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I've become more shouty with my pre-teen and I hate it

(47 Posts)
MissStrawberry Sat 31-Aug-13 20:28:11

Really I hate myself.

He is 12.6 and for the last year he has been hard work.

Can anyone give me any coping strategies for ignoring him when he is ride/disrespectful/arguing/taking the piss out of me (ie ignoring him for longer than 10 seconds and then cracking) as I am making us all feel crap.

I know he is normal. It is me that is the problem.

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 08-Sep-13 19:03:34

Sorry to hear MissStrawberry sad. No idea what to do. I do think though that sometimes all this "I wish he's not my brother" and "you are the worst brother ever" types things ought to be ignored. Or if I remember my how-to-talk book, you need to acknowledge the feeling without making any judgement. That's a hard thing to do.

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 16:59:54

More friction with them both. While sat in the car at school while I spoke to a lovely man, DD threw her snack box out of the window and since we have been home she has been horrible to him and he has been annoying to her.

She is stroppy. We have rolling of eyes now. Much sooner than her older brother. Her little brother can be a pest but she is very intolerant and it does upset me. She said she wishes he wasn't her brother. Is that a normal thing to say and I am meant to ignore her as I find it upsetting?

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 06-Sep-13 15:41:36

LOL at having to quarrel because there was nothing to talk about.

I guess they are allowed to dislike each other ... that's why I demand a pretence of civility ...grin

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 12:41:36

Mine don't like each other, they say they don't, they act like they don't most of the time. Makes me very sad.

However, yesterday we were at a clinic and DD(10) and DS2(8) were being horrible to each other, mainly DD, and weren't doing as they told. On the way home they were chatting nice and friendly while I was feeling wrung out. I asked them why and they said in the clinic they had no topic to talk about hmm.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 06-Sep-13 11:00:28

Can I say one thing about DC saying hurtful things to each other? Mine are younger but they've been saying rather sarcastic and not-very-nice things to each other, and it has been driving me up the wall. But then I remember doing the same things with my brothers, and I remember the horrified look on a visiting relative's face. Like yesterday. He was shocked we would say things like that to each other. But me and my brothers - we like each other! We were just playing! So now I insist on a pretence of politeness at the dinner table, and all other times, as long as it doesn't go OTT, I ignore them. I think they don't mean it - you can tell when they do, I think - and they are just playing...

Not sure what the point is! I think we want them to get along, and we see that way down the line you are glad you have a sibling who gets along with you or you are upset your sibling and you don't get along, and you project that onto their behaviour now. And that's stressful.

MissStrawberry Tue 03-Sep-13 17:02:04

<offers wine and chocolate>

Try Agnus Castus. It works miracles.

Salbertina Tue 03-Sep-13 16:13:47

Hope your respite brings you some relief, OP. if it helps, had v v tricky afternoon fighting over helping dc w hmk. Sigh. Such a battle! Am over my pmt at least (that makes me worse and less tolerant) so a smidgeon more patience but still exhausted and despairing. You're not alone!

MissStrawberry Tue 03-Sep-13 15:16:30

It really is but it is hard to keep it up. Rather strangely I seem to be worse at the end of my period instead of before. I wonder if it is hormonal as I also feel suicidal at those times and depressed.

Anyway, have to go and get the kids from school now, my last one goes back tomorrow so I'll be on my own for the first time since mid July.

blue2 Tue 03-Sep-13 14:25:00

Sounds like Confidence is the key!

MissStrawberry Mon 02-Sep-13 18:07:30

Today has been okay.

I took DS1 to a friend's for lunch and we were there until afternoon school pick up. I had some difficult news while out but haven't taken it out on the kids by having no patience. I am calm but firm with them and have done reading with DS2 and made sure all have done something to help me chore wise as well as getting homework done and getting bags ready for tomorrow.

DS1 was a pain asking in front of DD and Ds2 what their snack was when I had already mentioned I had forgotten it and it is the sort of thing they do a lot. Like mentioning they have had X while the other 2 were out. Very petty but extremely annoying for me.

I am taking comfort from the fact that my kids are actually normal despite having me as a mum and I hope they know how much I love them.

DH due home soon so I will have help.

I find that when I am confident in my speaking when asking them to do something they do it. It is when I am doubting if I am being right or fair that they play me up.

blue2 Mon 02-Sep-13 16:23:14

I think MaryZs idea about taking the fuse to bed is a great idea. A friend of mine does something similar (she unplugs and kidnaps router), and it restores order to the household within about 30mins... once the 3 kids have all blamed each other for the fracas in the first place.

It's normally preceded by several warnings, and then when it happens, it doesn't involve discussion. She just does it.

I also think it gives her the feeling that she is still in control of the teens and NOT the other way around.

bigkidsdidit Mon 02-Sep-13 16:09:39

Seriously, Maryz, you should write a parenting book

MyBoysAreFab Mon 02-Sep-13 16:00:16

Not a punchbag Maryz but I have sent them to their rooms to punch into a pillow before to let off steam.

I hate that they don't get on, but I know it is more to do with the ages they are at now as they always got on well when younger.

I think it is definitely a case of retraining yourself as to how you deal, and picking your battles. No point in trying to get into the mind of a teenage boy! (eeugh)

MissStrawberry I do hope that this thread is giving you some comfort that you are not alone. Don't beat yourself up too much - motherhood is by far the hardest job out there, and it is always easy to look back and know you could have dealt with things better - we all do that. I think even the fact that you are even analysing what you are doing means that you are doing a great job.

baskingseals Mon 02-Sep-13 10:43:28

Hey miss strawberry you are absolutely not stupid. It is really hard bringing up children, I think more so if you didn't have a fantastic childhood yourself.

Could you try with doing one nice thing just for yourself today? Say no to something that usually you would say yes to and then feel uncomfortable about.

MissStrawberry Mon 02-Sep-13 09:41:51

Another example of my stupidness. My DH grew up in a big family. My children will have a smaller one as I have none and DH's brother is not having children so we had a lot of children so they would have each other. Hurts as they feel each one doesn't like them and they act like they don't like each other.

Maryz Mon 02-Sep-13 08:54:08

I'm not wise, I'm just five years ahead of you much of which I spent shouting and crying

I am speaking from bitter experience.

If it helps mine are now 19, 17 and 15 and despite the odd humungous row, usually about school, we seem to be through the worst of it. At least they have stopped the bloody bickering.

MissStrawberry Mon 02-Sep-13 08:00:36

You are all so wise and have worked me out perfectly [sigh]. I wish I wasn't such an open book as it usually does me no favours as I show the pages to the wrong people.

I have something huge on at the moment and seeing a friend later and was wondering whether to share with her but tbh I have always found it hard too as when I have tried with others I feel uncomfortable. Like they are feeling that way too and I am feeling ashamed even though it wasn't me that did anything wrong. I was also once sacked from a job for sharing something about my childhood so I am wary.


- take it less personally.
- don't be scared to say no - I am scared full stop of my eldest so that would be a good place to start.
- stop worrying about their future childhood memories and concentrate on the here and now.
- be a bit more selfish.

Thanks all flowers.

School run now. One more thing to worry about.

Maryz Mon 02-Sep-13 07:41:27

And what basking said. Be nicer to yourself

Maryz Mon 02-Sep-13 07:40:34

In their rooms. I'm lucky they have. Room each.

I remember one dreadful day when I took the main electricity fuse to bed with me for an hour.

Dd never minded either. But she probably started the least of the trouble so I suppose it was fair that she minded the punishment least.

It really helps if you can stop minding and be less emotional. Because half the bickering will be attention seeking and if your upset they have obviously "won"

baskingseals Mon 02-Sep-13 07:40:08

Miss strawberry I understand what you mean about investing too much in your children. I think it can be easier to focus on them rather than yourself, but ultimately it doesn't help anyone at all. Try and turn your gaze on yourself. You mentioned that you didn't always have enough to eat as a child, which suggests to me that your needs weren't met properly.
Try now to meet some of your own needs.

Take little steps. Get your boundaries up. It is okay to say no. It is okay to be you. Once you feel better with yourself, it is so much easier to deal with your children, you just don't take it as personally. You are not responsible for their happiness, you are responsible, IMHO, for creating an environment in which they can be happy, which you are evidently doing.

What do you enjoy doing? Can you even remember? grin spend some time on yourself, respect yourself and your relationships with everyone around you will feel easier.

MissStrawberry Mon 02-Sep-13 07:08:53

Maryz - It upsets me that he takes food as they don't go without. I don't buy many treat stuff but I do bake a lot including making my own lollies, ice creams, biscuits and I do know what it is to go without but I went without basic food not treats.

When you do time out where do the children do it? DD always happy to be sent to her room and usually throws a rude comment at me as she goes.

Fraxinus - I have tried to tell them but I guess they don't really get it as they carry on but then consequences haven't sunk in either. For DS1 it is to take his ipod and lap top away and he loves them so even with a warning he will lose them he still carries on. Last week he told us no punishment would work.

Fraxinus Sun 01-Sep-13 22:04:00

They sound rude and ungrateful. If any of us were in a position where our children were being consistently rude and ungrateful it would grind us down and make us feel unable to make any strategy work.

So I don't have it that it is YOU that is the problem... Just you are in the middle of the downward spiral.

Have you told them, individually, how they are making you feel?

Maryz Sun 01-Sep-13 21:40:49

Hi MyBoys smile. If yours have taken to thumping each other have you considered geting a punch bag?

MissS, you can simplify some of the problems.

Don't try to get to the truth - that's why I instituted my "half hour time out for everyone" rule. I stopped taking sides and got myself breathing space. All hell broke loose for a week until they realised I didn't care (at least I pretended not to care). But then they gave up.

Put a lock on your bedroom door and keep treat food (and your chocolate) in there. Don't spend time trying to get them to admit things. Only punish what really matters (and really smarties don't, not in the greater scheme of things).

Be a bit nicer to yourself.

MissStrawberry Sun 01-Sep-13 21:24:33

Your last sentence rang bells, Maryz. We struggle sometimes as our boys lie and now they are older we can't trick them into the truth so it feels like you either punish the innocent one and the guilty one or you let the guilty one off.

DS2 has been nicking food without asking for years. Always treat stuff. Usually eventually I get it out of him. Today he admitted it sooner but when I asked why he didn't tell me sooner he said he didn't want his siblings hearing. I have a system so anyone can own up without others knowing but he obviously doesn't believe that. Today it was he had nicked my smarties eaten them all and hidden the tube under his drawers. He tried to blame the cat. I made him pay me back 2 x the cost of the smarties. Before I knew who it was I said I wouldn't bake this week and there would be no nice after school treats. Now I know who it is, and he has paid me, do I still go ahead with the no baking etc?

I have taken to hiding treats in my room as he nicked stuff last month too but didn't work this week. He took them Friday and I discovered they were gone last night.

Maryz Sun 01-Sep-13 21:18:57

Since mine have got to teenager age, I find that being pragmatic and dealing with them as if they were lodgers sometimes keeps me sane grin

They are old enough now for you tell them you are taking a break. Ds2 learned very quickly not to wind ds1 up if I wasn't around.

It's so hard to step back, but it really does help. It isn't possible to be a fair referee, so sometimes you have to just call time out and refuse to engage.

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