.

cat64 Sat 03-Sep-11 18:29:51

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TheOriginalFAB Sat 03-Sep-11 18:53:17

I agree, doesn't matter which 2!!

mathanxiety Sun 04-Sep-11 05:41:36

It seems to me you are all caught in an unhealthy dynamic here. How about punishing all of them if a fight breaks out instead of wasting your time and energy figuring out who is the culprit and giving someone else the satisfaction of seeing the enemy humiliated? When you allow yourself to be roped in to play referee you play right into their hands and perpetuate the problem, which is their inability to get along peacefully or negotiate together when they fall out.

When only one person is punished when a fight goes too far it sends the message that fighting is fine if you believe sufficiently in your pov because everyone hopes you will eventually favour their side of the argument or manage to goad someone else into really losing it and then you will punish them for the terrible thing they do.

When you punish everyone involved equally, no matter who has been injured, you send the message that fighting itself is going too far. They will howl with indignation when you try this the first few times. Tell them if they don't like it they need to figure out a better way of living under the same roof.

Don't be suckered into refereeing arguments and fights. You can have a zero tolerance policy by coming down like a ton of bricks on everyone involved and ignoring what it's about.

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