Venting about ds in front of him - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-31-2003, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds will be 2 in May, and although he isn't talking, understands about 90% of what I say, or so it seems. I have just come to realize that I often vent to dh or to my mom about stuff going on during the day with ds, and of course he is right there when I am doing this. It makes me really sad to think that he's heard me complaining about him being difficult, or describing the things he's done - throwing food around, refusing to put a diaper on, clinging to my leg as I try to drain boiling pasta water, etc. - the things that tend to drive me crazy during the day. I tend to deal with it by calling dh or my mom, venting and letting off a little steam, and then going on with my day. But since ds is always with me, he hears me saying this stuff, and it really bothers me.

I'm making a conscious effort to really try to not to do it anymore, but I'm really worried and feeling guilty about him having heard me all this time.

Am I the only one who has done this? Please tell me I haven't emotionally scarred my son forever. And what do you do when you just need to talk with someone about the craziness, but your little one is right there next to you?
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#2 of 10 Old 03-31-2003, 02:14 AM
 
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You are not the only one that does this. More and more I realize that DH and I tend to talk about dd as if she was not there (she's 9 months). I'm trying not to do this, even with positive things. For instance, instead of saying to dh "Guess what dd did today?", I'll say "DD, shall we tell Daddy what we did today?"

As far as venting, I try to talk to dh when dd is sleeping or with my mom when dh is playing with dd in another room. Not easy to wait, I know, when you need to vent *now* to calm down.

On a related topic, one thing that other people frequently do that is irritating me more and more, is when they refer to dd as "the baby." She has a name!! But when they say "the baby" it makes me realize how lots of people tend *not* to think of babies as people but almost as things.

Anway, sorry for the rambling post. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. And as for damaging your ds, IMO, I don't think you are. You are realizing what you are doing and want to stop, so that will help. Just remember to give him love and let him know you love him just the way he is. We all need to feel accepted and loved, faults and all.

HTH,
Loon

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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#3 of 10 Old 03-31-2003, 03:35 PM
 
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I do this all the time too. I call the same people.
I never thought about Jonathan actually listening to me and understanding what I am saying.
I think i'll try to stop doing that myself.
I'm sure in the end our babies will be fine though.
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#4 of 10 Old 03-31-2003, 09:58 PM
 
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Yep, I've done this, too. At some point you have to remind yourself often that they are no longer infants and will listen to everything you say about them. It's a shift in your thinking, really. I'm much better at it now, but of course dd is four!

When children overhear us talking about them to someone else, it is very powerful. What's nice about it is that you can use this to your advantage - by praising them to others. I know my dd loves to hear me compliment her, but she just GLOWS when she overhears me talking to grandma or someone on the phone, telling them, "And today she went down the firefighter pole at the playground all by herself!"
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#5 of 10 Old 04-01-2003, 01:39 AM
 
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I had the fortune (or misfortune) of having my son's childcare provider vent about one of his tougher days in front of him when he was about 18 months old. She was explaining to me how he got a time out for something or other. He knew exactly what she was talking about, and he cried the whole ride home. He had a crummy evening, wouldn't sleep, etc., and I knew it was all because he had come away from that incident feeling like he was a "bad boy." After that, I never vented about him in his presence (thought I wanted to many times).
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#6 of 10 Old 04-01-2003, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who has dealt with this. I definitely talk positively about him in front of him - almost all the time. It's just those moments during the day when I want to scream, and instead I vent. I just have to figure out a more mature way of dealing with this, because I really don't want him to feel bad. Especially because most of the time that I am upset it's because I'm tired or frustrated that I can't get done what I want to do, not because his behavior is so bad in and of itself.

But I also wanted to say that I think that hearing me express my feelings is not necessarily a bad thing. I just want to make sure I'm saying "I'm so tired and frustrated, and just really feeling at the end of my rope" rather than "He won't let me put on his diaper and it's driving me crazy." You know, making it about me and not him. Does that make sense?

And yet ANOTHER way I have been forced to grow up as a mother.
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#7 of 10 Old 04-01-2003, 01:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by oceanbaby

But I also wanted to say that I think that hearing me express my feelings is not necessarily a bad thing. I just want to make sure I'm saying "I'm so tired and frustrated, and just really feeling at the end of my rope" rather than "He won't let me put on his diaper and it's driving me crazy." You know, making it about me and not him. Does that make sense?
oceanbaby,

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. It shows your son that you have bad days too, and you are human. It also still allows you to vent.

Loon

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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#8 of 10 Old 04-01-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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I have done it /do it too...I was just thinking about this the other day Oceanbaby thinking what a terible mother I am because he gets everything I say as well...I have to stop and am trying very hard to make myself be aware of what is coming out of my mouth.....

Free To Be~
Traci
"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
~John Holt 

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#9 of 10 Old 04-01-2003, 10:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by oceanbaby
"He won't let me put on his diaper and it's driving me crazy."
Some times I just have to complain in this manner. And when I do, I then try to talk with dd about it at the same time, as in, "dd, we had a hard time putting on your diaper after lunch, didn't we? You were all squirmy and I got a little mad, didn't I?"

I think it help to avoid that talking like she isn't in the room.

I also want to mention that it pays to be care when you are discussing/problem solving current issues. I have a friend who reinforced in her child's head that "he has problems sharing" because she talked the issue over a lot with friends and her DH. Sure enough, pretty soon, her ds is saying, "I don't share" and he has accepted this as part of his personality and as meaning he CAN'T share. It took much longer to erase this script than it did to write it!
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#10 of 10 Old 04-02-2003, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Grumo - it's funny you would say that about your friend, because I had an incident like that - it is actually what made me start being aware of what I was doing. We were having the lock on our front door fixed, and I had mentioned I had to go in the house for a bit to put ds down for a nap. He didn't want to go to sleep, squirming and such, so we went back downstairs to check on the locksmith, and when she commented on ds still being awake, I said "oh yeah, he's a sleepfighter." As soon as I heard myself say that, I was hit by what he must think hearing me say that, and how this was possibly even contributing to him having a hard time going to sleep sometimes.

That's what me start thinking about the issue of me venting in front of him as well. It really made me see how powerful the things I say in front of him can be.
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