Gransnet forums


Can I have a rage please?

(98 Posts)
specki4eyes Fri 09-Nov-12 21:39:36

Just been talking to one of my sons on the phone. He has 3 yr old twins - a boy and a girl. They are mini anarchists who, for example, constantly and deliberately defy their parents, refuse to comply with any rules, such as wearing a seat belt in cars and planes, run into the road, scream ghoulishly when thwarted in any way, take delight in removing all their clothes wherever and whenever the fancy takes them. DS & DIL fondly indulge these tactics and smile benignly. But DS always uses our phone conversations to quietly complain about them (always followed by the phrase ''bless him/her/them" to soften!) Usually I say nothing or make sympathetic noises. Tonight I suggested gently that DS & DIL are going to have to adopt a more authoritative approach, otherwise the DGs are going to become totally unmanageable (they are already but I didn't say that). DS immediately jumped up on high horse and said, "WE'RE DEALING WITH IT MUM!" (upper case intended) and will now sulk for days at my daring to offer advice. AIBU to feel aggrieved?

Greatnan Fri 09-Nov-12 21:46:11

Of course what you said was correct, but you were probably unwise to say anything at all that could be construed as a criticism of their parenting skills. I would only comment if my daughters actually asked my advice. The fact that a parent is complaining about their child's behaviour never means they want the listener to agree with them! Not rational, but just human nature.

jO5 Fri 09-Nov-12 21:47:39

You are not being unreasonable.

But they're all the same hmm

He might have taken it on board though.

Ana Fri 09-Nov-12 21:50:13

No, but your DS's reaction was a bit predictable! smile He wanted to offload to you, have a moan without seeming to be unreasonable and to have you reassure him that everything would be all right. He didn't actually want advice, he wants to feel that he's in control. Unless they specifically ask for help and guidance, I think the best thing we can do for our children is bite our tongues and just keep making sympathetic noises!

merlotgran Fri 09-Nov-12 21:55:15

They sound as though they are not managing to deal with it at all, specki. You are in a no win situation but I bet your words have sunk in.

whenim64 Fri 09-Nov-12 22:06:02

As mother to twins, and grandmother to two sets of twins, I would say it's the job of the 3-year olds to be charging around like a herd of wild cats and testing all the boundaries grin Yours is to listen and cluck over all your chicks, and reassure the parents that they'll grow out of it with time and consistent boundaries. Mum and dad need to let out the pressure safely, and my goodness, dashing round after twins is hard work, but fabulous. We were beginning to think my 4 year old grandsons would never slow down, but they've started school and do tow the line for their teachers. Take it all with a pinch of salt. They'll be monosyllabic teenagers before you know it and you'll be wistfully remembering these days smile

jeni Fri 09-Nov-12 22:12:28

I'm not sure which is the worst. Rampaging toddlers, sulky youngsters, monosyllabic teenagers or stroppy adults? They're all impossible!
Why do we have them?

So as we can join GN of course!grin

I know you don't have to be a GP to join but!

whenim64 Fri 09-Nov-12 22:16:22

jeni grin

Notsogrand Fri 09-Nov-12 22:20:01

Made me smile jeni.
I'm not having any more grin

Anne58 Fri 09-Nov-12 22:38:51

Bit of a confession here, until only last week I thought my grandson was the most obnoxious &%!? . In fact, during one somewhat unguarded phone conversation with my son, I heard my self saying "Do you think that there is any particular reason that L is such a little ?!£$&

A mutual friend, who is more my age than my sons admitted that if my DS turned up with the DGS, he (the friend) was almost tempted to hide and pretend to be out!

Fortunately DS does recognise that L's behaviour is not acceptable, and is now attempting to do something about it. The DGS was 4 on Halloween (yes, should have seen that one coming) so hopefully it's not too late.

jeni Fri 09-Nov-12 22:56:19

I'm lucky! My dd is a teacher and WILL NOT TOLERATE unacceptable behaviour.
Both my DC used to comment on what they called my 'SMO' look! (Senior medical officer)
DD has obviously inherited itgrin

Nanadog Fri 09-Nov-12 23:23:37

My DD once had the temerity to ask me not to discipline her child in my own house...this after I'd been looking after him all day free of charge. Her argument was that it was ok for me to discipline him when she wasn't there but the minute she arrived I had to hand over the reins to her. By discipline I mean telling him off eg put that down please or 'no'. She is a bit of a control freak. However I just ignored her and she's given up on that one. I feel that if it's my house he's trying to wreck or misbehaving in then I accept 'corporate patenting'.
So back to your OP speck if your son was complaining to you about his children then he shouldn't take offence. The fact he reacted as he did probably means he's aware things are getting out of hand (refusing to wear sear belt?) and is feeling the strain of trying to deal with the twins.
I'd let the dust settle for a few days. It might be worth complementing them on any strategies they do put into place and reassuring them they are 'good parents' as I'm sure they are in many ways.

Nanadog Fri 09-Nov-12 23:24:52

'Corporate * parenting* ...d**m iPad.

jO5 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:42:15

Yes! that is important. Telling them that they are good parents every so often. Good point Nanadog.

jO5 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:44:52

It'll be a phase phoenix. He'll come out of it when he's about 11. grin

We keep loving 'em though don't we!

flowerfriend Sat 10-Nov-12 08:47:09

No you are not being unreasonable but experience tells me that it's better not to voice your opinion on child-rearing to your DCs even if they ask.

I always thought that twins would be easier than single little ones, once past the baby-stage, but I think not. My twin DGDs unite to make life difficult for their parents and I dread to think of the problems when they are teens.

No doubt your son has already cooled off. They usually do. Who said being a parent gets easier when the kids get older? Certainly not me!

Jendurham Sat 10-Nov-12 08:55:26

Nanadog, I get the opposite, my son's new wife telling her stepdaughters what they can have to eat or drink in my house. I just say "My house, my rules, they can have what they want." and ask them again. She often tells them they can just have water when I've asked them if they want fruit juice, hot chocolate or a smoothie.

JessM Sat 10-Nov-12 09:01:02

I think if they are doing dangerous things then your DS knows, OP, that he has a problem.
Try asking questions in future, like "what strategies are you adopting?"
also empathising is a useful skill "You must be finding this very tiring darling!"
"You sound like you are at your wits end" etc

Nanadog Sat 10-Nov-12 09:18:04

jen I do follow their rules when it comes to food and drink perhaps because I'm pretty strict like that myself.
Asking questions is an old counselling -trick- technique, and works well, especially if you actively listen to what is being said as you are reflecting back what they have just told you. It sort of holds up a mirror so they can see themselves.
Empathy is a wonderful skill too.

Mishap Sat 10-Nov-12 11:01:13

Always difficult - my GS (nearly 10) alternates between being adorable and being the child from hell.

I always find it hard when DD sounds off at me about him and then asks me "What can I do?" - I am never sure whether this is a rhetorical question! I usually assume it is unless there is some direct question like "Do you think I should.....?"

Nanadog Sat 10-Nov-12 11:13:44

How about answering his question with one of your own such as 'what have you already tried that worked?' mishap . I so agree with jessm , asking a sympathetic and interested question draws the speaker out. It a technique worth practising.

ginny Sat 10-Nov-12 11:28:45

There is a big difference in being a normal boisterous child pushing boundries, to being totally disobedient and doing things that are frankly dangerous. It will be a big job to turn things around but it needs to be done.
Whilst I agree it is hard not to give advice unless it is asked for, I certainly wouldn't put up with the behaviour when they were in my home or car.

annodomini Sat 10-Nov-12 11:52:07

When DS2 complains about his DS2 (M is such a littl s.d), I just say, 'Yes, but he's very sweet.' M is 5 in a few weeks and because of his destructive behaviour he and his brother are banned from the laptop - DS has had to insure it against him. And he is quite sweet; like his father, he has the trick of making us laugh when he is in deep trouble and DS has grown up to be a lovely adult.

Mishap Sat 10-Nov-12 12:02:44

I think my DD knows exactly what she should be doing, but does not do it because she wants to be his friend to compensate for being at work so much. She needs to have the courage to be his parent and risk his reaction. She knows this, but finds it very hard to do.

specki4eyes Sat 10-Nov-12 16:25:03

Oh heck! I think I did it wrong then..I agree with all of you and profoundly wish I had the diplomatic skills to make those more helpful comments such as 'what strategies have you tried so far?' The problem is DS may then respond with something and would then tell me it hadn't worked, so I would be back in the same position of feeling obliged to offer a suggestion! I will try those in future though - I have seen the light!
An equally clever friend advised me to respond to my granddaughter's perennial question when I visit - "what have you brought me Granny?" with "I have brought you all my love darling". I took her advice and received a huge loving hug from my beloved granddaughter in return!