Ive created monsters - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-07-2010, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont know where to start...I originally came to these forums long ago to learn all I needed to know about labor and birth and I successfully had four natural births from just reading these forums. I shouldve realized that I needed to learn about GD but I didnt at that point. As my kids got older... I have five....I started to see how nasty they are to each other and couldnt figure out why my kids were so tough and rough and hating towards each other. Well then the realization came that eventhough I was the mother that let them breastfeed two whole years, i was the mother that tandem nursed, that I was the mother that gave them unconditional love for the first two years, that let them sleep in my bed until they were ready to get out themselves (actually my four year old still comes back, but my 2 1/2 year old loool sleeps in her own bed!)

Anyways the realization came that Im a very tough nasty mother. I initially had no patience. It seems after they are old enough which seems after about three years old that I turn on them. Meaning im no longer patient with their actions, I treat them roughly, I yell and scream at them. My oldest is now 13 and I NOW I see the way I treated her all these years has really made her exactly like me. She is rough with her sibilings. She doesnt talk but always screams and talks to them with no patience and always putting them down. I realized thats the way i am with them. I did this to them. I couldnt figure out why my household is a living hell and now I have. Its mostly my fault. I have made them treat each other like the enemy.

I think you all get the picture. I barely ever hug or kiss them when they start to get older. Its just yeling, screaming, pushing them away, sometimes it was hitting but I threw that away about a couple of years ago when I saw that it wasnt getting us anywhere.

I didnt mean to be like this. I never imagined I would be like this. I started thinking back to my childhood which I dont remember much of. All except that mom and dad were constantly at odds and fighting and screaming was the norm in our household. Plus the fact that my dad abused us and mom for years with putting us down mentally and beating the hell out of us for the most stupid little things. He was very rough and tough with us and never said a kind word. I think this is where its coming from in me. I couldnt help it until I started to realize what I was doing.

Then I started trying to change like two years ago. I started trying to tone down the screaming. I stopped hitting. But still I would have one day fine and five days back to my normal self then i got so sick of myself and just let go again but no hitting.

Now Im determined to get a hold on myself. I ve been pretty good for a couple of days being nice to my kids, talking to them in a sweet tone. Explaining to them that we want our house to be full of love and compassion towards each other. I had each one talk to one another and to voice love to each other and I did the same to them. My eldest daughter had a hard time accepting that I love her. I think she doesnt believe me at all. The nine year old and seven year old are easier because I gave them alot when they were younger and they are younger I think and easier to deal with. the four year old and two year old i decided would learn from us as long as we are patient with each other, respecting and loving they would gain that from us. So I figured I would work on the older ones.

I started showing them how they could react differently in scenarios. Like for example, one ds hit dd accidentally the initial response is dd wacks him back as hard as possible. Then ds will cuss her out and dd will respond and then they are both beating each other up. So I showed them how it could play out differently by tellin dd to communicate with ds and ask him why he hit her. Once he answered that it was an accident she then answered and told him oh ok and then he apologized and they hugged and all was peaceful.

This is just one example of what Im trying to do. With myself I have learned to take a deep breath before I react and be patient, smiling and loving at the same time. Ive been training myself to touch them gently and kiss them and hug them daily. Something I dont do with the older ones. Of course Im getting better at it but some days not so goood. Plus my eldest isnt reacting so well. She thinks its a joke and tries to make fun of what Im doing with her and the others.

Its just so hard. I dont know If I can keep it up. I guess Im gonna be reading these boards daily. But if anyone has comments or something useful that can help me or some encouraging words or some easy way to turn this whole awful mess that i have created around..I could really use the help. Ive created monsters and I didnt mean to

Momma to GG (dd - 14 yrs old), Active (ds - 10 yrs old), Toon (dd - 8 years old), Olive (ds - 5 years old), Princess (dd - 4 years old) and babyboy.gif Keemo (ds - 24 days old)

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#2 of 9 Old 07-07-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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this is hard for you - lots of hugs and you know the most wonderful thing is that you've already started, you've seen the faults and WANT to correct them - this is fantastic.

For more reading information I highly recommend Confident Children by Gael Lindenfield - she is wonderful truely wonderful, I also love the books by Faber Mazlich - Liberated Children, Liberated Parents, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Siblings without Rivalry, How to Talk So Teens Will Listen ..., These books I'm sure you'll find in your library and will be a wealth of information for you - you can attend parenting workshops that are alined with these books.

The books I've mentioned helps us also work on ourselves - which is a hard thing to do, finding our faults and correcting them, knowing that for the best part our parents did the best they could in the social clims of that time, for many beating up kids and wives was perfectly normal - I'm in no way saying it was correct but even now people 'expect' us to hit or smack our kids if they play up, no hitting is controversial!! My dh was the child of an exceptionally violent household, he was hospitalised many times, he had/s a hard time even now with his parents, he wonders why his mother didn't stop his father, he can't understand the lack of protection and also why on earth would she stay with a man that was so violent, alot of the time it was out of fear - and quite honestly a different woman now that her husband is deceased - he still has a lot to work out and as our children get older he sees a more violent side to himself, which he can control at the moment but it does frighten him and there is a lot of work there to be done - anyway I guess I'm trying to say that I understand where you are coming from but that it is changeable and workable but it's a work in progress that we have to keep doing every day of our lives. Sorry I'm waffling on now and I need to stop - lol

Raising 5 kids is no mean feat, so give yourself a break, it seems like your changes are working and that the kids are responding - but it won't happen over night and does take time, some of us struggle with 2 - lol!!

For bad days - personally I find it really great to start all over again, I tell them to get back into bed and put their pyjamas on, take five minutes lying down and then get up and start it all over again - and it works, and I do it too, same if we come back from the park or outside or whatever and they start up - and I'm guilty of this too, so we put our shoes and coats back on, go out the door and then come back in - it gives us the chance to do things all over again but differently - anyway for the younger ones you may wish to try this - I don't have a teenager, but I'm wondering if you want to do a special time only for her, do something special maybe a spa day out, go out to dinner together after a days shopping or just a long walk out in a forest or a special place that you have together take a picnic and take the time to listen to her and reassure her that you love her, it seems to me that she needs the reassurance that she is still special, that you love her, and that no matter what she'll always be loved by you. There was a wonderful article a while ago in mothering magazine and you may find it on the website about Spa Night, we have actually implemented this with both our kids and it really instills a bonding, love and reassurance that we're still important to each other, you may wish to try and find that, I found it most inspiring.

Keep posting and you'll get all the support that you need.

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#3 of 9 Old 07-07-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Since your kids are older, why not have family role play time every day to model new ways to handle conflict? This way you're giving them tools upfront before emotions run high.

Also, sounds like your older DD needs some focused one-on-one time from you if at all possible.

You might find the Family Virtues Guide helpful (or not, but it's a good book and might give you a way forward).



You can do it even though change is tough at times.

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#4 of 9 Old 07-11-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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Changing your life, your responses and the way you handle stress is HARD. Really, really hard. I applaud the fact that you see the need to change, and I really want you to be successful, for your children and yourself.Is there any chance you could seek out personal counseling?Counseling is about giving you tools to be your best self, so don't turn down any oportunity to get those tools.

Every day is a chance to change your life. Every moment is a chance to choose who you want to be.

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
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#5 of 9 Old 07-11-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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It sounds like you've come a long way.

To give you hope: My parents also had 5 children, an incredible amount of stress and weren't very good parents to my older siblings for a number of years -- it was all they could do to survive. Today, 40 some years later, we all have decent relationships with my parents. It hasn't been without struggle, I'll admit that. But my older sister older than 13 when my parents' lives began to ease and they began to improve as parents. She's had the rockiest relationship, but they have a good one. (And part of it's her personality,she's just prickly at times.) My brother and I, as the youngest (like your youngest, I'm 11 years younger than my oldest sister), have the smoothest relationship.

What pulled us through were three things: Love, underlying respect, and doing things together.

One thing that I would recommend is to find time that you schedule in, where one child gets the focus of your attention. Let them choose what to play or what to do. For 30 minutes, let them be the focus of your attention with no other distractions. Even going for a walk one-on-one would be great. With 5 kids, this is obviously going to be a struggle to schedule, so I'd focus on the older kids. They're the ones who are more likely to have to wait for your attention at other times. If you can do this even once a week, I think it would help.

This is an idea that came from Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen. It's one of my favorite parenting books and I highly recommend it. It's got great ideas for connecting with your children. The other point that he makes is that if your kids' cups of attention are filled by you, sibling squabbles go down drastically. I've only got two, but I can tell you this is true. When my kids are feeling connected to us, they've got more reserves for dealing with annoyances from each other.

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#6 of 9 Old 07-11-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Oh, and I just wanted to add -- build on your small successes. Don't try to change everything at once. Pick the 1 or 2 things that are going on at your house that bother you the most and work on those for a bit. When those are under control, move on to the other things. Don't forget to celebrate small successes.

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#7 of 9 Old 07-12-2010, 09:35 AM
 
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Do you think you can share your reasons for the change, with your oldest? Be frank with her and share with her where you are coming from. Tell her that you realize what you have done in the past is not what you wanted to do, but you were not being conscientious (because that is what you learned in your early years), and now realizing that you need to change, because you DO love her and you want to be a good parent to her. You need to heal yourself and heal the relationship with your oldest, I think. Counseling for both of you could be helpful and it could help you stay on track, instead of giving in when the going gets hard.

I sometimes struggle with controlling my anger toward my kids when they don't listen. I try to take it a day at a time, but sometimes when I'm in a funk, it's harder to manage my anger. And I'm having hard time knowing what to do when my older one just doesn't listen! I need to reread some of the parenting books again for an inspiration.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be a better parent than I was today. Hope you do the same. Hang in there.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-12-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonyoungi View Post
Do you think you can share your reasons for the change, with your oldest? Be frank with her and share with her where you are coming from. Tell her that you realize what you have done in the past is not what you wanted to do, but you were not being conscientious (because that is what you learned in your early years), and now realizing that you need to change, because you DO love her and you want to be a good parent to her. You need to heal yourself and heal the relationship with your oldest, I think. Counseling for both of you could be helpful and it could help you stay on track, instead of giving in when the going gets hard.
I think this is a great idea! Your oldest is old enough to understand and it might go a long ways toward building trust with her to be open and honest.

Family counseling/mother-daughter counseling might be a good idea too. Getting issues worked out before they become huge problems can save a lot of headaches down the road.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-14-2011, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Momma to GG (dd - 14 yrs old), Active (ds - 10 yrs old), Toon (dd - 8 years old), Olive (ds - 5 years old), Princess (dd - 4 years old) and babyboy.gif Keemo (ds - 24 days old)

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