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Kids ruined my / our Sunday together

38 replies

gnomeathome · 24/11/2019 15:07

Sitting here in a grump.
Its my first Sunday off in 3 weeks (I work weekends in a 45 hour week) and was looking forward to taking the 3 kids out for the day. We planned to go to an exhibition we had all been looking forward to in London. It comes to leaving and I ask DC1 (13) 'have you got your travelcard'. No. So I ask DC 2, 'where is yours' DC2 (12) also doesnt know where his is. All 3 kids start arguing over who had/saw them last. One pushes the other , bickering continues etc etc. After their half arsed attempt at searching for them I said 'Right that's it, take your coats off, we are not going'.
(In theory we could go and I was tempted but I am refusing to pay £10 each for them to get into central London, but also feel sad about this non family time now and the tension I/they have created)
So after some vigorous leaf blowing and shredding( It works as an anger management tool!) I am huffing around the house as I really wanted to go out today and was looking forward to it. We won't get to see said exhibition now as it finishes soon and this was our only chance.
I am really peed off and have told them so, taken their phones off 2 of them and told them all to sort their own lunch out, I am on strike!
Also , not long ago, they finally made their own lunch, I said make sure you clean up. Just walked into a kitchen sink full of plates and frying pans. I would have hoped my upset mood might of have some effect. Clearly not. How do you manage ungrateful kids? Taking liberties away doesn't seem to work. (They don't have lots of stuff to take away as we don't have much money, so no consoles or their own computers). sigh. Just needed to vent!

OP posts:

ssd · 24/11/2019 16:47

The hardest bit to all of this is accepting you work all week and look forward to family time but family time is really the last thing teens want.

Brutal but true.


BlackSwanGreen · 24/11/2019 16:50

They didn't behave really badly OP - I was expecting a lot worse from your title! Just a bit silly / thoughtless / disorganised. I think you overreacted too.


MitziK · 24/11/2019 16:51

@MrsTerryPratchett whatever gave you the idea there was anything 'gleeful' about that? If they have to get up earlier and walk in the cold and rain, it's a direct consequence of them refusing to take responsibility for their own actions/inaction. Just like losing their homework because they couldn't be arsed to pick up after themselves would be.

A 12 and 13 year old aren't toddlers who need to be looked after and mollycoddled all the time. They lost the things, they decided to fight and throw blame around amongst themselves, rather than run off and check their pockets/bedroom floor. They missed out on a trip, they end up walking to school if they can't find them.

No 'glee'. Just matter of fact - it would be their fault and they don't deserve any sympathy for it.


Redcliff · 24/11/2019 16:53

Assuming I could afford it I would have paid the £10. My 12 yo never knows where his travel card is.


MrsTerryPratchett · 24/11/2019 16:56

Sulking isn't going to teach children to do chores. It's also quite manipulative.

Guilt is interesting. It is effective when it's internal and in small doses. So I feel bad about something, because of my own values, I want to make it right. When it's imposed from outside by, for example, a parent's disappointment, it becomes toxic. It also makes children defensive and avoidant.

What we want to do is install an internal locus. So when a child has done something less than stellar, particularly in the case it's accidental or unthinking, what we want them to do is look for a solution SO THAT THEY FEEL GOOD. That's important. They spill a drink, they forget their travel cards, they do something we don't want. If we encourage them to think of a way of fixing it (they clean up, they find their travel cards, they think of a solution), you can then say, "that was great, thanks". They feel good. Next time they look for a solution themselves.

Growing adults. Not controlling children.


MrsTerryPratchett · 24/11/2019 16:59

And "serves them right" is gleeful. It's enjoying their pain, however slight.

There are many other phrases you could have used that are less childish and unpleasant. You chose that one. At least own it.


PixieDustt · 24/11/2019 17:05

If you don't strap something to a teenager guarantee they will loose it or forget where it is.
Kids argue, your reaction was OTT.


Grannybags · 24/11/2019 17:06

What lesson do you want them to learn from this? DC of this age won’t know automatically how to put things right - maybe now you have calmed down you could talk to them about the importance of organising their belongings and taking care of their stuff. Then have a nice tea together.


diddl · 24/11/2019 17:08

Well idk tbh.

They started arguing there & then, passing the blame I think I might have thought "ffs, what's the point?".

Perhaps you can supervise them sorting the kitchen out/help if you want.

Shame they couldn't have gone to friend's so that you could still have gone!


Rockbird · 24/11/2019 17:13

Can also see how you got to this point. Sometimes they are just so exasperating that even nice things become too much effort. Even more so when your free time is limited. I would have gone on my own tbh!


CherryPavlova · 24/11/2019 17:30

You sound incredibly spoilt and unbending in your attitude towards your children. Are you always so gleefully smug about their failings? Children lose things. Children cooking makes a mess.

Maybe next time check the day before that you have travel tickets etc.
Maybe an exhibition wasn’t their thing- were they involved in choosing?


gnomeathome · 24/11/2019 20:51

Thanks @MurrayTheMonk - was just looking for some support for dealing with teens @MrsTerryPratchett - thanks for your words - there are a few lessons in there I understand. I get it.
I don't think I was too harsh taking their phones off them. This was done when 20 mins after they were supposedly 'looking' for their travelcards that I found them on their phones. Thinking back, they were reminded the night before if they had them (one even admitted it eventually) and answered back with 'yeahhh'. Admittedly I should of asked them if yeahhh meant yes they had them and knew where they were. Another lesson learned right there.
I think I struggle with the fine line between teaching v's facing the consequences. Esp when they have been shown or taught or told sooooo many times.
@CherryPavlova - Wow!.....that is very judgemental of me and the situation from one post. There was nothing gleeful about the situation, quite the opposite. To answer you question - yup, out of a few choices they chose it themselves for our day out.
Anyway, tomorrow is another day.

OP posts:

MitziK · 25/11/2019 17:43

@MrsTerryPratchett You're being ridiculous.

I don't think 'Oh, Goody, I've ruined your plans of strolling offsite and hanging round the shopping centre with your mates before rolling home two hours late'. I just think 'You haven't handed your homework in. So you get a detention'.

They get a detention for being repeatedly late. Don't be late, then. Lost your bus pass? Oh, well, if you'd have looked after it properly, you wouldn't have had to walk and would have got in on time'.

Got a bit wet because they dumped their coat somewhere during a game of football and couldn't be arsed to go back and get it? Well, you know how to avoid getting wet next time.

Quite frankly, I don't care enough to feel any glee - I save my caring for kids who are ill, whether physically or mentally, the ones who get repeatedly rushed into hospital at a moment's notice in excruciating pain that will never, ever stop happening to them, that have to be cut about repeatedly and given cytotoxic medication and radiotherapy so they don't die, for the ones who are neglected and abused, who have been forced to secretly work shifts in warehouses or care homes to help pay the bills, who are being bullied or go home to empty houses, make their own food and that of younger siblings, do all the housework, do their homework, go to sleep and get up in the morning all by themselves because the only way Mum/Dad can keep a roof over their heads is to work nights in the hospital.

Secondary school kids who have a safe home, a Mum who works but is keen to give them opportunities and experiences on her rare days off, but who won't take responsibility for their own belongings, right up to squabbling amongst themselves to blame anybody else rather than look for them - and then twat about on their phones rather than doing it - don't get any 'aww, poor baby, bad Mummy for making you understand there are consequences'. I just don't care how put upon they might feel - and yes, it would serve them right if they had further consequences such as having to walk to school as a result of their appalling behaviour and attitudes towards their Mum and their property.

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