Upset with myself and the situation. I must be doing something wrong. It doesn't seem to matter how patient, explanatory, playful I am. My son does not take me seriously until I've totally had it, and then I yell, and he just thinks I'm being mean to him and can't remember why I'm angry.
Today, brushing his teeth before bed he clenches his teeth, pushes the toothbrush away with his tongue, spits at me - all while laughing. (This has been a daily struggle since he got teeth!) He thinks it's so funny to give me a hard time. Finally I throw the toothbrush in the sink and say, "Fine, your teeth can just fall out then!" Bad for so many reasons, I know. He screams and cries, scared that his teeth will fall out, but doesn't want to try to brush them himself or let me finish brushing them. He will not brush his teeth himself - ever.
We go to his room for bed with him still whining/crying and he starts playing with toys. So I picked him up away from the toys with a terse "it's not play time, it's bed time",, put him in bed, and he starts screaming that I'm being mean to him, and "be nice to me" . A little too forcefully (yelling, finger pointing ) I tell him that it is his actions that caused this situation and I am not trying to be mean to him. He crawled to the other end of the bed and tried to hide under his pillow and blanket saying he was scared of me! ? I feel terrible! I stopped yelling and tried to hold him, but he still wanted to run from me!
I finally ended the drama by telling him my side of the story in 3rd person from the beginning. . . "once upon a time there was a little boy who didn't like having his teeth brushed. . ." Then I helped him tell the story of what happened in 3rd person from his point of view. From his story, it seems that he thinks I am mean any time he doesn't get what he wants, and any time I raise my voice, I am scary.
We ended it by deciding that I would give him 1 warning, then give him a time out. That way I would not give him 10 warnings and be at the end of my patience with him. I don't know what else to do. I tucked him in, and he laughed at our "tuck in" games and seemed OK.
But my son was hiding from me out of fear and I feel horrible. I'm afraid I've done some damage to our relationship. Please be brutally honest. I need to hear other perspectives on what I'm doing that's causing this and how I can fix it. He really does not take me seriously until I explode. But then, he is so flooded with emotion, that he forgets why I exploded and just thinks I'm being mean for no reason.
Thanks for reading.