Are My Kids Spoiled Brats? No One Else Thinks So...

Updated on July 05, 2011
K.B. asks from Fullerton, CA
14 answers

At church, at school, my friends, everyone loves my kids. (I think) Tonight is Independance day fireworks, and because of my kids, I am here alone in my room doing laundry, and the kids and hubby are trying to relax after a two hour blow-out with one of the boys.
I took away video games and any computer use. This is my crime. I thought that the last week playing more than 4 hours a day every day was a bit excessive. So I said none on Sunday. Then Sunday night, the behavior was awful, so I said none today. We wake up today, I take them to a fun breakfast, ice cream, and then swimming. Friend over all day. BIG Blowout. Child says we are so mean to him. The reason? Child one got stung by a bee. Child two laughed and hubby and I got mad and told him to be quiet. This started a long rant on the not stung child. Hubby is so mad, he would not take any of us to the fireworks.... I have a mind to never let the kids play ever again. There are a lot of dynamics that I cannot go into here, and I know you don't know us, and it is never simple. I am hating this day. My boys are 12 and 11. I just wanted to vent, and who else but moms would understand? Thanks for listening.

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So What Happened?

Well, I went to bed sad and frustrated, but in the end, the boys were ok and so was I. I really truly thank you for all your comments. I can count on my "virtual friends" to help me out in a pinch. Non-Stung child was flinging comments like, "I wish I were dead, I am going to kill myself and you won't care, I hate my life, I wish I would have never been adopted" I really don't think I flung this kind of crap until I was like 17-18. I know I was bad, too, and I feel this is my mother's curse coming to fruition - LOL!!! I have got an appt for therapy for Non-stung child and I. He is rather manic, and I need help dealing with him. Thanks again. I hope I can pay it forward to help someone else feel better when she is at her lowest, and no one is home to call cuz it's a national holiday! Love you guys!

More Answers



answers from Reno on

Your house sounds like mine and I know my kids aren't spoiled!

All I can say about the electronics is that it's tantamount to giving your kids a stupid pill. Let them play only when you can deal with the stupid. I've proven, time and again, that my 13 year old's behavior and attitude gets progressively worse, the more electronic/tv time he gets. He knows that if he crosses the line from amiable, helpful son to brat of the century, the electronics go bye-bye and he's stuck weeding the back yard for a while! I'm such a mean, old mommy! [eyes rolling]

Another thing I've noticed is that the "funner" your out-on-the-town day is, the more churlish your children are when it's all over. My husband and I treated our sons (13 and 17) to two fun days in a row and they've been awful since we've been home, particularly my 17 year old. Good thing I'm going out to lunch with a friend tomorrow and my boys will be doing far more chores than they realize tomorrow. Otherwise, I'd go batty!

Yay for hubby for nixing the fireworks. I vote for early bedtime, too!

In the end, just keep pounding home the message that your sons will only get electronic time IF they can show they can MANAGE the negative behavior it creates. I've been saying this for the last 10 years. Maybe it will sink in before my boys head off to college. Wait, that's only 1 and 5 years away! I'll keep you posted... <wink>

Hang tough, sister. This too shall pass...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I get your need to vent. Your family has a communication problem. Hubby needs to learn to stay calm and not be passive/aggressive. He is treating you as if you are on the same level as the boys. You need to step up and DETACH - your kids are manipulating you because they know which buttons to push. Not trying to be harsh here....but why should an 11 or 12 years old have control over what events the family attends....When child #2 starts a rant don't get plugged in. Calmly isolate the child and tell them that when they have calmed down and are ready to join the family with a positive attitude, they are welcome to come back. Do not give your kids power over your emotions. Act - not RE-act!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Just a little note that's not completely related to your question but my own experiences that may be a value here. I have discovered that when my son (age 10), who loves video games (all of which are mild and rated E), increases his gaming time he gets very cranky and belligerent. My friend has see this also with her teenage son. Attitude and overall behavior improves tremendously when video games are taken away or minimized. Now, even during summer, my son is only allowed to play video games on weekends and for limited time. I don't know if this may be related for you as I saw a brief comment about you taking away video games and computer time. So I thought I'd share. Smiles! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your kids aren't spoiled. They sound quite normal to me! Hang in there mama! It will get better!!!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Omg, no your kids are NOT spoiled. However, we have taken away ALL video games. My childrens attitudes are a lot better because they now think of other things to do.. like play outside. My kids are 11, 9, and 5. It is so much better without these games. I honestly believe sitting in front of a TV playing mindless video games harms a childs brain.


Omg, no your kids are NOT spoiled. However, we have taken away ALL video games. My childrens attitudes are a lot better because they now think of other things to do.. like play outside. My kids are 11, 9, and 5. It is so much better without these games. I honestly believe sitting in front of a TV playing mindless video games harms a childs brain.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

They sound perfectly normal, I have had to totally take away my sons screen time, due to his behavior at the moment - what I call unthinking behavior, shouting, screaming, picking on his sister, general rudeness. I told him every time I have to tell him more than once not to do something, it adds an extra hour on to him not having his computer back. So far we are at about 36 hours!
My son is 9, and is almost addicted to his gaming, the last couple of days, while I have had to entertain him a lot more, coz now he of course is "bored" have been more pleasant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

This kind of thing is normal and with two boys that old I wonder that you are not used to it by now. I hate to hear that a long rant was didrected towards child #2 for just laughing at his brother getting stung. That punishment in no way fits the crime. Was his reaction nice? No. But sometimes laughing is a way people deal with emotions. He might have even felt sorry for his brother but did not want to show it so laughed-who knows. But ranting on him was excessive IMO.
I suggest you set up parameters of what you expect from your children. Such as 1 hour of video games per day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Our daughters are 9 and 12 and just began the venture into video games this past year. It's a curse and a blessing because it keeps them occupied but they also seem to get bored more easily doing the non-computer things that they used to do so happily. You were right to cut the computer. We've had horrible blowouts over dumb things it will ruin the day. Holidays seem to be the worse. I used to love holidays but my kids are such whiners! My daughters have been so irritating lately and I now know why parents send their kids to boarding school!!! I vote for year around school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have been seeing the laughing when someone else gets hurt thing with my 5 year old son too (as well as other bratty kid behaviors like teasing, bickering and insults). There are consequences and now I am also a "mean mommy." I bet we have a big club! My sister used to make my mom crazy with her "I hate you. You're a mean mommy" rants when we were kids. I try not to get sucked into the drama (hard at times). As another poster mentioned, kids can get so wound up and tired on special occasions it isn't a total surprise when they misbehave (one of mine is a horror when overtired).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Did you think that maybe the laughing from Nonstung Kid was a nervous reaction? Or that maybe {{{gasp}}} the reaction of Stung Kid getting stung might have actually looked funny like when you're watching a slapstick movie?

I think perhaps in the future you should have a behavior chart of expected behaviors and include rewards and discipline for not following through. You need to have more reasonable discipline to fall back on so that you don't create an extreme punishment in the moment out of anger, something that is already established and you can just look to the discipline chart and say, "Hmmm, okay, only ____ hours of video games allowed per week. Once hitting ___ hours, find something else to do." "Inappropriate, mean, or rude responses to a situation will result in one hour spent in the bedroom as if grounded plus one extra chore that day." Or whatever. But as has been said, the punishment should fit the crime.

Obviously you're not going to initiate Thou Shalt NEVER EVER play again! That's just not reasonable. They're children. You still have to teach and guide them. They don't automatically just "know better." You have to teach them to know better.

Your children aren't brats. You're not a bad mom. We're all just getting through each day trying to keep our kids from falling down a well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

rotten kids - they all know how to wreck a good time!!! I agree with SLM - totally normal, but now you feel cheated out of a great time. I say, start planning a little treat for yourself, so you have something to look forward to, and that makes up a little for missing out today.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

They don't sound spoiled. Video games and computers happens to most kids so toning it down is a smart move. Kids always play the mean mommy, even my 2 yr old does it sometimes. I think with the laughing child, that happens, just tell em we don't laugh when people get hurt, it's not funny. He may have been mad at you for tellin him to hush, though that's not that bad lol. Plus they are pushing towards teen years so attitude is a comin haha

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

They are 12 and 11. That says a lot right there. I think that you've hit a tough patch and that you have to partially turn deaf when they go on about how "mean" you are. "You made a choice to misbehave. You lost your video game. Maybe next time you'll think about your behaviors before you lose your games."

That was also around the age where we got my SS into recreational football as an outlet for his aggression. Not that he was a bad kid, but he was starting to take play fights too seriously and just be a big pain in the butt. It really seemed to help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

It all sounds quite normal to me :) You give a kid an inch and they take a mile. If I understand what you are saying the big deal tonight was that the child that was not stung was being mean towards the other child by laughing. Hubby was angry and lectured and naturally at that age the kids will argue back. My daughter is 11 and that girl and I can go rounds!

People always tell me how sweet my kids were and are...most of mine are grown now. You want to know what's terrible??? My oldest 3 girls say very BAD things about their little sister. They treat her bad and act like she's so terrible. She doesn't do or say anything they didn't do. But they insist they were so much better?!? Really? How in the world do these 20 something year old know-it-alls have any clue how they were 10-15 years ago?! Yes there are that many years between my kids LOL.

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