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I yell all the time and even started cussing at my kids, they don't listen at all and I am losing...

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
To preface, I have had a really tough year. We all have. I recently went through a really tough divorce which was made even harder on my kids by their father. His actions this past year were so hard on my son that he ended up with severe depression and I had to put him in counseling. He is 8. I also have a 10 year old and a 6 year old. My 6 year old has severe adhd, and is nonstop, all day.

I am so frustrated that I have resorted to spanking, something I never dreamed of doing and used to be very opposed to. I am still oposed to it. I have also made a habit of yelling at them to 'shut up', and cursing at them... not namecalling, but yelling things like "What the hell are you doing? Why won't you ever listen to me???" And even using the F word sometimes, which I want to stop doing but I am soooo frustrated.

Anything I ask them to do, is said over and over and over... even asking them to go outside for a little while so I can regroup, clean up, just relax without all the screaming and fighting turns into "Will you please go outside for a little while?... I asked you to go outside... Will you just look at me???... stop running around and listen for once...WHAT THE F IS YOUR PROBLEM??? JUST GET THE HELL OUTSIDE AND LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A WHILE!!!!!!" Then they finally go outside and I feel so bad I just want to cry... how did things get so out of controll that I have to scream and cuss and throw things before they will even look at me and actually listen???

My older boys will sometimes do things to help out... but more often then not I say it over and over and then resort to screaming, threatening, and cussing. I am a single mom of my boys, and I am drowning. I need them to be more accountable for their actions. I need them to stop throwing trash around everywhere. I am so tired of cleaning up after them, but it is easier then fighting with them.

My 6 year old does not have volume control. He talks so loudly, all the time. It is hard to listen to after a while. Even going to bed turns into me going in there and screaming at them to shut up, then spanking before everyone will stop talking and playing and just go to sleep. Yes, they have to be asleep. I need to be 'off' while they are safely unconscious, and I need to finally have it quiet. I have a partner who is also having a hard time and feeling the stress, and we are falling apart because of how tense it is around here.

I am so overwhelmed and unhappy and I dont know how to fix this. I dont want to be this person. I used to be so loving and patient. I dont know how to find my way back.
post #2 of 54


I wish I could help, but I came here to post a similar question. Hopefully someone else can help us. When you are already down the path of stress and yelling, how do you turn it around???
post #3 of 54
I just don't know. I don't do well with stress either. Big hugs. xo
post #4 of 54
I am sorry I can't help. I struggle too. I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone.
post #5 of 54
Is there any way you can get regular breaks? My DD isn't always "non-stop" like your 6 year old is, but sometimes she's like that for a couple of days in a row and then I go looney. I feel like the only cure for it is a break to recover. Then I have way more patience for her, even if she's still in her non-stop mode.

Do your kids go to school? Are they now home for summer break? Is this an added strain? Can they go to a day camp program or something? Do they have best friends that you can arrange a tradeoff with their mothers? Like one day a week your 6 year old goes to his friend's house and another day they both come to yours. (I don't know about yours, but my kid is easier for me to manage when a friend is over since she stays out of my hair, so I'd consider it a break on both ends - but probably that isn't true for everyone). Is your mom or MIL in the area, can she be shamed into having "grandson" time? I think it would work best if it was like scheduled time, so you can look forward to it and hang on better until then. So you're thinking "just 3 more hours and MIL is coming to pick them up!" or "at least tomorrow X will be at his friend's house" rather than just going AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

About the spanking, what happens that leads to that? For example, do you feel like your kid is ignoring you and you escalate to that? Sometimes my 4 year old just ignores me too and it's extremely frustrating. Can you try a different kind of physical contact? For example grasping both shoulders of the child in question (to enable eye contact)? That tends to get their attention pretty well, I've found (though sometimes there is a bit of a struggle to do that if they are running away from you, but I still think it's better than spanking, and maybe more effective too).
post #6 of 54

I have hugs. I lose it, too, sometimes, and I'm not a single mom. My dh travels a fair amount, though, and I find that when I don't have the benefit of a break - I can't work a lot because of his schedule, and we don't have family in the area for serious childcare breaks - I go even crazier. It's hard being the only one around for them. Is that a possibility for you?

I'm sure someone else will have better advice, but I mainly just wanted to send you a hug.
post #7 of 54
I felt like your post was my own voice...
My older son is also an extreme adhd/poss bipolar. He wears me thin.
I got in the cycle of spanking because once, probably shock value) it worked. I felt terrible about it, and did stop... but the yelling gets worse and worse. I really wish I knew how to exert better self control when things are spinning out of control.
post #8 of 54
Physically touching your child when your angry is hurting them and you in so many ways. Someone on here made the comparison and this is not an exact quote "spanking is like fast food, sounds good at the time, but you feel icky after".
I think as mamas we all can identify with the surge of frustration, anger and desperation we feel at times. Can you just start to identify when you feel the need to hit what your feeling inside? So today allow yourself to feel that way, don’t hit, and walk away and wait for the feeling pass? The yelling and physical violence have become habit it will take effort and doing something in its place to stop.
For me I just started to identify when my inner body would feel those frustrated/angry emotions. Turns out it is usually when I'm trying to control my kids/surroundings etc... Let go of the control. Breath in accept, breath out smile.
Of course there are times when it just has to be the way it is, but my dd who is 4 and even dd 11 months, give me more respect and are willing to comply because it not arbitrary demands and agendas.
One other thought, try to identify with how they feel. Recognize things that are important and of value to them. I think we get so caught up in getting things done, task focused, (get dressed, clean up, eat now, errands, school) is it all really more important than staying connected with our kids.

do something for yourself, even a ltitle thing like putting lotion on your feet, it does help
post #9 of 54
What helps me and helped in the past was exercise.

When my three kids were about the same age as yours I was frustrated all the time. I would get up in the morning frustrated. Gosh - getting them ready for school in the morning and out the door was a nightmare.

I didn't start running to help me be a better parent - but boy it has made me a better parent. I am so much calmer. I run or sweat daily and it has made a huge difference in my parenting and over all wellness. I'm never sick! And I never never never yell anymore. And I have three teenagers now!

Another thing you might try is when your frustration is getting higher and higher - look at your kid. I mean just look at them - in the eyes - that always instantly made me empathetic to them. Most of the time the anger and need to smack would turn into a hug. A hug will diffuse a situation pretty quickly.

Also, you need to make sure you are getting loads of sleep. Go to bed when they go to bed a couple nights a week. I know it's hard to ignore the kitchen and laundry - but you hate the feeling of powerlessness you feel during those rages more.......

As to your post regarding the lack of help or listening....give consequences. Don't keep talking. It is amazing how quickly they listen. Like this - "10 year old, I asked you to go outside. If you don't go outside I will take your iPod until tomorrow morning." Wait about a minute or two (don't stand over them - even leave the room if you to)...then you march immediately and get the iPod. Might not be popular - but you are having a breakdown - this consequence is better than screaming, cussing and yelling. Another thing I do when I am at my wits end is to sit on the sofa and turn on the tv. I get the kids all around me and we snuggle on the sofa and watch the boob tube until we get hungry! My kids are 13, 14 and 16. The best way to get over being angry at your mom is to snuggle with her. Same for you - you'll forget really quickly how irritated you are when your 6 year old is sitting in your lap, loving on you. You should see my 5 ft 10, 16 year old laying on me and playing with my hair!


And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.
post #10 of 54
your children have learned that they don't have to listen to you until you scream and curse at them. It is not easy to break the pattern once you've started it, but it is possible. But, if you don't break it, and instead you begin spanking regularly, they will learn that you don't really mean it until you spank them.

All three of your children are old enough that if you set a family meeting, with new rules and a new "warning" that means you mean business, they should be able to help you get the family back on track. They are also all old enough to have regular chores and expectations for how they live in your family.

Don't be afraid to apologize to them when you do scream--an apology goes a long way. "I am sorry I lost my temper. I hate when i do that. I will try harder not to do that, but I need you to try harder to listen the first time I tell you something."
post #11 of 54
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
your children have learned that they don't have to listen to you until you scream and curse at them. It is not easy to break the pattern once you've started it, but it is possible. But, if you don't break it, and instead you begin spanking regularly, they will learn that you don't really mean it until you spank them.

All three of your children are old enough that if you set a family meeting, with new rules and a new "warning" that means you mean business, they should be able to help you get the family back on track. They are also all old enough to have regular chores and expectations for how they live in your family.

Don't be afraid to apologize to them when you do scream--an apology goes a long way. "I am sorry I lost my temper. I hate when i do that. I will try harder not to do that, but I need you to try harder to listen the first time I tell you something."
Yes Yes and YES!!!!!

I always own my behavior. And the family meeting is perfect idea. It will make the boys feel like big kids!
post #13 of 54
I couldn't read and not

Other people will probably have some good advice, I just wanted to share that stress really does negatively affect parenting. We've been going through a rough few years financially, and are just started to come out of it; the difference in how gentle I am able to be with my children without that constant worry over my head is like night and day. What's going on is your responsibility, but it's not your fault, per se.
post #14 of 54
I second the idea of a family meeting - maybe you can have one once a week so that everybody can check in, go over upcoming events on the calendar, chores, air any grievances. You could tell the kids that you don't like the way the house is running, so the four of you (and your partner if appropriate) are going to come up with some house rules and consequences for not following them, and you are going to have a meeting once a week so you can all stay on target. If they help list the important values and precepts of the house, they will feel more ownership and accountability. If they helped come up with the consequences, they may be more likely to heed them. Writing things down actually does help make these guidelines more real, and you can point to them and say, "Hey, we ALL agreed that this is how we want our family to function. Let's get back on track here."

It also helps if they see that YOU have negative consequences too if you get out of line, so maybe they can come up with things like "Anyone (even mama) who is yelling needs to go to the Outdoor Yelling Zone until they can use a regular voice". And if you start yelling, they can call you on it, and it will give you a little jolt and open space in your head to regain control of your voice. I was also a fan of the swear jar as a kid - penny for D, nickel for H, dime for S, and a quarter for the F-bomb. Whichever kid had the fewest knocks against them in the chores and bad behavior depts. at the end of the week got the contents of the swear jar. Again, they like a little bit of power to say, "Hey Mom, you just said H-E-double hockey sticks. Put a nickel in the swear jar!"

How much exercise are you and the kiddos getting? Maybe you can also institute a digestive walk after dinner every evening before bedtime, or you can go to a track and tell them to run until they fall down from exhaustion.

Yelling, or rather not yelling, is hard when you are at the end of your reserves of patience and stamina. I know the end of the day is the worst for me. What helps me is 1) to say, "Hey, buddy, mama is almost out of patience, and I would appreciate your cooperation in this matter."
2) to inform that if X doesn't stop, I am going to leave the room and shut the door, and make good on it (might not work so well for an older kid);
3) to talk out my annoyances, even if it ends up being talking at him, "Gosh, it makes me so annoyed when there are toys all over the floor. I just hurt my foot when I stepped on one, and I weigh so much that I think I broke it. Too bad that we have to throw it in the trash now. If everyone who lives in this house took time to clean up, it would be a much nicer place for us all to live." Sometimes I have been so irritated and gone on for so long that DS1 will say sullenly, "Okaaay, okaaaay," like he is 2 1/2 going on 14. Not perfect, but it's better than yelling.

Being a mama in our culture is hard work.
post #15 of 54
I've been there mama. It can be tough. I was dealing with a bad crohns flare and I had no pateince for my LO. I yelled at her and even swatted her and I felt like such a terrible mother.

My LO is only 2, so it wasnt as complicated to find a tactic that worked for us. I image it only gets more complicated with older children. Also getting my flare under control really helped my mood and our relationship. I know you dont have crohns but if you have any other stressors in your life, getting them under control may help you too.

HUGS
post #16 of 54

I'm so sorry mama
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post
What helps me and helped in the past was exercise.

When my three kids were about the same age as yours I was frustrated all the time. I would get up in the morning frustrated. Gosh - getting them ready for school in the morning and out the door was a nightmare.

I didn't start running to help me be a better parent - but boy it has made me a better parent. I am so much calmer. I run or sweat daily and it has made a huge difference in my parenting and over all wellness. I'm never sick! And I never never never yell anymore. And I have three teenagers now!

Another thing you might try is when your frustration is getting higher and higher - look at your kid. I mean just look at them - in the eyes - that always instantly made me empathetic to them. Most of the time the anger and need to smack would turn into a hug. A hug will diffuse a situation pretty quickly.

Also, you need to make sure you are getting loads of sleep. Go to bed when they go to bed a couple nights a week. I know it's hard to ignore the kitchen and laundry - but you hate the feeling of powerlessness you feel during those rages more.......

As to your post regarding the lack of help or listening....give consequences. Don't keep talking. It is amazing how quickly they listen. Like this - "10 year old, I asked you to go outside. If you don't go outside I will take your iPod until tomorrow morning." Wait about a minute or two (don't stand over them - even leave the room if you to)...then you march immediately and get the iPod. Might not be popular - but you are having a breakdown - this consequence is better than screaming, cussing and yelling. Another thing I do when I am at my wits end is to sit on the sofa and turn on the tv. I get the kids all around me and we snuggle on the sofa and watch the boob tube until we get hungry! My kids are 13, 14 and 16. The best way to get over being angry at your mom is to snuggle with her. Same for you - you'll forget really quickly how irritated you are when your 6 year old is sitting in your lap, loving on you. You should see my 5 ft 10, 16 year old laying on me and playing with my hair!


And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.

YES YES YES to all this! Great post. Mama, I've been exactly where you are. The same flip outs, same reaction. For the last two weeks I did some exercise 3 times each week and I was like a new person. Bedtime can be the worst too, when they are wound up and you just.need.the.silence. I hear you. I like all the ideas in this post. Good luck!! Mary
post #18 of 54


Have you been screened for depression yourself? You've had some major life stressors, and that itself is a major trigger for depression. In many people, 'depression' comes out as rage. While the old saying is that depression is anger turned inward, I've seen a fair amount of depression as 'anger turned outward' too.

I would strongly suggest that you see your health care provider -- you should be screened for depression and thyroid issues. If you're depressed, I'd suggest medication. I know it's not a popular option on MDC, but I think there are times when it's necessary. My mom went through a major period of depression just before I was born, and part of it was rage at my dad. It really really affected my older siblings, and me to a lesser extent. (It also most likely primed me for the postpartum depression that I suffer from.) The meds aren't going to suddenly make your life rosy, but they might just give you a little breathing space.

Second, you need a break. Is there any way that you can manage to get that? Life as a single mom is hard. Life as a single mom to three active kids, one with ADHD is even harder. You can't care for them well if you have no resources left.

I think the idea of a family meeting is a good one. A new system would be useful.

I'd also recommend that you try to get your 6 year old a lot of sensory input - find ways for him to jump, run, drag heavy things. Trampolines are lovely, if you've got room/money. If not, what in your house can serve as this? In the winter, when it's rainy and hard to play outside, my ds use their rollerblades in the house. Ds rides down the stairs on an air mattress. He doesn't have ADHD, but he is an active kid and he needs the outlet.
post #19 of 54
Can you afford family counseling for the four of you and individual for at least you?
post #20 of 54
Please see a counselor or health care provider. Reading your post it sounds like everything is overwhelming you right now, and you are are past the point of feeling control over your emotions, and when that happens, you cannot discipline effectively. I don't think talking about discipline tactics is the answer you need right now-counseling for you is critical. You need someone to talk to in person, someone who can assess your anxiety and stress level from a place of professional expertise, and help you find treatment. Once you feel stable as a person, the parent you used to be/want to be will be accessible once more.

For now I would suggest some crisis ground rules-no hitting the kids. Period. Doesn't matter what they did or why. You need to walk away, lock yourself in another room for awhile if necessary, until you calm down. It just has to stop. Stop telling yourself you "need" them to be silent. Stop telling yourself you "need" time alone or else you will lose it. Your self control does NOT depend on getting that from them in that instant. To think otherwise is setting yourself up for escalating violence. Time alone is important, yes. You can find it in a positive way, hire a sitter, or have a friend take the kids for awhile to give you a break. Are they in school? Hitting is not working, and it is making everything worse. I do believe you can stop, I really do.

You said you have a partner. Are they trustworthy with the kids? Why can't that person give you a break each day?

I would also do the same for no more cursing at the kids. Walk away. Go to another room and shut the door. Leaving them alone is better than cursing them out. You have gotten yourself to a point where you think if the kids don't do x, you will 'lose it' and, when you start thinking that way, it makes your entire reality so dark and dismal and desperate.

Besides the ground rules, I would focus on counseling for you. --I think any professional help you can give yourself is a priority.
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