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This is not the mom I wanted to be! Please help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

The first year and a half with DS was fairly easy (if you don't count the colic). Lately he has been acting out- ignoring me, throwing fits, sitting on our small dog. I am pregnant with #2 and I know that it is only going to get crazier when I have the baby. I feel like I spend all day yelling at DS (and it doesn't work). I love him so much and I don't want him growing up remembering that all I did was yell.
How do you all handle your frustration/discipline your kids when they are acting out? Please help me find a peaceful way to parent!

post #2 of 8

There is nothing like a 2 year old to test your patience, especially when you are pregnant!! It is tough!!!

 

Sometimes it helps to remember that it is kind of their job to start testing everything when they are two--similar to how an adolescent tests everything. They are just learning for the very first time self-control and self-regulation. All these big emotions, how do they work!!?

 

I think some people find comfort in reminding themselves it is all about teaching, not necessarily discipline. In other words, he needs to learn a whole new set of skills that have to do with calming down, expressing himself and yes, listening to you.  If he was colicky, he may also be one of those spirited kids (I have noticed colic and intense temperaments seem to go together).

 

I wish I had known more about handling frustration when my oldest was 2. I would have taken so much less seriously. You can sometimes feel the weight of the world as a mom trying to 'get it right' so your kid will behave. So much of it is our stuff, when we feel like we can't handle it. We think their behavior is a reflection of us. It's not. It's them! We can help by mirroring a better reflection, one that feeds back calm when they are out of control. Notice (inside yourself) when he is having a hard time but know that you don't have to! Don't try to fix as many things but just empathize with his feelings. Nothing wrong with crying when mom is actually trying to help.  When giving directions, get down to his level and get his attention first, then make your request and thank him when he listens and does it. 

 

He is likely to smooth out in a bit, but I'm sure all the changes and the tension (around the baby but also your frustration) are something he picks up on as well.
 

post #3 of 8

First take care of yourself, I think that's the most important rule for GD. I try to meditate for at least 15-20min daily, I chant throughout the day, in the afternoons I admittedly let kids self indulge on tv in exchange for mommy quiet time, I insist on getting out by myself at least once weekly.... Dr. Laura Markham has a bunch of articles dealing with the "how do I stop yelling" issue:

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/It_only_takes_3_minutes_to_stop_yelling_at_your_child/

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/6_Steps_to_Stop_Yelling/

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/Your_Self-Support_Plan_to_Stop_Yelling/

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

grouphug.gif thank you so much, ladies. Lauren just reading that has helped me feel more positive about everything. Mittsy, I am definitely going to check out those articles. I definitely think I need a little more time for myself. Sometimes I feel like I am in a cage. I LOVE being a mom, but it can be suffocating!

post #5 of 8

It will get better!! Keep talking to other moms! And Mitsy, I love Laura Markham. She is so wise!
 

post #6 of 8
My 2 year old is driving me to the brink. I'm going to read those articles. I find myself yelling constantly & not wanting to come home from work. Would love any suggestions for things like hitting me, & throwing food.

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk, please ignore typos!
post #7 of 8

Ahh...I love this question!  I always say that the "Terrible Twos" are really the terrific twos because when a child is tantruming and testing, they are doing what they are supposed to developmentally!  When my daughter was 2 (she's now 5), she would throw these fits that lasted for 2-3 hours sometimes.  At first, I thought, "What am I doing wrong?"  Then, the more I learned about child development and normal brain development, the more I learned that what I should be asking is, "What does she need?"  She needed time to adjust to whatever limit was set.  She needed me to be empathic and validate her feelings.  She needed me to comfort her as she was having her emotions.  We don't want kids to hold that stuff in, then they become feelings stuffers and that's not healthy!  So, we want to love them, support them, validate them, and then consult if they need it.  I call this the crisis responder.  When we get in a car wreck, the police don't come up and say, "What the hell were you thinking?"  They may want to, but they don't because they have had years of practicing crisis response.  That's what we parents have to do!  Respond calmly to the crisis and realize it's about our kiddo, not about us.  We are merely there to help them navigate their strong emotions, keep them safe, and love them.  You are doing a fabulous job!

post #8 of 8

Well, one thing I can say right off is that yelling at DD absolutely guarantees that she will balk at me.  She freezes up, just says no, no, no to everything, and cooperation is a pipe dream.  Your LO is still in the early stages, and I guarantee that things will get easier as you learn techniques to manage specific behaviors.  One big thing that has helped me immensely is to be a very physical parent.  I ask her things once, then go to her and help her carry out whatever it is right away.  I don't tend to do time-outs for her, but I do them for me pretty often.  I spend one or two minutes in the bedroom cooling down, then try again.  Sometimes helps, sometimes not, but not be afraid to try it. 

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