Losing control

Things have been sliding a bit in our house lately. I’ve lost my grip on a few basic things I was always good at keeping on top of. Needless to say, the school holidays have made it a lot worse. And having a husband who doesn’t get involved in policing these things (and isn’t around much anyway) doesn’t help.

I’ve lost my grip on homework – although at least that’s not relevant right now. With so many after school activities, it can be very difficult to fit homework in. My daughter normally snatches a few pages of her reading book before her Monday dance class and that’s all until Friday (when we have NO activities). I tell the kids they should do homework when they’re with Grandma and Grandpa on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but of course they don’t.

My daughter and younger son are at least self-starters and I will sometimes find them on Mathletics – an online maths programme their school is signed up to – or my son doing his work for his tutor But my eldest? Forget it! He claims to enjoy the violin, but I can’t even get him to do that. He also claims he doesn’t have any homework, but I seriously doubt it.

Then we get to the weekend and there’s football… I can usually get my daughter to do a bit, but the boys? No chance.

I used to love reading the kids bedtime stories That started to slip a whole year ago and now it just doesn’t happen at all. I’ve read to my daughter maybe twice in the last month. The good thing is, she’s started reading to herself in bed and has just finished Matilda – her first full chapter book. She’s now reading Jeremy Strong’s My Granny’s Great Escape and I’ve seen her dipping into a Horrid Henry too.

You could argue that my boys are too old for bedtime stories (to be honest, I don’t think anybody ever read me a bedtime story, least of all when I was 9 or 12). But my eldest had a bedtime story until he was 11 and his brother is only 9. I think he should still have a story at least a few nights of the week.

And with the loss of the bedtime story has gone the loss of bedtime. Bedtime was already a major issue – with my eldest thinking he was too old for bed at 8.30 or 9 – or even 9.30. My personal view is that he should be going to bed between 9 and 9.30 on a school night. But that just isn’t cool. And as he shares a room with his brother, that means they are both going to bed at 10. Some nights I will find them still awake at 10.45.

As it’s the summer holidays, my husband said the boys could have a 10pm bedtime. Although they have to be ready for bed and in their room reading at 9.30. My daughter could have a 9pm bedtime. Her bedtime was already drifting dangerously close to 9pm, so that’s obviously become get into bed at 9.10, then read until 9.20. Not ideal for a 7 year old.

And I’m trying to get them to bed early, I’m really trying! But they’re resisting me every step of the way. I know it ‘doesn’t matter’ in the school holidays, but I’m not sure I will manage to get them back into good habits when they go back to school.

The final thing I’ve lost control of is eating fruit. My kids are ridiculously fussy eaters so it’s an effort to get them to eat their five a day. To be honest, if we achieve three a day, that’s as good as it gets. But to achieve three a day means eating some fruit in the afternoon before tea. We don’t have fruit for pudding, or even between main course and pudding, because the kids would simply claim to be not hungry and refuse to eat it. So I give it to them when they are hungry and I stand a vague chance of them eating it. Although in my daughter’s case she often has to bring it to the table with her at teatime and still ends up eating it after tea and having pudding at 7pm (after a 5pm meal, she is THAT slow and fussy).

But because it’s the summer and the kids are playing out more, it keeps getting to teatime and I realise they haven’t had any fruit. There’s no reason why I can’t take it out to them when they’re playing – or why they couldn’t come in and help themselves to it, but it just doesn’t happen.

Is it normal to lose control of your kids when they get to this age? Should I be being tougher on them and regaining control? Or should I ease up and let them make their own decisions?

Oh, and when I told my husband I was losing control of them, he blamed my blogging. Whoops! I don’t THINK he’s right. At least, I really hope he’s not.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I think it’s part and parcel of the summer holidays. My sis in law was saying the exact same thing about her teens and pre teen yesterday and saying she’s spent this week trying to get them back into a routine. I don’t think blogging should be blamed for anything! 😉 ever!!

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  2. I can’t comment from personal experience as my kids are so much younger but it sounds normal to me. I don’t think I was ever read to from the age of about 10, other than at Christmas when my mum would read us a chapter of A Christmas Carol a night.

    You’ll get back into the swing of things once they’re back at school I’m sure!

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  3. I think blaming your blog is a bit harsh. How are they finding the mathletics? I can’t get mine into it 🙁

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  4. Thanks very much, everyone.
    Reassuring to know others are going through this, Tas. Glad to hear both you and PinkOddy think blogging shouldn’t be blamed!
    I think it’s normal too, Jess. Normal as in how I grew up – I think parents these days maybe try to do more for and with their kids than parents of my parents’ generation did. Although my parents were stricter and we certainly went to bed a lot earlier!
    My kids love Mathletics, PinkOdddy. It really suits both of them, they go on it a fair bit – even in the holidays! They like the competitive element – the more they do, the more they want to do.

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  5. my boys are only little with oldest being 5. but the holidays are tough. out of routine and often grumpy children.
    bedtime routine is still there but over the hols they sleep in the same bed and 5yo reads for hours if we let him.
    homework and reading books from school i really struggle with and oldest has just finished reception! :-\ never have time.
    hubby hates that i insist on bedtimes. so when mine are your children’s ages no doubt i will be in a similar boat.

    found via #pocolo

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  6. I am an always in control Mom but my kids did just what they wanted to do during these hols!Which meant sleeping at 12 midnight n getting up 11 am the newxt day.But school reopened last week and they slid easily into their routine including bedtime at 9.30 pm!So dont worry!Follow me on http://www.kenyankronikals.blogspot.com

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  7. Its the summer, no routine. Once school starts it will all come back to normal

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  8. I think every one loses a little control in the Summer Break. I know exactly how you are feeling!

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  9. Things have been chaotic in our house over the summer! My 7yo and 4yo have maths and reading homework for every day of the summer, logs and journals… It’s been a nightmare, and we are sooo behind! My 7yo now reads a few chapters (or more!) of his own books at bedtime, so we only read at bedtime together every few days now, a little sad about that. I think that everything you describe is perfectly normal, and I can already see some of the changes myself. But don’t give yourself a hard time over the summer!!

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  10. I have nothing to go on from my own children about what happens when they get to that age. I do recall things being a bit more lazy in our house over the summer when I was those ages though. I do think you are being really hard on yourself though! Sometimes on a bad day/week/month I stick with – If they are alive and happy I’m doing okay – it’s not the perfect mantra but it just might help. xx

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  11. I so know this feeling i too have lost control of almost everything!! sending hugs x

    Thanks for linking up with #PoCoLo x

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  12. Things have gone the same way in our house….I’m blaming the school holidays!

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  13. I don’t know what day it is with the holidays, I’m blaming the holidays like Kim 🙂 Smoothies are great for getting the kids to eat al there fruit up? my oldest sons love making these and fruit cocktail to share…

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  14. Thanks very much, everyone! Glad to know things slipping a bit in school holidays is normal.
    Sara – I can’t believe your kids have all that work to do in the holidays! Aren’t they allowed a little break?!
    Smoothies sound great, Claire! Unfortunately my kids will only eat two types of fruit each – and none of them will eat berries, not even strawberries 🙁
    Alive and happy is definitely a good place to start, Gin! I like that 🙂

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  15. I don’t think you’ve lost control at all – I think you’re simply trying to do everything for your 3 kids and quite frankly, I don’t know how you do it. Once school starts, they’ll get tired more easily and go to bed and the fact that you’re managing 3 a day is fab! You’re doing a great job – I struggle with just one kid xx

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  16. I could have wrote this – except the fruit bit, my boys eat for england and so will empty my fruit bowl daily – but reading before bed, and bedtimes and homework – I’m right there (and shhh but I think your husband has a point )

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  17. Thanks very much, Sarah, glad it’s not just me. Although wish my kids would eat more fruit! I guess my husband may have a slight point, although I don’t blog at these key points in the day when important things like bedtime need dealing with.

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