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How do you deal with frustration?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Cause I am *not* good at dealing with mine.

DS is not doing well with his reading today. He normally does just fine but today seems to be an off day. He is mispronouncing words he previously had no problems with. He's saying things like, "but the words are too small for me to see." Um, NO they are not because you never had an issue before. I *hate* it when people make excuses for their mistakes. Just own your mistake and learn from it! GRRRRRRRRRRR! Why does he make lame excuses? It's not like I yell at him for making mistakes. He doesn't get in trouble. I don't tell him he's doing it wrong or belittle him for making mistakes. I do, however, get angry when he makes up a lame a@@ excuse for making a mistake. Then I come here and vent and scream.
post #2 of 17
Lordy bagordy... when you find a magic bullet for dealing with frustration, PLEASE POST IT HERE!!! I suck at frustration and I have managed to pass that sh*t on to both of my boys : I hate myself for it as it is the WORST thing about myself. :

I agree about the lame excuses... drives me to distraction.
post #3 of 17
I say to myself...
"Im going to keep my attitude calm and cheerful right now"
When Im feeling frustrated or disappointed I work really hard to replace that with a positive emotion...persistence, patience, courage, or even resignation..."Ok he is having a hard time with this, I can accept it, now how can we work together to fix it"

I have also found that reading stories, fables, folklore..things with a moral, really gets through to my kids. One day my ds was being very stubborn about something and I reminded him of the story we read the night before. It was about a just married couple who were both stubborn. They got into some sort of disagreement and each one vowed not to give in...whoever spoke first..lost and had to close the door. Robbers came...no one talked...other weird things..etc. Ds saw that being stubborn for no good reason is rather pointless. When my ds is making excuses we find a story that talks about owning up to your shortcomings and pushing on to do better in spite of them.
post #4 of 17
Making mistakes doesn't come easily to a lot of kids (or adults). They have a very strong drive to competence, and they know that competence, especially in things like reading, is highly valued by parents. Your son may not have a lot of experience with "just having an off day" and may be worried that his reading difficulties today mean that he's not as smart as you think he is. He may be afraid of losing your approval, of having you think less of him. He may be afraid to admit to himself that he's struggling -- because his self-concept is still very much tied up in what he can do and in what he sees of himself reflected by you. His anxiety level may have gone up and up as he got more and more frustrated, leading to difficulties with fixating and tracking text. Tension in his facial muscles or eye fatigue may be making it hard for him to focus easily and the letter may actually seem smaller and blurrier and more jumbled than they did yesterday.

If I'm getting really frustrated by my kids, they're not doing it on purpose, and generally I just need to try to see things from their perspective to understand that there are good (if sometimes misguided) reasons for their behaviour.

post #5 of 17
On days where I'm feeling frustrated, I usually just let school go for the rest of the day...We do not take long 'summer vacations' or anything like that, we learn year round...why deal with that kind of frustration?
post #6 of 17
Yeah, I do what pajamamama does. I atleast take a few minutes to calm myself, usually after shouting, reminding myself that thats not right, not helping them, not showing them a very good example. If I shouted at them out of my own frustration I appologize for it, then move on. I also say to myself that I dont have to feel this way (frustrated). I can have a loving understanding attitude instead. I try to remind myself that when they make lame excuses like that its usually because they dont always have the vocabulary to express what they really mean. Thats what I did when I was a kid anyway.

This happens often with us too. My ds is getting frustrated (just turned 6) with only having his sisters to play with most days, and with winter setting in and not being able to play outside. I think this is something Im finding difficult to deal with.... his frustration. Finding things for him to do. Im also finding it a bit frustrating with my dh working nights and needing sleep during the day, wintertime and no where to go during the day. I dont drive. Im finding all these things frustrating.
post #7 of 17
Have you had his eyes checked?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I feel better. Thanks. It's good to know I'm not the only mom who loses patience from time to time.

I ended up putting the book away and telling him to rest while he and I calmed down. I came here to vent. He ate a snack a bit later and then after about 45 minutes I asked if he wanted to try again and he said yes. He still made mistakes but we handled it better.

Sometimes you just have to walk away. It's hard for me to walk away.

Oh and his eyes have been checked and he has read this book without problems before. We do go to the eye doctor for my other ds in a couple months so I will proably have them double check just to be sure. I needed glasses as a kid and my parents didn't believe me. It wasn't until my teacher said something to my parents that they had my eyes checked. They felt bad after they found out how little I could actually see.
post #9 of 17
Let's look at this situation a little differently. What would be your feelings toward a husband who said this about his wife? Our culture does not encourage us to respect our children, however I feel that kids deserve as much respect as adults. Being kind to our children teaches them kindness. Pay attention to what your feeling reading this. How you would feel having this kind of negativity toward you if your hubby felt this way about you?

She is burning meals which she previously had no problems cooking. She's saying things like, "but the words in the recipe are too small for me to see." Um, NO they are not because you never had an issue before. I *hate* it when she makes excuses for her mistakes. Just own your mistake and learn from it! GRRRRRRRRRRR! Why does she make lame excuses? It's not like I yell at her for making mistakes. She doesn't get in trouble. I don't tell her she's doing it wrong or belittle her for making mistakes. I do, however, get angry when she makes up a lame a@@ excuse for making a mistake, like burning dinner.

I know you love you son. I wanted to try to just give you a glimpse of his perspective a bit. My heart hurt for him and you when I read your post. I know you didn't actually say this to him, but thoughts are so powerful. I have totally felt like you though, It was helpful for me to learn about the respect shift on my own journey in regards to kids. You are not on the same path as me though, so feel free to totally ignore my post.

Anyway, I hope I didn't offend. I wish you well. ~Peace, Dayna
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Dayna, I appreciate what you are saying. I do always try to see things from my kids side. That is why I come here and type out my frustrations instead of venting them to my son. At the time when I got frustrated with him (and he was frustrated as well), I sucked in a deep breath, told him to rest and calm down, put the book away, and got on the computer to vent vent vent. That's how I get to feeling better. By venting on MDC to other parents who share my philosophy about parenting and homeschooling. Because for me it's like therapy to hear that I'm not the only mom who gets frustrated and I don't have the only child who gets frustrated....and that sometimes the two of you have an "off" day.

Did you think I actually said what I wrote to my son? Cause I can see how that would be upsetting. I said it here. To my son I told him he was having a hard time at the moment and we would try again later.

This board is my venting space. I'm glad I have it.
post #11 of 17
First - don't be too quick to accept a report that his vision is okay. Visual acuity is only one part of the vision system, and he might have other problems. I would think that it could all vary with various factors - like the things Amanda mentioned - and it can be pretty complicated. Here's an article I wrote about my son's problems: Taking a Look at Vision Skills

The way I relate to frustration is to keep to a minimum the things I've willing to get frustrated about. There's no need to even put the issue of a young child's fluctuations in reading ability on the the list.

For one thing, if he's misprounouncing words he's previously had no problem with, it simply means that his abilities vary from time to time - not that he isn't trying or doesn't care or isn't going to learn by the time it matters. If he's saying things like "but the words are too small for me to see," whether it's an "excuse" or not, he's obviously responding to something from you, whether it's spoken or felt in anger or not. It sounds as if reading is coming across to him as a chore and a challenge, which doesn't need to be the case and isn't going to enhance his love of learning and reading...

Sorry if I seem to be ranting at you - that's not at all what I mean to do - but one of my frustrations is the idea people have inherited from the school systems that children need to have all this put on them at certain ages and with certain expectations. After all, reading skills are merely tools for deeper and broader reading that happens in the teens and adult years - and there's all the time in the world to develop them - so it really doesn't matter a hill of beans whether a young child is reading fluently. I just get frustrated that parents have been fed the notion that it does. Been there/done that.

And how do I handle my frustration with that ? Well, I usually try to take slow, deep breaths and try my darndest to be diplomatic. But when I see a precious relationship strained over it, even if only for short periods of the day, it makes me feel bad all over. I went through some of that when we were starting out, and I've always regretted it (see this story). I also went through periodic anxiety attacks along the years, and I regret those too. It's perfectly natural, given the information we usually have - but if I had known then what I know now, good grief, I would have backed waaaaay off and given my son a lot more credit for knowing far more than I did about how and what he was doing and learning.

Well, I guess my rant has run out of steam... Lillian
post #12 of 17

But as for frustrations in general...

I think the best thing to do in the moment is often to get away - go to the bathroom, go get a drink of water, bring in the mail, empty the garbage, sort the laundry, whatever - casually move physically away from the thing that's bringing on the frustration, take those slow and deep breaths, change your channel, and even experiment with putting on a smile, because it's kind of hard to not feel somewhat happier when your face is actually forming a smile... . This is something I've been dealing with myself right now - nothing to do with homeschooling or family, but other issues. Just the other day, I said some things in a group I belong to that I feel were perfectly warranted (to say the least). It involved some insensitivity to mutual acquaintances that I felt bordered on cruelty, but the fact of the matter is that I wasn't going to change any minds by speaking up in the way I did. Better to walk away and come back with a calmer and more diplomatic approach - which may have at least put a seed of thought into the situation without getting myself into the middle of it in a way that would only serve to cause friction between us. Basically, I said too much - it wasn't planned. There's a lot to be said for getting away and giving yourself a chance to make conscious decisions rather than reacting. So that's the plan I'm working on right now. Lillian
post #13 of 17
I would have to say I have off days for certain things like sewing for example and I know that when I have an off day I need to stop sewing and go do something else.

Could be the same thing for your ds. So if hes not into reading that day do something else.

Or maybe reading isnt fun for him anymore and he just has lost interest.
post #14 of 17
Neither am I
post #15 of 17
I REALLY needed to see/read a thread like this. Thanks for starting it up KH, and everyone's posts have been very refreshing to read.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
I REALLY needed to see/read a thread like this. Thanks for starting it up KH, and everyone's posts have been very refreshing to read.

Isn't it great to know that it's ok to not be perfect?
post #17 of 17

Great thread.
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