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Teen twins, exams, rivalry ~ help!

(13 Posts)
beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 09:06:08

Anyone else have teen twins? Mine are 16 (just) and about to sit their GCSEs. The emotional temperature in this house is at boiling point and we still have 8 weeks to go...

I am a single parent which means the emotions don't get diluted much. Where I really need another twin parent to advise: it is becoming apparent to me that a lot of the behaviour around their stress/ tiredness/ not doing homework (DD)/ doing too much homework (DS) and the constant bickering is being aggravated by rivalry. I didn't see it till this morning when I asked DD to pick up some homework for DS as he might need to take the day off school as he was so stressed out about a big project he was behind on that he was having a crying meltdown. No sympathy from her except a huge strop about how he got to have a day off but she wasn't allowed to even when she had been sleepless for 4 days in a row (to which I should say she took a sickie when I was pretty sure she wasn't sick, phones calls to school about stress, bought her special night-time tea and she now gets a back-rub to help her get off to sleep). Shheeesh....It is all so bloody intense and I am finding it hard not to micro-manage these subtle and not so subtle means of getting attention, plus the stress flying around and general teenage hormones. My DD is barely focused on her work so I am having to nag and check she is doing anything, whilst DS has Aspergers and is over-working but not always very productively or on the right things. I am also doing a bit of revision with each of them 1:1 and together but that gets crappy too.

Sorry, this is a blurgh. It just feels like my head is full of this to the point where my life is being put on hold and I am stressed in the middle of menopausal hot-flushes/memory loss/barking mad and dreading their arrival home for the whole egg-shell walking malarkey to begin again.

Thanks for letting me vent. Any outside perspectives welcome!

Dancingqueen17 Wed 05-Mar-14 10:57:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 11:26:39

Thanks Dancing ~ They compete but it tends to be for attention and in any way they can get it. Mostly by dissing the other to me or to refusing to help the other or the old trick of getting 'negative attention'.

Revising together would be like asking two angry Rottweiler's to share a bone...Lovely vision but sadly they are at the stage of secretly spitting in each other's water at dinner time (yes, really) or deliberately belching in the other's face. Delightful!

I suppose I just generally feel like a bad mother and am aware that I am slipping into the territory of slightly mentally off-key now...Also wondering if I am getting the nagging/revision-pushing thing wrong and thereby wrecking my relationship with them, especially with my daughter.

I did take up meditation BTW...It seems to help. I think starting hot-flushes and being bonkers is the wild card! Ahhhhhh. I might just lie down for a while.....

Claybury Wed 05-Mar-14 11:36:19

Can't offer advice sorry but sympathy. My DC's are in year 10 and 11 which is closer in age than most and I can understand your stress. Just them doing the same music exam today by chance gives me an idea what you are living with. Eldest thinks the one who gets the higher mark should get a bonus £10.
There's probably not much you can do, try not to get involved ?

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 11:43:18

Hi Claybury, thanks for your message. They are not directly competitive about their work, but I think the work has upped the emotional ante in general. Daughter is stressed and sleepless, son is over-working and stressed and both being pretty foul. Our combined anxiety is horrible.

Your bonus £10 made me laugh...Just the sort of thing my two would say.

Do you think 4 months is considered out of order for a long nap until it all passes by..?

Dancingqueen17 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:54:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nocomet Wed 05-Mar-14 11:56:56

No useful advice just sympathy, DD1 is doing GCSEs and a 10hr exam to prepare for and music compositions are doing her head in.

We haven't even started the academic stuff yet, Science will be light relief.

My advice, don't do music unless you really like aurals and composition. Everyone warned art takes over your life. It does, but in a good way. DD will do art when tired or fed up.

It's sodding music (with it's miriad different bits) that has caused nothing, but grief.

Mandy21 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:01:39

Same as Dancing Queen here - my twin and I were very competitive but manifested itself by us both being very conscientious and doing very well and each bragging about the subjects we did better than the other in for the next 25 years.

I now have boy/girl twins like you but they are very different and approach their homework very differently (still at primary school so have your dilemmas to come I think). For now, having designated separate slots works - so X gets 2-4pm and Y gets 4-6pm or whatever - so they each know they get the same amount of dedicated time / help with me.

You have my utmost sympathy - it must be really hard going so good luck! The end is in sight though smile

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 12:02:54

It's art that is causing the stress for my son. Caught him last night at 11pm tearing out the pages he had spent all evening doing, having also spent the last 5 days doing nothing but art. Contacted his teacher today who was brief in her email reply but somewhat detached (I don't blame her - she's probably dealing with 60 or so stressed young artists). He was too stressed to eat anything for breakfast until I suggested a Tunnock's caramel wafer. Looks like it will be a case of getting in shed loads of doughnuts till June...Making light of it here but also ever so slightly feeling mad and sad.

Thanks for your kind words everyone.

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 12:08:27

Mandy - you sound like a wonderfully fair twin mother. I try to give them both some time each evening so that they don't have to get it as 'negative attention'. I try to watch something with DD and then chat with DS about the PC we are saving up to buy him or sit and stroke the cats with him (he's a mad cat boy to my mad cat woman). But when you add in the hormones and irrational teen moods (and mine) it sometimes all melts down and we all get tearful!

Thanks for your kinds words. Wish I could buy you all a round of coffees while we bunked off for the day :-)

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 12:11:35

ps- I remember giving the advice to other newborn twin mums about how the hard first few months (feeding two babies through the night etc !) would pass if you can just hang on in there...Maybe need to remember that now...

thanks to all ~

Mandy21 Wed 05-Mar-14 13:37:21

smile I am obviously yet to face the pain of the teenage years but I have already been known to say "I'd swap all of this in a heartbeat for those early days however sleep deprived I was".

Am guessing I need to start ordering the wine in bulk now for the years ahead wink

beelights Wed 05-Mar-14 13:47:52

Mandy - feel free to contact me in a few years time when I will be happy to dispense gems of wisdom with hindsight lol! However, I may only be contactable poste restante on a Greek Island once the kids have left home...

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