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Ever wonder why you bother trying to do 'nice' days out with your kids??

(26 Posts)
Legacy Sun 28-May-06 20:26:32

Today we thought we'd have a special day out in London, so we got the train (about 40 mins). Kids were quite good, but very noisy .

Went to Tate Modern to see some pictures DS1 has been learning about at school.
Paid £12 for coffee and biscuits and they argued about who had which biscuit and why the apple juice had bits in.

Went into gallery, and DS1 was excited for about 20 minutes and then was more interested in looking at skateboarders outside...

DS2 said he had 'wobbly legs' (= he's being lazy) and started to whinge and DH had to carry him

Spent 20 minutes and £20 in gift shop on things we don't need.

We went across the Millenium bridge (which they wanted to do) - it was lovely, but DS2 whinged it was 'too windy'

Got to other side and tried to find somewhere for lunch - DS wouldn't walk again

Found a cafe. Kids were kicking each other under tabel/ generally being noisy and wriggly so we had to separate them.

They whinged about walking back to the station and how long it took to get home....

Got back and both DH and I are shattered and straight away the demands start, "I'm hungry, can you get a video down etc etc..."

Grr - why do we bother trying to be good parents???

cod Sun 28-May-06 20:26:57

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nothercules Sun 28-May-06 20:28:19

My kids love going to the park and having a picnic. Far less stress and hassle and loved by all.

nothercules Sun 28-May-06 20:29:19

Trouble is your idea of "nice" and theirs is often different. Some of the London museums are great and have outdoor bits you can have a picnic on,

cat64 Sun 28-May-06 20:30:22

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nothercules Sun 28-May-06 20:30:51

that's so true, cat!

mancmum Sun 28-May-06 20:31:32

I live this every day with my kids -- exhaust myself thinking of great days out for them that cost be a fortune in energy and cash... get them home and if someone says what did you do today, you can guarantee DS will only comment on either the 2 minsute trip to supermarket or say "nothing" aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghhh.. from now on all free time with kids will be spent at harvey nicks and at my idea of heaven....

greeneggsandham Sun 28-May-06 20:38:10

cat64 has very good point! least you can go to bed at the end of the day knowing you've done your best to be a good parent! it's so difficult especially if you are like myself and my DH. work full time and when you do get the day off instead of laying in bed sleeping you wake up thinking what can we do today that Ds will enjoy! you go all out to give a fun filled action packed day to make up for being tired and grumpy through the week! all smiles, plenty of treats lots of silly fun! yet he still 9 times out of 10 sits in the car on the way home and wishes for the one thing we didn't do! aaaaarrrrghhh kids! keep up the good work!

Blandmum Sun 28-May-06 20:41:31

I once had a summer holiday from hell with dd, who at the time was 6. She did nothing but whinge and whine and tantrum.

my darling MIL(not being sarcastic) told me I was trying far too hard with her, and a few days of boredom would help to sort out the behavioural issues. And damn me! She was spot on. We took things right back, a few pajama days and then a few low key trips to the park. Not only did we have a better time, dd behavied better and I saved a shed load of oney!

ritaskeeter Sun 28-May-06 20:49:05

Not sure how old your children are, but my biggest problem is finding something which appeals to a 10 year old and a 5 year old at the same time. So if any one has any ideas on that, they would be gratefully recieved.
At the moment the only real common one is swimming, so we spend lots of time in the water (still at least it cheap)

moondog Sun 28-May-06 21:23:21

Hmm,if mine whinge,the treat is cancelled straight away.
No bargaining,no false threats.
I agree though,the more you lay on for kids,the more they expect and so on.

Dh came home in a taxi from the airport yesterday.
The taxi driver does some school runs and showed dh the dvd player he had put in the back 'to stop them getting bored'

FrannyandZooey Sun 28-May-06 21:29:43

Yup, I agree, starting from a basic level of being fairly bored and having to make your own entertainment is the way it should be. Then anything interesting that happens is hopefully a great treat

MrsMuddle Sun 28-May-06 21:46:40

The highlight of any trip we've done, no matter how much it cost or how exciting it was, is when the boys have seen an animal peeing or pooing or else a dead thing. They're 10 and 11, and this is still the highlight. Sometimes think I should take them to spend a day looking at a field of cows.

moondog Sun 28-May-06 21:47:48

Am surrounded by animals weeing and pooing here MrsM (field of cows staring at me as I type)
They'd love it.

Legacy Sun 28-May-06 21:52:21

They are 6.5 and 4.

Yes, I know some people will say they're too young for galleries etc, but the thing is we already do a lot of the normal things - park, playround, swimming, walks in the woods etc and sometimes we just get a bit sick of it. Also we're firm believers in kids going to more 'adult' worlds too sometimes. Don't get me wrong, we didn't spend ages there, it's just that they just seemed so, well, ungrateful!

Cat - I do agree - later DS1 will probably dredge up some memory of a visit which we've completely forgotton, which makes it all worthwhile!

We've been to galleries in the past when on holiday in France etc and they had a fab time. I guess today was just a bad one .

expatinscotland Sun 28-May-06 21:56:13

The strops, the money, the fights, the panicked search for toilets. Ah, days out w/the family. LOVE it!

Even the bad bits, like when DD1 refused to walk downstairs to the car yesterday in the middle of Castle Terrace Farmer's Market on a warm, sunny day. Whilst I had dd2 in a sling and couldn't pick her (dd1) up. She threw herself on the pavement in fury. I had to stiffle a laugh until two VERY sympathetic Russian women - a mother w/her grown daughter and the grown daughter's two school aged children, helped her to her feet and coaxed her down.

My life before was very boring.

Cappucino Sun 28-May-06 22:24:43

for me that 'why do I bother' feeling comes when I get out some wonderfully well planned craft activity and all dd wants to do is cover the actual paint pot exterior with blue paint

I tried to coax her into painting boxes a while back to make something but no, back to the paint pot it was

notagrannyyet Tue 30-May-06 06:59:27

Do'nt think children are ever really grateful!

We've had some great days out in London. Didn't do galleries & stuff until ours were older say from 9 upwards.But all ages love Science/Natural History museums (they're free entry again now too).

Last time we visited London we went to The Tower. A bit expensive IMO but boys had a brilliant time loved the Beefeaters! We spent 4 hours there and had to almost drag them out.
I always try to avoid the gift shops in these places though, (not easy I know when often it's the only way out). I'm very strict about gift shops - kids are sent straight out to car with dad and I choose the treats/souvenirs.I must sound really mean but with a large family such places are a nightmare! It's also better that way you as don't end up with loads of usless rubbish the kids do'nt really want anyway. I usually buy them badges/key rings to add to collections or a book or video to look at later.

Also we tend to make eating out a separate treat in its self, especially with the younger children . For days out we almost always take food with us.It's harder carrying stuff in places like London where you haven't got the car but even small children can carry a back-pack with their own lunch in.

Our boys have all loved anything to do with history, especially castles so English heritage membership has been a good investment.

We also enjoy all the ordinary walks, park, beach stuff too. Anything to keep them away from TV, play staion etc..

earlgrey Tue 30-May-06 07:13:15

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LadyTophamOfHattingford Tue 30-May-06 07:29:16

I guarentee arguments starts as we're getting in the car on "nice days out" in our house.

Whinging starts before we've even got out of the house to get in the house.....

The desire to bang their heads together is constant.

If it was up to me the day would be cancelled....Dh on the other hand is a soft touch and we always go.

LadyTophamOfHattingford Tue 30-May-06 07:30:49

to get in the CAR......


Spagblog Tue 30-May-06 07:42:02

Mmmm, the more you do, the more they expect and the less they appreciate.
Definitely throw in a few days of abject misery and neglect.

KTeePee Tue 30-May-06 15:26:29

ritaskeeter, try factoring in a 2 yr old as well just to make it harder! The only thing that seems to work at the moment is trips to the park, but only if I arrange to meet someone else with kids so they all have someone their own age to play with...

I tried a trip to a museum during the Easter hols. DS2 was scared of the displays, ds1 was scared when we went to an upstairs gallery so after 20 mins of them both crying/whinging we left. Then dd got upset becasue she wanted to stay.... At least the car journey there and back killed a couple of hours!

honeychild Tue 30-May-06 15:46:12

Absolute rule - like with cooking - the more effort / money goes in the less they'll enjoy it. Sigh. As for two-year olds, we had an unexpected success once at the Tate Britain - our two-year-old loved the nude room (just like his dad) and kept asking to go back to the nudey ladies... (And for anyone considering the London Transport Museum, they found the life size figures terrifying.)

sunnydelight Tue 30-May-06 19:33:46

The more children I have had the less inclined I am to do big days out with them. For a start trying to find something suitable for a 12, 7 and 3 year old is nearly impossible. I make this up to them by having one to one "special days" from time to time (inset days are particularly useful as the boys are in different schools). Yes, it's a cop out but it does save my sanity and the kids are really excited by it. Luckily lunch somewhere nice usually figures in our plans. My dearest friend runs herself ragged giving her two boys treats all the time with the result that they just expect everything and nothing is ever special.

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