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Bloody holidays!

(20 Posts)
purpleroses Sun 25-Nov-12 20:16:05

Help me not to want to throttle my DSC and swap them next summer for some poor children who've never been abroad and would actually enjoy it!

DSC are aged 9-15 (16 by next summer). I also have two of my own (9 and 12) DSC go to a private school where they've had all sorts of exciting school trips to the south of France, Iceland, etc. They are so bloody negative about going on holiday. Whatever DP or I suggest is met with at best apathy, and usually real negativity as if we were suggesting something awful. I gather they are much the same with their mum and stepdad.

I love holidays, and so do my DCs. I love having time away from everything, sunshine, swimming, seeing new things, eating out, learning about new places, and spending real quality time with people. But today we've been discussing next summer with the DSC and have had "I hate warm places... I hate rain.... why would anyone want to climb a mountain?... I hate eating out..... I don't like the sea.... I don't like going abroad.... I don't like sitting in a car....I don't like activities....what's the point in going abroad just to chill out?"

I'm seriously considering taking just mine away for our main summer holiday next year. But this would make me rather sad for a few reasons:
- I'd miss DP and enjoy the holiday much more if he was with me.
- I'm reasonably confident travelling alone with kids, but less so than I'd be with another adult. Everthing's more stressful on your own.
- My DCs and DP's younger two DCs get on really well these days very much enjoyed each other's company this summer. DP's younger two - despite the initial apathy - would probably enjoy most holidays once they got there. But I'm not sure if DP would be up for taking just the younger two, even if his ex was up for having the others.

But is this the only real option if I want a holiday with children who actually appreciate it?

Makes me so cross, that what are overall nice kids are so spoiled they can't enjoy things.

brdgrl Sun 25-Nov-12 20:26:35

I can relate. A few years ago we went on holiday to the west coast of America. The DSCs were largely apathetic and unimpressed. When DH and I were raving about the views along the coastal highway, DSS said "when you have seen the ocean once, you don't really need to see it again." When we went to the redwood forest, DSD got upset because I absolutely forbade her from carving her initials into a tree, and pouted for the rest of the day. When we went to the San Juan Islands (one of my favourite spots in the world), I was hoping we'd camp...but we only did that one night because they hated being in the 'wilderness'. When we drove to incredibly scenic spots (because they would not walk anywhere), the pair of them refused to get out of the car and sat reading magazines. It was depressing as hell.

Before that, they'd had some pretty silly lux they are just kinda jaded and a bit spoilt, I'm afraid. They want to stay in posh hotels and spend loads in fancy restaurants, whereas the reality is travelodge and eating on the cheap.

I try not to let it get to me - we just go ahead and plan something within our means, and try to make sure there are activities they'll enjoy. They've adjusted somewhat, actually, and if they still feel disappointed, they at least do a better job hiding it these days.

PoppyPrincess Sun 25-Nov-12 23:26:16

Omg what a nightmare! I love holidays and would hate anybody to spoil it for me.
I know this probably isn't the PC answer but I think I'd prob go on holiday with just my own kids, prob take my mum.
That's what we did this year but that was more to do with the fact that I was pregnant so couldn't/didn't want to go to Disney so went and chilled out round a pool with DS n my mum whilst DP got sore feet and a very empty wallet with his mum n DSC.
It worked great. I would have preferred being with DP but as they say...absence makes the heart grow fonder.

NatashaBee Sun 25-Nov-12 23:40:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 26-Nov-12 00:00:25

Presumably, you can go on holiday with your DCs and DH without your DSC - as they clearly would prefer not to go?

I'd apply my daily mantra to this one choices have consequences and if they choose to be negative during the selection of a family holiday, the consequence is that they don't go.

Once they realise that you mean it, and actually do miss out, then they'll probably be keen to get involved in planning future family holidays smile

purpleroses Mon 26-Nov-12 08:57:49

In a way I'd quite like to just say that we'll only take whoever wants to come. But I don't think DP would go along with that very happily. He likes spending time with his kids (understandably) and thinks they'll enjoy it when they get there. With the younger two that's probably largely true.

We both only have a limited amount of leave from work. If DP comes away for a week with me and my kids, then that's a week less that he sees of his own. Their mum also likes to have a week or so off with her DP, so we can't just assume we can leave them behind if they don't want to come - we need to co-ordinate with her. (It might be possible but we'd probably have to change the dates we were thinking of going)

ladydeedy Mon 26-Nov-12 09:51:20

hmm, likewise have spent a fortune taking stepkids to California and they didnt really enter into it - wouldnt even change into beach stuff to spend days at the beach and it really saddened me that all they wanted to do was watch television/be on laptop (their mother insisted they bring one with them so that "homework" could be done).
Decided then and there that we would never do that again. I think I would be very tempted to do as you suggest and go away with own kids. Could DSCs spend time with grandparents etc? I know there is an issue with limited amoutn of time off but maybe DH could do a weekend away somewhere with them instead at some point? Or just time at home. There's no rule that says kids MUST have holidays. My DSCs said that actually they are not bothered about holidays at all - so since then DH and I go on our own! We do take them on holiday in UK to visit family (by the coast) which they kind of endure... at least i know it's not costing a fortune at the same time.

theredhen Mon 26-Nov-12 14:49:08


As you know I've had similar experiences despite my DSC never really doing much at all apart from us. No days out with Mum, only a caravan holiday with Mum. We've been the first to take them abroad, the first to take them on a plane, the first to take them on a beach holiday, to disney etc etc. but they still just want to sit in the villa/hotel and sit in front of a screen. angry

I understand that your DP wants to spend time with his children but at the end of the day, it doesn't sound like they're bothered about spending time with him!

There are several ways of looking at this; either you give them a choice not to come on holiday with you or not, if they choose not, be prepared for them to think they can opt in and out of whatever they feel like if you don't word it properly and carefully. It could have an impact on everyday life.

Or you can make them come along and just allow the older ones to sit around and leave them behind in the hotel whilst making the younger ones go and trying your best to ignore their whinges. And also hope that the negativity doesn't rub off on your children. sad

Personally I think I am going to talk to DP about this after the last two holidays we have paid for the "next size up" villa only to have DSD1 aged 16 sit in the room with the curtains closed for the ENTIRE holiday apart from mealtimes. I am going to suggest to him that the money we save by not taking her (smaller villa, less food etc) will mean that he will have more money for driving lessons which she is bound to ask for when the time comes. The younger ones are going to have to put up with it and come along and if necessary I am going to leave them (and DP) to it (which I did last time). I also think if DSC come to realise that we won't put up with the negative behaviour by calmly suggesting that they don't have to come, they might get a shock that actually their negative behaviour DOES have a consequence and they can't just be rude and ungrateful and get away with it. I don't see why a 16 year old can't learn that rudeness and disrespectfulness has consequences.

Eliza22 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:00:34

Don't take them.

Put the money to one side and they might appreciate it a bit more, when its ot on offer!

purpleroses Mon 26-Nov-12 15:36:33

Mmm - food for thought. I quite like the idea of presenting to them that there is a holiday happening, and that they can come or stay with their mum instead. Would need to get her onboard with this - but she might be OK about it. I think they might suddenly be a bit more positive about it if they realise that their dad is going anyway, with me and my DCs and they'll be left out if they don't.

They do like spending time with their dad though, it's just that they say they'd prefer never to leave the house! But we've been phrasing the discussion along the lines of "where would you like to go on holiday?" - which has resulted in all the negativity, so I think we could try making the plans ourselves, enthusing about the exciting place we've decided to go to, and then ask them if they would like to come or stay behind. Might work.

PoppyPrincess Mon 26-Nov-12 15:50:52

What is wrong with kids these days?! Yes I appreciate that not all kids/teens are this way but I don't ever remember my friends complaining about their holidays. Unless it's just not cool these days to enjoy anything? Lol

Eliza22 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:29:11

I wouldn't even do that. If they don't want to, why make/cajole/encourage them? Ingrates!

Kaluki Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:21

I took my dc abroad by myself this summer and it was the best holiday ever! No whining, demanding, fighting or tantrums. We had a fantastic week and it made me appreciate what great little people I have produced.
DP stayed at home with his dc and he said it was the week from hell!!
My advice is to go with whoever wants to go and leave the whiners behind smile

HKnight Tue 27-Nov-12 09:58:35

As a teenager I hated family holidays. I was probably the one moaning morning, noon and night. Not because I was spoilt, because I hated sharing rooms with my little sister. What she found fun I didn't. I asked one year if I could stay with my grandma whilst mum and dad took my sister away. They thought I would get jealous, I didn't I got to spend some alone time with my grandma and got a break from all the 'fun' activities that they would plan for my sister. Be honest when you were nearly 16 would you want to spend a week or 2 couped up with 9 year-olds? Save your money and everyones sanity and let them be with their mum if that's what they want.

theredhen Tue 27-Nov-12 12:11:40

Yep, I would have hated to go away with my parents at age 16, DP stayed with his Gran at that age rather than go with his parents.

Maybe this is more about your DP wishes than the wishes of the kids?

purpleroses Tue 27-Nov-12 12:32:15

The oldest will be 16. We may well leave her behind. The others between 10 and 14 - an age when most children still go on family holidays surely?

The wishes of the kids - if we take them at face value - are to stay at home and, literally, not to leave the house. In the week they spent her in the summer his DS1 I think did not step foot outside the house for a week. He's old enough not to strictly need to come along when we go out (to the park, shops, walk, etc) so he didn't come. Except for mealtimes he spent pretty much 100% of his time shut in his room gaming or watching DVDs. But if we listen to the kids they say that is what they want to do with their summer holidays. sad

theredhen Tue 27-Nov-12 13:00:00

If the gamer is allowed to game all day long everyday at yours or his mums, then I suspect he feels he has a choice of gaming or holidaying. Is his mum enthusiastic about you taking them on holiday or does she encourage allow their apathy? Maybe if the choice was holiday or homework/housework/school etc, they would be more enthusiastic?

purpleroses Tue 27-Nov-12 14:57:24

Their mum has undermined us before with the eldest by telling her she could stay with her rather than come with us. She otherwise seem supportive of us having them for the times already agreed next summer but I don't think cares a great deal what we do with them.

But we haven't (yet) presented it as a choice of staying at hers or coming on holiday with us. DP has already agreed with his ex which weeks he'll have the kids (he has to do this ages in advance because she likes to book her own holidays at least a year before she goes!) So he'll need to renegotiate the arrangements if we want to take some and not others.

We have to take holidays during school holidays, and they don't get much homework over the summer. And neither DP nor his ex have ever yet expected them to do a great deal round the house, I can't see that suddenly chaging over the summer. So the choice will end up being come on holiday or slobbing around.

Or we could threaten to pack them off to the grandparents (where there is no wifi, and no mobile signal!) I guess. Though I don't really want them coming along because they think it is less awful than the alternative. I'd like them to actually want to come.

Theydeserve Tue 27-Nov-12 22:13:03

Do what my brother in law did with his DC when said child on holiday with everyone and whinged, whined and moaned. Said DC was 14 at the time.

Phoned me up, said we have no internet, book me a flight from here to here and I have called her mother. For years it had been threats and she ruined holidays and this time he followed through.

Afterwards, no more holiday issues - happy child who interacted.

Was well impressed as he was the ultimate Disney Dad

purpleroses Tue 27-Nov-12 22:53:38

Now there's an idea grin

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