I need help mamas! (I hurt my child) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 03-14-2010, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bring on the flames - I deserve them! My 3.5 y/o DS1 is a wonderful little boy, but still very prone to tantrums, which I think is normal at that age. I try to follow a gentle discipline approach, and it works very well usually, except lately he's been aggressive and I've snapped a few times. We do "time-ins" for minor things (we both go to his room and take some time to talk about the incident), and for really major things (hitting or running away onto the street, say) I usually have him sit by himself for minute or two and then we talk. Works well usually, except this week. Here's what happened: we were at the playground when the baby had a massive poop explosion in the carrier (and me!) and he was crying, so we needed to come home. DS1 refused. I started walking, knowing he's follow. He did, but screaming at the top of his lungs that he wanted to stay. By the time we made it home, he was hysterical and started kicking and hitting me, then went after DH and finally, the baby. I picked him up and brought him to his room and closed the door behind us. He picked up a heavy book and hit me, and that's where things got ugly. Normally I would have walked away and allowed him to calm down, but we started wrestling (for lack of a better word), me trying to restrain him in his fury and him still trying to hurt me. At one point, I stormed out of the room and tried to close the door with him pulling on it. I let go, and he went flying, hit his head, and got a huge bump as well as a bleeding nose from hitting the floor. I started screaming for DH, who then started flipping out at the blood, and poor DS1 is still howling on the floor. DH did a great job at calming him down (and himself), but I cannot get over it. I cried the entire evening and all through the night, holding on to him (we all co-sleep). I feel like an abuser and a bad mother because while we were fighting, I WANTED to hurt him like he had just hurt me. I did not intend to, never would, but ultimately, I did. This is also the second incident this week; on Monday he threw a glass on the floor and I yelled at him and got so mad, I came very close to throwing something at him. It turned into a two-hour screaming, threatening match. Ugly... I need to learn how to not get so worked up and defuse the situation as opposed to making it worse. I'm tired (sleepless baby) but otherwise very happy at the moment. So why am I getting so angry? Thanks for reading, mamas.

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#2 of 37 Old 03-14-2010, 08:20 AM
 
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Why are you getting so angry?

Ummm... Your 3 year old is acting his age, you have a new baby, and you're really short on sleep! Give yourself a break. What happened sounds awful, and also somewhat understandable when you're under a lot of stress. An incident like him refusing to leave the park willingly would normally be no big deal, but when you are tired, have a screaming baby and poop all over the place, it becomes very stressful very quickly.

My son is only 2, and he's an only child, but lately I have found myself reacting to his antics more strongly than necessary for some reason. I'll get angry at something and then realize I've never let it get to me like that before. I know some of it is lack of sleep and some is just added stress in the moment.

Try to get yourself a break, and go easy on yourself and your son. Having a new baby around is stressful for him, too. Just keep reminding both of yourselves of that.
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#3 of 37 Old 03-14-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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I feel like an abuser and a bad mother because while we were fighting, I WANTED to hurt him like he had just hurt me. I did not intend to, never would, but ultimately, I did.
This means that you are not the fantasy romantic ideal of a mother, but actually a real living breathing human.

Real living breathing humans need more sleep than mothers get, so please ask dh to help you work on that.

Real living breathing mothers and challenging kids need one on one time with each other - maybe dh can take your littlest sometimes too?

And finally, you have an opportunity here - inspired by your feeling about these events - to figure out where in the process things could go differently next time. Would a silly bell work? Anyone in the family could ring it when they or situations feel out of control, and then that person would get a hug or alone time or a glass of water or a silly hat or.... I'm sure you'll work something out.

I'm ok You're ok - we're just humans, and they are just kids. No angels here.
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#4 of 37 Old 03-14-2010, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Would a silly bell work? Anyone in the family could ring it when they or situations feel out of control, and then that person would get a hug or alone time or a glass of water or a silly hat or.... I'm sure you'll work something out.
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that idea. We already do tons of playful parenting (things like literally putting my foot in my mouth when I say bad words out of anger) and they work so well at avoiding escalation. I think a bell (DH mentioned a bike horn - we have one in the basement - when I told him about your idea) would work very well.

You are right - we beat ourselves up but we are only human. I feel better now, but I NEVER want this to happen again.

Thanks mamas!

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#5 of 37 Old 03-14-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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I've been thinking about your post all day and while I don't have any advice, I wanted to express to you that I really think you are judging yourself too harshly. It can be overwhelming dealing with screaming and tantrums, and we don't always react as perfectly as we'd like. What happened was an accident and I'm sure your son has already moved on. Cut yourself a little slack - parenting is the hardest job out there (as we all now know!).

Here's a hug for you
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#6 of 37 Old 03-15-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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I don't have advice but I can't read this & not comment...
Sounds a lot like me lately. In fact I had a very similar incident with my 3yo (and I also have an infant too). I tend to "lose it" when he hurts me, often not intentionally but that's when I find myself reacting. He jumped on me when I wasn't looking and I reacted by pushing him away, and he lost his balance and fell, then yelled at me "YOU PUSHED ME OVER!!" which I did not INTEND to do - but I did. So I know exactly how you feel... crying & holding him close all night & just feeling terrible. So big hugs to both of you.
Of course my son forgave me and accepted my apology and was over it by the next day, they are resilient... We can only move forward, and do better next time...

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#7 of 37 Old 03-16-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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OP, you sound stressed out. Honestly, I could have written your post. As DS (4) gets older, I don't know what to do if he gets aggressive. If I have the baby, I cannot carry him to his room to do a time in and he hits me more if I try to hold him while he is flailing. DS really pushes my buttons when he hurts the baby. The more sleep deprived I am the worse I react.

We create our own reality.
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#8 of 37 Old 03-17-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.
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#9 of 37 Old 03-17-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.
I agree with a parenting support group, actually a great idea. The call to CPS I believe would be waste of tax dollars in that case.
I'm sure every parent out there, Gentle Discipline or not, had a situation like that before. As long as all parties learn from it, work it out to a better outcome next time (should there be one) it's all good

Mama, I have a 10 week old and a 17 month old, I know...
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#10 of 37 Old 03-17-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post
You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.
That seemed harsh.. this mama knows she didn't act like she normally would have, and has come here for ideas or tips and just some support.

She is clearly not an abuser, she didn't intentionally cause injury to her child, she didn't know that he would get hurt like he did. She feels horrible enough.

CPS is totally not needed in this situation. thoughts, support and healing for herself more then anything is what is called for.

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
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#11 of 37 Old 03-17-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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That seemed harsh.. this mama knows she didn't act like she normally would have, and has come here for ideas or tips and just some support.

She is clearly not an abuser, she didn't intentionally cause injury to her child, she didn't know that he would get hurt like he did. She feels horrible enough.

CPS is totally not needed in this situation. thoughts, support and healing for herself more then anything is what is called for.
I agree. Even though you "wanted" to hurt him it sounds like his actually getting hurt was an accident. You didn't know that he would fly backwards when you let go of the door...Personally, I would have just assumed that he'd fall on his butt (it would hurt a bit) but, in all honesty, I view that as a consequence from pulling on the door. (the same injury could have resulted from his hand slipping off)

Take a second. Breathe. Remember you're human. And plan for next time you feel that way.

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#12 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure every parent out there, Gentle Discipline or not, had a situation like that before. As long as all parties learn from it, work it out to a better outcome next time (should there be one) it's all good
Oh, yes, lesson learned.

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Originally Posted by mama2toomany View Post
this mama knows she didn't act like she normally would have, and has come here for ideas or tips and just some support.
Thanks. All I can say is that in 3.5 years of parenting, I have NEVER hurt my children, or wanted to. EVER. Sure, there were moments when I wanted to scream and yell (and have), but to want to inflict pain?

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I agree. Even though you "wanted" to hurt him it sounds like his actually getting hurt was an accident. You didn't know that he would fly backwards when you let go of the door...
Take a second. Breathe. Remember you're human. And plan for next time you feel that way.
I feel so bad because he DID get hurt and I feel responsible because I put him in a situation that proved unsafe. But my actions were not aimed at hurting him. I hate what happened because when I left the room, I felt pushed to the brink, but I did not hit him and I'm sure I never would. I just never want to get in another situation where the safety of my child is compromised.

I FEEL horrible. But I know I am not a horrible parent, I just feel like one. If that makes sense...

Also, I'm not part of any support group, but I do get together with women from the local LLL group every week, and we talk about everything. I did bring up the incident, and they were wonderful at giving me tools (just like you wise mamas!) to better cope next time.

And I think I'll leave CPS out of this one...

Thanks mamas.

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#13 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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When DD turned 3 she started having very physical tantrums, and I am not that big--so the safety hold I used to use when she was a flailing toddler stopped working.

For me, what worked was completely stepping out of tantrums once she started them. I truly felt my involvement made things worse. Many people here recommend talking to your child and trying to help them interpret their feelings, doing more of a time-in--in my instance, it just made me a target for hitting, kicking, etc. So I started just walking away and ignoring her in our home when this happened. I even had a few bad times where I shut myself in the bathroom for 90 seconds to get out of it.

I found once I stopped trying to take control of the tantrum, she calmed down pretty quickly, and the most destructive she ever got was throwing her toys around the room.

I talked to her about the tantrum after she was done, and I'd hold her, because those big emotions are exhausting. I am happy to see that she will be 5 next month and we haven't had one of those "screaming tantrums" in at least 4 or 5 months.

As a side note, I also really scrutinized her sugar intake. Juice boxes, yogurts--all of those things have tons of sugar and it can get out of control. The amount of sugar in one organic chocolate or vanilla milk box is about the recommended allowance for a full day. I'm not sure if it was coincidence or cause and effect, but cutting way down on sugar and upping protein here seemed to really make a difference in her ability to keep it together.

As for you--you definitely sound like you need more sleep. Is your husband helpful? Can you explain you are happy, but tired and short-tempered and need to sleep in this Saturday AND Sunday? Can you institute a family naptime every afternoon?

Another thing I do is try to keep replaying this little "mantra" "Be the mom you want to be!" in my head during the day. Sometimes it just gives me that split second to think about another way to handle a situation other than my instinctive way (yelling or getting mad).
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#14 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I was in a similar situation the other day....I was very sick with bronchitis and DS asked me to help with a puzzle...ok! I got down on the floor and helped him do his puzzle. We finished and I told him I was going to go sit on my chair and that if he was wanting to do it again he would have to do it himself. Well he got explosively angry at me, hitting and trying to bite me. I told him he had to go sit on the floor and if he wanted to do the puzzle it was up to him but I was not helping this time. Well he picked up the puzzle box and with all his might threw it at my face....I became furious! (I still have the mark on the bridge of my nose where it hit me). I grabbed hold of him a very forcefully sat him on the couch and told him he had to sit there and that I was going upstairs....he chased me up the stairs and tried getting into the room with me...All I wanted to do was hit him back so I had to escape. He became so upset at my outburst, I felt badly but in the heat of the moment I just had to leave the room. When we both calmed down we had a cuddle and he kissed my nose in appology.

So after all that....what I want to tell you is....you are human...we get angry it is an acceptable feeling. You didn't hurt him on purpose....unfortunately he learned the consequence of tug-of-war on a door.

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#15 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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((HUGS)) When ds was this age, there were days when I'd thought we'd never make it to 4; I used to throw my hands up and ask "Lord, will this be the night I end up on the 6 o'clock news??" Granted, ds is autistic, so there is no reasoning with him or talking through the problem, but I cannot allow him to physically harm me or dd. We all have our limits, and when things started to escalate, I found that (for all of our sake) I would lock myself and my then infant in the bedroom until the worst of it passed, and then go out and just sit and rock and hold ds while he calmed down.

It does get easier. Four was less volatile than three, and five is relatively pleasant... so far.


 

 

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#16 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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I have a newborn and a almost 4 yr old... I lose my s!%t almost daily lately! So do many other moms I know. Totally normal and real besides, I think it is good for kids to grow up around real emotions. Next time try to take a deep breath and then respond, I will also try to take my own advice!!
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#17 of 37 Old 03-18-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post
You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.

Seriously... I'm a cps prevention worker and this DOES NOT warrant action by cps. This mama is sleep deprived and dealing with a 3.5 year old in the midst of some intense tantrums. She did not intentionally cause him harm. I have a 3.5 year old who has begun throwing things, slamming doors and pushing doors shut when I am trying to keep them open... This is something that has or can happen to all of us- 3 and 4 year old tantrums get intense for all of us and especially sleep deprived moms, even me who, like I said, IS a cps worker.

OP- most of us have been there and done that. After you get some rest make sure to remember not to engage... You are the mom and things are not debatable at times. He needs a safe place to throw his fits and when he calms down you can talk to him then. Obviously engaging him during a tantrum is not working right now.
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#18 of 37 Old 03-19-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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#19 of 37 Old 03-23-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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first off, hugs to you. I have an almost four year old who's tantrums can be super intense, and i have grabbed her roughly more times than I would ever like to admit. It's really hard to remain calm when someone is throwing punches at you!
second: honestly, the "door" incident didn't seem as bad as the "it turned into two hours of yelling" incident. two hours seems like a long time to not be able to rein it in. That was the only sort of red flag I saw in your post.
We all have to constanly forgive ourselves and just do the best we can!

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#20 of 37 Old 03-23-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I was just coming here to write something like this - but I'm checking out old posts first. Contrary to what some of the moms here have said, it may or may not get easier when they get older. My violent little person is five years old. We never had any trouble with hitting (or biting, kicking, etc) until a few months ago.

I don't know what to do about this. Of course I've tried to talk to him, using various directions (It's not nice to hit, that hurts, people are not for hitting, etc). It has no effect. He thinks it's justified, considering that he will come back with "I hit you because you ____" and no amount of telling him that it doesn't matter, or that there are other ways of dealing with it, has any effect either.

I'm pretty sensitive to pain (and now 9 mos pregnant, I'm not exactly patient)...and sometimes when he hits or pinches me, it actually hurts, and I see red. I really want to retaliate. I don't really want to spank him, and I know spanking in anger is a no-no anyway. But there have been occasions when I've done so. I've tried time-outs (and time-ins, if I understand the definition correctly). I've sent him to his room sometimes, just to separate the two of us and chill out. I don't really like that either (DH thinks he will never like his room because of me doing this - not so sure about that). Occasionally I've held a grudge because I'm so angry and frustrated, but then I feel really bad about it. He gets over all of this so much more quickly than I do and needs reassurance that everything is fine.

*sigh*

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#21 of 37 Old 03-23-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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#22 of 37 Old 03-25-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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Ummm... Your 3 year old is acting his age,
Some of his behavior is normal for a 3 year old - getting upset about leaving the park and having the screaming melt down.

After that, with the intentionally hurting his parents - physically hitting and throwing things at them, and then also the new baby......this is not normal behavior.

Something is bothering him, and most likely it is the new baby, you need to sit down and start working on the situation now, with figuring out what is bothering, otherwise his tantrums and attempts to hurt you, your husband, or his siblings is going to get worse.

As for feeling like you hurt him, well he did get hurt and you were involved, but it was not entirely your fault and it was not done for the purpose of hurting him, it was an accident. You tried to contain his totally out of control and dangerous behavior to you, your husband, the baby, and to him. He was not able to resist continuing the fighting, and pulled against you. The door swung open, and he got hurt....it is not like you flung the door open to intentionally hurt him. Calm down...it is ok. These things happen. My DH accidentally dislocated our daughter's elbow a few months ago...he was trying to grab her and keep her from doing something and she kept running and he caught her arm and it popped.
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#23 of 37 Old 03-25-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post
You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.
I think the parenting support group is a good idea, but I am going to disagree with the rest of it for the most part.


SHE DID NOT intentionally hurt the child. The child was out of control, beyond typical 3 yo behavior. Yes, typical 3 yo behavior would have been to scream and stomp and get upset about leaving. In generally though it seemed like this carried on for a very long time, as I am not sure how far it is from the park to their home....but the child was not able to calm himself down, instead he continued to work himself into an all out OUTRAGE. That is not normal or typical. IT IS NOT normal or typical at 3 years of age to try to intentionally hurt your mother, your father, and your baby sibling.

My son, in 2007 ended up with a 3 day stint in a inpatient mental health place, because of behavior exactly as this child described, although he was just turned 5 at the time. Oh, and ours was not over leaving the park, but the fact that we would not purchase him a hot dog and he wanted one. It was a 20 minute card ride with screaming, hysterics, getting kicked in the back of the seat, throwing anything he could reach, while we headed home. At home, he was throwing anything he could grab, he was throwing the hard covered edition of Harry Potter books at his 8 month old baby sister and hitting her with them, from about 20 feet away and from the stairs.

My DH is a big guy (6'2" 315 lbs), I am not a small person either, and neither of us could get him under control. He was in our bedroom before we got a chance and was boucing off the bed, floor, walls. He ran into his room, tore apart his bed, started throwing books at me.

We got him in the car, dropped his sister and brother off at a friends, and he was still in a temper. Our friend is a former EMT, and she threatened to call the sheriff and have him transported by ambulance, because he would stop kicking and hitting at me.

The whole time we were in the interview process at the hospital, he was running around and hitting me, hitting his dad. Nothing any of us did could calm him down.

So, I have had plenty of experience and I can say what he did is not normal.

Our issues were finally solved, once we fought our Ped for a sleep study and got a diagnosis of Sleep apnea - low and behold, if you research it - sleep apena can manifest in children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder; ADHD symptoms; and a whole host of other things. We have done 1 1/2 years of counseling, and are waiting for a date for surgery that will hopefully correct his sleep apnea. But we have learned that even at almost 7, he needs a good 11-12 hours of sleep a night, and sometimes more depending upon how active he has been and how tired he is.

Don't ignore the behavior and believe acting out like that is normal for a child...it is not. There is either a physical problem causing it, or there are some issues he is having (probably the new baby) that he is having a hard time dealing with and he doesn't know how to express himself and his feelings. Hence the reason he is acting out - he is getting your attention.
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#24 of 37 Old 03-26-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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You should see a therapist or a parenting support group.

Your conduct left your child with a bump and a bloody nose. That's enough to warrant a call to child protective services.

You sound like you don't want to do this. You should see someone, ASAP.

You'll feel better and do better if you get some help.
Ummm wow, just wow. Based on this i hope you are perfect!

SAHM to 5 cats, a crazy toddler and my new baby girl born at home 3/12/12.

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#25 of 37 Old 03-26-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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**hug**

you're not a bad momma.

I only skimmed most of the comments, and you've gotten some great additions to your toolbox. But I didn't catch if anyone suggested you screen for PPD. It might help you understand your anger. For me, at least, anger is how my PPD manifests... greater than normal or warranted anger.

*hugs again*
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#26 of 37 Old 03-26-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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**hug**

you're not a bad momma.

I only skimmed most of the comments, and you've gotten some great additions to your toolbox. But I didn't catch if anyone suggested you screen for PPD. It might help you understand your anger. For me, at least, anger is how my PPD manifests... greater than normal or warranted anger.

*hugs again*
Right. Intense irritation with a short fuse. That's how PPD manifest in me.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#27 of 37 Old 03-27-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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I think the parenting support group is a good idea, but I am going to disagree with the rest of it for the most part.


SHE DID NOT intentionally hurt the child. The child was out of control, beyond typical 3 yo behavior. Yes, typical 3 yo behavior would have been to scream and stomp and get upset about leaving. In generally though it seemed like this carried on for a very long time, as I am not sure how far it is from the park to their home....but the child was not able to calm himself down, instead he continued to work himself into an all out OUTRAGE. That is not normal or typical. IT IS NOT normal or typical at 3 years of age to try to intentionally hurt your mother, your father, and your baby sibling.

My son, in 2007 ended up with a 3 day stint in a inpatient mental health place, because of behavior exactly as this child described, although he was just turned 5 at the time. Oh, and ours was not over leaving the park, but the fact that we would not purchase him a hot dog and he wanted one. It was a 20 minute card ride with screaming, hysterics, getting kicked in the back of the seat, throwing anything he could reach, while we headed home. At home, he was throwing anything he could grab, he was throwing the hard covered edition of Harry Potter books at his 8 month old baby sister and hitting her with them, from about 20 feet away and from the stairs.

My DH is a big guy (6'2" 315 lbs), I am not a small person either, and neither of us could get him under control. He was in our bedroom before we got a chance and was boucing off the bed, floor, walls. He ran into his room, tore apart his bed, started throwing books at me.

We got him in the car, dropped his sister and brother off at a friends, and he was still in a temper. Our friend is a former EMT, and she threatened to call the sheriff and have him transported by ambulance, because he would stop kicking and hitting at me.

The whole time we were in the interview process at the hospital, he was running around and hitting me, hitting his dad. Nothing any of us did could calm him down.

So, I have had plenty of experience and I can say what he did is not normal.

Our issues were finally solved, once we fought our Ped for a sleep study and got a diagnosis of Sleep apnea - low and behold, if you research it - sleep apena can manifest in children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder; ADHD symptoms; and a whole host of other things. We have done 1 1/2 years of counseling, and are waiting for a date for surgery that will hopefully correct his sleep apnea. But we have learned that even at almost 7, he needs a good 11-12 hours of sleep a night, and sometimes more depending upon how active he has been and how tired he is.

Don't ignore the behavior and believe acting out like that is normal for a child...it is not. There is either a physical problem causing it, or there are some issues he is having (probably the new baby) that he is having a hard time dealing with and he doesn't know how to express himself and his feelings. Hence the reason he is acting out - he is getting your attention.
Thank you for this reply! I have experienced similar episodes with each of my 4-year-old twins (girls) though they have never lasted as long as what you described. But I've had death threats (I'm going to kill you, for real Mommy!") and been bitten, hit, and kicked by my daughters who are normally incredibly sweet and loving and very snuggly. They sleep horribly and are actually going to be evaluated for suspected sleep apnea next Friday (we're doing a sleep study). I know missing sleep can make a kid cranky, but I might not really have thought about the full depth of the reaction without reading your post.

OP, I hope you are feeling better now. Clearly the accident was unfortunate but unintentional, and I hope it is behind you all.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#28 of 37 Old 03-28-2010, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep coming back to this thread and I'm soooo grateful for all your input. I really do think sleep has something to do with DS's behavior, although most nights he sleeps 12-13 hrs without waking (we co-sleep). And the baby rarely wakes him up (we co-sleep with him too! ). But there have been some late nights recently because people have been coming to see the baby, so perhaps this is affecting him.

I am also investigating his diet. We eat very little processed foods, and his diet is almost 100% organic, and mostly vegetarian (I'm veggie; DH is not), but I suspect that he is eating artificial food coloring in some of the foods he gets so I'll look at eliminating that.

But all in all, his behavior isn't that bad, the real problem is with me dealing with the outbursts (which I think all 3 y/o have from time to time, no?). I can count on one hand the times that he got violent in the last 3 years, so this is not standard behavior.

As for PPD, I did have it with DS1, but it manifested as anxiety and insomnia. I was also alone (DH was living in another country for work - planned before we got pregnant) and without family or friends (I was also living away from home). I saw a therapist but did not take drugs as the anxiety went away. I did do the checklist for PPD and scored very low, so I don't think PPD is to blame. I think I'm just tired and fed up of being stuck in the house (although we do get out every day, our winters are harsh here...).

I really helps to know that I'm not alone struggling with this, and I am aware of the seriousness of my behavior. There have been tantrums in the past two weeks since I've posted, but only whining and tears, and I've handled them very calmly. The time-ins continue to work; and although I hope he doesn't get worked up that badly again, I will walk away before I get myself to the breaking point.

Thanks mamas!

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#29 of 37 Old 03-28-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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FWIW I think that feeling anger when you're being hit and screamed at is probably pretty normal. If an adult was hitting and screaming at you it would be considered appropriate, your body just doesn't really differentiate very well. You know he's only three, and you adjust your response accordingly, but don't feel bad for how you felt after being screamed at for your entire walk home, attacked repeatedly and hit with a large book.
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#30 of 37 Old 03-28-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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this thread's given me a lot to think about (and reassurance!)

most of the time i think our body just reacts to being hit/punched/spit upon etc. i know i've reflexively swatted ds1's bottom when he's head butted me w/o warning or pinched the baby just as he was drifiting off after a long (napless) day. i'm totally apologetic later on but of course that doesn't make it okay. i'm right there with ya, OP.
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