The Dark Side of our Summer & my Parenting Struggles

We have had a fantastic time this summer, making lots of memories and exploring new places.  Our first visit to Camp Bestival was certainly memorable.  I don’t think you have truly experienced a festival until you have been challenged by the mud and the rain with two small children in tow.  Otter spotting in Dartmoor was so much fun, and the wonderful hotels we stayed in and fine dining we enjoyed certainly lifted our spirits after camping.  Exploring Bath with my daughter was also a lovely experience that we both enjoyed.

It’s these moments with my family that have really made a difference this summer, as I’m sure any parent will agree, the summer holidays definitely present us with some challenges.  Keeping my daughters entertained when we are at home is certainly a challenge, and preventing major fall outs and fights is something else entirely.  There have definitely been some dark moments in our house, as well as all the fantastic memories we’ve made.

girls looking at donkey

The Impact of Glue Ear on their Relationship

You’ll have heard me describe the girls as feisty before now, and they are also pretty close in age.  Brook is 3 and Indie is 5.  They both have very strong personalities and they certainly know how to make a point.  A lot of the frustration between them stems from our youngest daughter having glue ear.  It means that she becomes frustrated when she can’t easily tell you what she wants, or we’re not understanding what she’s saying.  Indie doesn’t always make allowances for her younger sister when it comes to her hearing and speech and it’s caused some issues in their relationship.

When Indie and I came home from our road trip, the girls had been apart for about a week.  When they came back together again, it was like they had a week’s worth of fighting to catch up on.  It was horrible.  As a parent I hate to see my children fight.  I struggle to know where it comes from as it’s certainly not behaviour they have seen in the home or that we expose them to in anyway.  I guess it’s just them reacting to how they feel in that moment, and because of their age, it’s less than sophisticated.

The Dark Side of our Summer & my Parenting Struggles

The Problem with Sisters

They want to be together, but on their own terms.  They haven’t learnt yet that sometimes having some personal space will help them to get along better.  We have a house full of toys, but they always want to play with the same thing, at the same time.  This often ends in tears, often mine!

I totally confess to not being the best at dealing with the children’s fighting when it happens.  I’m often trying to plough through a long list of household chores, and the next thing I know I can hear screams and shouting.  I often walk into Brook having a handful of Indie’s hair in her hand (she thinks this is her best move) and arms and legs flying everywhere.

Tackling Sibling Fighting

I start with trying to reason with them.  I’m not even sure why I bother to be honest, because as soon as my back is turned their violent clashes are quickly resumed.  I start talking about removing toys and using the time out step.  I’m starting to think the time out step is a pointless exercise as the only way they will stay on it is if I hold them there.  It’s definitely something I’m not comfortable with, and I’m not sure it’s achieving anything.  The problem with these girls is they often just want attention, and they really don’t care what kind of attention it is.  They will take negative or positive, whatever is going really.

Whilst all my attempts to encourage good behaviour from the girls are failing, my stress levels are rising.  Any calm approach I had quickly goes out of the window as I feel myself losing control of the situation.  The girls behaviour is not improving either in the moment, or any time soon.  I’m at a loss with what to do next, and I just feel broken.  It’s probably the first of many times I will be in tears that day and I hate the feeling of being a failed parent.  It just sucks.  I try and be the adult and hold onto my emotions, but I feel pushed to the absolute brink and I literally break.  Do you ever have days when you feel like that?

kids looking grumpy in restaurant

We have some fantastic times together as a family, but equally as much we face some challenges too.  The kids and I went to The Belfry Hotel & Resort for a mini break.  My eldest son joined us for a change while Daddy stayed at home.  My son is usually really calm with the girls, no matter what they throw at him.  Bedtime was literally hell as the girls were bouncing off the walls with excitement from the day they had had.  We just had to let them run out of steam and let them sleep where they dropped because they were beyond listening to us.  Thank goodness teen was there to help as I fear I’d have been reduced to tears that night too.

I’ve been very conscious that I’ve been sharing lots of the happy memories we have made this summer and those moments have been amazing.  It’s been those holidays and days out that have got me through some of the more challenging times.  I’m still working on my strategy to tackle the girls behaviour when they fall out with each other.  Dwelling on those moments that haven’t gone so well for us probably isn’t going to help, but it certainly does feel better to get it off my chest.  I’m not a perfect parent, and as I write this, my biggest takeaway is to stop worrying about the failed moments I have had.  It will be more useful for me to focus on what I have learnt about the girls behaviour and think about how I can use that for working out new strategies to help me deal with the situation.

If you have any tips or advice, please feel free to share them in the comments below, as I feel my sanity and I need all the help I can get at the moment!

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5 Comments

  1. Leila Benhamida
    August 23, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    I have 2 children and I know as it feels. It’s quite challenging at time. Grest post.

  2. Ashleigh Allan
    August 26, 2017 / 7:42 pm

    Parenting is definately a challenge at times. Not sure I have much tips !

  3. Samantha O'D
    August 28, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    My kids are always fighting, i have an 11 year old with an attitude problem, a 5 year old who wants to be the baby and a 2 year old that will sink the teeth in if she doesn’t get her own way. I have no tips, i need them!

  4. Margaret gallagher
    August 30, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Parenting has its ups and downs
    Main thing is to focus on the good

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