I yell all the time and even started cussing at my kids, they don't listen at all and I am losing my way :( - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 54 Old 06-04-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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OP, i'ma single mom of boys, too. it aint easy, is it?

i can offer two suggestions. one, tell you children you are resolved to never spank them again. this will make you highly accountable to follow through.

second, have you ever heard of "hands-on discipline"? i learned of this yrs ago when my teen was a hyperkinetic 3 yo. when you want your children to do something, or go somewhere, dont just ask. put your hands on them, GENTLY of course, and lead them.

it works like this: "ds, i expect you to go outside and play for 30 mins. i will call you when its time to come in. please go now." it can be very helpful to wait until you are standing directly face to face. you can facilitate eye contact with a gentle hand under the chin.

give the child 30 or so seconds to comply, then approach and let the child know you are going to physically guide them..."you didnt go outside, so i'm going to help you find your way", then get behind the child, put one hand on each shoulder and steer the child to the door. you can also take the child by the hand and walk side by side.

its polite and appropriate to advise the child you are going to inititate touch. this will also help you reset your brain to touch your children only with kindness and love in a gentle way.

its very time intensive, but you sound very committed to making the investment. from about age 2 until the present (age 15) i have had to make a physical connection with my ds1, or else he just plain ignored me. this wasnt out of disrespect, he has attention issues as well as auditory processing deficit. when i learned to stop hollering down the hallway and expecting him to do or not do whatever i wanted, things began to go much more smoothly.

i hope this helps you at least somewhat. best wishes!

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#32 of 54 Old 06-04-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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You have received some great advice. Here is something you can do rather quickly and without having to think......when you feel the kids are getting to you and you can`t control them and you are getting ready to burst, go lock yourself in your bedroom or bathroom, wet your face, take a deep breath, whatever - the point is to remove yourself until the real you, the loving mother, is back in charge. The kids may not notice, or if they do, they might care enough to come knock on your door to ask if you are ok.

I`ve been a single mom since my little one was just a few months old and I was (still am) totally alone. I am a college student in a state where I have no family at all. And I`ve resorted to this a few times. Sometimes my DD just wakes up in a bad mood and is a little terror all day long. I also send her to daycare 2 hr a day (during the summer, the rest of the year she goes to daycare while I am in class). The 2 hrs she is in daycare help me recharge so much. It also lets me do things that are just too much if I do them with DD. It also makes us miss each other and we are very happy to reunite after the 2 hrs.

Are there any free/low cost community events/classes in which your kids could participate? Art, music, a sport?

Therapy and a little time to yourself should help tremendously. Sending you hugs and good wishes to all of you!
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#33 of 54 Old 06-04-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
your children have learned that they don't have to listen to you until you scream and curse at them. It is not easy to break the pattern once you've started it, but it is possible. But, if you don't break it, and instead you begin spanking regularly, they will learn that you don't really mean it until you spank them.

All three of your children are old enough that if you set a family meeting, with new rules and a new "warning" that means you mean business, they should be able to help you get the family back on track. They are also all old enough to have regular chores and expectations for how they live in your family.

Don't be afraid to apologize to them when you do scream--an apology goes a long way. "I am sorry I lost my temper. I hate when i do that. I will try harder not to do that, but I need you to try harder to listen the first time I tell you something."

Yes this!!! These children, and you, NEED structure. Their whole life has been turned upside down this year. It makes them feel secure KNOWING what is expected. Try to have a family dinner every night. I know it can be hard by yourself but get a crockpot and go on slowandsimple.com for recipies. Make a big salad that you can all eat off of for a couple of days. You can make a simple chore chart for each of them. They are all old enough to help with daily tasks. It gives them a sense of accomplisment and responsibility and you can build in discipline that way without any yelling or spanking. You also need to make time to enjoy each other. Have a regular movie night every week and/or a game night so that you are all spending quality time that is already scheduled in. Laughter is a great stress diffuser! You have recognized that what you are doing isn't working and that is the first step towards change. Don't beat yourself up! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and make these positive changes for your family. I'm sorry it has been so hard. but I know you can do this!

Stephanie-33 lucky mama of 5 precious ones: DD-12, DS-9 , DS-6 , and DD-3 and Bridget Alannah  SHE'S ONE NOW! loving wife to DH-38
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#34 of 54 Old 06-04-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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I am so glad that you can judge a person entirely on ONE post. I have nothing else to add, as MissMaegie'sMama said everything else I would have.
Hi, it's me who wrote the post you are reffering to. Actually from the ops post what I thought of her was that she is a pretty courageous woman reaching out for help because she is not happy with the way she is currently parenting and does not know what to do. What I love about mothering is that there are so many people with different perspectives. I think there have been many (including myself) who feel compassion and are concerned about this woman. I agree that if I am ever in a position like this I would love to be courageous enough to come here and post and would be very appreciative of supportive and empathic responses. I would also appreciate comments re: suggestions on how to do things; and I would also appreciate someone calling it as they see it and encouraging me to get help if that is what they think I needed.

In this case, I was not calling or even thinking that the Op is an abusive person. I do however feel that swearing at children habitually is verbally abusive.


My context is as a youth worker who works with young people living in a shelter. One of the things we are aware of is really trying to be aware of the way we speak to each other in the shelter. When there is swearing and angry voices, this can really upset some of the young people as it brings back memories of growing up with the way they were spoken to by their parents. Please note - these kids have lived with this for years. I am not saying that the Op is scarring her children; but I do believe if this goes on; and if it does go on - chances are it will escalate - that then yes, there is a good chance it will affect the children as they grow older.

From her post, the op is not comfortable with the way she is responding to her children. You can tell from her post that she loves them dearly. My post was trying to emphasize the need to go and get help. I was not trying to shame or place blame. My God, mothering is the hardest thing to do and to me there is no shame in getting some help when we need it.

As I write this I am not sure if I should have included the part of my work as a youth worker - but I am going to leave it.

I send this with much care and respect,

Lesley
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#35 of 54 Old 06-05-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LorenaAZ View Post
You have received some great advice. Here is something you can do rather quickly and without having to think......when you feel the kids are getting to you and you can`t control them and you are getting ready to burst, go lock yourself in your bedroom or bathroom, wet your face, take a deep breath, whatever - the point is to remove yourself until the real you, the loving mother, is back in charge. The kids may not notice, or if they do, they might care enough to come knock on your door to ask if you are ok.

This.
I've use the phrase "Mommy needs to take a time out", and my kids are allowed to put me in time out if I need it (just like I do with them!).

My three year old will also jump in if my husband and I are raising our voices to one another "Mommy, stop talking to Daddy like that. Daddy, stop talk to mommy like that." And we respect it when he does that.
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#36 of 54 Old 06-05-2010, 09:33 AM
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Hi, it's me who wrote the post you are reffering to. Actually from the ops post what I thought of her was that she is a pretty courageous woman reaching out for help because she is not happy with the way she is currently parenting and does not know what to do. What I love about mothering is that there are so many people with different perspectives. I think there have been many (including myself) who feel compassion and are concerned about this woman. I agree that if I am ever in a position like this I would love to be courageous enough to come here and post and would be very appreciative of supportive and empathic responses. I would also appreciate comments re: suggestions on how to do things; and I would also appreciate someone calling it as they see it and encouraging me to get help if that is what they think I needed.

In this case, I was not calling or even thinking that the Op is an abusive person. I do however feel that swearing at children habitually is verbally abusive.


My context is as a youth worker who works with young people living in a shelter. One of the things we are aware of is really trying to be aware of the way we speak to each other in the shelter. When there is swearing and angry voices, this can really upset some of the young people as it brings back memories of growing up with the way they were spoken to by their parents. Please note - these kids have lived with this for years. I am not saying that the Op is scarring her children; but I do believe if this goes on; and if it does go on - chances are it will escalate - that then yes, there is a good chance it will affect the children as they grow older.

From her post, the op is not comfortable with the way she is responding to her children. You can tell from her post that she loves them dearly. My post was trying to emphasize the need to go and get help. I was not trying to shame or place blame. My God, mothering is the hardest thing to do and to me there is no shame in getting some help when we need it.

As I write this I am not sure if I should have included the part of my work as a youth worker - but I am going to leave it.

I send this with much care and respect,

Lesley
I think the point kjoslyn78 is trying to make is that your comment and bluntness is not helpful to the op. The OP knows that she is off track. The thread title even says that. To come and point out the hurtful part of her problem does not help. Your first line and statement was harsh and the OP does not need that response at this point in time.

She asked for help. I'm gonna say it again........

And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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#37 of 54 Old 06-05-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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I think the point kjoslyn78 is trying to make is that your comment and bluntness is not helpful to the op. The OP knows that she is off track. The thread title even says that. To come and point out the hurtful part of her problem does not help. Your first line and statement was harsh and the OP does not need that response at this point in time.

She asked for help. I'm gonna say it again........

And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.
I wrote the post that kjoslyn78 seconded, and lab, you have nailed the exact point I tried to make. I also pointed out in that post that intentionalmama did NOT say the OP is an abuser, but she did label OP's behavior as such. Labels rarely help in these situations, but concrete suggestions and support DO help. And as I pointed out, there are lots of wonderful suggestions in this thread, and I'm taking notes myself.

About me: I  caffix.giftreehugger.gifcold.gifknit.gifphotosmile2.gif, and read.gif. Oh, and I'm dizzy.gif with love.gif for DH and DCx3!
 
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#38 of 54 Old 06-06-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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No specific good advice here, as lots has been already given. But I did want to chime in to say I agree with lots of the previous posters in my appreciation of your raw honesty about your life. I'm thankful there are people on MDC who can be honest and not act like they are "zen" parents all the time. I felt so relieved when I read your original post, like there are other REAL people out there who lose it with their kids sometimes. My daughter who is 7 really just drove me nuts today and I yelled my head off at her and then felt bad...
I pray I'll learn to be more patient but it is SO SO SO hard at times.

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#39 of 54 Old 06-06-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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And I agree that labeling things "abusive" is not going to help matters.

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#40 of 54 Old 06-06-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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hey there- my kids are completely crazy wild, we have lead poisoning, and the effects are similar to adhd. it is a different level of hard when they are that intense. what helps us most is calming nutritional supplements- gaba, magnesium citrate, D3, mega cod liver oil, and b stress vitamins, and extra inositol choline and paba. surely i'm forgetting some but. . . .have you looked into the feingold program? loud talking can be a chemical or food sensitivity. when we get food colorings or wheat here it is a living bloody nightmare. I become a ball of rage without magnesium and I can't handle stress without extra Bs.
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#41 of 54 Old 06-06-2010, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG!! My little one had lead poisoning when he was a baby, thanks so much for your post, I will look into the supplements.
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#42 of 54 Old 06-07-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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I think the point kjoslyn78 is trying to make is that your comment and bluntness is not helpful to the op. The OP knows that she is off track. The thread title even says that. To come and point out the hurtful part of her problem does not help. Your first line and statement was harsh and the OP does not need that response at this point in time.

She asked for help. I'm gonna say it again........

And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.
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Originally Posted by MissMaegie'sMama View Post
I wrote the post that kjoslyn78 seconded, and lab, you have nailed the exact point I tried to make. I also pointed out in that post that intentionalmama did NOT say the OP is an abuser, but she did label OP's behavior as such. Labels rarely help in these situations, but concrete suggestions and support DO help. And as I pointed out, there are lots of wonderful suggestions in this thread, and I'm taking notes myself.
Lab - exactly. There are other ways to have made your point without using the language you did. For someone already taking the courage to talk about it - what and how you said was a slam and a slap in the face as far as i am concerned. And if that had been me - i never would return to this forum again.

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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#43 of 54 Old 06-08-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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What helps me and helped in the past was exercise.

When my three kids were about the same age as yours I was frustrated all the time. I would get up in the morning frustrated. Gosh - getting them ready for school in the morning and out the door was a nightmare.

I didn't start running to help me be a better parent - but boy it has made me a better parent. I am so much calmer. I run or sweat daily and it has made a huge difference in my parenting and over all wellness. I'm never sick! And I never never never yell anymore. And I have three teenagers now!

Another thing you might try is when your frustration is getting higher and higher - look at your kid. I mean just look at them - in the eyes - that always instantly made me empathetic to them. Most of the time the anger and need to smack would turn into a hug. A hug will diffuse a situation pretty quickly.

Also, you need to make sure you are getting loads of sleep. Go to bed when they go to bed a couple nights a week. I know it's hard to ignore the kitchen and laundry - but you hate the feeling of powerlessness you feel during those rages more.......

As to your post regarding the lack of help or listening....give consequences. Don't keep talking. It is amazing how quickly they listen. Like this - "10 year old, I asked you to go outside. If you don't go outside I will take your iPod until tomorrow morning." Wait about a minute or two (don't stand over them - even leave the room if you to)...then you march immediately and get the iPod. Might not be popular - but you are having a breakdown - this consequence is better than screaming, cussing and yelling. Another thing I do when I am at my wits end is to sit on the sofa and turn on the tv. I get the kids all around me and we snuggle on the sofa and watch the boob tube until we get hungry! My kids are 13, 14 and 16. The best way to get over being angry at your mom is to snuggle with her. Same for you - you'll forget really quickly how irritated you are when your 6 year old is sitting in your lap, loving on you. You should see my 5 ft 10, 16 year old laying on me and playing with my hair!


And I personally think anyone posting comments about how horrible spanking and hitting is would be counterproductive at this point. The OP knows it is bad, hence the post. Some people have personalities that would never even desire to hit - and some people are naturally aggressive. It's how we come to learn ourselves and parenting abilities is what's important.
I think this is all good advice.

I especially think that ALL of you getting outside exercise is great idea.

Also I like the idea of consequence but with a choice. I tend to say things like "DS- Mommy asked you put your train away and put your shoes on. If you are not going to listen to mommy then we are not going to the park. It is your choice. Either listen to mommy, or we are staying home."

Also I don't make threats. I make statments and I stick to them. If I asked my son to do or not do something twice with no response, I give a last warning, ask once more and if doesn't get done I follow through with my consequence. It helps ME keep my cool and I don't hear as much fussing from DS because if he gets upset I can calmly explain that I clearly stated XYZ and even if he's upset with the consequence being followed through with, I feel that I was fair. I don't lose my temper and there is no yelling.
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#44 of 54 Old 06-14-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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If you don't have the money for family counselling or your own personal counselor, sometimes I avoid the trip by asking myself what I think she will ask me, and then thinking about the answer.

Otherwise, i was actually logging on to post nearly the same woes of motherhood, feeling like I'm not parenting from the right place, knowing I'm a patient and creative person and just not seeing that come to fruition. I swatted my son this weekend for the third time in his life, I feel more guilty about not having been able to circumvent situation before it happened than whether or not the spank was the right or wrong thing to do.

I'm new to the Gentle discipline forum and it's specifically because of what you've described even though my life's situation is completely different. What's the same is Stress, and developing kids. I relish in their individuality at the same time I'm bitching at them to comply and in essence obey...and those are two polar opposites. It's not something I can just hug him and tell him I love him (which I do), my actions are so important more so than words to express that same message. I have thought about perhaps it's depression. I had some issues with postpartum depression aroudn this time with my son. I dealt with it by an herbal and homeopathic approach recommended to me by a homeopathic doc. And diet and geting some active time alone. A walk by myself vs a walk with the stroller are leagues apart in its ability to renew and refresh me.

The only suggestion I haven't yet heard in this thread is to KEEP READING THIS FORUM, even if it's unrelated, reading some of hte threads opens my creativity and gives me that can-do feeling again. This is a great resource for renewal!

Other ideas: don't watch the news for a while, turn off the tube except for one favorite show (let it be last comic standing, for a good laugh ), stay away from facebook and other "empty" noise. Kind of like empty calories, things that fill us up with junk. While I realize it's my duty as a citizen to be abreast on the political goings on and vote accordingly, I chose to cut that out of my life for a while. It was causing unnecessary stress. Try it for a while and see how you feel, add back what you miss. The more overwhelmed I get, the more I seem to turn on the tv and disappear into a vegatative state. Read something useful instead with that time, or just sit there and work on relaxing body parts.
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#45 of 54 Old 08-22-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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This thread is truly amazing! I subbed so I can keep coming back and re-reading the advice.

I was raised in a very, very loving home and to this day have the most fondest memories of my childhood. However, my dad was a big screamer, and I find myself barking commands at my kids and raising my voice more than I should. I think a lot of this is a) what I was used to as a kid, b) the stress of having 3 kids under 6, and c) a partner who works a lot.

OP, I just want to say how incredibly touched I am that you came to MDC to share this! I can't even begin to imagine trying to do this alone. As I was reading through this thread, so other ideas popped into my head so I just wanted to put them out there:

* Do you attend any sort of church, temple, synagog, etc.? I am not a regular church-goer, but I do believe that if I ever felt like there was nobody I could talk to (friends, family, therapist) I could absolutely sit down and talk to the reverend at our church. It's a non-domination church that celebrates the spirit more than a religion. I think just having a sense of community might ease some of the burden you are feeling.

* In my area of California we have something called "The Warm Line". Could you look to see if there is something like this in your area? http://www.warmlinefrc.org/

* Do you think it would be possible for a friend or family member (or even your exDH!) to take the kids a couple days a week so that you can have some time for yourself? There are also crisis "nurseries" for children in our area that is essentially free respite care for parents who need a few hours/days to pull it together.

I think you got so much good advice here!! I hope that you have been ok this summer. And lemme tell ya, I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to the start of a new school year.

((hugs))

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#46 of 54 Old 08-23-2010, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I can't believe this thread is still going, it makes me feel not so alone, but also very sad, because parenting should be fun, not so stressful for everyone!

I am happy to report that things have gotten a lot better these past few months. I finally have a car again, so that means that we can just get out of the house and do fun activities like fishing, swimming, hiking, ya know, the stuff that brings everyone together. We even go out in the woods and just spend hours picking plants and flowers, and bringing them back to identify on the web.

The boys are now in counseling, all of them, and even though I am not getting therapy, I am finding that it is helping me to become a better parent. I am ashamed to admit that I simply do not know how to parent my adhd child, but the therapist has helped me to realize that it is a disability, and should be treated as one. One trick I have learned is to connect with my kids before making a request, by standing in the middle of the room and not speaking until all eyes are on me, even if it means holding my little one by the arm until he is looking directly into my eyes. Then I have them repeat it back to me, just to make sure that they really heard me. It has made such a difference!

The therapy is also helping my DP learn to be a parental figure to my children, which is a challenge because he doesnt have children of his own. It feels like everyone is starting to be on the same page, instead of being in completely different books, and it feels wonderful. We're playing more board games, watching more movies, cooking more meals together, and my DP is trying very hard to repair his relationship with my little one, and I think they're both slowly starting to come around to seeing the other's point of view. I hope that everyone is enjoying what is left of the summer, and please keep posting, because I know I will be back for sure!
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#47 of 54 Old 08-24-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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Hi

My kids are younger than yours. (though the oldest is almost 6 and can be a loud talker sometimes, he really seems better though lately.) And I'm not single, but DH works a lot and he works strange hours, so I also have the stress of trying to keep them fairly quiet so he can sleep. (though he is really very understanding of this and will take the one instigating with him. While it does interrupt his sleep, it's not like he's asleep anyway if they are fighting and loud.)

I could have written this post probably a few weeks ago. I also don't know how I got to the point I did, nor can I really explain exactly what happened to change things even a little bit. (I'd say though that my oldest being in school, and me getting a half-day break from my own kids spent in his classroom is a major part of what's helping me. Also, because of school, we're back in a very consistent routine, which I think is a MAJOR MAJOR help!)

Anyway, somewhere in the last 2 weeks, I came to a realization that trying to *force them* to do *anything* was pretty much a waste of my time and energy and it was a MAJOR part of the problem.

So...for one example, my evenings have gone from calling the kids in at 7 PM and ending up trying to chase them down and carry them in if/when they refuse....to giving them the option around 6 PM to "come inside if you want time to watch Toy Story--current favorite video--before bed."
Then, if/when they don't, the next 'reminder' might be "if you want time for a short show before bed" (a 10 min. on-demand video of their choice) (my oldest particularly likes the TV before bedtime privilege, so I use this to my advantage.)

So far, they have *always* come inside, with those reminders, before it has become a COME IN NOW scenario again. BUT...when they do come in, I explain that because they stayed out after I said--XYZ--they don't have time to do--XYZ--now.
They really seem to understand that *they* have made this choice. I have--so far--NOT gotten anything more than a small token argument to see if I am really going to stick to what I said.

So, I would say that changing the timing of my reminders/requests and turning it into a choice for them has helped me stay calm. It also seems to have helped my kids comply better when they absolutely MUST do something, because (I think) they feel like they have more control (over things that don't really matter that much to me.)

I also feel like I've somehow planned out how I'm going to respond already, so I now know--in the heated moments when they show up--how I am going to respond and what exactly I am going to enforce. I would say having a plan of action has majorly helped me stay calm, and the calm/experience I have gained from dealing with this one big problem we were having--coming inside to get ready for bed--has helped me figure out how to respond to other situations calmly. (like DD not wanting to sit in her own carseat this morning. Legally, and by the manufacturer's instructions, she *could* sit in her brother's seat. I just don't feel that a shoulder-belt booster is truly safe for her yet, she's a skinny little 3 and more wiggly than he is. But since I had a person waiting for me to move, and it wasn't *illegal* or entirely unsafe, and a very short distance, I didn't fight her on it. BUT I did take her directly home rather than to the store where she would've gotten to ride a free horse she likes, and she did not ride along to pick up her brother from school today. And I was able to *calmly* inform her that she could not go because of the fuss she put up about sitting in her own seat. A few weeks ago, I might have fought this battle out. I might have yelled and/or swore. Today, I didn't.)

So, this is really long.....the short of it is I have found that a different timing of my requests, offering choices whenever I can, and having a plan in mind for how I'm going to respond to the choice they make is what has helped me reduce my yelling and frustration. (and yes, I've spanked too...but since I've changed and started thinking about how I'm going to respond when they don't do what I'm asking, I'm finding that I don't feel the urge at all to spank...I think it is because I have only spanked when "I don't know what else to do." and now...most of the time, I've thought of something else to do!

Oh, and WALK AWAY. When you offer the choice, WALK AWAY and let it be.

I've been known to even go lock myself in a room and start cleaning something just to get away for a bit when I need to--it puts my mind somewhere else, and they can't really follow me. (My mom also lives here! my kids are not ALONE!! but for yours who are older it wouldn't be totally neglectful or anything for you to do this for a few minutes when you really need to. You're still in the house and available in an emergency, you just get a mental break from listening to the loud voices, the noise, being in the same room with running around and roughhousing, whatever it is you need a break from.)

s nobody ever said this was easy...

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#48 of 54 Old 05-19-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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I would suggest if you have insurance go to counseling -- you need someone adult to talk to besides the kids ---and I would suggest you find a church where you feel welcome and like the preaching  ...even if you aren't strong in faith - go anyway --- take the kids and drop them off on Wed nights (it's free babysitting and will give you one night off.) and .go on Sundays when you can  - find new friends there and new support ... they have services for you and the kids.  Also, I have done the same thing - I've gotten in the habit of yelling and cussing at my 12 year old -- we are working thru it but it's so hard  i'm the bad guy yelling and cussing and feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed to the max..... but I'm starting to do what I'm suggesting ...and it is helping.  I am also going to try some of the other things people mentioned - eye contact, more time one on one  --- or we have movie night every Friday -- that has helped.  .At night, ask them each to tell 2 things about their day and each go around and talk -- then sing a song or read or wahtever -- make it a routine -- and then it's time to go to sleep .... we say our prayers ... ask them for suggestions.   Busy kids are easier -- give them jobs to do  -- if it's a chore or some art project -( sit down and draw mommy a picture or matching  color socks while mommy does something else ) ..... its a horrible feelling I know.... and I haven't figured it out yet but I know they are not your ex and they aren't there to make your life hard -- life just is hard .... reach out to friends and family ....it's okay to let some things go and it's okay not to be perfect.... call someone when you are in the middle of it. 

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#49 of 54 Old 05-22-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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I have had these same issues, and have always struggled with them. I became a gentle parent because I needed a new way to relate to my kids. It does not come naturally to me, it is a constant struggle.

I think the advice given is great, all of it, so I won't reiterate it all. Taking care of you is first priority because you can't help anyone if you are not OK. Like in a airplane, where you put the oxygen mask on yourself first in an emergency. If you aren't depressed or anxious after all the changes, I would be surprised. the year has probably been just as hard on your kids.

I do have a few that weren't mentioned, or were a little different that whats been posted:

For me, making FAMILY exercise a priority has helped immensely. When I get aggravated I get the bikes out and we ALL ride. By 10 min, it's been diffused. Yes, we ride a LOT. In all kinds of weather. We also walk and hit the playground a lot. My kids are younger, but the idea is the same.
We have picked up action sports and do BMX track riding, and go to skateparks. The activity keeps my son chilled out (he is always going), and its something they can work towards that is positive (like a trip to a new park, or staying an extra hour) I couldn't parent well otherwise.
I am physically lazy by nature, have chronic pain, and am a little overweight (but getting in shape now!), so it surprised me how much this helped.

One thing that helped that I didn't see mentioned here yet, is reconsidering what behaviors you find a necessity, and dealing with just those. Just the most important things.

When I made the switch from (angry) mainstream parent to gentle parent, I realized that I was getting so mad over stuff that was just not important. To many USA parents, a kid saying NO, or disobeying even a minor request, is a sign of defiance to be nipped in the bud, smashed if necessary. Little things become hills to die on, because we thought that if we let it go, it would get worse. It is a very adversarial way of child raising.

But our kids are NOT our adversaries! Just getting away from the mindset that I am IN CHARGE and those kids BETTER LISTEN has made me much more able to deal with frustration in a way that is not hurtful. Im sure you already feel this way, you just lost it in the frustration.
When it gets hairy, I tell myself: is this "infraction" worth physically assaulting my kid? Is the gain from spanking/yelling worth the negatives? Is hurting our relationship worth it? I know its hard to do when you are at your limit, but if you can walk away, you can have this conversation w yourself it helps. (I know, I was a habitual spanker.)

It may look like "lazy" parenting to just let stuff go, but its the first step to ending the hitting and yelling. You can work on reasonable limits/actions set in a fair way once you stop the hitting/yelling. (I'm not sure if I am explaining this well.) Personally, What I did was decide on what was vital (respect, love, kindness to others, etc.) then what was second (doing their chores, like cleaning up and laundry), and left the rest. When my kids are older, we will decide these things together.

Best luck! and hugs!
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#50 of 54 Old 05-22-2013, 03:27 PM
 
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One more I forgot, but that is critical:

Find other parents that share your values, and have them around a lot. I don't like looking like a bad mom in front of people, so I use this peer pressure as a way to keep me on track. It also shows me that I *can* hold my temper, if I choose to. I do slip up still, but SO much less. It helps SO much! I am such a better parent when not alone all the time.

Example: There are times when I would yell, but will choose a different phrase instead, because Im with another gentle parenting family. Really, any parent that is anti spank will work, but if you can find good gentle parents, all the better. They also teach me new ways to deal with my kids, and I am always open for learning.

(I am in NO WAY a perfect gentle parent. I am about 45% of the way there. But since I started at 0 being a daily hitter and basically abusive, getting to 45% is a great change.)
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#51 of 54 Old 05-28-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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I agree with the several people who mentioned a weekly family meeting to go over things and talk about both good and bad things that have happened through the week.  Everyone gets a chance to talk without interruption.  That way, everyone gets back a little bit of the control that it sounds like you have all lost. 

 

Hugs to you and your little ones.  It sounds so difficult what you have gone through. I agree with trying to get breaks (I have heard that boxing classes are great therapy!) or counseling for yourself and setting some limits, like, no hitting, and if you need to yell go into the bathroom or somewhere by yourself.  One thing that pulls me up short is if I catch myself in a mirror at a store or somewhere when I am "talking" to my children if they are not behaving and I can't believe the look on my face!! Makes me change right away.

 

Good luck to you and remember, after the rain, comes the sun.

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#52 of 54 Old 05-28-2013, 10:20 PM
 
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Just to remind new responders to this thread, it was started 3 years ago.  Hopefully the OP is in a different, better place with discipline.  smile.gif

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#53 of 54 Old 08-01-2013, 06:01 PM
 
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I know this is an old thread but I just have to say I could have written this exact post, I am so tired and frustrated and disappointed in myself. I am just grateful for all of the advice here, I feel better just reading it and knowing other people feel what I feel and knowing that other people have been able to change. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully the beginning of a new chapter for me!
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#54 of 54 Old 08-03-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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mpjj,

 

I think you have it really, really, really tough.  Focus on one, not more than two,  things you can definitely change, because only you know what these things are and where the priority lies.  Aside from the difficulty of your kids behavior, to me you sound like you might be suffering from depression/exhaustion.  There are treatments for it and if you get desperate enough it won't matter what they are; I have been to that point.

 

Second, you mentioned you have a partner.  If you just got through a divorce this past year, is it possible your children might resent such a major change in their lives after they already went through their parents' divorce?  If there are trust issues between you and them, a family counsellor or some really in depth talking sessions about how they are feeling with you directly (as opposed to someone else) )might help a lot lot lot.  

 

I'm speaking as somebody who went through a divorce at age six and had behavioral issues, the thing that would have most helped me would have been a mom who opened up, communicated, showed love, prioritized time with me, did not date, etc.  I have very little knowledge of you and am only relating based on what I went through as a kiddo.  All of what has happened in your kids lives needs to be talked about a lot, understood, processed, and a clear perspective on your job as mom explained to them and their feedback on what they have been through solcicited: not what you went through but what they went through and then they need their booboos kissed etc.

 

This might motivate your oldest to want to lead the younger ones and while I don't advocate you putting that weight on their shoulders, the bottom line is that it's probably already there now. Give them a way to feel like they have done their best and that it isn't their fault. Love can work miracles. Believe it.  Love can heal all this stuff. 

 

I'm so sorry about your situation.  My reply was not easy but I hope something helps.

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