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weak parent(3 Posts)
I feel like a totally useless parent. I am constantly under pressure from my kids (11 and 9) to give in to their demands. I find it exhausting and frequently give in. I always find myself seeing things from their point of view and cannot stand up to them. I am just had a huge row with OH because we decided that DD shouldn't have a sleepover cos she was poorly last week and needs to rest. But faced with pressure from DD and her friend I agreed to sleepover, with certain conditions. OH is furious with me, I am furious with myself. Why can't I say no and mean it? I know it sound pathetic, but I feel bullied by my own children.
When you feel the urge to cave, instead of seeing it from their perspective, mentally transport yourself to five years time when you have an almost adult who has not one ounce of respect for you. Who will walk all over you and you cannot stop them doing any single thing they like.
Whenevrt they nag you to cave (whoch they know now will acheive results) - tell them to walk away, or walk away yourself. Tell them you will think about it and not to discuss it til youve made your decision. Then go away and have a stern word with yourself before returning with a firm No.
You are not a totally useless parent at all. You just need more confidence in making decisions and following through. Your children have established that you have a breaking point and once they discover a technique that works (nagging) they will resort to it over and over again.
You may find it helpful to write up and display a short list of "house rules" about what you will and won't allow. If you have something visual in front of you then it feels less negotiable for both parties. You can even just point to the rules when they start nagging at you. You may find that this alone reduces the number of battles you're facing each day.
If you find it hard to say "no" - try saying "yes". I don't mean giving in, I mean finding a more positive or a more neutral response or just reasserting a rule that tells them what they can do within your boundaries.
E.g. they want a sleepover but it's not the right time for one - you just say "you can have a sleepover NEXT week" - you might find it easier to adopt that kind of stance rather than an entirely negative one. Then just reduce it to a short phrase that you keep repeating e.g. "NEXT week" "NEXT week" and physically turn your body away from them or leave the room to indicate subject is closed. You will find it easier to repeat a short concrete phrase and they will get bored of it quicker than a more varied and wobbly response.
e.g. If they want chocolate just before dinner - again repeat a short neutral response "you can have it for pudding after dinner" then reduce to "after dinner" "after dinner".
e.g. If they want to stay up on school night - again neutral response just stating a rule say "School night bedtime is 8:30" then reduce to "School night 8:30" "School night 8:30".
EVENTUALLY they will find that they know what you're going to say before you even say it and then eventually they won't bother asking!
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