or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Need help with patience/temper
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need help with patience/temper

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am asking for help regarding patience and temper.  Does anyone have any recommendations as far as books or other resources go?  

 

I'm feeling like a horrible wife and, even worse, a really horrible mother because of my lack of patience and my quickness to temper.  Over the holiday, my father played for me a cassette tape he found of my brother playing with a tape recorder as a child.  On the cassette, I could hear my mother yelling at me in the background and it sounded EXACTLY like me today with my daughter and husband.  I don't like it.  I really, really don't like it.  :(

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 9

have you looked at blood sugar issues?

 

there are some parenting books like "scream free" parenting... that might help a bit.

 

but I find that when I start to be loud I just need to step away... make some chamomile tea, walk around outside... take a break! I think it helps to look at your child and remember they are little ... look at their hands, look at their little feet.

 

((hugs)) being aware that you don't want to be that kind of mama is a very big and first step.
 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forestmushroom View Post

have you looked at blood sugar issues?

 

there are some parenting books like "scream free" parenting... that might help a bit.

 

but I find that when I start to be loud I just need to step away... make some chamomile tea, walk around outside... take a break! I think it helps to look at your child and remember they are little ... look at their hands, look at their little feet.

 

((hugs)) being aware that you don't want to be that kind of mama is a very big and first step.
 

Thanks--I really appreciate your response.  I am definitely trying to keep in the forefront of my mind that she's little and I'm the adult.  I recently found this poem and I've taped it up on my bedroom mirror to remind myself:

 

Give me patience when little hands
Tug at me with ceaseless, small demands.
Give me gentle words and smiling eyes,
To keep my lips from hasty, sharp replies.
Let not fatigue, confusion or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys
So when in years to come my house is still,
Beautiful memories its rooms may fill.
~Author Unknown

 

I've noticed that when I need to disengage and try to do so, my daughter gets clingier and insist that I listen to her first ("But Mama, listen to me! LISTEN TO ME!").  If I tell her that I need a "Mama timeout", she actually gets really upset and starts sobbing.  Totally not sure what to do with that because I *so* need my space by that point, but she is so emotionally heightened......it's hard to know what to do.  

 

Thanks again, forestmushroom!

 

 

post #4 of 9
What about a bell? Like those Tibetan singing bowls often used in Buddhist practice... you can invite the bell & take some deep breaths whenever you feel yourself escalating, and you can teach your DD about it too so you can calm both your tensions simultaneously and it can be a signal to give yourselves space to breathe and relax... and THEN once you are both a bit calmer, take a time out or whatever else you need to do to completely recenter. Could be good for your DH too, if all three of you could use the bell whenever someone felt it was needed, and it could be a reminder to everyone in the house to take some deep breaths etc. before things get out of control, and empower each of you to recognize the warning signs of temper issues in yourself and each other.

Also, are you getting enough time to yourself on a regular basis? Can you work with your DH to bail each other out when either one of you feels the need to disengage -- perhaps have a signal or something that he needs to take over with DD? How old is DD? What kind of situations do you find yourself struggling with most?
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

What about a bell? Like those Tibetan singing bowls often used in Buddhist practice... you can invite the bell & take some deep breaths whenever you feel yourself escalating, and you can teach your DD about it too so you can calm both your tensions simultaneously and it can be a signal to give yourselves space to breathe and relax... and THEN once you are both a bit calmer, take a time out or whatever else you need to do to completely recenter. Could be good for your DH too, if all three of you could use the bell whenever someone felt it was needed, and it could be a reminder to everyone in the house to take some deep breaths etc. before things get out of control, and empower each of you to recognize the warning signs of temper issues in yourself and each other.
Also, are you getting enough time to yourself on a regular basis? Can you work with your DH to bail each other out when either one of you feels the need to disengage -- perhaps have a signal or something that he needs to take over with DD? How old is DD? What kind of situations do you find yourself struggling with most?

crunchy_mommy--I love the bell idea!  I think my daughter would really respond to that as well.  Thank you so much for that suggestion.

 

As for your questions--no, I really don't get the time I need to recharge myself.  I do try, though; I think my problem is that I need SO MUCH time to myself to really feel okay.  I am in a 12 step meeting once a week and a women's empowerment group every two weeks.  But my husband and I are both public school teachers--both of us in positions that are incredibly time consuming and emotional and stressful.  After dealing with other people's kids all day, I'm emotionally exhausted and I realize that I'm really not available to my daughter--which is totally, totally not fair to my child (who is almost five, btw).

 

I guess I struggle most with the fact that it feels like everything with my daughter is a conflict--getting dressed, eating lunch, making dinner, getting in the car, feeding the dog, picking up toys, negotiating on tv time, whatever.  So I guess it's a control thing?  And I'll say that is coupled with what feels like my daughter's insatiable need for my attention and my physical presence.   

 

So what do you think?

 

P.S. My husband is totally okay with bailing me out--he's incredibly supportive.  :)

post #6 of 9

I used to be a yeller. My kids hated it, but knew it was my way of relieving stress, and once I got it out, I could focus on solving whatever needed solving. Until one day, in mid-yell, I looked at my son (11? 12?) standing in front of me, at attention (don't know where THAT part came from), eyes on the ground in front of him, flinching at the sound of my voice. Ouch. That's the day I swore it was finished.

 

I taught myself to just tell them that I was really angry, upset, beside myself, whatever I was feeling, and I needed five or ten minutes to calm down. And THEN I could listen to them properly, and we could solve whatever was going on.
 

post #7 of 9
I think that getting at least a little time to recharge is vital! If you & DH are both home in the evenings, you could schedule in 15-30mins to have time alone after work. DH is on duty and no one should disturb you. Lock yourself in your car with a book if you have to, or stop somewhere for a bit on your way home from work. I need way more time to recharge than some other moms seem to. It has to happen on a daily basis. If I don't get that time, it's really really hard to stay calm & present. And once a week or so, I need a longer stretch of time, several hours straight. And DH and I try to communicate/trade off duty whenever he's home -- I'm willing to cook dinner as long as he can entertain DS... or he can cook while DS & I do something together. It's stressful to try to cook and entertain DS at the same time, especially if I'm really hungry or overtired.

How much time do you spend reconnecting with your DD each day? Is there an activity you particularly enjoy doing with her, that you could do on a daily basis? I hate playing, but I enjoy taking walks, doing crafts, reading, going places, talking, etc. with DS. It sounds like you & DD could both benefit from having some special time together on a regular basis, just doing fun things & enjoying each others' company. Choose something that won't feel like a chore or a burden to you, share your own hobbies & interests with her. If all your interactions with her feel like conflicts than you need to balance that out with fun time where conflicts aren't likely to arise.

Can you make your rules & expectations clearer? Like for TV time -- can you just set up a rule about it so it's not a negotiation? Or give her X coins/tickets a day to turn in for TV, and when she's out of coins she's done with TV? Also, can you think up some ways to make the points of conflict more fun, make them into games or something? The book Playful Parenting (by Larry Cohen) can help with ideas of how to make this happen. I help DS get dressed (even though he doesn't actually need help, at least not physically, but it goes smoother if I'm there) and we pretend things like I am the zookeeper and I'm brushing him & feeding him, or he is a bear and needs to put on his fur (aka his clothes) to stay warm (he loves to pretend he's an animal). Picking up toys can be more fun by making it into a race with you or singing songs together while you do it.

I'm glad your DH is supportive. Lean on him! Let him bail you out. And bail him out in turn. smile.gif
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I think that getting at least a little time to recharge is vital! If you & DH are both home in the evenings, you could schedule in 15-30mins to have time alone after work. DH is on duty and no one should disturb you. Lock yourself in your car with a book if you have to, or stop somewhere for a bit on your way home from work. I need way more time to recharge than some other moms seem to. It has to happen on a daily basis. If I don't get that time, it's really really hard to stay calm & present. And once a week or so, I need a longer stretch of time, several hours straight. And DH and I try to communicate/trade off duty whenever he's home -- I'm willing to cook dinner as long as he can entertain DS... or he can cook while DS & I do something together. It's stressful to try to cook and entertain DS at the same time, especially if I'm really hungry or overtired.
How much time do you spend reconnecting with your DD each day? Is there an activity you particularly enjoy doing with her, that you could do on a daily basis? I hate playing, but I enjoy taking walks, doing crafts, reading, going places, talking, etc. with DS. It sounds like you & DD could both benefit from having some special time together on a regular basis, just doing fun things & enjoying each others' company. Choose something that won't feel like a chore or a burden to you, share your own hobbies & interests with her. If all your interactions with her feel like conflicts than you need to balance that out with fun time where conflicts aren't likely to arise.
Can you make your rules & expectations clearer? Like for TV time -- can you just set up a rule about it so it's not a negotiation? Or give her X coins/tickets a day to turn in for TV, and when she's out of coins she's done with TV? Also, can you think up some ways to make the points of conflict more fun, make them into games or something? The book Playful Parenting (by Larry Cohen) can help with ideas of how to make this happen. I help DS get dressed (even though he doesn't actually need help, at least not physically, but it goes smoother if I'm there) and we pretend things like I am the zookeeper and I'm brushing him & feeding him, or he is a bear and needs to put on his fur (aka his clothes) to stay warm (he loves to pretend he's an animal). Picking up toys can be more fun by making it into a race with you or singing songs together while you do it.
I'm glad your DH is supportive. Lean on him! Let him bail you out. And bail him out in turn. smile.gif

Thank you so, so much.  These are all excellent suggestions.  I actually have "Playful Parenting" in front of my right now!  I'm going to dive into it this weekend while my kiddo is at her bio-dad's house.  

I discussed TV tickets with my hubby last night and I think that's the route we'll go.  I'd be happy with no TV period, but my daughter does enjoy cartoons (what kid doesn't, right?!)  I also think that we'll try to go to the park or ride bikes more.  She can bike & I can run and we can both get our energy and endorphines up!  I really enjoy being at home, but after talking with my daughter's Montessori teacher, we agree that she will probably benefit for more outdoor play--and I'm sure I could as well!

 

Thank you again for your responses.  Truly appreciated!!

post #9 of 9

Wow, this thread really touches me. I relate to so much of what you've said (I also love your avi....I have always had a special connection to the winged heart symbol). I also need more "me" time than most mamas I know, and I often get it. And yet I still find my temper way too short (my son is 2.5 years). I found Dr. Laura Markham's tips for how to stop yelling useful: http://www.ahaparenting.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?PostID=108431&A=SearchResult&SearchID=5897996&ObjectID=108431&ObjectType=55 . It looks like she now charges for this info (the above link does have some good tips though, as does the rest of her website) whereas before it was free on her website....but it's only 10 bucks. I was planning on getting her book anyway and it looks like she included that in there.

 

Anyway I don't really have much advice. I feel like ever since my son was an older baby my nerves have gotten more and more frayed and I have had to work harder and harder on myself. I am lucky in that I live in a country where my public health insurance pays for psychotherapy. When you mentioned that audio recording you listened to....those kinds of things can be helped in counseling. If you have the means, you might try that, It has helped me tremendously. But it is not an overnight path. Otherwise there is a lot of therapy you can undertake on your own with all the information and methods and advice available online and in books.

 

I have also been meaning to crack back open my copy of Playful Parenting. I find when I am silly and make a game out of things it is much easier.

 

Best of luck to you. You have my full sympathy. Remember: we are good parents, because we are seeking the help we need.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Need help with patience/temper