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Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Page 3

post #41 of 335
Thread Starter 

Morning Issues

This is usually the worst time in our house, too. I can't speak to how to deal with an older child, but I can say that for my 2.5 year old, it's really obvious that he's using stalling tactics to try to keep us with him longer. Today, he actually voiced his desires. "NOOOO! I don't WANNA go to school! I wanna stay HOME! I want you to stay with me!" Oh baby, man I would like nothing better today, but I have to work. I worked really, really hard this morning on maintaining a calm and soothing tone and used the choice/consequence thing earlier mentioned. He wouldn't brush his teeth and so Daddy wound up having to do it for him.

However, I'm sure he's picking up on all the sh** between Daddy and Mama (he crawled into my bed around 3 AM; Daddy is sleeping in the living room these days) and I know it's bothering him. I had a talk with my husband last night about being aware of it and making every possible effort to be patient and loving and reassuring towards DS right now. He agreed, but his choice offerings this morning were all done in a very frustrated, you-don't-really-have-a-choice kind of way this morning. Several times I stepped in to try to help the situation stay calm and finally DH bit my head off. I understand his frustration, but I hate that he's not looking at it from the poor child's point of view. If I hadn't bi*ched him out here, I'd tell him to read this thread. As it is, I'm sending him to the previous one.

Anyway, back to the morning thing.

Shonah - I don't know if you already do this, but would it be possible to build an extra 10 minutes into your mornings specifically to give your DD time to change her mind about something. Maybe you could plan it out together. I'm thinking something like this: "Shonah, we have 10 minutes before we need to be out the door. I know that sometimes you like to change your mind about what you're wearing/taking with you/eating. I'll set a timer for 5 minutes and you can use that time to think if there's anything you want to change. When it rings, then you'll have 5 minutes to make your change. After that, we're out the door, no matter what." That would be too complicated for my little guy, but I'm wondering if it will work for you and your DD? Also, IO'm working really hard right now on trying to catch every single, tiny little positive thing and praising my son for it and using it as a springboard for the next thing. "You did such a good job cooperating on getting dressed this morning! Thank you so much! I bet you can do an even BETTER job with your teeth, don't you think?" It's exhausting, but not as much as the fights are!
post #42 of 335
Thread Starter 

WTF?? Where's my post????

Grrrrr. I swear, I never lost a post on MDC until they changed the formats. Now I lose at least one a day.

Ah well, it wasn't that great. Oh! Maybe I copied it. Hang on.

Nope. Darn.
post #43 of 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
Any suggestions?
Sure, but no guarantees :LOL

Have you tried having her help you at night pick out what she will wear the following day? Underwear, socks, shoes, & clothes the whole bit and then explain once she’s agreed at night there will be no time to change her mind. I agree that she’s doing it because she wants you to be late and get more time with you. So I would just be firm and never give in (I know, easier said than done) and just make her wear what she has on. If you never give in and she doesn’t get to make you late then there will be no incentive to throw the fit in the first place.

As for me, I had one issue to day – I remained calm, but still feel like I’m lacking in being effective at teaching my child to behave.

Here is today’s issue. We were leaving a playdate and we had some cantaloupe left over in a Tupperware dish. DS (almost 4) asks if he can eat the rest in the car. I say yes, but explain that he needs to be careful because there is a lot of juice in the bottom and I don’t want it spilled in the car. So, he eats it fine and then when we pull in the driveway he tips the entire thing in his lap – on purpose. Stick juice is now all over him, his clothes, his car seat and the car. So I wanted to yell, but I didn’t. I said, “I’m really angry right now that you made a mess in the car. Walk in the house and climb into the tub to be cleaned up or I won’t take you out to play.”

He did it and we got cleaned up. But do you think that was a good consequence? I mean I cleaned him up – that’s it. I felt I should make some sort of punishment, but I couldn’t think of anything related that would make sense.

Hmmmm. What would you have done?
post #44 of 335
Dotcommama, how are you so certain that he did it on purpose? Seems like it could have happened for a variety of reasons, most of which I would characterize as careless rather than deliberate. And I don't think you can really discipline out carelessness, at least not at this age. This is one of those things that I would let go on the "choose your battles" logic. Or I might have had him help me clean up (do the laundry, ect.).

OK, so here's what's driving me over the edge lately. My 4 YO DS is constantly have mini-tantrums (cries, whines, flaps his hands) every time his 15 mo. old sister touches his stuff or shared stuff that they are both trying to play with. The rule of the house is that I will keep her out of his room and anything in there is safe, but if its out in the rest of the house, he has to share. Which seemed reasonable to me. But I still get this almost constant barrage of whiney, cry-y stuff and it drives me over the edge. So generally by the end of the day I'm snapping at him. Not yelling exactly, but not very patient either. Taking stuff away doesn't seem fair because half the time its her stuff that he's playing with and she only wants to share. Often he is upset because he's worried about her safety (or so he says), so I feel badly about getting angry. But it still drives me nuts.
post #45 of 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
Dotcommama, how are you so certain that he did it on purpose? Seems like it could have happened for a variety of reasons, most of which I would characterize as careless rather than deliberate. And I don't think you can really discipline out carelessness, at least not at this age. This is one of those things that I would let go on the "choose your battles" logic. Or I might have had him help me clean up (do the laundry, ect.).
Well I opend the car door to get him out and he smirked at me and dumped it in his lap - laughing. I'd say that was on purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
OK, so here's what's driving me over the edge lately. My 4 YO DS is constantly have mini-tantrums (cries, whines, flaps his hands) every time his 15 mo. old sister touches his stuff or shared stuff that they are both trying to play with. The rule of the house is that I will keep her out of his room and anything in there is safe, but if its out in the rest of the house, he has to share. Which seemed reasonable to me. But I still get this almost constant barrage of whiney, cry-y stuff and it drives me over the edge. So generally by the end of the day I'm snapping at him. Not yelling exactly, but not very patient either. Taking stuff away doesn't seem fair because half the time its her stuff that he's playing with and she only wants to share. Often he is upset because he's worried about her safety (or so he says), so I feel badly about getting angry. But it still drives me nuts.
We have this issue too - no answer, just sympathy.
post #46 of 335
Thread Starter 

My earlier post

Ok, here was my suggestion to Shonahsmom

I was wondering if you could build an extra 10 minutes into the end of your morning specifically for Shonah to change her mind. You could plan it out together. Here's what I'm envisioning:

Shonah, we have 10 minutes before we have to get out the door. I'm going to set the timer for 5 minutes and you can use that time to decide if you want to change anything you're wearing/taking with you/etc.

[timer rings]

Ok, we have 5 minutes left. You can use that time to get changed, but when the timer rings again (in 5 minutes!), you need to be out the door. {Perhaps you can set a consequence here for not making this deadline?}

Then, if she chooses not to use the first 5 minutes to make a change, you have time to be a little more relaxed about making it to the bus. Maybe you can read a story or something. I suspect the first few times you try it (and I would definitely prepare her to expect it), you might find yourself running late and fighting it out a bit. But I was thinking that if you keep to it, maybe it will become built into your routine and that will help make it easier?

DotCom - I think the way you handled the cantaloupe situation was beautiful. If you really think he did it on purpose, I would tell him that you think that and it makes you unhappy and angry. I think that telling your children your own feelings is really important. It helps them understand and express their emotions, as well as see consequences in others when we behave certain ways. I wouldn't go for a "punishment" here since you didn't set a specific consequence, but maybe you can have a talk with your DS about the occurence and that it shows you can't trust him to mind you in the car (or whatever). Next time he requests something similar, remind him of what happened and give him a concrete consequence and an alternative. "DS, last time you ate cantaloupe in the car you spilled the sticky juice all over. I'm afraid the same thing will happen and I think we need to wait until we get home to eat." "But MAMA, I'm a BIG BOY and I won't pour it out this time." "Ok, DS, I'll give you another chance. However, if you do pour it out, then you will not be allowed to read stories tonight before bed." Or whatever, you kwim, right? Or do you all think that's too harsh? I don't have a 4 year old, so I don't know!!

Evan/Ana - Oof. That's a toughy! I really don't know. Are you able to create some special one-one play time with him? I'm assuming that you've told him how frustrated and upset it makes you when he behaves that way. One thing my sister did with her boys was to tell them that she simply couldn't hear them when they whined and they would have to speak nicely before she could address their problems. It worked pretty well. Have you tried something like that?

Good luck ladies and keep up the good work. This thread is really, really helping me!!!!
post #47 of 335
Please, may I join?

I've been a yeller now for many moons. I intend to change my wayward ways... here's hoping!!!
post #48 of 335

Jumping in on the yelling bandwagon!

Aussiemom directed me over here from the Give Me a Break thread, and I've been reading a bit tonight. Honestly, I had avoided this thread. I didn't want to think I was yelling that much....or maybe I didn't want to believe that other attached parents would accept me if I did...I don't know. But here I am. I had a reality check from my 22 month old today. She said, and I quote "You yell at Luke too Loud!" Okay, so it took a less than two year old to make the point to me, but I"m here, I'm open to learning and accepting that this is something I need to change.

The thing is, I'm just so tired. I'm tired of everything. I'm tired of doing it all myself. I'm tired of tandem nursing. I'm tired of ds pushing the buttons because he *knows* I don't have any patience right now. But mostly, I'm tired of being angry with my children. I'm tired of feeling like I"m failing them every single moment of every single day. I'm tired of never having one single moment to myself, and then the guilt that comes with not appreciating the greatest blessings that have been bestowed upon us. I sometimes wish we'd chosen to parent differently from the beginning. I'd be done with nightwakings by now. I'd be finished with the bed hopping, trying to get three children to sleep all by myself every single night. I could just sit somewhere and say "good night kids" and they'd go to bed. End of story. None of this, read me another story or nurse me again, or I'm going to wake up 30 minutes after I'm asleep, right when you've got your hands buried elbow deep in dishsoap to wake up screaming because I suddenly realized that nipple is gone.......

And then I hate that I feel that way. I hate that I resent them. I'm not usually like this, NOT AT ALL> I love being a mom. I choose to stay home with them. I choose to paint and blow bubbles and read 100 books rather than get a paycheck and wear expensive clothes. I choose this. And, under normal circumstances, I do love it. That's not to say that I don't have my days, we all do, but this monster mommy I've become....I don't even recognize myself................and that makes me so sad.

There's my pity party. Anyone care to comment!?
Florence
post #49 of 335
Thread Starter 

The most support EVER

Ok, first things first, now my original post is back!!! What is UP with that?? So, sorry if you read through what I posted, TWICE. Ack.

APmom - welcome! I've gotten some great suggestions and some of the best support ever from this thread. I think that it's awesome that we're all working so hard on this thing we hate about ourselves and to me, that's the most important thing. We're working on it!

Florence - Oh mama, I really feel for you!! I am having a tough time doing it with just one, so I am raising a huge glass to you AP'ing 3. That is amazing and you are so clearly doing it with the goal of having happy, healthy children. I've noticed that a lot of us seem to feel guilty about wanting to have some time to ourselves and have some freedom and about resenting the lack thereof that often comes from AP. But the thing is, parenting is HARD, no matter what approach you take. Children force us to live for THEM, and not for US, and that's hard. Period. So I try really hard not to feel guilty about needing a break. I am not a SAHM and I know that, if I was, I would be terrible at it. That might sound harsh, but I just don't have it in me to spend that much time with ANYONE, no matter how much I love them. I just had to accept that I am a much, much better parent when I can get some time away. Therefore, I am HIGHLY sympathetic to the need to find some space. I noticed that you've said you're doing it all alone. Are you a single mama, or lacking partner support? I'm sure you're getting input on other threads, but for my 2 cents, I basically told my DH that I was not physically, mentally or emotionally capable of meeting all the needs of our house, our family, my job, my school and myself and that, if I had to do it all, I was seriously going to have to reconsider my circumstances. That brought him up short and really made a difference in his pitching in. It's taken 5 years to train him as far as he's come, and it's still a big issue, but now I just flat out tell him, "I need a BREAK." Just voicing the need makes a big difference.
post #50 of 335
APMom98 - I totally understand how you feel. I read your post and just to everything you said.

Is there anyway you can get a break? It sounds like it is much needed. I have to remind myself that giving me a break isn't selfishly unnecessary. When I'm feeling overwhelmed and touched out I'm not able to be a good mother. I need time to myself everyday. Sometimes it's 10 minutes to be on MDC, other times I need a whole afternoon.

You can only give, give, give so much until you are empty. You need a break to refuel and be able to give some more.
post #51 of 335
Mmgarda - I couldn't find the hug smilie but that's what I meant to send. I have so many disputes with dh when I intervene when he treats the children less well than I would like him to. I feel stuck because part of me knows that it gives them a better relationship together if they do it their own way and he feels closer to them but then I sometimes can't keep my mouth shut if he is rough with them and doesn't stop when they complain, or teases them, or a million other things.

APmom98 - I know exactly how you feel! My youngest is 6 months and although things were fine for a while at the beginning, I just don't feel like I can cope with even the basics at the moment. It comes dinner time and I don't know what to feed them and I don't feel like doing it. Anything extra is a real strain. I'm "lucky" in that we had a 16 month gap between the first 2 so they are now 4 and 5. When they each reached 4 I told them it was time they started sleeping all night in their own bed. I didn't enforce it, but during the day I would repeat it and both times it seemed to work. So mostly now we just have one in our bed and fortunately I don't yell at her yet ! But the way things are with the other two I don't hold out much hope for the long term.

They just need more attention from me and I don't have the energy to give it. But it is ok to have your limits and to say in advance how many stories you are going to read, or that this one is really the last one. Remember it's better to say 'no' and not yell than say yes and end up screaming (I personally would never do that, of course... ).

I'm attempting a picnic today with a friend so fingers crossed.
post #52 of 335
We're on day 2 of DH being away. Getting out the door in time for school and getting dinner/bath/bed are the worst times of day. DD was being really nice this morning by letting DS and I sleep until we woke. And if it had been the weekend, it would've been terrific. But waking up 20 minutes before school starts is not so good! (I thanked her for her considerate behaviour, but talked to her about it being OK for her to wake me on a school morning!)

DD doesn't like to eat breakfast. We've tried so many cereals, muffins, toast, crumpets, left-overs...She's just not hungry first thing in the morning. She is however STARVING at about 10.30am. And I can't in all conscience (knowing how it effects children) send her to school without breakfast. It can also take her half an hour to get dressed. Brushing her hair can take 20 minutes (or more) and is often not done adequately, but if I do it, no matter how carefully I do it, she screams that I am hurting her.

Tonight I put a very tired DS into the bath, and DD was supposed to get undressed and come into the bathroom to brush teeth and bathe. It took her half an hour. She kept getting distracted: needed to find her music book so that she could check on the lyrics of the song she was singing; had to work out some dance moves to go with the song; had to get some folded clothes out of her drawer to see how she should fold the ones she had been wearing; found a toy she hadn't played with for ages and had to play with that...When she complained that the bath water was cold, I yelled. ("Of course it's cold - it's taken you so long to get into it!").

When I'm trying to talk seriously to her she complains that I'm yelling (and I'm not. Well, not usually). She also won't look at me or stop doing what she's doing. If I say her name I'd really like her to stop what she's doing and listen, but she won't. If I won't let her do something (like ride her bike without her helmet) she screams at me...If I don't know where to find something (that she hasn't put away) she screams at me...

But she's such a sensitive, caring child. She's smart and compassionate. She's terrific with her baby brother. She can be lovely to be with (note to self: spend more time doing things with her). She's funny and exuberant (and loud!). I didn't expect to feel so angry with her after DS' arrival.

I yell when I feel overwhelmed or powerless. And the more I yell (or am bossy) the less things seem to go right. And at the moment I often feel like I have no control over the expression of my feelings. When DH reminds me that I'm the adult and that I should be able to control myself (he's much more diplomatic than that!), I just feel like 'but I can't'.

Hugs to everyone feeling similar feelings to mine.
post #53 of 335
I'm sorry FullCream, but I think you have taken my daughter and are parading her about like she's yours - either that or we have twins, separated at birth!!!

I have only one child, so it's hard for me to comment on how to deal with 2 at the same time, but one thing that works for me (sometimes) is to let things go a bit; could you hand her a washcloth and have her give herself a sponge bath instead of getting in the tub? Can she assemble some things while you are preparing the tub and bring them into the bathroom, or by the door (that's what teachers call "proximity control!!")? My SO was gone for a month at a time on a regular basis, so I definitely understand where you're coming from. The single most important thing to remember when you're flying solo, either full-time or only every now and then, is to take time out for yourself. I know it has been said before, and I know it is difficult, but to be able to take an hour a day (all at one, or five minutes here, ten minutes there) is NOT NOT NOT a luxury. It's a necessity.

That said, I was a bad mama this morning with DD, and I feel so bad/guilty about how I am ruining her that I don't really want to elaborate. Sometimes being a mama is really more than I can take.
post #54 of 335
Thread Starter 

Ugh. Sounds like a bad morning for all.

Hi Everyone,

I'm here to join the pity party. I think that all the stuff between DH and I is terribly obvious to DS and it's really f'ing him up. I mean, we're not fighting or anything, but neither are we touching, sleeping in the same room, saying "I love you," or anything normal for our household and I'm sure DS is picking up on it.

This morning was another screecher. Nothing was right, everything was a fight and everyone was miserable. I had to force a possitive inner dialogue on myself, with little effect I might add, and then I had to give myself a time out. Twice. My success is that I managed not to yell or lose it (I did speak a little angrily to DS at one point, but pretty minorly and only to tell him how frustrated I was feeling with the situation). I used the morning as an opportunity to truly tell DS that his unhappiness in the mornings makes me very frustrated and unhappy and angry and I don't like to feel that way. We talked about how he can help by finding his happy self and not fighting everything.

My failure is that I am f'ing FURIOUS still, and it's been over an hour since I last saw him. I am not a person who deals well with mornings, period. Just give me my coffee and get the F out of my way before I throw you out the window is generally the best way I can describe my mornings. To add the ongoing tantrums of a 2 year old to it, well I'm sure you can imagine. And honestly, DH is trying as much as I am (he doesn't even start getting himself ready until after DS and I leave the house) and we are strategizing together so that we're being consistent, but I don't know that I can do this. I am pushed way beyond breaking these days what with my f'ed up marriage, career jobsearch (and concommitant unemployment for the past 5 months since I earned my Master's degree. . .) and oh-so-enjoyable poverty. I really, truly understand how child abuse situations could begin.

SO, to all of us, I am sending hopeful thoughts and support. Here's to making it through the evening. Sadly, DS is going to be babysit by someone he doesn't know well tonight. They have a 2.5 year old, too, so I'm hoping it'll be ok. Given this morning, though, . . .

Oh, and by the way, 4 year olds sound like another "terrible twos" period. Am I right?
post #55 of 335
mmgarda You are really going through a lot right now, so be kind to yourself. If you and dh haven't started couseling yet I will highly recommend it. My dh and I went several years ago for three months and we learned so much from the experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgarda
My failure is that I am f'ing FURIOUS still, and it's been over an hour since I last saw him.
I think it's okay to be angry as long as you channel it properly - kwim? You didn't yell. You handled your child calmly. Of course you get crazy angry with them, you love them and want them to behave.

I think we need to find ways to dissipate that normal anger and frustration without venting it at our children. I don't think our goal should be to never feel anger because that's not realistic or healthy for that matter.
post #56 of 335
chiming in here to join the pity party...

APMom98 - I could have written your post, minus the tandem nursing bit. Lately I have been just so ugly. Little to no paitence. I'm tired of being tired, I'm tired of feeling like such a sucky mom. Our family has been in transition since January, starting with me being a single parent while my husband had to work in another city for 3 months. Now we are all back together after having moved to a new house and city. My house is just an endless sea of boxes. I am completely drained. And the littlest life inside me is draining me even more. I just can't seem to get "me" back, and boy do I miss "me", and so do my kids and my husband. What hurts most is the disappointment I see in my son's eyes, when I just don't have any energy left to sing another song or play cars, just 5 more minutes. I'm in a funk that I just can't get myself out of.

So, as you can see, I have no advice for you APMom, just letting you know that you are not alone.

Susan
mommy to Aidan (3 1/2), Fiona (2), and little boo edd 10/27/04
post #57 of 335
Can I join in? There must be something going on today because we had a crappy morning too. Every little thing was a fight. The climax was something about getting shoes on. Then, as I was walking down the street with dd, still fuming, with my whimpering 4 year old ds trailing behind, we passed one of our neighbour's houses. Lo and behold, his 3 year old ds was sitting on his front steps screaming. Then we met up with another neighbour and she said that she had had a match with her 4 year old ds too! Anyway I don't know what it is but there must be some negative energy floating around today. I have been reading the last couple of pages here and I am amazed at all of your honesty. Please can I share too? I have struggled with anger all my life and these days my kids just seem to know each and every button to push. I actually have a degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling and I've worked with many many really difficult, damaged kids. All of that, and I feel completely at a loss when my own two healthy, reasonably happy kids get to me. I want to banish the "mama from hell" voice from my personality. I can go for days or even weeks where things go reasonably well but then I have a day like today and I feel like such a failure. Any one have any ideas?
post #58 of 335
Hello...I'm jumping in late as well!

My problem is this: dd is 2.5 and has never been spanked, but I'm afraid sometimes that I'm coming close. Sometimes I grab her arm and she cries like she does when something is hurting her. I figure, what's the point in going to all this trouble not to spank if I'm just using my greater size and strength to cause her pain in another way? So I want to find a gentler way to respond.

Here are the things that get me angry the most:
- When she hits me, or throws things at me
- When she asks for a special kind of food, and then doesn't eat it
- When she slams her bedroom door over and over
- When I try to send her to her room for something like hitting, and she goes limp and flops down on the floor; I'm pg and can't carry her, so I have to kneel down, put my hands under her arms and yank her to her feet. I think this hurts her as well, but it's the only way I've found to get her to walk to her room on her own.

So that's what we're struggling with now...
post #59 of 335
Thread Starter 

Oof.

Man, we really are all having a day, aren't we?

Dotcom - um, we've been seeing a marriage and family counselor for almost 2 years. I feel like nothing helps at this point and our counselor has gotten to the point where he thinks that both DH and I have low-level depression. He would like us to see a doctor and try a prescription for one of the mood drugs (Wellbutrin, Prozac, etc.). I don't know how I feel about that. Here's a brief synopsis of our relationship:

Met
Got engaged w/n 6 months
Got married 1 year later
Got pg w/n 4 months (oops!)
Mama decided to go to grad school when DS hit 10 mos. SAHD had to go back to work
Grad school for 15 months straight w/ DH working FT and me a little PT work
Graduation, DH lost job, I lost job. All in 2 weeks time.
Now, 5 months past graduation and I am still largely unemployed (some temp work) and DH is temping. No stable income, no health care, massive debt.

The stress could kill an elephant, I think. But when you add to the fact that DH and I perceive, understand, and react to the world in completely different ways, it makes for hell. If it helps to understand, I am an MBA, he is a writer. He says "creative," I think "flaky." And that sort of sums it up.

Soogie, Robug and Grease - WELCOME!! Honestly, this is the best thread I've been to here. No judging, no criticism. LOTS of honesty and support. It's becoming a little addictive, actually.

ANGRY AP MAMAS UNITE!!!! Heh heh. That sounds a little freaky, no? But seriously, it is so nice to know that you aren't struggling alone, isn't it. Just hearing everyone else's issues really helps me to keep focused on trying to find solutions for my family.
post #60 of 335
Thread Starter 

Other outlets

Can't find who said it, but someone posted about us trying to find other ways to let our emotions out. I am struggling with this because I really, really, really want to join a gym again, but don't have any money right now. I've tried to just get up early and do yoga or aerobics or something at home, but it has a tendency to wake up DS or he gets up before I'm finished and I lose my "me" time. There are no sidewalks, so it's not really safe to walk in my neighborhood, plus I have allergies, so that makes it tough.

I've been thinking about buying a heavy bag and setting it up in our garage with a pair of gloves and a baseball bat. What do you all think of something like that.

FUNNY - I told DS this morning that when I'm feeling really angry it makes me want to scream and hit. Before I could finish my sentence by saying it's not ok to hit and I don't like to feel that way, DS said (in a shocked voice), "We don't HIT, mama! You can hit the PILLOW. You can stomp and grr and get the angries out, but we don't HIT." : I guess sometimes it takes the 2 year old to remind me, huh?
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