My kids – the fox, the chicken and the grain

We were invited to a neighbour’s for coffee and mince pies the other day. She told us her (young adult) sons wouldn’t be there and it would be ‘boring for the children’. I think that was her way of saying she didn’t want us to take the kids. But, embarrassingly, we had to take my daughter.

Why embarrassingly?

Because she’s 10 and she has a 15 year old brother who should be perfectly capable of looking after her. But I can’t trust them together.

My eldest thinks he’s ready to be a babysitter for other people’s kids. Yet he can’t even be trusted with his own sister. It’s ridiculous that at the age they are, they can’t be left alone (I will leave them for the duration of a 4 mile run, but no longer!). At this age, we should actually be able to go out to the cinema in the evening and not need a babysitter. But we can’t even go round to a neighbour for coffee and mince pies.

My eldest endlessly taunts her and teases her. Sometimes he upsets her and makes her cry, sometimes he just makes her really angry and she fights back. It rarely gets physical at least, although there are times when she will lash out at him.

You may wonder where my younger son comes into this? He is, on the whole, an innocent bystander. He will occasionally get angry with his brother and occasionally tease his sister, but most of the time he’s pretty trustworthy and reliable.

So I can leave the two boys home alone together (and have done for short periods since they were 9 and 11).

I can leave my younger son and my daughter home alone together.

But I can’t leave my eldest and my daughter home alone together, or all three of them on their own.

I was explaining this ridiculous and pathetic situation to my friend, who has just one 8 year old daughter. Anything involving boys, teenagers or multiple children is a mystery to her. But she saw what I was dealing with pretty clearly.

‘So are your kids like the fox, the chicken and the grain?’

YES! That’s exactly what they’re like. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Anyone else unable to leave their teenagers with younger children, or is it just me?

Fox, Chicken, Kids, Parenting, Teenagers


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. That is a brilliant analogy I love it! We have it here too. My 11 and 12 year old sons are best of friends one minute and worst enemies the next. One is lovely to their sister and the other is vile. It is a constant nightmare.

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    • It’s so tiring, isn’t it? My boys used to be close, but they’re not as close as they used to be. I hope they can all be friends one day!

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  2. I wouldn’t trust my two together….My eldest is 14 and my youngest 9. They just wind each other up. It’s so frustrating….
    That a great analogy. hehehe

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    • I feel your pain, although I’m kind of pleased you can’t leave yours together too! I did wonder if girls might be better with siblings, but maybe not!

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  3. Yes. Our chicken is the middle one. I have an older fox, and two bags of grain. Mind you, the bags of grain have been known to have a punch up between themselves, but at least that’s one fight that’s evenly matched.

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  4. Oh it’s the fact that they’re siblings. If they were unrelated they’d be fine, but they seem to think it’s ok to treat their own flesh and blood in a way they would never treat another person. At 9 and 12, I can leave mine for a few minutes, as long as they are both busy in separate rooms, or have the TV on (though even then, they will eventually start to fight over which cushion they want). Frustrating, isn’t it?

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  5. Exactly the same here. The teens just seem to completely hate each other lately. Once we left Harry asleep in bed and Jack (he was 4 months old) downstairs with the two teens while we went to the shop (around 7 minutes) and when we got back he was screaming because he got kicked in the head because they were fighting near him! So annoying! X

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  6. What a great analogy. The boys have been driving me nuts recently with their squabbling. It’s been crazy xx

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