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Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Page 10

post #181 of 335
I occasionally check in with this thread and have found it really helpful to keep the "big picture" in mind.

Wanted to post to Mosky- We've had a lot of hard times surrounding toothbrushing, too. I know that's not necessarily the point of your post, but if you want some suggestions or moral support in this area-check out the dental thread. There are a lot of people like you (and me!) that have had to restrain their DCs in order to brush. I don't like to force DS to do much, but this is a necessity-if you don't want their teeth to rot!

Best wishes to you...
post #182 of 335
Just joining in. I think this thread was made for me. I am really high strung and I think the anger comes from being so frustrated with my job, my debts, etc. I direct my anger the wrong way, that's all. I need an outlet!
post #183 of 335
Just wanted to join in here...I want to go back and read the posts, so I will be back, eventually. LOL I am a yeller, big time! And want to stop, so here I am. Debi
post #184 of 335
I could not have happened upon this thread at a better time. I did so much AP research the first year of DD's life and learned so much. Now that she is 20 months old it just seems that I hardly have any time to clean the house and pop on my boards, much less read as much as I need to about GD. I am so glad I opened this thread this morning. I am definitely a yeller. I HATE it. I realize I don't handle stress very well. I know this about myself. My PMS symptoms got so incredibly worse after AF came back post-partum. I am currently using progesterone cream two weeks out of the month to help tone down these anxiety symptoms. It has helped. I honestly don't yell as much since using the cream. It's amazing. However, my anger still gets the best of me some days. I am really trying to better myself so that I can be the gentle kind of AP mother I want to be.

I am going to start trying the positive talk approach. I think this might help me. I feel so guilty when I yell at my lil' DD. She is a high-needs child and demands my attention 24 hours a day. We are still nursing very often, co-sleep, and the brunt of all child care duties fall on my shoulders. So, oftentimes I am stressed out just by trying to care for her while keeping my house clean for my family. Just that is trying for me. Sometimes I feel that I am not superwoman enough like other women. I only have one child for goodness sakes and I can't even handle taking care of her and the house without bugging out. I just think I have a very low stress tolerance level. But like I said I am really trying. This thread has helped me out tremendously... kinda gets me back on track as to why I wanted to AP in the first place. I tried so very hard that first year and am so proud of myself. I want GD to work in my home and be an extension of the AP mothering I have already set in place.

Sorry for the novel but I have just been feeling so lousy lately about flying off the handle. It surely helps to have other supportive mamas out there who are going through the same thing as me. I have never spanked her. DH slapped her hand one time and I had to remind him that we agreed not to hit at all. But I feel that yelling at her is just as damaging as spanking her. It's hard to keep your cool 24 hours a day. Hopefully by getting back here on the Mothering site I can get my mind back on track as to how I really want to mother my lil' girl.

Thanks for all the ideas ladies. I will definitely keep updated on this thread!!

What are your very best suggestions as to books to read on toddlerhood and GD? I have read The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears. I need something more.
post #185 of 335
Originally Posted by Anesidora
What are your very best suggestions as to books to read on toddlerhood and GD? I have read The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears. I need something more.
How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk

How to Behave so you Children Will Too
post #186 of 335
My all time favourite parenting book is....
Becoming the Parent You Want to Be... By two women, I think one's name is Elliot (?) Its a fabulous book, very empowering and not judgemental. It really helps you to clarify your own beliefs about discipline (and everything else) and helps you find solutions and ideas that will suit your own family without preaching about one particular approach.

I haven't contributed much lately. On good days, I don't feel the need and on bad days, well, you all know what the bad days are like!
I have a question for you all though:

What is your bad parenting habit? I mean, what do you do when you're really angry and can't think straight, when all the oxygen is drained from your brain and you're just running on instinct?
Please let this be a place of support, I think it would be good if we could all feel safe to tell the truth. maybe we all have some wisdom to share to help each other break these habits.

I'll go first.....

When I'm really angry I scream, in the most horrible of voices.
I tend to grab my kid's hands REALLY tight and drag them to where I want them to be.
When I've been really really angry I have swatted my ds butt as I've sent him upstairs to his room.
There have also been a couple of times when I have hit my kids. When they have hurt me in their own anger, I seem to have this awful knee jerk reaction to hit back.
I always apologize to my kids when I feel like I've acted inappropriately but I would really like to learn some new ways of calming myself in the moment, before I yell or scream or grab or hit.
It feels really strange to write this stuff down, Please, let's be gentle towards each other. Does anyone else want to answer? :
post #187 of 335
Anesidora, I realised that I was often getting angry because the house was a mess. I would yell about little things they did because I would know it would cause me extra work. I don't know why I expected them to understand, why would one more toy / crumb make a difference when the place was already like a bombsite? Anyway, in a different section somewhere I read about the Flylady and she's been making a difference in my life for the past 3 weeks! My house is not immaculate, but the idea of routines works much better than I could have imagined. At first I thought I was turning into a neurotic cleaner, but it is really the opposite. Because I know I will be vacuuming again next week, I am much less stressed about the mess on the floors. Because things feel under control, I don't feel like I am about to lose it.

I now have 3 dc, but I also felt as bad and out of control with one as you do. There is 16 months between my first 2 and I didn't start feeling like I was in control of my life (or my house) until ds2 was about 2 and a half! You'll get there in your own time. If others seem more in control in some areas, they will be less in others, don't doubt it!

Robugmum, I am worse. I said a while back that I have started therapy because I actually kicked ds one time. It didn't hurt him but when you're 4 and your mum kicks you what kind of consolation is that? That was what really got me thinking I needed help coping. It's early stages at the moment so it hasn't really made a difference, but it's definitely the right thing to do and I'm confident that it will help in the long run.

Perhaps, squeezing them hard is your way of NOT hitting them, or perhaps you should already have stepped back and tried not to touch them. I think that in those situations yelling is better than touching (for example if you need to stop them doing something but are too angry). But since yelling "like that" is not great either, I don't know how you do it when you're worked up? When you're feeling resourceful there are a million things to do, but when you're on the verge of.....???
post #188 of 335
You are so right arenciel,
I think squeezing is my way of not hitting. I am a very physical person. When I am angry I seem to need some sort of physical relief (read slamming doors, hitting walls, etc.). I feel that the squeezing gives my kids such a mixed up message. I want them to associate me holding their hands with loving guidance, not bone crushing pressure!

I need to figure out a way to stop myself in the moment and step back, just like you said. Problem is, in the moment it often seems impossible. I meant it when I said that all the oxygen drains from my brain. That's actually one of the body's physiological responses to anger. We go into fight mode and oxygen flows away from the brain and into the muscles. This would be really useful if I had to wrestle some wild beast to protect my babes, less so when its the kids who are driving me crazy!! When I'm calm and everything is going well it seems like it should be easy!
post #189 of 335

hi my name is monica & i'm a yeller....

Oh mamas, thank God I found you! I've been having SUCH issues with anger & yelling lately & i think i've only really become aware of it now that i've been on MDC & found a whole bunch of AP role-models! I"m going to take a good amount of time to read through the old & new thread- judging from the size of this one, it'll take a while :LOL

I just ordered 3 books yesterday to help based on recommendations in the gentle discipline sticky...1. love & anger, the parental dilemma, 2. why can't i be the parent i want to be?, 3. parenting from the inside out.

i'll be back after doing lots of reading. thank you for this thread i've really been struggling!
post #190 of 335
Welcome to Monica!
I bought a copy of Why Can't I be the Parent I want to be at a used book store. One of the authors is the same as the one I recommended, Becoming the Parent you Want to Be. I think Why... is an older book. I haven't read it yet. Let me know what you think!
post #191 of 335
Robugmum- thinking about the worst I do when I get really angry...... I have given the kids a swat on the bum in the past when angry- fortunately I have been able to get that under control & it hasn't happened in a long time. I think I've just about got that one licked, TG. To achieve this, I have to make myself walk away; sometimes I just stand there & shake from the effort of keeping myself under some sort of control, but it seems to work. But I do still yell. In a really angry, aggressive voice. Yuk. Last weekend I was so frustrated with the whole lot of them that I actually pulled huge clumps of my own hair out. DH was home, so I just walked out the door & kept walking. I ended up walking about 3 kms (in bare feet, in the city !!) until I calmed down enough to turn around & head home. Now, I'm pretty sure this is not a particularly healthy approach, & now the kids are nervous when I leave to do other things , but in the interest of honesty, that's exactly the way things went at our house last weekend. And I too, tend to throw things & slam doors when I'm angry. The kids always remember.... they even remember the time when I threw a packet of corn thins out of the cupboard in a fit of rage. It's been at least 18 months, so I know that it affects them, & how can I discourage them from throwing toys in anger when i do the same thing?? **sigh**

That said, we do still have good days too. Yesterday we all went to the beach & had a great time. I just hope that the good days outnumber the bad ones, KWIM?
post #192 of 335

Parenting is just SO hard sometimes.

At my worst I yell. I stop listening and I sometimes threaten. Not physical punishment as my children know that I won't hit them, but stupid consequences like, "If you two don't stop fighting right now you are both going to your room for an hour and we will NOT be going to the park today." Blech.

Fortunately I've been doing a lot better lately. I'm managing to live in the moment more. I'm looking my girls in the eye more when we talk so there is more of a connection. I'm making real efforts to praise them more. Annoyingly, one of my biggest motivators is watching some of the things my dh says/does that make my stomach turn. He routinely threatens the girls with a sort of abandonment: "OK, if you aren't coming over here then I'm leaving/going back to work. Bye." At which point the girls jump up in a panic and cling to him. Makes me feel physically ill. And he makes these dramatic threats when he is frustrated that are just ludicrous (and the girls know it). "OK since you didn't pick up those books like I asked you to three times then I'm burning them all." Double blech. Sometimes I think he was beaten severly with the stupid stick.

Something else that is helping is that my oldest dd is now getting in her own bed between 8 & 8:30 every night. She starts kindergarten in a little over 3 weeks, so we are working on getting her used to getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier. She is allowed to watch Crocodile Hunter or a short video and she doesn't have to fall asleep, but she does have to be in the bed. She didn't balk at this at all and has done great. She still comes into my bed to sleep sometimes, but that's fine. I still get a bit of down time and evenings are a bit more peaceful. Now if my 2-yr-old would just do the same thing!
post #193 of 335
I've kept an eye on this thread, but I haven't posted in ages. It gives me great inspiration and support to know that you're all out there. I'm feeling in desperate need of some support today, actually, and that's why I'm here...

36 weeks prego, DH has been away for 4 days, and DS's (2.5 yo) behavior is out of control (could be related to any of the above). I've really realized that I may have an anger issue b/c even if it's not directed at DS it's still there-seething underneath. I have a few triggers-and naptime is one of them. We are still nursing for naptime and bedtime. And I think I should have stopped nursing a LOOOOONG time ago b/c now it is a point of frustration for me. Especially if it's not "doing" what I need it to do-like help DS fall asleep. He has been fighting napping lately, while I, of course, really NEED him to nap for my own sanity. Just now while I was trying to get him to sleep we read a book and nursed and all was fine. Then when I say that it's naptime I turn to my side to nurse him to sleep. Well, this doesn't always work anymore. And then when I ask DS to close his eyes, or let go of my breast-he does neither. I've ended up demanding and almost pulling him off of my breast in tears (both of us). I'm raising my voice to get him to stop nursing-b/c it hurts. And he's crying b/c I'm being so harsh and taking away something he loves.

I'm sorry this is such a ramble. I feel terrible that these final weeks before baby #2 arrives have been kinda miserable for both of us. We do not use physical punishment, of course, but being harsh and raising my voice all too often MUST be affecting him. I always try to apologize and be accountable for my actions when I think I'm out of line or if I've upset him, but lately, it's been happening too often.

Thanks for letting me get that out. Keep on keeping on, ladies...
post #194 of 335
Bearsmama . Sounds tough!

At 2 1/2 maybe he doesn't need a nap anymore, even though you still need him to nap. How about doing a quiet time instead. This would mean he has to stay in his room and play quietly, listen to a book on tape perhaps, look at books, whatever you can think up that involves him being quiet and giving you a little break. Even putting on a movie.
post #195 of 335
Originally Posted by dotcommama
Bearsmama . Sounds tough!

At 2 1/2 maybe he doesn't need a nap anymore, even though you still need him to nap. How about doing a quiet time instead. This would mean he has to stay in his room and play quietly, listen to a book on tape perhaps, look at books, whatever you can think up that involves him being quiet and giving you a little break. Even putting on a movie.
I was thinking the same thing. My younger dd is just a bit past two, but she is in that wretched place where she still gets tired in the afternoon and needs some quiet time, but if she naps now, she's up until 11 p.m.

I well remember having a toddler and being very pregnant--very hard time! I know both of my nursing toddlers really clung to nursing if we were feeling out of sorts with one another. If I was grumpy, or snappy, or unhappy with them, then they wanted to be all over me. I'm sure they were using the nursing to try to reconnect with me (and not just drive me crazy like it seemed at the time!). Reminding myself of that usually helped me to lie still and nurse for a bit so that everyone calmed down. I just wrote all of that paragraph in past tense, but I'm going through something similar with my 2-yr-old. Nursing is VERY uncomfortable for me the week before AFarrives. It's like I'm pregnant all over again. And it really upsets my little one when I flinch and show my discomfort. The more I try to deflect her,the more stressed she becomes and the more determined she is to nurse. Usually if I'll just hold my tongue and let her nurse, she'll willingly stop nursing after just a minute. It doesn't always work, but it does more often than not.

Good luck with you impending arrival. Hope you'll check in here and let us know how it goes!
post #196 of 335
dotcommama-Thanks for the hugs. It's what I needed today. And you may be right about him outgrowing his naps. The problem is I usually DO think he needs them b/c by 4pm he is bouncing off the walls w/out one. I think that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result. And this is the path we've been on around here with napping,sleeping, and nursing. I have to change-not him.

I'll see if on those hard, struggling days he'll be amenable to quiet time...
post #197 of 335
Fianna-Our posts must have crossed. Thanks as well for your support. Glad to hear your BTDT view. And you are right-when I flinch, yelp, whatever while nursing, he hunkers down even more and becomes a bear to de-latch.
I have to rethink all this and come up with a better way. Just like I said to dotcom-I keep expecting different results with these things that are triggers for my anger. I'm the one who has to change. Thanks also for the well-wishes...
post #198 of 335
Hey ladies, another angry mama joining you. I want to stop yelling too. My dh has been out of town for five days and the last two (or is it three?? seems like forever!) have been awful. I'm even yelling at my 11 mo. old.

One of the things that I have the hardest time dealing with is dd being rough w/ ds. She pushes him over so he smacks his head on the tile floor, and then she smiles and laughs about it. It makes me furious. She also picks him up around his neck, kicks his head, etc. I usually ask her to take some time for herself in her room so she can cool off - but really she's not upset about it, I AM! Then I talk to her about why I'm upset and why she did it and and what she could do instead. Doesn't seem to be working!!

Bearsmama, you sound just like me last summer. My dd weaned b/c I told her she couldn't nurse if she wasn't going to go to sleep anymore - luckily she just said, 'ok'! Sometimes I think they just need a little push to move along. Have you tried counting while he's nursing? That helped for us - give him 10 minutes, or just 1 min., then count to ten or five at the end of the minute. Also, letting her 'cuddle' the breast (no lips on it) worked too. Good luck!
post #199 of 335
Bearsmama, just like smeta said, I was also going to suggest counting. Especially if it hurts. If you use the same number each time then they get used to how long that is and it helps them to be ready. Do you stay in the bed with him and nap? If not, that might help him to enjoy the nap. With mine I get up and leave when they start playing around but they know I will stay as long as they are going to sleep.

Aussiemum, what you said about the good times is important. Of course we need to handle our anger because it really does affect our children in the long term, but I think focusing on the positive makes it easier to stay positive. Try and remember some of the good things you did as a parent or times you handled your anger really well!
post #200 of 335
Aussiemum, how are things going for you? You've been on my mind a lot. If you are still checking this thread, I hope you'll take a minute to drop us a line.
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