Cornered and need to vent


Active Member
Well, it's summer vacation time...the hardest time of the year for me....this year at least. I'm home with the stepkids, and, of course, there's J. Yesterday I had the boys for only the afternoon because they had spent the night with their gparents the night before. I won't get into the boring details, but the boys spent the entire afternoon arguing, pushing me, pushing each other, yelling, out of control, temper tantrums...ugh...

Today I got cornered by J while I was getting ready. He complained about his girlfriend, about his job, about not having enough money, about how he is always getting traffic tickets from the same officer in the same location, and how none of it is his fault. After an hour of trying to talk him down, I finally threw my gas card at him and told him to go fill his car....UGH!!!

I have a slew of things planned to keep the boys entertained this summer, but I don't know how I'm going to make it through the next three months. I often wonder if I made a mistake of agreeing to stay home with them.


Well-Known Member
Are there any summer programs you can sign them up for? When mine were that age, the parks and recreation department had a day camp M to F. I packed a sack lunch, a fishing pole and some bait, and at 3pm got a tired out kiddo back! Our library had some reading and activity programs so we would stop in for an hour or so once a week and get new books. They also had kids movies we could check out. Our library also had these activity bags to check out. It would have a few books on a subject, maybe a puppet, some puzzles and games all based on a theme. You selected a theme bag and took it home for a week. Another agency had crafts and activities. Churches had vacation bible school. The zoo even had special days and activities. Keep them busy! Go to the swimming pool, our community has a couple free water "parks. Not anything big, but a place to run thru sprinklers, water guns...the stationary kind that puts out blasts of water.

It may seem like lots of work to hunt and sign up for these things, but keeping busy seemed to help them be in a better mood. You could also do a schedule and post it on the fridge... Tv time, reading time, outdoor time, chore time, snack time...maybe one could have TV while the other has reading, so they don't argue which show.

Does your school system have any summer school options? With budget cuts it was the first thing that was cut.

One thing my kids loved was we had a cheap pop up tent, they could pop it open in the family room, have indoor camp outs, or set it up in the back yard for afternoon. Pack them a sack lunch for supper and let them "camp out" til dark.

Now my girls are 18 and almost 16...they don't want to spend anytime with me unless I am taking them shopping or out for fast food. I miss the old days when we had fun together. Ksm


Active Member
Those are all great suggestions, KSM. We have a community pool, which is included in our HOA dues, so we'll be there a lot. I even picked up some pool toys. I've checked out the library and there are different activities SS10's age but they hadn't listed for SS6 age when I last checked. I'm thinking of just bringing both boys to SS10's activities because SS6 has always had to keep up with his brother and does very well at it. We have discount tickets to the local amusement park, so we will do that twice this summer. There is a kids bowl free program that I will be checking into as well. You still have to rent the shoes, but a friend of mine said she picked some up on Amazon for $20 each. We have a dollar theater near us. I am looking at getting a zoo membership. I bought them some study guides to work from and we will be reading 20 minutes per day. The library and Barnes & Noble have summer reading programs and the boys are looking forward to earning the prizes. I also will have some crafts to do, but I still need to get materials. I have the first one ready to go. We will also make cookies and other sweets for the summer.

I wish I could put them in summer camp but they are all very expensive. The YMCA is the least expensive at $175 per week per child and we just cannot afford it.

I like your idea of creating a chart and posting it, and I agree structured time is better. I'll work on that this weekend.

So far they have been better today. They had some tv time, some outdoor time and have read for 20 minutes. Currently they are cleaning SS10's bookshelf.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sounds like you have good plans in place but I understand how difficult it can be. When my son was younger summer was always a double edged sword. husband and I being teachers always looked forward to summer. on the other hand, it also meant being with difficult child full time along with our daughter who is a part-time difficult child. There were summers we both couldn't wait to get back to school! It's better now because both work and will be busy this summer (once school actually ends).


Active Member
I think part of the problem is for most of J's growing up I was a single mom, and always had to work. I am a paralegal and most of my work was done independently. I can be very social, but definitely need my reclusive periods in order to recharge...I think more so than some. J was an only child and is a lot like me. We did quite nicely bumping around the house together, but doing our separate things.

It's not the same now.

We live in chaos, and J has as much of a hard time with it as I do. We're both trying to adjust, but it's difficult.

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
1st a useful suggestion, then an observation.

Our county parks/recreation commission has a lot of summer programs for kids. Most are low cost, a lot are free. They range from single day programs, to week long day camps, to activities that last several hours. They have free family movie nights, hockey camp, tennis camp, wildlife programs. Just a thought to look into.

Now my observation.

Even with people who don't have kids with special needs it seems like in this generation of parents people see the need to entertain or have their children in structured activities at all times. I am wondering what happened to just letting kids go play. In the yard or with toys or riding bikes or whatever and not entertaining them or signing them up for something organized?

People ask me all the time what I am going to do with the kids for the summer. The oldest wants to do a week of hockey camp, and they all have swimming lessons, and we will do a few day trips here and there, but I really have nothing other than that planned.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Roxona, I remember dreading the summertime. What helped me was hiring a mother's helper. You could use a 12 or 13 year old boy to hang out with your 2 and give you a break. I paid less that I would for a sitter because I was still around, either at home or at the pool. But the helper was the one entertaining/occupying the kids. I found that I could focus on things like painting the bathroom without interruptions if I had a helper around. Some of the helpers later became babysitters for me. They definitely saved my sanity and were worth every penny.


Well-Known Member
Pigless, my family did something similar, but without the "pay" part. We had older cousins who lived in the country and for them, getting to be a "city kid" for a couple of weeks was a big perk. These were age 14+, who could definitely take several school-age kids under their control. My parents planned an activity for us almost every day - not all day, but something. Swimming, or a park activity, or a shopping trip or something. They paid for the cousin who was looking after us, too.

OUR idea of a vacation was a couple of weeks in the country...


Active Member
Even with people who don't have kids with special needs it seems like in this generation of parents people see the need to entertain or have their children in structured activities at all times. I am wondering what happened to just letting kids go play. In the yard or with toys or riding bikes or whatever and not entertaining them or signing them up for something organized?

This is so true! When J was little I fed into having him signed up for anything and everything...and after a couple of years, we got completely burned out! We tried one season of soccer with SS10 (where I ended up being the coach because no one else would) and cub scouts for a couple of meetings. I'm not a soccer coach and have vowed to never again even pretend to be one. He didn't do so well in soccer anyway...not a good team player. Cub scouts isn't the same as when J was little. They got rid of most of the badges and incentives, and it just wasn't as much fun. Both boys felt like it was more like school, so we decided it wasn't for us.

For the most part, the boys entertain each other or play with the neighbor kids outside. We will have family game night or family movie night. When I'm not here thought, Dad gives them their iPads immediately, so they will not be on top of him the whole time. I don't like it, but it's one of those battles I let go.

I believe if kids are always entertained and never allowed to become "bored" then they never learn how to entertain themselves or be patient.

What helped me was hiring a mother's helper.

We had older cousins who lived in the country and for them, getting to be a "city kid" for a couple of weeks was a big perk.

The closest we have to anyone who could help out is the boys' cousin. She is 14 and will start high school next year. I wish I could say she would be interested in helping, but she isn't. She has become very acutely aware of her age difference compared to the boys, and spends less and less time with them the older she gets.

This past week has been hectic. I went on a weekend sewing retreat with some friends and came home to the family room floor all ripped apart, so my husband could redo it. He didn't like the way he did it the first time. So far the boys have been good and entertaining themselves while I take care of some business. This evening there is a junior rock and mineral association meeting, and I will take them to that for their outing today.

I want to check out the local community centers to see what they have going on. Busy day data mining. :)