Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 335 Old 05-13-2004, 07:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mmgarda
I've been thinking about buying a heavy bag and setting it up in our garage with a pair of gloves and a baseball bat. What do you all think of something like that.
Part of my dh's counseling that he did for depression (not in our marriage counseling) involved something similar. He would take a tennis racket and smash a pillow with it while screaming out whatever he was angry about. He did it so well he broke the counselor's racket - lol

Our counselor always said, "Depression is anger turned inward."

Anyway, that would be a fanastic way to release anger and tension.
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#62 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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I'm reading all these messages and I'm in awe of us all. I know that sounds terrible, but to first of all, be able to admit these emotions is a huge thing and the strength to try so hard to find another way....well, it makes me smile.

A little more on us, dh is military and deployed right now. He's been gone since February and *should* be home sometime next month. It isn't easy to get a break, I trust very few people with my children. I do have a mother's helper that comes once a week, but it's been a couple of weeks as she's been busy with end of school stuff, graduation, etc. I had her come over tonight, there was this spouse's night thing at the club that I wanted to go to because they were having a cookie bake off (I won!) and I love to bake. BOTH the girls decided it would be a good idea to get up at 4:30 this morning, and it was just downhill from there. They both took naps early and instead of taking one myself, I took advantage of no on underfoot and did my workout. It was heavenly, and I felt great! But about 1pm, I was really wearing down and toddler refused to take another nap and I seriously considered cancelling. But my friend convinced me that I was only 5 minutes away and if she had a meltdown, I could be home quickly. So infant went in the sling and off we went. It was a good time, it was nice to only have one child to worry about, and toddler did just fine after I left, she ended up falling asleep without nursing about 7pm!! I do wish I could get a real break, without ANY kids, but it isn't going to happen any time soon, I don't think. Infant just isn't ready to be left with anyone yet, and as frustrating as it is, I really can look back and see the other two went through this exact stage and it will pass. (Ahhh, the joys of having more than one child, but that's another post! LOL!) So all in all, it wasn't a bad day, not a great one, but I used a lot of the tactics in this thread adn the first Anger Management thread and was able to hold off yelling at ds, so that was an accomplishment. I didn't have to do bedtimes all alone either, which was a big breather for me.....that is truly the hardest part of the day for me, the time when they need the most and I have the least to give because I'm just so exhausted. Hoping tomorrow will be a good day, and I'm off to bed in order to make sure (as much as I can control it!) that I get enough rest!!

Hope everyone wakes up with a bright outlook in the morning!
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#63 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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APMom - GREAT!!! I'm so glad you had some time for yourself and got a little break. I can't imagine doing it alone like you are. I hope your DH comes home soon!!

This morning was AWESOME!! I was really worried because DH and I went out last night and DS was babysat by someone he doesn't know well, at their house, but it went very well and he went to sleep and everything. Since he had a late night the night before as well, I thought this morning was going to be hell. However, when DS started getting difficult about teeth, I went into the bathroom and reminded him of our conversation yesterday morning. "DS, do you remember how I told you yesterday that when you are angry and not cooperating, I start to get angry, too? But when you cooperate and are happy, it makes me feel SO happy?" He smiled and said, "YEAH!" and immediately started cooperating with DH!!!!!!!!! So of course we praised the hell out of him for the rest of the morning about what a good job cooperating he was doing and how happy we were all feeling this morning and how great it is. I can't BELIEVE what a difference it has made in my outlook on the day. I guess I don't tend to reflect on the good mornings. It helps to know how much what happens in the morning sets the tone for the day.

On another note, re: the situation with my DH, I decided that since I was working on being really open and up front about my feelings with DS, I should do the same thing with DH. So, I laid it all out and told him that I was really scared about what happened on Friday and that, although I am willing to give it another chance, he has to know unequivocally that if anything like that happens ever again, I'm gone, I'm taking DS and I'll fight for custody. Now I feel so much lighter. Like putting it out there really helped me understand how I truly feel about it, instead of keeping it inside and questioning myself and my emotions. My only concern about it is that I am afraid it was coercive. It's not my intention, I just needed this boundary to be glaringly obvious to everyone involved. What do you all think about that, please?

THanks, Mamas! You are all so helpful here!

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#64 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 07:23 PM
 
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I'm so glad I found this thread. When I started yelling, it was so shocking, and I thought I would deal with it and be over it. 2 years later.... Ugh. I know it's worse when I'm pg, I really want a LOT of time to myself, and that's rough on the kids. I think part of the problem is that in my desperation for "me time," I resort to getting low-quality me time, if that makes sense. So, for instance, I'll be reading on the computer while the kids are watching TV. That's a recipe for disaster in and of itself, but then they will get hungry and cranky and I'll resent having to interrupt my sub-quality me time to do anything, yk? So I get cranky, and they get crankier.... It doesn't help that dh's schedule is 4pm-1am, and then he comes home and takes hours of time on the computer playing games. He generally is coming to bed when I'm getting up, and then I have the kids by myself until I have to get him out of bed for work. With the pgcy, I sleep enough that I have very little time alone when the kids are asleep, and I resent that dh can take all this time when I feel like I need so much. But when I've accomplished so little in a given day because I keep trying to get truly fulfilling me time, I feel like I can't ask for a break. Soogie, I totally relate to what you were saying. I have some better days, but I always seem to return to this funk where I just want to tune everything out.

APmom98, I really appreciate your honesty in your first post. It really expressed a lot of my feelings.

I really liked the book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by, I think, Becky Bailey. I found that it did somewhat address where the anger was coming from, or at least it acknowledged that the anger was there and you needed to discipline yourself before you could teach your child anything. Basically the same as the inner dialogue idea, she explained how you have to work at realizing what you are thinking and changing that, and (another biggie for me) realizing that whatever situation you find yourself in is the way it is. Sure, if it's 10:30 and you're exhausted, the kids should be snoozing soundly, but if they aren't, focusing on how things *should* be won't help anything. She says you end up fighting against the whole universe -- it certainly feels that way! So I've been trying to realize that this moment is as it is, and the only thing I can do is respond well. And learn from it for next time. That's something where I struggle. I can't remember much of my bedtime routine as a kid, but in high school, I usually spent a lot of time loafing, reading, watching TV, and that's what I want to do when dinner is over now. It really doesn't work. I *know* that if I get things done quickly, consistently, we will all be happier. But still, I end up just wanting to loaf, and we're all cranky, and get to bed at least an hour later than we should have.

Anyway, I'm just rambling, I'm very glad to find that I'm not alone. And that my kid is normal! When he's mellow, he's really mellow and agreeable, but I've found that his out-of-balance times have been really rocky. Someone mentioned that 4 yos seem to have a time like 2 yos -- I've read this a few times before and my 4 yo is proof! Things were so draining and challenging when he was around 2, and then smooth sailing through three until just recently, around 4.5, then poof! He's also learning and growing and becoming more independent much more now than in his lull time, it all just goes together.

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#65 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 08:00 PM
 
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Today was another failure day for GD...dd has been having these sudden tantrums that I don't understand. Like today, we were making muffins and I needed her to scoot over so I could get into a drawer. She wouldn't move when I asked her to, so I held her with one arm and started to scoot her footstool with the other. She started screaming and throwing ingredients on the floor, and then grabbed the bowl of batter. I don't know why, but I was unable to pry it out of her hands. I kept asking her to put it down or give it to me, then I tried pulling on it, and still could not get it away from her. Finally she tried to throw it on the floor and I caught it. I figured I would just put her in her room, and she did her usual thing of going limp and refusing to walk. It took several tries of her taking only one step at a time before I could get her into her room, with her screaming the whole time, and I did resort to grabbing, pushing, pulling, anything I could do to get her to walk.

I don't know what brought it on; she was having such a good time. Eariler in the day she got ahold of a pen, broke it open and got ink everywhere. I had to take it away from her and put her in the bathtub. No resistance from her there...she handed me the pen and walked to the tub without throwing a fit. It seems like when I try to interact with her, things start falling apart. I wonder if she would be happier just playing in her room or watching TV all day; those things never end up with her crying. I was feeling bad for ignoring her and not being much fun or doing interesting things with her, but it seems like she's not happy when I do try and involve her.
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#66 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh Grease - I have SOOO been there! When Sebastian reacts in a way that seems totally out of whack to the situation, I usually respond by acknowledging that. It just sort of happens naturally. I tend to say something like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa!! What happened?? Why are you so upset??" Of course, that doesn't often work, but it helps me to focus on what might be going on with him, instead of what I'm feeling.

I've been thinking about the limp thing and wondering if maybe there's a better approach than trying to get your DD to leave the room, especially since she can fight against it SOOO effectively. I like to think that my response to that situation would have been to say something along the lines of, "Hey, if you want to help me cook - and I would LOVE for you to help me cook! - then you need to calm down. I can see that you're feeling frustrated, but we don't throw things on the floor. Would you like to take a break for a few minutes to calm down? No? Ok, if we're going to continue cooking, I need for you to cooperate with me. If you can't cooperate, you can get down off the stool." That way you're removing her from the situation by taking her off the stool, but you don't have to try to get her all the way to her room. Of course, with my DS I can totally see that escalating to full-blown tantrum on the floor, which is a huge trigger for me to lose it. In that case, I hope I would be able to see clearly enough to give myself a time-out and go to MY room. I actually did that twice the other morning when DS was tantruming and it really helped me calm down enough to focus on problem-solving.

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#67 of 335 Old 05-14-2004, 11:20 PM
 
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Just jumping in here. I am need of support with this also. I am working so hard on not yelling and losing my patience so easily. I have a newborn (3 mos) and a 23 month old. Whne I am tired and ds is whiny it is so easy to scream. I am currently remionding myself that it is my tiredness not his toddlerhood that is getting to me!
Thanks Mamas for being here!
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#68 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 12:05 AM
 
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Hi ladies. I'm new here, but so glad I came across this thread! I've been reading through the posts and it's so good to know that I'm not the only "yeller" out there. My mom constantly yelled growing up and it really just became our way of communicating. Until recently I didn't think there was really anything wrong with raising my voice, but as Bella gets older, I'm becoming more aware of what comes out of my mouth and sometimes I just sound UGLY!!

Anyways, I'm going to try to positive internal dialogue and see where that gets me. I seem to do so good until I get really frustrated and then I end up yelling and sounding like a 5 year old, instead of an in control adult.

I guess that's all for now!!
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#69 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 12:24 AM
 
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Had some moderate success just before (controlling my anger). DD, DS and I went shopping this morning - bought lots of needed clothes/sleep-wear, and a special toy each. DD was helpful, cooperative and funny. I told her so. When we got home I told her that I'd really enjoyed our outing - she'd been good company and had made things easy for me by helping so much.

On the way home we'd talked about DS needing a sleep and how it's much easier to get him to sleep if it's quiet, so things like walking around the house a lot or opening and closing doors make it harder . I asked DD what she'd like to do while I was getting him to sleep. She said she'd like to do some drawing at the kitchen table. I agreed that would be a good choice, and suggested she could do some reading or work on the computer too if she liked. Thought we had it all sorted out... Just as DS was feeding [nursing] to sleep, DD crept to the door 'whispering' "Mummy, mummy, I'm thirsty". I whispered back "Please go away. I'll talk to you soon". So then she decided to go outside - but the door was locked so she clomped through the house to find the keys, opened the door (which both squeaks and bangs) and let the neighbour's cat in (she has a loud bell and was meowing excitedly). Eventually DS was asleep and I was able to put him down. I went outside to DD and explained that I was really angry because she had chosen to do things that made lots of noise and that made it very hard for me to get her brother to sleep even though we'd talked about what I needed. She was apologetic, but still seemed to think I was being unfair. Still, I didn't yell at her...
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#70 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 08:47 AM
 
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Oh FullCream I can totally relate to the asking one to be quiet while you're trying to get another to sleep....it is so completely frustrating and Kudos to you for not yelling. That seems to be one area where I tend to lose it a LOT!

And I need some positive thoughts for today. It has started off on a terrible note and my patience isn't too great to begin with. The kids were driving me crazy yesterday, so we left to go to this indoor playland and then to a friend's house. It was nice, but later than normal when we got home. The kids weren't in bed until about 10pm! So by the time I got the nighttime stuff finished, and emailed dh (a nightly routine), it was about 11pm. WAY later than I needed to get into bed, considering the toddler and infant were both up several times the night before and I was going on about 3.5-4 hours of sleep anyway. But then, dh calls at about 12:30. It's rare that he gets a chance to call, and so I always want to talk to him. We were only on the phone for about 20 minutes, but I had a harder time falling asleep afterwards. Did I mention how much I miss him? Then toddler got up about 1:30. Then again at 3. Ds got up as I was coming out of toddler's room about 3:30, saying he'd had a bad dream and would I sit with him. So I go into his room, but infant wakes up and so I tell him to come into the fb. I go lay down to nurse infant, he comes in and snuggles up REALLY CLOSE. So I'm sandwiched between them and can't go to sleep. I finally drift off about 4:45. My alarm goes off at 5:45. I need to get my workout in before the kids get up today. I thought about skipping it, but I always feel better if I get in at least a short one. I hit snooze until 6 and then got up. Come down to do my workout. Get the stuff (water, weights, etc) all arranged and toddler wakes up "Mama, I want nilk!" So I get her, nurse her, and then she has to pee. I take her up to the potty, and she's talking and wakes up infant. Now, I can't workout, infant is crawling and I just can't keep her out of the stuff, and I'm so afraid I'm going to stepon her, etc. It's now 6:40. Ds has basketball at 8:30. I pick up my sitter at 10, I have a hair appt at 11 which I"m going to have to take infant to because she's going to be a pill and I need to return some stuff at the mall and there's no way I can just put her down for a nap and then go do my stuff and get back before she wakes up, and she freaks out if sitter is here and I'm not when she wakes up and I'm already frustrated and tired and it;s just a recipe for a NOT good GD day......................................anyone have any extra patience today? could you send it my way please??
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#71 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 09:23 AM
 
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FullCream, how long does your baby usually need to get to sleep? I know some babies are more sensitive to noise, but I always found that as long as he was still latched on, the room could be pretty noisy and the baby would still be falling asleep. My 2 yo nurses to sleep for his naps, and I have a 4 yo. We've always used the same basic routine, since he was napping consistently. Often the toddler nurses to sleep while I'm having quiet time with the 4 yo (me reading to him after lunch and tidying up), and I only have to go upstairs to lay the toddler down or, more often recently, I have to lay down with him for a little bit and then unlatch him. The 4 yo can usually manage to stay downstairs and quiet long enough for me to do that. I have explained to him that if Solomon wakes up, he will be very cranky and things will just be more difficult than if he gets a chance to get some rest. He does often come upstairs, but he usually just waits. I think if I had something out that he would want to do before I start the nursing -- like having a notebook or mazes on the table, or a quiet toy, or his snack waiting in the fridge -- he might not feel the need to come upstairs. Maybe your dd resents the special quiet time the baby gets with you, regardless of how much special time you guys have together otherwise. Maybe some special thing for you two to do together once the baby is asleep would be nice. It's tricky, 'cause I don't want to give the impression that it's *such* a relief and *so* much nicer when the baby is asleep, and that we're celebrating it, yk?

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#72 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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I wonder if my whole approach has been all wrong; if at age 2.5 a child can't understand discipline that's based on consequences. And I've also thought lately that it could be wrong to force her to walk to her room; it's sort of like I'm making her betray her own body, because then she has to make her body do something she would never agree with. My original thought was that if she had to walk to her room every time, it would be another step in taking responsibility for her actions; not only does she have to go to her room, but no one will help her do it. But maybe she just doesn't get that yet.

What would be helpful is some sort of "troubleshooting" book with ap/gd answers vs. mainstream answers for every child behavior issue.
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#73 of 335 Old 05-15-2004, 10:03 PM
 
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Apmom3, I'll send you what little bit of left-over patience I've got today. It's been off & on at our house since last Monday's big blow-up. Hmmmmm...... I know you said you don't trust many people with your kids, but man, if there ever was a mama who needed a bit of a break, I think it's you sister, what with your husband in the Middle East since February, tandem nursing, not getting enough sleep at night..... Sleep for me is a big thing. I feel like if I get enough sleep, then I'm so much better with my temper (to everyone, not just the kids!). So, my question is, is your oldest child in school yet? Is it possible to have them in day-care one day per week, or a half-day per week? I ask because I personally felt better after I went back to work PT & had the kids in care PT (not that I think you should have a job to justify childcare!). I know some folks are really uncomfortable with this idea, but I put it out htere becasue it helped me...... So, just a thought......

Hope that makes sense..... I'm posting & running today..... aforementioned job thing...... perhaps NOT the answer to a quieter life, but oh well....

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#74 of 335 Old 05-16-2004, 11:58 AM
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hi, i'm checking in. just found you. will write mote later. naking but keeps kicking keyboard
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#75 of 335 Old 05-16-2004, 12:11 PM
 
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Mind if I jump in? I'm so glad I found this thread! Some of the suggestions you ladies have are wonderful! I've been having a hard time, now that I have 2 (6wks and almost 3). It's especially bad when I haven't had much sleep the night before. Though that's getting better-I realize that it's a problem and try to keep my temper in check)Sometimes I see myself from my DD's eyes and she must feel terrible, always being told to wait, or calm down, or be quieter. Gotta come up with a way for her to be as loud as she wants, at least for a little while. She doesn't like her room, and it's getting near 100 degrees, so I can't send her outside... Ok, baby's fussing. I'll try to come up with something constructive to say next time.

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#76 of 335 Old 05-16-2004, 06:13 PM
 
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Just want to post in and give a big to you all. I am plum out of advice right now but I 'll think about it. I know, mostly, we all just need the support anyway!
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#77 of 335 Old 05-16-2004, 09:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I wonder if my whole approach has been all wrong; if at age 2.5 a child can't understand discipline that's based on consequences. And I've also thought lately that it could be wrong to force her to walk to her room; it's sort of like I'm making her betray her own body, because then she has to make her body do something she would never agree with. My original thought was that if she had to walk to her room every time, it would be another step in taking responsibility for her actions; not only does she have to go to her room, but no one will help her do it. But maybe she just doesn't get that yet.
Hey Greaseball I do think your approach has been all wrong. I don't think she (kids this age) get a lot of things yet (like logical consequences).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
What would be helpful is some sort of "troubleshooting" book with ap/gd answers vs. mainstream answers for every child behavior issue.
There are lots of books! I've been meaning to post to this thread and share some great tips I got from a Parenting Class - Positive Discipline I've been taking for the past few weeks based on Becky Bailey's books. I have learned to successfully keep my anger in check!!!

DS attends a great Parent-Co-op Preschool where there is a lot of emphasis on Parent education & positive discipline. So there are Parent Talks (Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - author of RAISING YOUR SPIRITED CHILD will be talking this Tuesday night.)

Anyway, I've been meaning to post the tips I got for you ladies... I can't do it right now... I'll do it later...

Here is a one book title:
Easy to Love: Difficult to Discipline

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#78 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:39 AM
 
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I know you've had a million new posters to this thread, and I'm yet another one who appreciates the honesty and candor, and is so glad that I'm not the only one!

I have a two and a half year old and a ten month old, and things get pretty crazy around here pretty often. We're trying to sell our house, I'm teaching part time and am trying to get the end of the year taken care of, and my dh got pneumonia and was hospitalized for a day and a half this week and has spent the rest of the week recuperating. Sometimes I feel like I've been taking care of three children. Some days I do okay, but like someone else said, there are days (like today) where every little thing that could possibly go wrong does, the kids are whining and dh isn't helping, and then the dog come barelling in the house, tracking mud and hair (why, oh why, do I have a long haired German Shepherd? : ) all over the kitchen floor and I just loose it. My kids are picking up on the tension and that makes things even crazier.

I hate that I get like this- I hate yelling or being physically rough with my kids. And I hate spanking! I don't do it often, and a lot of times I do it without thinking, but then the look in my dd's eyes makes me feel like the worst parent scum ever, and I hate that! I hate betraying her trust, and I hate the power struggles and the way that the yelling that goes on makes all of us feel. I'm not sure where all the anger comes from either because I wasn't raised with parents who yelled a lot.... :

Anyway, I realy, really want to do better, and the timing of finding this thread couldn't be better. So I'm off to read the first thread, and ready to start my new "no yelling, no hitting week" tomorrow.

Violin teaching, doula-ing Mom to Abby, (8) Ashlynn, (6) : and Max (11/13/08) Diagnosed with Metopic Craniosynostosis. First surgery 5/1/09, Second surgery March 2010.
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#79 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 03:25 AM
 
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Hello! I also really need this thread. As others have mentioned, just dealing with a crazy kid is hard enough..then add exhaustion, pregnancy, unsupportive hubby, job, cleaning..etc. and you have a recipe for disaster.

I also need to stop yelling. Add me to the list of unsupportive hubs. John thinks yelling is ok and we fight because he thinks he can't discipline without yelling. He also spends lots of time on the computer and out past 2 with his friends so then he sleeps a lot the next day and is grumpy!

I love Julie so much and I know how hard it is. We all love our babies and that's why we're trying...thanks so much for these threads!!!!!
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#80 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 12:56 PM
 
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Ok I just lost it and I'm coming here to calm down because I know I'm being a jerk - I'm just fed up.

My almost four year old is constantly pushy, hitting, pulling at, taking toys away from, throwing something at the baby. I've been trying to give 4 yr old extra mom time, trying to model being gentle and reminding to be gentle. Removing my 4 yr old from the room with the baby until he feels he can play gently (over and over and over). So I went down stair for two seconds to throw dipes into the dryer and I come up and the baby is wailing in pain and the four yr old smirks and brags that he dragged his brother by the hair because he didn't want to be around him. I try to watch them ever minute of the day, but ya know I have to be able to do laundry for 30 seconds, not that he doesn't do the same stuff when I'm watching anyway. :

Anyway, I blew it. I yelled. I put him in his room. He kept opening and closing the door. I banged his door shut and then pounded it with my hands out of total anger and I feel like a complete idiot because I know that's not the answer. I know it doesn't help to have a tantrum myself and I know I'm not teaching my child anything by behaving this way. So I just started sobbing and now I'm here trying to center myself and keep my perspective.

What is my problem? I know in my head my four year old is jealous of the baby and that is why he acts this way toward the baby. I should be sympathetic and not angry, but it's so hard. The mama bear part of me wants to just protect the baby and lash out at who ever tries to harm him.

I love my 4 yr old too. I don't know what to do here.

Ok here is what I'm going to do. Every time I see ds #2 hurting or about to hurt ds #3 - when I feel that anger - I'm going to remind myself how much I love ds#2, how much he loves me and how hard it is for him to share the person he loves the most with someone who seems to eat up all her time. I'm going to tell him every time that I love him, but he CANNOT hurt the baby.

<sigh> I need a hug
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#81 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:12 PM
 
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So the only thing I do right is not yell...though I did yell at dd yesterday because she head-butted me and it really hurt! Right in the middle of my forehead. I did resort to another time-out after that.

Sometimes I wish she never learned how to open a door. She won't stay in her room anymore, and she comes into our room and the computer room and gets into stuff. We've had to call tech support so many times after she has done something to the computer.

So I tried something I said I'd never do...I put a plastic "frustrator" on her doorknob so she can't open it. I don't like the idea of locking her in her room, but I guess it's not like she can get hurt in there, and I'm always where I can hear her. There are times when I need her to stay in her room, like bedtime. She goes to bed late...close to the time dh and I go to bed, and we don't want to be repeatedly putting her back in her room. We've tried letting her sleep with us but she just starts kicking us and then won't stay in the bed.

After she came out of her room during naps, we figured we would just have to direct her back into her room. So what she would do is just open the door and slam it, and then when we got there she would already be in her room. So we would direct her back to bed...now she slams the door and when we come to put her in bed, she is already there. I'm sure the frustrator will help with that. I also know this defiance is going to be good for her in the long run...it sure does suck now though!
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#82 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dotcommama
<sigh> I need a hug


I would tell you about my temper tantrum with my ds last night to make you feel better, but I'd get kicked out of MDC! It was *TERRIBLE*. And I know a lot of it is what you said about them needing *more* time and energy from us right when we have less and less to give. It's so hard. Here's some more .
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#83 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dotcommama

Ok here is what I'm going to do. Every time I see ds #2 hurting or about to hurt ds #3 - when I feel that anger - I'm going to remind myself how much I love ds#2, how much he loves me and how hard it is for him to share the person he loves the most with someone who seems to eat up all her time. I'm going to tell him every time that I love him, but he CANNOT hurt the baby.

<sigh> I need a hug
Dotcommama-I think that sounds like a good plan. What a frustrating situation! I know what you mean about the mama bear feelings, I get them too.

Let's see...he's jealous of the baby, so he's doing whatever he can to get your attention. How long after he does something to the baby can you do something special with him without it seeming like a reward? With my DD, just reading a short story or coloring for a few minutes is enough to chill her out a little(but she's younger than your DS, so I don't know if the same stratagies work). The timing thing is my main prob. I don't realize she's feeling neglected till she does something(usually to the baby or the dog), but if I pay attention to her right then, it's negative reinforcement. Does ignoring the behavior(as long as no one is in danger) work?

Anyway, hugs to you. Hope the rest of your day goes better!

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#84 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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I put a plastic "frustrator" on her doorknob so she can't open it.
I swear, I've been seriously thinking of getting one of these. When *I* need a time out, a break to breathe for 5 minutes (heck, I'd settle for two minutes!!) and they just WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE and it just escalates to the point that I have to actually go into the garage to calm down....I scare myself sometimes.
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#85 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok ladies,

I've been absent for a few days and came back to find so many postings where we are all blaming ourselves. I honestly believe this can make things worse. If you feel bad about yourself, you're more likely to get angry at yourself. If you're angry at yourself, it's easy for that anger to leak out!

We ALL make mistakes. We ALL do things we're not proud of. Don't waste your time telling yourself what a horrible person you are. The fact that you acknowledge what happened and are looking for alternatives is the good part!!!

Grease - You are NOT doing it all wrong and I don't agree with the PP who said you are. I don't think that trying to teach consequences for actions is something that can be done too early. Maybe trying to get your DD to walk to her room on her own isn't working, but that doesn't mean you are doing it WRONG, ok?? Let's all brainstorm some concrete ideas for Grease to use as alternatives.

APMom - You are tackling the hardest thing I could ever envision. I know that I am a total freaking WRECK without enough sleep. I have found myself literally kicking and screaming when I'm really tired. I was wondering if you could pick one thing today to just let go of. Like, do you have to go to the mall today, or could you save it for another day when you've had more sleep? Is there a time when your sitter could come just so you could work out and get your endorphins going? And I also wanted to second the PP who suggested that you see if you can find a way to get some 100% alone time. I know that might not be practical or even possible, but if you COULD, it might really help.

All the new posters - welcome! As you can see, we all struggle here and it's a GREAT support network and resource.

Frustrator Doorknobs - I am all for them!!! If you need to create a space to put your DC that you know s/he won't get hurt in and that will give you a chance for a few minutes to recenter, by all means, do it!! I think it's very akin to using a playpen or crib during the infancy years when the baby is screaming for an hour and you don't know why and you're ready to lose it yourself. It's the same thing, IMHO.

Finally, my own minor success - I want to know what you all think is "coercion." DS has been having an awful time with naps lately. He really, really needs a daytime nap, but on the weekends, just won't go down. Saturday he got up so many times we finally just let him get up. BUt then he fell asleep around 5, which threw his schedule WAY off, and which resulted in a TERRIBLY cranky toddler by dinner time. So yesterday, when he was screwing around and continually getting out of bed to get another toy or whatever, I told him we could not go to a friend's house and swim if he didn't take a nap. I think what I said was, "If you can't show me that you can mind me and take a nap, then I don't think you are big enough to go swimming at Veronica's house later." That worked, but only after about 1 1/2 hours of repeatedly putting him back in bed. (And no, laying down with him doesn't seem to work - it makes it worse!) So, my question is, was that coercion, or consequences? I really wouldn't have taken him - I would never inflict an un-napped toddler on someone else's house!

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#86 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 01:56 PM
 
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I just want to say thank you all so much for the hugs. I'm calmer now, but things are still not good today.

After writing my post I calmed down went to ds, hugged him, explained how much I love him, but that no one in this house is allowed to hurt another and so I cannot allow him to hurt his little brother.

Not five minutes later he walked by him and out of nowhere smacked him on the head.

This time I calmly removed him (chanting in my head the whole time - I love you, I love you, I love you) and I said, "Honey I love you with all my heart, but you cannot hit the baby."

I made him sit in a chair in his room, he kept getting up, but I told him he would stay in his room until he sat in the chair for two minutes. (I don't normally do this - usually I just send him to his room until he feels ready to try again, but I feel I've got to make a more strict punishment as what I have been doing isn't working). It took about 10 minutes, but he finally sat down for two and came out.

I took the kids to the library. It went okay, until right before I was getting them in the car ds was squeezing his brother's face really hard.

<sigh>

The baby is in my lap nursing to sleep and my oldest is at school, so I'm hoping to be able to put the baby down and play with ds#2 and hope that giving him some good quality mom time will calm this little storm we have going this morning.
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#87 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I know I just asked you all if my method about the nap thing was coercion, but Dotcom - could you have a specific consequence for your DS about hurting the baby? I'm thinking something like, "DS, you know that hurting the baby is not ok. If you aren't big enough to remember that, then I think maybe you aren't big enough to do X." Or maybe, "DS, I feel very sad that I can't trust you not to hurt your brother. Since I can't, I don't feel that I can trust you if we go Y place."

My concern, and I really, really need some input on this!!!!, is that I don't want it to sound like blame or shame. Is this something you'd consider doing? Is it a consequence, or is it "mean"? I think if I were in DotCom's situation, I truly would be wary of going to the library, etc. if I felt like I couldn't trust my child with his brother. (Please don't take that as a judgement, Dotcom!!! ) So, how do you deal??

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#88 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 03:33 PM
 
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No problem, I don't feel judged at all.

I took the kids to the library because sometimes getting out of the house helps. He did not get to pick a movie today, though he normally would, because of his behavior with his brother.

So yes, I do take privileges away some times, but that's not always a great idea.

For example, my children only watch TV once per day. If I said that his punishment for hitting the baby was to not watch his show today, what do I do if he hits again? Take away tomorrow’s show? And then the next days? Will he remember in a day or two why he isn't getting his show? Probably not. Or if I only take away the one show then he basically has free license to misbehave because there is no more consequence - kwim?

Baby napped for a nice long time and I spent it on the couch reading to my ds. We even looked at his baby photos and talked about him being a baby and how gentle we all were to him and then looked at photos of the baby with ds and talked about how great those photos were of him being so gentle and nice. . .

10 minutes after the baby woke up he clobbered him again.

The thing is he’s doing it more to be annoying than to hurt. I no he’s not hitting hard or even pushing hard, but the point is he shouldn’t be doing it at all!!!
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#89 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 03:41 PM
 
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mmgarda...naps make me nuts! Some days she goes right to sleep, others she freaks out. I must admit that it's my fault. I am not consistent with bedtime and days when I am especially exhausted, I let Julie sleep too long in the afternoon(when she sleeps)and then, of course, she's up late. I have to just GET HER UP IN AN HOUR OR SO TODAYYY! Sorry...just had to yell at myself...hmm..I yell a lot. Anyway...the few days where I really do let her have a short nap and put her to bed early, it really helps. But even with those times, she sometimes refuses to nap. She screams about it or plays in her room. So on those days, I tell her she doesn't have to sleep but she has to stay in her bed, be quiet and rest. If she falls asleep anyway, even better. Sometimes she keeps asking..can I get up now..now? But usually it works.
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#90 of 335 Old 05-17-2004, 03:42 PM
 
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Dotcom - I forget if anyone else suggested this, but what about keeping the baby in a sling for much of the time, and when you aren't able to do that, keeping him in something else like a crib or playpen the older one can't get to?

Does the older one have any other privileges? Walks, seeing friends, playing outside? Maybe he doesn't care much about missing his TV show, but taking away something else might have an effect.

Have you asked him why he is hitting?

I wish my dd were old enough to understand taking away a privilege. I don't think she could make the connection, though. Yesterday dh and I took her for a walk down the street, at her request, and she wandered into someone else's yard (which we don't allow) and started playing with their flowers. We asked her to come with us several times, tried walking away hoping she would follow, but we were nearly out of sight and she still was in the other yard. She was hitting the flowers and we didn't want her to ruin them, so dh finally just picked her up and carried her home screaming. It was good dh was there because if it were just me, I would have either had to drag her or let her do what she was doing. I probably would have been able to keep her away from the flowers, but she was screaming in someone else's yard early in the morning! That's just not OK in my book.

So today she is asking for a walk again, and it would be so easy if I could say "No, not after the way you acted yesterday." But I can't...I don't know what to do. It's unfair to keep her inside on a nice day just because I can't lift her, but I think until I am able to lift her again we will just have to stay home.
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