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Tricks for controlling temper in the moment - Page 2

post #21 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
This is a lame thing, but it sometimes works for me. I pretend that someone is watching me or I'm on a camera or something.
YES! I totally forgot about this! Thanks for the reminder!

And I am adding When Your Kids Push Your Buttons and What You Can Do About It by Bonnie Harris to my wish list on amazon now...
post #22 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
This is a lame thing, but it sometimes works for me. I pretend that someone is watching me or I'm on a camera or something.
Not lame! Wonderful!

Sometimes I sort of pretend I'm taking care of someone else's child, and they'd be upset if I yelled.
post #23 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
I pretend that someone is watching me or I'm on a camera or something.
I had this same thought today! We had a couple of guys working on the house, but my son was driving me INSANE. I managed to stay calm and quiet most of the day, thinking that I didn't want them to hear me being mean or hear my son crying. I realized that I should act like I have an audience all the time.

It didn't work after they left though.
post #24 of 114
I too have done the "pretend others are watching" thing.

Another book: When Anger Hurts Your Kids by McKay et al.
post #25 of 114
I like the visualizations, too. Validating my anger, planning what I want to do, and then going "OMG, I'm going to do that to my DS??" really helps me diffuse.

Also, and I'm going to sound SO vain, but what I've done is get LOTS of mirrors (started out for a totally unrelated reason). Put them around the house, and when I get angry, I look at myself in the mirror. We are UGLY when we're angry and about to blow. Oftentimes, just seeing myself at my ugliest will diffuse my hot head.
post #26 of 114
I am so glad that I found this thread! I have a temper and I HATE it .

I have been able to reign it in-but ugh I am a yeller . I find it worse while in a stressful moment and someone decides to be disagreeable, difficult. Thinking back to those moments when I really lost it really have me thinking, really, seriously-I acted like that/did that? I so don't want to be this type of mother. I always wonder how others do it and remain calm. And of course when I hear about another mother who is the same way, it makes me feel a little bit less crazy.

Anyone have any tips on how to handle the DH's? He so knows how to push my buttons and then remains calm as can be while I go over the edge-all the while looking/acting like I am crazy.
post #27 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
Ugh. Just tonight I allowed myself to acknowledge the deepness of my anger. I really have a temper. And I never really knew it before.

Counting to 10 and leaving the room are bad choices for me. I just get more riled up thinking about it all. I come back 10 times more mad.

This is a lame thing, but it sometimes works for me. I pretend that someone is watching me or I'm on a camera or something. This week we've been in a hotel and I know that I can't yell because the adjoining rooms (which house colleagues of my husband) will hear us. It's been good. When DS or I is getting into it I just say "you need to run up and down the hallway twice", or "we need to go take a walk around the hotel together". That said, one of my worst parenting moments was in front of a whole playgroup of moms/kids and it's the only time I've popped my guy on the bottom ever --

I've used this "being observed" trick in other areas too. Like if I need to concentrate on driving I pretend that I am in drivers ed with an instructor there. Or if I'm cooking I make it more fun by pretending that I'm on a cooking show .

I think I need the list of reminders around too. My son will almost always do something if I pretend he's someone else -- i.e. I will say "Hey baby squirrel, can you put on your shoes?" then he will do it, but he won't if I say "Hey DS, can you put on your shoes?". Weird, eh? But sometimes I forget that baby squirrel is a good listener even when my son can't be
I so needed to find this thread today. I've really been struggling with my anger, my dad had a big temper and hit out of anger, and I'm now starting to acknowledge that I have that tendency too. I'm getting a lot of useful tips from everyone. My problem is to remember them in the moment! I would put post-it's up, but I think DP will think I've gone mad.

I think the 'being observed' thing might work for me too - yesterday I actually WAS observed when I was changing DS's nappy and he was fighting it to the hilt, really a huge tantrum, and I was getting annoyed with him and being rougher than strictly necessary. A friend was coming round and I didn't realise she'd been at my door for several minutes and I'd not heard her knock. When I did, she said she'd peered in the window and saw what was going on. She said 'Are you OK?' I felt very ashamed. I don't know this woman very well. It was just the kind of thing I needed though, to remind me just how unacceptable my tendencies and temptations are.. I also like the suggestion of reflecting on how one felt as a child, with a violent/abusive/angry parent, and how frightening and destructive it was, to give me motivation to NOT do this to DS. It's so hard though.
post #28 of 114
Thanks for starting this thread. I have no tips yet - but I'm definitely one who struggles. DS#1 is highly explosive and every behavioural outburst seems to push my buttons. I thought I had dealt with my anger issues but since my children were born, I realize that was a delusion on my part. I hope to have some good advice to offer in time.
post #29 of 114
Ugh. I'm a yeller. I have a temper. And I didn't inherit it, I've just always been this way.

So many of these things don't work for me. DD1 (33 months) has always pushed my buttons. We butt heads daily. She does not listen to things I say until I yell, sometimes. DH says she was put on this earth to push my buttons.

Sometimes I ask her "Would you behave like this for Daddy?" And she'll smile and say no. So I'll ask her to treat me like I'm Daddy. This seems to work, so long as I can keep my cool, like DH always can. Very little she does phases him.

I hate feeling like others are watching or can hear us (And we're in a condo, so I know others can hear us). It doesn't help me to be a calmer parent. Not sure why. I think in part because guilt is not a motivator for me.

What helps is for us to get out of each other's space, together. If that makes any sense. We'll be having a difficult day, or I can sense one brewing, and I make the executive decision to get the heck out of the house. She is a social butterfly and she loves the stimulation of being out. So we go out.

Other times, I think "What difference does it make if I go to her or she comes to me?" Because that's one thing that seems to get my goat daily, she doesn't listen when I say "Come here." "Come here so I can comb your hair." "Come here and talk to me about XYZ." It's not that she's unwilling to do these things, she doesn't get why it has to be on MY terms, in my arbitrary location. And it is arbitrary. 99% of the time, it's no big deal for me to go to her instead of vice-versa. I want her hair combed now, so I need to go to her to do it.

I get that she's 2.5 and testing boundaries. I just wish once she found my limit, she'd stop pushing so hard. I feel like everytime I try to do something fun for her, like story time at the library, she "ruins" it. She won't sit down, she won't leave the other little kids alone, she has huge fit when it's time to go or heaven-forbid some other child dares to so much as touch the Clifford the Big Red Dog doll. No matter what I say, how I say it, how much I discuss things before hand, or praise her afterwards on good days, etc. So it makes me not want to take her. But then we're cooped up at home and I certainly know that's no good for her/us either.

She's always been an intense child. It's the defiance that's really getting to me right now.
post #30 of 114
Great ideas in here. I'm prone to yelling and grew up with yell-y parents. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from yelling, but I can manage to yell crazy nonsense stuff and start jumping around and waving my arms, and then get the girls involved jumping around and acting like crazy people, and we end up laughing, totally defusing the moment.

Sometimes.
post #31 of 114
There's a great tool in 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families (I know, I know, but the book really has some good stuff in it).

Essentially, the author says that the ability to pause between a stimulus and response is what separates us from animals. Visualizing that pause button works for me sometimes. You CAN pause after a stimulus (tantrum, screaming, defiance, etc) to decide what your response will be.
post #32 of 114
So I've been reading When Anger Hurts Your Kids by McKay (et al). It is basically cognitive behavioural therapy -- examining our beliefs and assumption, how we magnify our thoughts and label. For example, my child keeps crying and tantruming when I say no to something. Belief/assumption: "She's doing this to test boundaries... AGAIN! She ALWAYS does this! It's so annoying!" Magnification: "I can't take this!!!!" Labelling: "She's so uncooperative!!!"

There's a brief 3 or 4 page section on age appropriate behaviours, and developmental norms based on age. Then comes the reality check (for example): "My four year old is just trying to get what she wants. This is human. She doesn't know how to cope with disappointment yet, she's only 4. She will learn. It's annoying but I can handle it. I'm the grown up here. How can I gain her cooperation/redirect her/give her what she needs?"

Similar to Steps To Effective Parenting, there is a section that talks about how a child "misbehaves" when she/he doesn't feel like they fit into the family in a productive way. I'm not sure I'm explaining it right. But I'll keep trying... a child needs to feel like they belong and are worthy by fitting in through cooperation and contribution of their skills and attributes. So they may use revenge or power plays or something to get attention and feel important. We should encourage them to feel important through cooperation and encourage them to develop skills to do things themselves that they're capable of. This develops self-esteem.

I'm learning so much here. This is some stuff I've read before but I feel like I'm ripe...

Another excellent resource Mamas, from my pdoc: http://www.circleofsecurity.org/
"The Circle of Security® is an innovative intervention program designed to alter the developmental pathway of parents and their young children." Click in, go to the Resource section at the top of the page and check out the downloads. You can print out some stuff, and post them around you as reminders (: like I have done ). Based on attachment theory. Very lovely.

Thinking of you Mamas today!!! We had a rough few days but today was much better. You have to try, try again. Pick yourself off, dust off and keep going.
post #33 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
I read somewhere about it being ok to express anger, just not towards the child. And for me that's a good starting point. Wherever I read this said if you feel angry, go into another room and stomp your foot. OK for the kid to see you being angry because you are working it out and not taking it out on someone.
My mom used to do this, but she would end up breaking something. I think the kids see this. Plus, slamming may seem like an anger release but I wish there was a way I could handle the anger, or better yet, not feel it in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
This is a lame thing, but it sometimes works for me. I pretend that someone is watching me or I'm on a camera or something.

I've used this "being observed" trick in other areas too. Like if I need to concentrate on driving I pretend that I am in drivers ed with an instructor there. Or if I'm cooking I make it more fun by pretending that I'm on a cooking show .
I do this too, even the cooking show thing!
post #34 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
So I've been reading When Anger Hurts Your Kids by McKay (et al). It is basically cognitive behavioural therapy -- examining our beliefs and assumption, how we magnify our thoughts and label. For example, my child keeps crying and tantruming when I say no to something. Belief/assumption: "She's doing this to test boundaries... AGAIN! She ALWAYS does this! It's so annoying!" Magnification: "I can't take this!!!!" Labelling: "She's so uncooperative!!!"

There's a brief 3 or 4 page section on age appropriate behaviours, and developmental norms based on age. Then comes the reality check (for example): "My four year old is just trying to get what she wants. This is human. She doesn't know how to cope with disappointment yet, she's only 4. She will learn. It's annoying but I can handle it. I'm the grown up here. How can I gain her cooperation/redirect her/give her what she needs?"

Similar to Steps To Effective Parenting, there is a section that talks about how a child "misbehaves" when she/he doesn't feel like they fit into the family in a productive way. I'm not sure I'm explaining it right. But I'll keep trying... a child needs to feel like they belong and are worthy by fitting in through cooperation and contribution of their skills and attributes. So they may use revenge or power plays or something to get attention and feel important. We should encourage them to feel important through cooperation and encourage them to develop skills to do things themselves that they're capable of. This develops self-esteem.

I'm learning so much here. This is some stuff I've read before but I feel like I'm ripe...

Another excellent resource Mamas, from my pdoc: http://www.circleofsecurity.org/
"The Circle of Security® is an innovative intervention program designed to alter the developmental pathway of parents and their young children." Click in, go to the Resource section at the top of the page and check out the downloads. You can print out some stuff, and post them around you as reminders (: like I have done ). Based on attachment theory. Very lovely.

Thinking of you Mamas today!!! We had a rough few days but today was much better. You have to try, try again. Pick yourself off, dust off and keep going.
Thank you for all this, it's so helpful. I like the idea of the child needing to feel a productive part of the family.This is where, for me, Continuum Concept stuff helps - not being child-centred, helping the child be part of what the family does rather than the other way round. But that's just an aside.

I've just had two 'no yelling at all days', - which at the rate I've been going lately, is good in my books - and felt much more connected with DS, enjoying parenting him, and more patient too. It seems to be a weird kind of feedback loop - once I start giving into my frustration and venting it in any way towards him or the environment, I then feel frustrated more easily and more quickly,and so it goes on. But when I manage to control myself and be the parent I want to be, which for me largely involves SLOWING DOWN (not rushing around) and remembering 'How important is it?', then I am far less likely to get impatient in the first place.

I'm finding what's helping me the last couple of days is, when I start feeling frustrated, and feel I might soon crack, to voice my feelings gently (DS is 21 months so prob doesn't understand, but it's for my own benefit mainly), ie 'I'm starting to feel a bit angry now', and for some reason that really helps me. It's like ,I'm owning my feelings, acknowledging them, not suppressing them, but for me it puts that 'pause' button between the stimulus and response that BetsyNY was talking about. It helps me to acknowledge my own needs in the situation, and hopefully as DS gets older it will model for him how to approach one's emotions. Today, sadly, I did shout one time (after he did the same thing for a 10th time and I just got so frustrated b/c he seemed so 'wilful' and bc I was getting no housework done as a result), but straight afterwards I hugged him and apologised. It was terrible to see him upset. That should be enough for me. But somehow, I have to keep learning over and over again. It's forming new neural pathways in my brain, bc in my family anger was always the way. As Surfacing says, pick yourself up and start again...
post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasharna View Post
Naomi Aldort recommends visualizing yourself saying and doing all the awful things you're about to say and do. I find this plunks me straight into the remorseful stage, without actually yelling, snapping, or being rough. It's like getting a second chance without screwing up.
That's the best idea EVER!
post #36 of 114
O-M-G!!! I'm not the only one!!!!????

I feel so much less "crazy", sort of...lol

Sorry I don't have any ideas for how to deal with this temper thing. And (for me) the foul language that goes along with it. I'm just recently realizing how bad it really is! My 16mo old is yelling a lot these days. And like one of you said, my husband as well just stays cool, calm and collected while I go off the deep end (though half the time it's HIM that's making me crazy so of course he does!) - which just makes me feel that much worse, like "what's wrong with me?!"

Anyways, I'm going to try some of these suggestions and check out the books that were suggested and come back for more! Hopefully I'll be able to add to the suggestions some day.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this thread!

Let's all have a big cyber-

I send love and peace and success to all you amazing mamas!
post #37 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeeesta View Post
Sorry I don't have any ideas for how to deal with this temper thing. And (for me) the foul language that goes along with it.

Um. Yea. Be careful with the language. My son started swearing when he was about 2.5 and it's been tough (and occasionally cute, like when I dropped a huge bag of frozen blueberries across the kitchen floor and he looked at me and said "do you need to say shit?"). The worst was when he stared saying "fuck it" during a tantrum. That pretty much stopped my swearing altogether. Ugh.
post #38 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ainh View Post
when I dropped a huge bag of frozen blueberries across the kitchen floor and he looked at me and said "do you need to say shit?"
:
post #39 of 114
I, too, was parented by an angry and violent dad. And although we don't hit or spank our son (conscious choice), I realized that the reason my child hits and pinches ME is that my big-scary-angry-face "feels" violent to him! By virtue of the fact that I am big and powerful and a parent, any time I turn big anger onto him.....sheesh....who could blame him for feeling the need to (a) defend himself by fighting back and (b) follow my lead and adopt anger as his response? I'm sure this is it. I taught him how to do all the rotten angry things that he does.

That being said, I am having great success turning it around. And I am sure I can do it. (And having my first & only kid at 43 and having this realization just this year at age 49, that's really saying something! It's never too late!!)

Here is my attempt at explaining what helps. First I realize that *I* control whether someone pushes my buttons. You can read that in a million different books, but until you really FEEL it, it doesn't make sense. But it's true.

Because of the experience of being hit by my dad, and feeling utterly helpless, I can see that when someone hits me, it is a potential trigger. But note the word "potential." We signed up for a 3-class trial of Kung Fu for him last week, and already the talk of "respect" and "discipline" and the practice of getting down to his level and looking each other right in the eye when speaking....this has all helped. I also keep my eye on the ball; i.e. my goal.

Example...Today, he got frustrated during lessons (we homeschool). He started to take it out on me first by sassing, and then by trying to hit me. I kept my eyes locked on his and deflected his blows, saying "I will not be hurt." "We don't hit during lessons." And I tried to enunciate his feelings to defuse it "You might be frustrated; maybe you're scared you'll get the wrong answer, but this isn't the way" (all the while he's whapping at me, mind you, and I am deflecting, eyes steady). I ask "do I need to go into another room to be safe from you?" (he says No) But in my mind I am NOT letting go of the idea that "I will sit here and finish this lesson. Nothing will get us off track. He needs the assurance that his powerful feelings can't knock me over emotionally. I am strong enough. He needs me to be stable enough. I am teaching him now. No matter how frustrated he gets, it's his job to sit down and handle it without hitting. I can wait him out. I am TEACHING him by my calm. It is my job to do this. I will NOT have the same fear & violence-based relationship with him as I had with my Dad." etc

And BTW I forgive my Dad. I heard from relatives that HIS Dad had been brutal to him. And then died when my Dad was only 7. He was a scared and angry little kid, no doubt. He didn't have it in him to break the cycle, and he passed it to us. But I am DETERMINED to break that chain. Actually I can say that I HAVE done it, because parenting this boy is the most important and precious thing I will EVER have been entrusted to do. And my life was so marred by sadness and fear by what my parents did.....it stops RIGHT HERE. It is these thoughts that "I choose better" that really calm me.

The past is really gone. The future hasn't happened. What will I do with the only moment I have--i.e. NOW?

Thanks for listening. If I can feel hopeful about this, then I'm sure you can too when your time is right.
post #40 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrygirl View Post
I also tell him that if I threaten to spank his hand, he needs to tell me that he needs kisses and hugs, not spanks.
I know what you mean, but I wanted to point out, that It may not be good either to put make the child feel responsible for your actions. Ya know what I mean?

Plus, when a big adult is angry with you, its not really easy to remember that or have the courage to say it.
<3

Don't have much time to write.
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