Parenting and Rage - Page 9 - Mothering Forums
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#241 of 1766 Old 04-21-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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Jenniey,

I am very aware of the dietary association with rage. I was just reading about ADHD behaviors and nutrition deficiencies and supplements and ran across info regarding migraines and diet. I didn't read much, as this isn't an issue for us. However, for years, I had daily headaches and it was after I quit eating dairy and artificial colors and preservatives that I happened to notice that I hadn't had any headaches in years. The changes were related to alterations in my diet while nursing our son who has significant food intolerances.

Here is a link about migraines and diet. http://www.nutrition4health.org/noha...eHeadaches.htm Interestingly, many of the foods and ingredients are the ones that we eliminate on "The Feingold Diet". Our son's and my consumption of dairy is highly associated with (mental) aggression, aggravation and irritibility. The amount and frequency of consumption is a huge variable though. Now, we can eat small amounts once a week or so and not have any observable reactions. Our son was very physically aggressive when he tried ANY dairy (including casein or whey as ingredients). He is now 5; and he is significantly less reactive. I ate dairy several days last week and was impatient, irritable, reactive and frustrated with normal childrearing and life issues.

I believe that yellow food die and MSG are migraine offenders, if I recall correctly. So, you might look back and see if there has been any recent exposure that triggered the migraine reactivity. Or, google migraines and diet and see more documentation.

Best wishes,

Pat

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#242 of 1766 Old 04-22-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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pat,
thank you so much for that link... it is very informative; a lot of stuff there makes sense for me.
i guess i need to make a more concerted effort about my diet; we are vegetarians and generally do not eat processed foods, but that doesn't count the many splurges on doughnuts and such and the truth is this week has been horrid and i've probably made it a lot worse by eatting sporadically at best... loads of sweets and pre-made food.
thanks again for your post; i really appreciate it.
jenniey

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#243 of 1766 Old 04-23-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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I can so relate to so much of what has been posted on this thread. I feel rage so strongly sometimes, I feel that I could seriously harm myself or my children. I have never done that, but I am not proud of my actions when I feel so out of control.

Today, I lost it with my dd. I spanked her because I was so tired and angry at dealing with her just pushing my buttons. I know what I need to do with her; when I stay calm, hold her, describe what I'm seeing, she calms down and becomes much more cooperative. But, like a pp said, I get tunnel vision, and I can't seem to stop myself from saying or doing something in my rage. I wasn't gentle or kind with her. I was mean, cold, and definitely roaring to her. I hate it when I choose to act this way.

Your posts have helped me. I can see that it doesn't have to consume me, that I can choose a different path. I want to give my children a different legacy than my mother gave me.

Sometimes I cry at night just because I know that my children deserve a better mama, one who doesn't rage at them. And then I remember that God gave them to ME, He knew my weaknesses, and yet He still entrusted them to MY care. Who am I to question His sovereignity? If He believes that I am the best person for my children, I will make every effort to become that person. (If you don't believe in God, I'm sorry; I'm not trying to rub this into your face, but it really helps me believe in myself and keep on trying.)

Thank you so much for your encouragement, you have no idea how much it has helped me to hear what works for you.
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#244 of 1766 Old 04-24-2006, 01:10 AM
 
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Morgraine & all,

Oh, I struggle with the rage thing, too. Not when babies are young, but my 9 1/2 year old has seen it for several years--intensely when I had post partum anxiety.

I want to share a story. When my mother was alive she volunteered at the crisis nursery in my city. She had a neighborhood friend that she told about her volunteerism. My mother told the woman, "I just wish this would have been available to me when I was raising children." The woman was horrified that my mother was admitting to feeling anger and frustration towards her children. Apparently in the 60's you didn't do that. My mother was on valium for her PPD/mood issues between all of her pregnancies (13). I think a little rage coming out may have helped us see things more honestly. And I would have learned how important it is for moms to get what they need--and that they deserve to have what they need.

She could have used that crisis nursery, or at the very least an online network of friends!!!

The reason I'm bringing this up, is to thank you for reminding me that times have changed and even in the attachment parenting world it is OKAY for us to admit our challenges. And good for us to admit our struggles. For me the rage is all about me not getting my needs met (just like when I was a child). Thanks for helping me feel not so alone.

Thinking of you - and sending good thoughts.

Jeanne
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#245 of 1766 Old 04-24-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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monstermama,
thank you for that relevant and most excellent post.

gardenmommy,
thank you for your very honest post and i want to wish you good luck in your struggles.

i also wanted to post this:

when i feel angry i try to remember that it is my choice.
i know, sometimes we can get so overwhelmed by it all, that this is not all that possible, i mean, that's the problem, right?
i can either keep feeling angry and mean... follow through with threats.... unforgiving of myself and children...
OR
i can just stop. stop and hug them and love them. forgive myself. let the anger go.

sometimes i think we, as parents, get so caught up in the moment that we forget that it is our choice.

"i don't have to make my child behave... i don't have to force him into a timeout, even if he did just hit his brother with a stick."

i remember so many times as a child crying and crying... i had done something wrong, who knows what... and my mom just refused to acknowledge my feelings. as we grow up we learn that the world is actually pretty harsh. authority figures really don't care all that much about what is going on in your heart... you could have just lost a loved one and they would still give you that ticket.... so i try to remember that now is my time to give my children that amazing unconditional forgiving understanding love. in future not that many people will give that to them. it is up to me to set the standard and teach them what it is all about.

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#246 of 1766 Old 04-24-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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Well, a little something interesting to add about me. I recently discovered that my rage, in addition to being linked to sleep deprivation and crappy weather, is related to depression. I have been dealing with some of the depression issues and realized that I've had a couple of "moments" here or there over the past couple of weeks, but it is definitely getting better over all. I never realized that anger could be a symptom of depression. So anyway, I thought that might be helpful information to some of you.
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#247 of 1766 Old 04-24-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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jenniey, I have found your posts to be insightful, thank you! I find that when I am not eating well, not resting well, etc., the rage just sweeps over me in an instant. It is so hard to hold it back. And yet, I know that you are right. I can choose to let go and rage, or I can choose to stop. It is that simple, and yet it is so difficult.

You are also right that this is the one time in my children's lives that they will get to experience that unconditional love. When they can experience the feeling of someone loving them regardless, of hearing their heart, of really caring about what is going on. They will find out soon enough that the world is cold and uncaring; I don't want them to feel that from me, too.
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#248 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 02:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniey
so i try to remember that now is my time to give my children that amazing unconditional forgiving understanding love. in future not that many people will give that to them. it is up to me to set the standard and teach them what it is all about.
I try to concentrate on this as well. I so desperately want them to find our home, our family, to be a respite from -- well -- life. Something to escape TO, not from. I spent my entire childhood trying to escape home, and the single strongest motivating factor in my parenting is to try to reverse this and provide a safe, loving environment here in our home.

I've been doing well over the last couple of weeks; I've been working on being aware of my anger before it gets the better of me. Sleep deprivation is certainly a trigger. My son, the sweetie that he is, is coming out of the tantrum two's and threes (he'll be 4 soon) and he seems more reasonable lately. I welcome this change in communication style! I've also discovered a way to change his anger when he doesn't get his way, and this small discovery has averted many confrontations.

I should go to bed. It is 1:15 am Wed morning, and I wonder why I'm sleep deprived?

Marie
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#249 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris
I've been doing well over the last couple of weeks; I've been working on being aware of my anger before it gets the better of me. Sleep deprivation is certainly a trigger. My son, the sweetie that he is, is coming out of the tantrum two's and threes (he'll be 4 soon) and he seems more reasonable lately. I welcome this change in communication style! I've also discovered a way to change his anger when he doesn't get his way, and this small discovery has averted many confrontations.

I should go to bed. It is 1:15 am Wed morning, and I wonder why I'm sleep deprived?
You cracked me up.

I'm glad to hear that you have been doing well. Four year olds are nice.

I have recently realized that I am a good mama to babies, until about 18 months, and then I am a good mama to a three year old and I kind of stink in between. Thankfully, we've only got one more to go.

I wonder if once they are all that magic age there will be a new terrible time? You know, like maybe, 14 will be really hard for me...
I can't imagine anything being this hard, but then, I remember when I had one boy, he was still technically an infant, and I thought I was never going to breathe, sleep, shower, pee, or eat again.

those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end....

i hope i don't become one of "those people" for whom parenting is just one obstacle after another. i just want a chill pill.

Jennie Young

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#250 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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I'm glad I clicked on this thread. Just last night, dh went to get groceries and I decided to take both dd's to bed, just to have quiet time before he got home. I wanted to nurse 3mo dd2 to sleep before nursing dd1. Dd1, 27 months, was more tired than I realized though, and cried to nurse fairly quickly. I tried nursing both of them, but the sensation was too much and I started to feel trapped. I envisioned grabbing dd1 by the jaw to get her to stop, then realized that I simply could not nurse both of them at once without the urge to hurt dd1 getting stronger, so I unlatched from her and told her that once dd2 was asleep she could nurse. I felt better the moment she unlatched. The problem was, dd1 kept wailing to nurse and every time she yelled, dd2 woke up. In the end, dd1 suddenly became quiet and I realized she'd gone to sleep I feel bad that I wasn't able to help her fall asleep peacefully, but at the same time I'm proud of myself that I removed the trigger that just may have had me lashing out at dd1.
I just wish that I never felt a need for a self-defense reaction to my sweet 2yo. It's like some of the other posts on this thread "A good mom would be able to nurse both without feeling rage/trapped/defensive." "A good mom would help her dc to sleep if they need it."
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#251 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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Another thing - one time I was feeling rage while trying to get dd1 to sleep, and a very boring male voice (you know, the nature documentary voice from those '80s films) popped into my head "The mother bear fiercely protects her cubs". Now I try to remind myself of this - "I am the mama bear", I say to myself. "Noone hurts my cubs, especially not me". It seems to calm me down when I remember it.
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#252 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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i like that, mama bear. great tip!
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#253 of 1766 Old 04-26-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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thank you for this thread! Now I don't feel so alone and guilty. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
:
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#254 of 1766 Old 05-09-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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I was coming here to post something about this intense anger and thought I'd do a search first, since I knew I couldn't be the only one. But I am having a reallly hard time with my only dd lately, who will be 3 in August. She has been very "two" since the fall and just can be so extremely demanding that sometimes I find at the end of the day I am just seething with anger. It's not always even responding to her requests that I don't want to do, but I can't handle the whining and tantrum-throwing and not even communicating what she wants but then throwing a fit when she doesn't get it yesterday. When so goes into her tizzies and starts the whining only dogs can hear, I try calmly telling her that I am happy to try to give her what she wants if she can say it in a voice that I can literally understand, but after repeating this mantra over and over again, I want to scream "If you want someone to help you, then quit your high-pitched whining that no one can understand, goddammit, you're driving me crazy!" And sometimes I have just basically let out a yell of frustration. And then I always feel guilty (because she cries and says so hurt, "mommy don't yell at me"). Or when she can tell you're getting annoyed, she says "mommy no get frustrated." Which is somewhat amusing, except that she says this when she has you in impossible situations, like "I don't want my shoes on" and "I don't want you to carry me." (Well, not wearing shoes in a parking lot and walking are incompatible, so choosing no shoes = choosing to be carried.) I just feel so trapped right now, because I feel like I try go with the flow, but I still need to be able to have some limits. I always try to ask myself if I am making a rule based on a real need or just to exert my power, and if it is the latter, I try to let go. But when safety is an issue (you must hold my hand when we cross the street), or being careful with things that are important to me (no, you cannot bang that toy on my computer), or any number of things that matter a lot to me, I am sick of the constant battles. But I am just spent. I am sick of nursing and sick of the whiny voice in the middle of the night saying "I want nursies NOW!" And we want to have another child next year, and I cannot do this while pregnant if it's anything like the last one. I am so unusually tired this week that I am even wondering if I am pregnant now, but can't test till next week. I am a WAHM with my own business that I derive a lot of personal satisfaction from, but I feel like I can't do my work because she is so demanding lately. I secretly sometimes wish to have a full-time job, just so I could feel like I could breathe lately. What I really want, though, is to get my own business to the point where it is making me enough money to run itself and pay for enough child care to give me about half the day to myself and then feel more ready to have fun with my child, instead of feeling like everyday is a battle. I'm just struggling a lot right now, and am glad to see that others have these same feelings.

Oh, and I meant to say that I wasn't abused as a child, but I definitely had a tumultuous relationship with my parents at times. I was a very stubborn child and my father especially and I would have horrible battles of wills. He hates to be defied and I hated submitting to him and he would get so angry. He never beat me in the way that I believe some speak of here, but I did get the smack on the butt at times. And I hate to say it, but I understand where that rage comes from now. That intense anger that you are trying to do well as a parent and your child is just ignoring you and it makes you so so mad. And I certainly don't want to repeat the dynamic that occurred with me and my father (I harbored a lot of resentment toward him for a long time about his authoritarianism and even though I feel we have a good relationship now with normal issues I didn't like him at times.)
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#255 of 1766 Old 05-09-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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Hey, Beth, I can SO relate! My son turned 3 in December and my foster DD turned 3 in February, and just about the time when they were your DC's age we had a very rough time! I felt like I was constantly in a bad mood and saying negative things because the kids were just SO bad, and I'd try not to get caught up in that horrible cycle but it was really really hard... Last summer I just felt like such a failure as a mother because my kids were always screaming, and I was always screaming, and I couldn't justify arguing with a 2 1/2 yr old, YK? But it was like something magical happened- as soon as they turned 3 everything changed and their behavior is SO much better! Their communication skills erupted overnight and instead of fighting with each other constantly they are mosre likely to explain things to each other, and it is much nicer! So, I just wanted you to know that it DOES get better!!! Your DC isn't "a bad kid" or anything, she's just going through some tough times right now. Hang in there and you will make it!

I and can definitely relate to the "pick your battles" motto... It's not giving in or going against your word, but with a toddler/preschooler you have to decide carefully what you're really fighitng for...

You're not alone...

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#256 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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*sigh*
I needed to read this thread.
My almost 3 year old has been parroting back my words lately, "No screaming Mama!" And in a moment that I am deeply ashamed of, where I reached out to swat at her behind.. has led her to cover her rear whenever I stand up to speak with her about her behavior. This just sucks.

I never wanted this. I have got to turn it around.

I've been in pain from kidney stones lately. And I know my depression and anxiety has been creeping back in. All of these combined with a fairly new baby and a toddler.. makes for a stressful me.

I'm trying.

thank you for this thread.

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#257 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 01:53 AM
 
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WOW! What a great thread. I seriously feel 2nd class to a lot of my crunchy friends b/c being a calm, patient parent is so difficult for me. I really have to work at it. It's especially difficult for me with my older children. Thanks for opening my eyes.
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#258 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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I really struggle some days with my oldest, who is 5. He also has rages and tantrums, well, he's an intense sensitive kid and he's 5!, and he really pushes my buttons. I've lost it with him more than I care to recall. I lose my temper when he pushes my buttons for whatever (usually aggravating his toddler sister and not listening when asked to stop) and have gotten in the habit of grabbing him to force him to stop. Obviously, he can't be allowed to bully his little sister, but me bullying him isn't the answer.
I tried to tell myself that I am not entitled to feel this rage at such an immature being, but that hasn't helped. I am going to try to remember the mama bear line.
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#259 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 02:34 AM
 
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Wow, I really hope that when she turns three in August, it will be like magic. Right now, even her exuberance is too much sometimes and I hate that I feel like that. But I feel physically beaten up some days, because she is so, so jumpy and arm-flailing, and bouncy. So I feel like I get my teeth knocked with her chin a few times a day and a toddler arm smacks me in the face a couple times and she runs feel speed down the hallway and grabs my legs--I know she is being playful, but it is exhausting and not fun and on top of the not-listening it gets to me. She is also obviously going through a testing limits phase, because she is looking me right in the eye and doing what I ask her not to with a mischievous grin on her face. I was looking at a magazine tonight and she grabbed it out of my hand and threw it on the floor. I sighed and just tried to not yell and dh said "Annika, that wasn't nice, mommy was reading that and it's not polite to grab things away from people. Please get it and give it back to her." Her response? To get up, pick it up off the floor and throw it even further away from me. Ugh. We have bathtime battles every friggin' night--no, I don't want you to wash my hair--even when I try everything to make it fun and promise to be extra careful about getting water in her eyes. I try to problem-solve and I let the bath go a few nights, but when she is so defiant, I half want to take the bath cup and literally throw water in her face, as if to say, "See, if you fight me like this about everything, it does hurt, it is worse." It's a self-fulfilling prophecy; she thinks that washing her hair is going to hurt because she's going to get soap in her eyes and then in the struggle that ensues, she of course does get soap in her eyes.

I am glad to hear other people tell their stories of frustration and anger and wanting to just throw something and scream at the top of your lungs. I do that sometimes, just go in another room and scream. Of course, that upsets her too, even though I am trying to not direct it at her. The problem is that I think she is very attuned to people's moods (like me--I can detect small hints of annoyance in dh when he is around my mom and then I get annoyed at him for being annoyed at my mom and on and on), so when I just sighed today, mostly in tiredness, she said "no get frustrated mommy." I said "i'm just tired, honey." But the truth is there's a systemic frustration of late and I just hope that it changes soon.
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#260 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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I've been reading this thread since it started. I posted earlier, but didn't really say much about myself. I was severely emotionally abused by my parents as a child. They didn't mean to hurt me; they thought what they were doing was the right way to make sure I grew into a non-lazy, non-selfish, caring person. Unfortunately, they only succeeded in making our life together a living hell for several years, and I now have some serious issues with frustration/anger/rage and doing [any] everyday work that needs to be done to keep a household running without feeling as though I'm being forced to do it by someone else. (For example, our house is basically clean - could be much cleaner - but it is definitely completely disorganized, with laundry and dishes piled waiting to be washed, and piles of clean clothes, toys, papers, books, and magazines everywhere. )

The thing that has helped me the most lately has been learning more about NVC (Non-violent Communication, aka compassionate Communication). I honestly believe it is the way to go. It is working for me, and it doesn't take a lot of time. It DOES take some effort, though, but it's not too much for me.

I can never seem to make the time to do the exercises/fill out the logs/worksheets that many other therapy methods require. I can, however, find the time to read NVC books/booklets. While I'm reading them, I start thinking about what is going on in my head (what I'm feeling, thinking, needing, etc.).

I strongly recommend NVC for everyone with rage/anger, depression, and emotional pain of all kinds, which pretty much includes everyone in the world. We all feel angry, sad, hurt, etc. sometimes. The booklets I've found most helpful lately are "The Surprising Purpose of Anger", "Teaching children Compassionately", "Parenting From the Heart", and "Raising Children Compassionately". They are 32-48pp - short and powerful - and $6-$7 from www.cnvc.org (you can also find groups and other resources near you on the site). Amazon, B&N, and other online bookstores have them also, often at a discount.

The basic premise of NVC is that, we feel "positive" emotions (happy, satisfied, confident, relieved, trustful, etc.) when our needs are being met, and "negative" emotions (confused, sad, helpless, ashamed, angry, etc.) when our needs are not being met. Our negative emotions are often the product of our thoughts. For example, say my older ds asks for something, say, candy just before supper, and I say no. He then starts screaming. I could think, "Oh, G-d, here we go again, that damn kid is doing it again...I just want him to EAT first, what's the big deal??!!" and wind up very angry with him, and possibly yelling at him. OR, I could take a deep breath, pause for a moment, think, "Ok, I bet he's really hungry, so he's quick to get upset, and he LOVES candy, so I'm not surprised that's the thing he asks for first." and wind up saying fairly calmly to him that I hear that he wants candy, and he must be very hungry, etc., plus I feel guilty for not empathizing with him and helping him to calm down so that we can sit down and eat. (This exact scenario hasn't happened, but numerous similar ones have.) Two things that have been the most helpful for me in dealing with my kids are statements in one of the parenting/teaching booklets I have: simply put, the anger we have when our kids do something we don't want them to do is a direct result of both our [culture's] labeling of their behavior negatively - as "bad", "deliberate", etc. - AND our [culture's] belief that that "bad" behavior must be followed by/responded to with punishment, consequences, etc. A HUGE lightbulb went off in my head at those two things.

I took an NVC workshop on April 9 titled, "Fully Alive! Fulfilling the unmet needs that contribute to depression" and found it very helpful. It was a full day (9:30-4:30) of working out the feelings, thoughts, and needs behind depression. If you live in the Chicago area, here is the link to the Alliance for NVC, who sponsored that workshop and does one about every other month: http://www.alliancefornvc.org/main.htm. They have another one on June 4th that I'm going to get my parents to go to - they are in a painful marriage right now, and have been for years. I believe that, if they could learn a more compassionate way of communicating, it would be of great help to them. I'm going to make it my family's retirement, (both) birthday(s), Mother's Day, Father's Day, and 38th anniversary present to them.

Anyway, it IS so nice to know I'm not the only momma out there with anger/rage issues, and (once again) I strongly encourage everyone to check out NVC. www.cnvc.org
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#261 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 02:18 PM
 
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The thing that has helped me the most lately has been learning more about NVC (Non-violent Communication, aka compassionate Communication). I honestly believe it is the way to go.
: I also think that NVC is extremely helpful in coping with parental rage. I've lurked at this thread a bit (but admittedly haven't read all of it), and I've dealt with my plenty of my own rage as a parent. This actually came up today on another thread, and I thought it might help to share what I posted there here as well. This was my response to the idea of there being no middle ground, of one finding oneself either being able to ignore something or to just freak about it but nothing in between. I've btdt, and this is what helped me (and most of it has come from NVC):

I have had that sense of old demons, old pain, coming up. I have learned that while my past my offer some explanation as to how I came to be acting or feeling in this moment, what is most helpful is to stop (even for a few moments) and ask myself what it is that I am feeling and needing in this moment. Anger and yelling are a habit, a pattern, and thus can be broken. What is necessary (for me) to break this pattern is not thoughts about the past, but awareness of what is happening right now. When I'm aware of what I'm feeling and needing and thinking right now, then I have the freedom and opportunity to change. Really change, not just shame myself into doing it differently this time.

So when my kid throws something at my other kid, and I feel like I'm going to just explode with fury, I have to ask what I'm feeling and where that arises from. I felt angry when I saw kid one throw the shoe at kid two. Why? Because kids shouldn't hit. Really? Is that really it? No. I felt angry when I saw it because I have internalized the assumption not only that kids shouldn't hit but that if I'm a good mother my kids won't hit (or do anything else they shouldn't do)-so what I really need is confirmation that I'm a good mother and that need is not met when I see that kid one is throwing a shoe at kid two. I also feel some fear, because I need to know my family is safe-and that need is not met when I see that someone's head is being hit by a shoe. (Maybe there's more, maybe I'm remembering something from long ago and how I felt then-and I'm feeling the pain of the needs that went unmet.) So when I recognize all that in myself, I can ask "how can I ensure these needs of mine are met now?" And knowing what my own needs and feelings are when I see shoe throwing, I can separate that from what my children are feeling and needing. In taking that moment to give empathy to myself (the "I'm feeling...because I need..."), I also free myself to give empathy to my kids ("are you feeling....because...?"). Then we can find ways of really addressing the situation in ways that are helpful, and that will (hopefully) meet all our needs. And I have to find ways of ensuring my needs are met without depending on my kids to meet them, yk? I can't stand hitting, because I feel all these things and my needs for peace and ease and safety and confimation are not met-but in all likelihood they can be met in other ways, or some can wait awhile while (so my need for ease and peace may have to wait, but maybe my need for safety is urgent now-or all of my needs wait because my children's needs take priority-which, incidentally, does meet my need to contribute to the well-being of my children). It's also critical for me to not be attached to a particular outcome, but to focus on what I and my children are feeling and needing-letting go of the desire for a particular outcome and instead being willing to be flexible enough to meet everyone's needs in any number of ways.

And sometimes, again, it's all about accepting that I can't control others and that no matter how wonderful a mom I am there will still be shoe-throwing. And that doesn't mean any of us are bad, flawed, doing a bad job, going to grow up to be bad people, or any of the other horrible things I might imagine. So it's okay to just respond with compassion-sometimes even fierce compassion. Compassion and talking about feelings and needs doesn't always sound calm or syrupy sweet or nice. It sounds real, and it can be very raw. And that's okay.

This is all very simple, but it's not always easy. I hope you didn't mind my barging in. You are strong mamas. It takes a lot of courage to face this and work on it.
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#262 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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sometimes... it's all about accepting that I can't control others and that no matter how wonderful a mom I am there will still be shoe-throwing.

i really love this. i'm stealing it to be my mantra. thanks very much.
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#263 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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i really love this. i'm stealing it to be my mantra. thanks very much.
How about as a sig line quote? Do give sledg credit, as she is wise and quotable.

Pat

I have a blog.
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#264 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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umm... were you implying that my sig was BORING???
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#265 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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umm... were you implying that my sig was BORING???
No, your sig line is brilliant!

Pat

I have a blog.
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#266 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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yeah right, it is NOW, you mean!!

seriously, though, i know it was blah. i'd been meaning to update it, but nothing really grabbed me. thanks for the coercion- i mean, encouragement.
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#267 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sledg
I felt angry when I saw it because I have internalized the assumption not only that kids shouldn't hit but that if I'm a good mother my kids won't hit (or do anything else they shouldn't do)-so what I really need is confirmation that I'm a good mother and that need is not met when I see that kid one is throwing a shoe at kid two.
I came to this thread today in desperation because I have been feeling so overwhelmed and you just hit the nail on the head for me. It made me cry, and not much does that. Thank you thank you thank you.

I feel angry when my kids act horribly toward each other because I feel that they won't do that if I'm a good mother. And because I feel like I'm running around all the time with this or that I feel that I'm giving them shortshrift not mothering them well and that's why they do this. Which of course it isn't (is it?).

Anyway, thank you.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#268 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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I feel angry when my kids act horribly toward each other because I feel that they won't do that if I'm a good mother. And because I feel like I'm running around all the time with this or that I feel that I'm giving them shortshrift not mothering them well and that's why they do this. Which of course it isn't (is it?).
Mama, they do not do it because you aren't a good mother. Siblings do that. They do it for a reason, but the reason is not that you aren't mothering them well.

Kids (and adults) do things that we don't like because that's the only way they know how to "ask" for connection or a break or any number of other things. If they can do better, they will do better. So think of their acting horribly toward each other as a request to have a need met, nothing more. Not a reflection of your worth as a mother, not a gauge of your mothering skills, just a "tragic expression of unmet need" (Marshall Rosenberg). And there's no sense blaming yourself for that request or that unmet need, it doesn't help. Just respond as best you can. Eventually, with your help, they will learn to ask in more effective ways.

ETA: Mothers do what they do in an attempt to meet their needs too (and their kids' needs). And sometimes we respond to our kids in ways that are ineffective. And that doesn't mean we're bad moms, or inept moms, or failing-it means we're human. When we are kind to ourselves, when we listen to ourselves with compassion, when we take care of our needs, when we recognize that what we did was ineffective and forgive ourselves and learn from it, then we can change. Then we can learn to respond in ways that are more effective-not because we're bad moms now and will be better moms later, but because parenting is a relationship and a relationship is a little like a dance. And sometimes we fumble, sometimes we don't realize where we're putting our feet, sometimes both we and our dance partner want to lead at the same time, sometimes we don't know what the next step is. The more we practice (and the more aware we are, and the more we communicate), the more graceful the dance.

Here, my favorite inspiring quote: "When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Mamas are the lettuce too, you know. And there's no sense blaming the lettuce.


And caspian's mama & scubamama,
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#269 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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ah, you just quoted one of the most brilliant people to ever walk the earth. his "anger" book has really opened my eyes to a whole new life. (now i have to actually purchase it and stop monopolizing the library's copy for months on end!)
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#270 of 1766 Old 05-10-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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I haven't gotten past the 2nd page, but I just have to say you mamas are awsome

I feel that rage too. My parents sucked. The oldest 3 of us 5 got beat often(I am #5), then they became apathetic (I think that's the right word) with my youngest brother and I. None of us have been in a really healthy, normal relationship, though I think my youngest brother and I did the best, finally after each of us went through one horrible marriage. I only got beat once, and my parents wouldn't do it. I refused to do the dishes when I was 7 years old. Picture this: filthy house, so nasty you can't walk inside without getting assaulted with cat crap smell and you can't see the floor...can't sit on the furniture cause there are 30+ cats on every surface, the laundry room is so full of dirty clothes you have to squueze inside the door just to be met with piles of clothes taller then most adults....dishes are literally piled everywhere in the kitchen...the floor has dishes cause the counter ran out of room...cupboards are dingy-grimey, the floor, you can't even see what the pattern on the linoleum is, it's so dirty...and they want a 7 year old to do the dishes. Even though I rarely ate (I finally resorted to shoplifting candy bars before school so I could eat)...Well, I flat told told them NO. So they sent my middle sibling (20ish guy, 6'4", just home from the freaking Army) after me...I couldn't sit down for a week. I never did do the dishes. The only think that made it so I ever cleaned house was my kids, I never want them to live in that squalor. There are other incidents that I feel that rage over too.

I get angry when the kids don't clean their rooms, but I don't yell about it. But I want to. It's hard, that one. It's gotten better over the years, my cleaning and organization system keeps the mess out and just makes their rooms kind of cluttered, but there are days.....I notice it's much easier to deal with the older kids too. I can reason with them. When they were toddlers, and with my toddler now, that rage happens alot. I yell more. The older they get, the less I yell. I guess part of it is frustration because of their lack of ability to communicate. I don't know. But I'm glad (no...not glad....) to see there are other mama's who deal with that anger too.


Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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