Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

On holiday with 4yo and it’s awful - is this normal??
278

SatelliteFish · 02/08/2022 19:15

On holiday with 4yo DD and it’s awful.

She’s loving the fun bits, but if she’s not eating ice cream, swimming, bouncing on a bouncy castle etc she’s having a meltdown, mis-behaving or moaning. Won’t eat a single meal nicely, won’t go to bed nicely, won’t do anything nicely unless it’s a fun activity.

Epic (and I mean epic) meltdown today because I wouldn’t buy her a lollipop because her behaviour had been terrible. I said no and explained why & stuck to my guns. I do try to be strict and have some discipline but just feel like a failure.

It’s our first holiday abroad (Europe) due to Covid and DH and I are seriously thinking it will be our last. It’s not enjoyable. I’m looking at flights to leave early.

We’ve looked forward to this holiday for literally years, saved up etc and after this week it’s back to work / grindstone for the next year.

Is this normal? What age do holidays with kids get better??

Please no sarcastic comments. I’m sat here on my hard-earned holiday (first In four years) in tears. If you don’t have any supportive words please kindly pass by this thread.

Oh and DD doesn’t have any additional needs as far as we are aware.

She attends a very good pre-school and they speak very highly of her.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Annoyingkidsmusic · 02/08/2022 20:56

SatelliteFish · 02/08/2022 19:25

We’re not trying to go to restaurants - she won’t even eat a piece of toast or sandwich in the villa we are staying in without a drama

She won’t starve. Let her have a lolly, stick her in the kids club and order yourself a cocktail. Usual rules don’t apply on holidays.

Also try & see it from her perspective, first time abroad, out of usual routine & usual weather, lots going on etc. The heat is also probably affecting her appetite. Make sure to rule out a tummy bug/infection about to raise its head- Sod’s law states kids pick up gastro on a much needed holiday.

Please
or
to access all these features

GraceandMolly · 02/08/2022 20:57

I’ve not read other replies, but when on holidays with kids you have to expect less from the holiday and be flexible. You cannot pack 3 different sightseeing activities and water parks in a day, they get overwhelmed. A slow day by the beach playing a few hours in the sand, back to hotel to relax and then another stroll in the afternoon.
It is lovely to travel with kids, but you have to accept it’s different to how it used to be.

Please
or
to access all these features

StickWithYSL · 02/08/2022 20:57

I’ve been desperate for a holiday for years too and I feel your pain. so sorry it’s turned out to be as difficult!

is your villa part of a complex where they have a holiday club? You see so many threads on here about parents who choose to use them and have a break, well, the only places I’ll go on holiday to a road will have a holiday club.

I think they’ll get easier. There’s loads of good advice on here from other posters.

my titbit, having not been brave enough to take both kids away yet, is holiday club. At least she may make friends and that takes some of the pressure off. Holidays are for you too.

Please
or
to access all these features

LadyHelenaJustina · 02/08/2022 20:58

It is hard when they are younger, but it all gets much more fun when they get to about six or seven.

I second the suggestion to take it in turns so that each of you can get some relaxation.

Good luck. I promise you, you will look back on this and smile one day. Probably when she's about 18. Until then, <hugs>

Please
or
to access all these features

Ragwort · 02/08/2022 20:58

I think we are all (adults included) sold this massive spin by the Tourism Industry that expensive holidays are wonderful and we all need them ... but it's taken me until I am over 60 to appreciate this. Grin. I am having a lovely week at home alone ... DH and DS have gone off for a golfing break and I am enjoying just doing ...nothing. Last week I went away (on my own) for four nights by a quiet Welsh beach ... perfect.

Of course there are always families who have a wonderful time, kids enjoying climbing a mountain, exploring the local museums, trying out new cuisine etc etc.

The best family holidays we had were more child focussed ie; Eurocamp with Kids Club, Neilson when our DS was a teenager, Cornish beach holidays with plenty of water activities.

Please
or
to access all these features

DSGR · 02/08/2022 21:02

We’ve taken ours abroad since they were tiny.. even if they are monsters sometimes at least I see a change of scene and get some sun! I’d go with treats as rewards and explaining everything in advance. And some naps/sleeping in the pushchair while you have a nice meal out!

Please
or
to access all these features

Bordesleyhills · 02/08/2022 21:03

Find something 4 year old friendly and let her play with other kids- she could be missing friends/ people her own age. Agree down time, let her relax. Hopefully you can then too. Cut the sugar to a minimum and agree buy lolly for later- don’t leave villa till she’s had something for breakfast even if it’s small.

Please
or
to access all these features

NicLondon1 · 02/08/2022 21:06

It gets MUCH easier from age 6! Almost there!
But yes, holidays with kids aren't really holidays... It is all about them.
This is why we always end up going to an All Inclusive - the buffet is there, unlimited ice cream, choice of pools, kids playground, some have a kids farm on site (Sandos Caracol in Mexico is amazing) and THANK GOD for Kids Clubs.
That's the only time you get to actually relax!
Or take turns with your partner. It is not what it used to be...! I have no idea when we can actually do cultural interesting things like used to 😂

Please
or
to access all these features

Notanotherwindow · 02/08/2022 21:10

I think we were probably about 14 before we made it through a whole family holiday without being smacked and sent to bed early for being ungrateful little shits. And for the most part we soundly deserved it. Pretty sure it's normal for kids out of routine, they grow out of it.

Please
or
to access all these features

mamaduckbone · 02/08/2022 21:13

Bless you - no words of advice really but bags of sympathy. It sounds like she's really overwhelmed and overstimulated. Can you manage a really chilled day so she can rest and get back round a bit?

We always did cheap and cheerful holidays in the U.K. when ours were that age so we hadn't spent a fortune, expectations weren't too high and we could keep things a bit more normal. Camping was a favourite so they could run wild and wear themselves out.

We've just been for a week in Europe with our teenagers and it was fantastic, but I did look at a lot of families with young children and think what hard work it must be.

Please
or
to access all these features

converseandjeans · 02/08/2022 21:14

I would let her stay up later & also not worry about her sitting for dinner.

Can you work out with her a plan for the day so she knows what to expect?

Also some sort of routine - same time getting ice cream, go to pool same time etc so she knows what to expect?

We haven't taken our children on that sort of holiday as it is expensive but I can see why you're disappointed. We tend to go to places like campsites or youth hostels and so there are other children there. Might be worth looking into - Eurocamp type holiday might be easier as there's usually stuff on site.

Please
or
to access all these features

Narwhalelife · 02/08/2022 21:16

Holidays with kids are hard, I take my DD abroad just me and her every year since she was 2. From the ages of 4-9 she was a horror, mainly miserable, unimpressed, bored - all the things you try to avoid by taking them on holiday!! - first holiday in a few years in a couple of weeks and Iv already warned her to not ruin it! But I have to say she seems more excited now (she is 12)

Please
or
to access all these features

LostFrog · 02/08/2022 21:18

there is a brief moment between them being little and being teenagers when holidays are lovely, I think. We always went away with grandparents or with friends who had similar age kids when ours were little, I highly recommend that next time (sorry that’s not much help right now!)

Please
or
to access all these features

justasking111 · 02/08/2022 21:19

We had siesta time. Morning swim, going out, then lunch, then bed time for two hours, then up for more fun and meal out or meal in. Kept them out of the sun between noon and four

Please
or
to access all these features

tempester28 · 02/08/2022 21:20

Holidays with a 4 year old are very hard! enjoy the moments you can - try and get her to sleep early and have a few drinks on your balcony! it will get better in years to come.

Please
or
to access all these features

Tillsforthrills · 02/08/2022 21:22

We used to book hotels with childcare clubs/classes so we knew we’d be guaranteed a couple of hours peace.

Please
or
to access all these features

Tillsforthrills · 02/08/2022 21:22

We used to book hotels with childcare clubs/classes so we knew we’d be guaranteed a couple of hours peace.

Please
or
to access all these features

DaphneSprucesPippasClack · 02/08/2022 21:22

When I was on holiday as a kid my dad used to get up about 5am and take me rock pooling then to get fresh bread. Add lots of swimming. Then I was totally knackered our and went to sleep early

Please
or
to access all these features

Frazzled2207 · 02/08/2022 21:23

Ah no.

well we went recently with 8 and 6 yos having not been abroad for 4 years. I’m pretty sure they were hard work back then. Can’t actually remember.

but anyway this time round it was a lot easier. We did do some trips out but there was a lot of just sitting on the sunbeds while they just faffed around with their inflatables in the pool.

Please
or
to access all these features

Gemma273 · 02/08/2022 21:23

I've not read the comments but my DC's behaviour is always so different when tired. DC will sometimes have times where she is shattered and starts saying "I'm not having dinner tonight and I just play along, acknowledge what she is saying and say "ok that's fine and then just proceed as normal, myself and hubby sit up at table and entice her in, "oh this looks lovely, oh I forgot to put cheese on, I'll just use my fork to twirl this spaghetti" literally talking to thin air and then she will join in, no point getting stressed and if she doesn't eat then she's not going to starve, sometimes she eats less than I would expect but that's simply because she can't be bothered but I class it as a win. Sometimes as well "that's fine, I'll just leave this here incase you get hungry later on" and then go and make yourself busy.

Also find increasing the praise for a tiny thing really helps even if it's been the only good thing she has done that day "that made Mummy really happy, that was kind to do that". Some days when they are being monkeys you are on their back all day - "don't do this, don't do that" and it gets to the point that they just shut off to what you are saying.

Lots of distraction too when you think it is going to kick off, "oh did you see that seagull in the sky or that was a big bus going past there and there was loads of people on it" again talking into thin air and to change the subject.

Do you also have activities to keep her busy?books, puzzles, threading beads, Lego, colouring books. My DC likes to have her mind going at all times and I will often do games/tasks, have done all of these since she's been 2 - "tell me an animal that has a big long neck, tell me an animal that has stripes, tell me an animal that has a trunk". " Do you know a fruit that is yellow? "Do you know a veg that is green?"

Also if she's not in the mood for answering questions/unwell she loves to hear stories about what she used to do as a baby, she thinks it's hilarious.

Sometimes none of this works and I just need to ride the storm but this is rare and usually because she is at the point of no return.
Hope this helps and you enjoy the rest of your hol x

Please
or
to access all these features

WibblyWobblyLane · 02/08/2022 21:24

I think you need to think about which hill you are going to die on, you mention quite a few things in there, like the not eating properly. Dd has just come back from a European country and whilst we were there, would only eat tinned peaches, ice cream or pasta with no sauce. I also found dd needed a nap, probably from the heat and the constant stimulation and swimming etc. She hasn't ever been a napper, but whilst away she had them. It meant bedtime was later, but you have to be a bit more flexible when other elements of the routine are so different too. I think there's so much newness for them, and it is the first holiday abroad. Don't let it ruin your trip.

Please
or
to access all these features

FlickyCrumble · 02/08/2022 21:24

It’s literally the same as being at home. If you go AI you get kids clubs and organised activities and other kids to play with.

Please
or
to access all these features

CakeCrumbs44 · 02/08/2022 21:25

Have more down time - do some colouring, watch TV, read books, rather than being go go go all day long. She's probably tired and overstimulated and doesn't know what's coming next.

Try to stick to routines like meals at usual times, bedtime the same as home and the same bedtime routine as much as possible.

It sounds boring because when you're on holiday you want to have late nights and lie ins and eat ice cream for breakfast etc. But while kids think they love that, the generally thrive on routine as then they know what to expect.

Please
or
to access all these features

CakeCrumbs44 · 02/08/2022 21:26

Surprised by how many people are suggesting kids club, won't that make the child even more tired and overwhelmed? Or is that not a consideration if it's someone else's problem to deal with?

Please
or
to access all these features

Jennybeans401 · 02/08/2022 21:27

Could be overtiredness and overstimulation. Mine went through phases like this when they were young. Give it a bit longer, she may settle down.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?