Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mmgarda
Tani - Ok, I got the stuff about the limbic system and whatnot, but then I started getting a little confused about your other notes. My main problem, however, is that I can't figure out how to get my little guy to calm down. Like me, when he is frustrated and angry, he wants to be LEFT ALONE. If you try to talk to him, touch him, cuddle him, boy LOOK OUT! It really makes things worse. The problem is that he hasn't really figured out how to manage his own feelings yet, so he just winds up crying and crying and crying until I sort of force an intervention, which usually makes us both unhappy. What's a mama to do?? I like the STAR acronym and want to put it on my fridge. Can you try to figure out the missing part for us and repost - it's very helpful! Thanks!!
Wow - the first thing that popped into my head is that it sounds to me like you have an INTROVERT on your hands (my little guy is an extrovert.

Introverts get their energy from being ALONE. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people, needs cuddles to cope, etc...

Have you ever read Raising Your Spirited Child ??? She does a great job of explaining the differences and NEEDS of kids with these two temperaments. It's really eye-opening!

For example, last night she mentioned that a toddler who is an introvert whose space is invaded (vs. Extroverts who LOVE to have their space invaded with friends) may HIT YOU! to keep you away... because they NEED alone time/quiet time.

If a child is an introvert she probably

- Needs reflection time in order to figure out how she feels
- Prefers to watch or listen before joining an activity
- Becomes groucy if around people too long
- Has a strong sense of personal space. Doesn't like people sitting too close or touching.
- May talk with family mor than with outsiders.
- Finds visitors invading
- Seems to enjoy time out and will stay there till you tell her to come out.

If a child is an extrovert she probably...
- Need to talk in order to figure out how he feels - asks lots of questions.
- Wants to share thoughts and feelings immediately.
- Needs lots of feedback and immediate responses.
- Becomes energized by being in a group.
- Wants to figure out how things work by doing (They don't want to wait for instruction. They just want to start using their hands and thus, get in trouble. A tip I got last night is if you extroverted kid is driving you nuts "mommy, mommy, look at me..." give him something to do with his hands. My son loves playing with THomas!)
- Talks a lot and easily initiates conversation.
- Hates to be sent to time out.

I'm an extrovert. I have an extrovert son. You may be an introvert and it sounds like your DS is an introvert. Ask yourself what makes you feel good when you are upset.

I really don't know how to help you because I don't much experience with handling/living with introverts. Maybe just you being solid and strong (to begin with) would help. And non-intrusive. Let him have his space/crying... as long as you are nearby and reachable if he wants you. Or just verbally respecting his space may help dissipate tension "I know you are upset right now and are not comfortable with me being here. When you are ready I am here for you." You are honoring / acknowledging his need for space.

Kurcinka has a SPIRITED WORKBOOK with lots of examples (she said that last night). Haven't read it, but that may help you too - giving you real life examples and how to handle them.

Exercise: How does your type like to re-charge?
How does your type like to solve a problem?
a. Introverts need:
- Space
- A chance to watch or think first
- Quiet
- A break

b. Extroverts need:
- Opportunities to talk out loud in order to figure out what they are thinking and feeling.
- To try things before listening to long directions.
- Interaction and activity (if they don't get enough activity, extroverts will create it :LOL )

c. Essential Skills for extroverts
- Respecting the space of others - including verbal space
- Listening and taking turns (interruptions during dinner are a HUGE issue for us)
- Knowing that they work best when they can work with others or talk through things.
- Learning to say "I'm just thinking."
- Giving others time to think and chance to take a break.

d. Essential skills for introverts
- Letting others know they have "heard" them
- Asking politely for space, quiet or time to think.
- Involving others in key decisions
- Learning the importance of greetings and good byes.

If your DS "is shutting down" he needs:
- To be near, but without more stimuli
- Stop talking
- Space
- Dim lights
- Pausing

APMOM - Washing hands... well making it fun, turning it into a game would be a great way to get little ones to cooperate. You, singing a funny little sink song or something. I LOVE YOU RITUALS is all about that.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#122 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I think I'm feeling better about the coercion vs. consequences questions. Dotcom and APMom - you both put it perfectly. Yes, I'm trying to develop a life-long habit of cleanliness, but if dinner is ready and DS is melting down because he's hungry, then I just have to get those filthy little paws clean so he can eat!!

I just realized I"m cross posting w/ Tani and I haven't read that yet. Need some lunch, so I"ll be back!

Oh, and thanks APMom - I would LOVE some champagne. I'm working out the nitty gritty details, but all should be signed and sealed today! I can't believe your DH is coming home!!! You must be ECSTATIC!!!

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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#123 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 04:28 PM
 
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Two year olds! Ugh! She's been naked all day, she is potty training herself and so runs naked all the time at home. We HAVE to get out of this house. Ds is going crazy being inside, and so am I, to be honest. I have to get to the clinic to pick up a prescription before it closes today and she is completely totally refusing to get dressed!!! Kicking, screaming, the whole nine yards. I've tried making it a game. I've tried making it fun. I've tried telling her how much fun she'll have when we do get out of the house (it's almost 70 degrees today, the first time in FOREVER!) and she just doens't care. "I be nakey!" is all I hear from her. I can't seem to make any point, and I've tried just letting it be until she's ready, but the fact is, she isn't ever going to get ready adn it isn't fair to ds to make him wait and wait and wait and wait because she's being a toddler! I hate this. There are days when I just wish I could be one of those *other* parents and say "DO IT NOW!!" and they move....but I don't and they don't and I'm too tired to try to be creative right now. And now, because I started trying over an hour ago to get her ready to go and we're still not ready, infant is getting tired again and wanting another nap and I *still* havent' gotten out. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.

So small in the grand scheme of things, but UGH!!!!!
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#124 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 04:29 PM
 
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MMGarda,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That's awesome!!

Everyone,

I just caught up on all of the posts since I last posted. I genuinely enjoy reading all of your words, your fustrations and suggestions. It really is incredibly helpful to be able to commiserate on this topic.

I do try to avoid coercion. I do a lot of choice offerring.

Example:

(nicely) You have two choices. You can take a nap and afterwards we can go swimming or you can choose to stay up and stay home playing quietly for the rest of the day.

There's no negatives in that statement and no threats or attempts to manipulate. I state it nicely and matter of factly; much in the same way that I might ask her if she wants an apple or grapes at lunch. If she then were to choose to stay up, I would let the issue go completely (read not be angry at her for refusing to nap) but stay firm on not allowing her to go swimming. And whenever she might bring it up, I would gently remind her of her decision.

My dd does pretty well for the most part with choices. Again, I put it up to her. She feels the power of decision making and she gets to feel the resluts of her choices.

Can anyone post links to some of these great things you have tacked up on your refridgerator?

Something that helps me out:

I saw this thing on Oprah, maybe 6 years ago. I know it was before I was a mom. I think it was the "Remembering your spirit" segment that she used to have. Anyway, it was a mother of teenagers that was feeling disconnected from her kids. So she needed to find a way to reconnect. She decided that any time her kids were to hug her, she would not let go until they did. She found that they would often hang on for minutes at a time. As a result her kids became more loving and more open and more connected. I know we are talking about little kids here and that we all offer up plenty of hugs and snuggles, but I've noticed that whenever we are having a tough time. if I get religious about this little method of not letting go before she does, we definitely reconnect. I don't know, maybe that comes completely natural to some of you, but it really helps me to do this.

Also, I am working out regularly in a gym which is helping me on many, many, many levels! I am taking a Yoga class there. At the end of the class, during Savasana (final relaxation) the teacher encourages us focus or meditate on something important, a goal, a stress to let go, etc.. I have been deeply focusing on peace in my heart and being the mother I want to be.

My dd and I have had a good weekend and start to this week. Lots of snuggling and cuddling and talking.

Hang in there angry mommas!
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#125 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll respond to Tani Bani now.

Re: Introverts vs. Extroverts.

Well, honestly, I have a huge problem with this classification. First, let me just tell you that I have a degree in Organizational Development, so I'm very familiar with various personality types and personality assessments and pretty well aware of my own needs. The reason I don't like the intro/extro dichotomy is that I find it to be way too simplistic.

In general, I'm an extrovert: Loud, talkative, vivacious, love people, rush around, etc. However, in many issues and spaces, I'm an introvert: need some peace and quiet to concentrate, prefer to read to recharge, can;t stand the mall because of all the poeple, want to be left alone when angry. If you know various scales, Myers-Briggs says I'm an extrovert, Big Five says I'm a mix and (shoot, can't think of the name - the other big one) says I'm an introvert. So I know from personal experience that there's a lot more to it!

Basically, I think that DS is just like me. When he is angry or frustrated, he feels very closed in and needs people to get out of his personal space. However, he isn't sophisticated enough yet to know how to turn internally for reflection or how to walk away from a problem so he can come back to it later. My heartache is that I know how he feels, but I don't have tools to help him since he doesn't WANT help at the moment. When he does hit the limit, I try to back off and give him space, but find that it doesn't really work. He tends to escalate and the only solution I've ever found is major distraction, namely, a show on TV. Since I find that when I'm really upset I CRAVE a book to lose myself in, I understand. However, even this isn't working for us lately, so I'm beginning to feel hopeless. My leaving the room completely last night did seem to be effective. Although he continued to cry the whole time I was gone. He was able to calm down and redirect when I returned.

As for "spirited," based on what others have said about their spirited kids, I wouldn't really describe him that way. He is actually a pretty calm and collected kid and his extremely high verbal skills make dealing with him much easier than most, I think. We have been working very hard on identifying his emotions and getting him to identify them as well. We often "get the angries out" by jumping and stomping and "grrrrr"-ing and we are encouraging him to tell other kids at daycare that he needs his space when he is feeling frustrated. It's working, but sloooooowly.

As for making a game out of hand-washing, well it doesn't really work for us. The truth is, he's too damn smart. He KNOWS the goal is to do something he doesn't want to do and he isn't going to be fooled by some silly song. We've gone through this with any number of things. Our whole tooth brushing routine involves songs, animals, play-acting, you name it. And he LOVES that stuff, but we still end up struggling with teeth a LOT.

I think that I am coming to terms with the idea that there are just going to be some things that won't be pleasant. I can feel good about the fact that I am trying to ensure my child's continued health and well-being, that I am being sensitive to his feelings about the process and that I am continuously seeking new ways to approach things. But I don't have to feel bad if those new ways don't necessarily work or don't make things easier.


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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#126 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 04:34 PM
 
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APMom

I was writing my post while you posted yours.

Sorry you are having a rough day.

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#127 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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APMom - DAMN! I am feeling for you! One quick suggestion. Is it possible to just put a large t-shirt on her (one that will cover her, but still let her feel naked) and just let it go at that, or is her potty training still inconsistent enough that she needs to be diapered/fully clothed?

If you can't get out of the house today because the timing just isn't working in your favor, is there any way you can give yourself and DS some other kind of "treat" to sort of make up for it?

Sending you good thoughts, hon!

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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#128 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 05:55 PM
 
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I am loving this thread!

I have to tell all you ladies though, that today, when things were getting extremely frustrating around lunchtime/naptime today, and the positive self talk was running through my head, one of the thoughts came "If I yell at dd, I'm going to have to go on the thread and say that I yelled and I'll feel guilty about ti for the rest of the day..." So even being aware of things is helping! (And I didn't yell! )

Quote:
Two year olds! Ugh!
Okay, I can so relate to this. Sometimes I just want her to be reasonable, until I realize that she's only two and a half and isn't totally capable of being reasonable. I sometimes feel like half my day is amde up of things like changing her diapers, persuading her to get shoes on, putting sunscreen on, etc.

DD: Go outside?
Me: Okay, let's get your shoes on.
DD:No shoes!
Me: If you want to go outside, then you have to put your shoes on.
DD: Okay. Shoes on.

We get the shoes and start putting them on. Int he midst of all this, dd starts kicking and screaming "No shoes!" Huh? Did I miss something? :

And then of course, we spend up to half an hour getting ready to go outside, and then only spend ten minutes before she wants to come back in.

Well, I need to head outside, but I'll check back later....

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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#129 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 06:00 PM
 
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Wow, what a load of wonderful stuff. And just after I had a bad day - I didn't actually lose it, but I kept yelling about little stuff and was really not the mom I would like to be.

Tanibani, thanks for all the ideas. I love the "I am safe", I think that could help me And I will re-read and try to remember other stuff too.

Dotcommama, thanks for the list and the reminder about focusing on the goal.

Mmgarda, my ds2 sounds a bit like yours. He also cries unconsolably but often needs help getting out of it, if I can get close enough. I find the best thing is to be out in public and then when a stranger comes up and tries to be nice to him he is much happier to be with me ! I read a book in French that is not available in English (Isabelle Filliozat, excellent ideas) and she said that you should just stay "available" which probably in this case means close without touching, but you know what is ok and what is not, to let him know you are there for him. I think also as they get older, they need longer before we intervene, to calm down "enough". I have to admit, now that I think about it that I really have very little patience for him when he starts like that. He is really "in your face" about his negative emotions and there is only a very small amount of whining or going on about stuff that I can stand. Only so many times I can say, "I see you're really upset/sad/... about ...."

APMom98, you seem like a really patient person! I am really impressed how long you have lasted with the naked scenario! I would have given in and yelled a long time before. Or laid down the law....

Shonahsmom, thanks for the hug idea. And the reminder on choices.

I feel all geared up to make tomorrow a more positive day.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#130 of 335 Old 05-18-2004, 06:20 PM
 
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Well, I resorted to coersion. I sent ds outside to play in the backyard with the doors open.....she saw him out.....she wanted to play outside too....I reminded her she had to get dressed......she agreed....I gave her a choice of diaper or panties....she chose panties....and it's been about 1.5 hours and no accidents!!! WOW! Was she working on this? Probably. We're back from our walk to the clinic and now we're headed to the park! Sometimes, they just surprise you to no end!! We're doing a happy dance now!
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#131 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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Yep! I go into full fight or flight mode when I feel out of control (not just out of control of DD's behaviour, but out of control in general). I'm sure I'd really benefit from Yoga or something similar, but I still don't feel comfortable leaving DS with anyone except DH, and he's gone a lot at the moment.

When I don't yell, I lecture ad nauseum. I say the same thing (in slightly different ways) over and over and over. It drives DH nuts and DD too. I'll know that I'm doing it, but just can't seem to stop. I feel like I have to keep going until I get some kind of acknowledgment that I'm understood and my feelings are recognised. The problem is, the more that I go on and on, the less DD and DH really HEAR me. Sometimes I think the lecturing is worse than the yelling. Sigh.

I used to be so patient with DD, but now I often feel completely exasperated - why do I have to tell her to do things that she KNOWS have to be done (and has been doing for YEARS in many cases)? She's craving attention - we've always been so close, and now there's a baby always around (and she absolutely adores him and is completely trustworthy and helpful with him). But I can't go and help with reading at school (I used to go two or three mornings a week), and I often can't read to her before bed because I'm trying to get DS to sleep. And of course, it's all harder when DH is away. I don't know how some of you military momma's cope for months at a time! I'm at Day 7 with three days left until he returns and I'm stretched SO thin.

Hugs to everyone. thank you for sharing your experiences and ideas.
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#132 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 02:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
MMGarda,

(nicely) You have two choices. You can take a nap and afterwards we can go swimming or you can choose to stay up and stay home playing quietly for the rest of the day.

There's no negatives in that statement and no threats or attempts to manipulate. I state it nicely and matter of factly; much in the same way that I might ask her if she wants an apple or grapes at lunch. If she then were to choose to stay up, I would let the issue go completely (read not be angry at her for refusing to nap) but stay firm on not allowing her to go swimming. And whenever she might bring it up, I would gently remind her of her decision.
I have a question with this. I have been trying this with DD(almost 3). For example, today she didn't want to nap, so I let her choose to go to bed early, before me, instead. When I reminded her of this at bedtime, she had a meltdown. And ended up falling asleep next to me on the couch. Do y'all think that she's too young to be given choices, or is this just a learning curve for both of us. I know that I need to be firmer and more consistent. Or do I? Where do you draw the line between consistent and being flexible?

How come no one warned me about this part of having kids? LOL. It was all so easy up till now.....

I like the idea of hugging kids till THEY let go. And I know I need to find some me time somewhere. I've been out twice by myself now in the 6 1/2 wks since DS was born, and one of those was to the dr.

Thanks to everyone for clearing up the coercion vs. concequences thing- I really didn't understand the difference. I need to copy down all the books you guys keep mentioning and head to the library. Which ones should I start with?

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#133 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 12:51 PM
 
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I totally and completely lost it, I mean, I screamed at 8.5 month old dd. I screamed at toddler, I screamed at ds.......................

Last night was a bad night, sleep-wise. Infant got up about 11:30 and had trouble settling back down. Then toddler got up about 12:15 and was up until about 2am. Ds was supposed to have a zoo trip with preschool today, and we were supposed to be there at 10am. I had my alarm set for 6. I got up, it was raining, I went back to bed. Toddler got up at 6:30, woke up infant. Dh called, and then cut me short in mid-sentence (I know when he has to go, he has to go, but I was trying to tell him something important...) I started my period yesterday afternoon....how in the hell *that's* fair, I don't know!!! I put infant down for a nap. I get toddler and ds set up with snacks and drinks so I can work out. Toddler keeps getting underfoot. Ds complains that what I got him, he doesn't want. I'm just getting a good sweat going and infant wakes up. I'm getting more and more pissed. I get her, set her up with some toys down here, and get back to my workout. Toddler screams that she has to go potty. We go running. I find the bathroom in a total wreck, ds had been making his superman toy float and the sink overflowed all over the floor and infant is screaming because I walked out of the room and toddler is crying because she has to use the potty and I just lost it.

I told infant to *JUST STOP CRYING!*. I told ds that if he made a mess like this again, he would spend the day in his room. I told toddler to *Just hold it for a damn minute!!!* And then I said "I guess Mommy just isn't allowed to BREATHE today, right???? "

And here's the worst part. Ds starts telling me something about superman and I told him to just "shut up and let me get things straightened out!"

He then says "well, you know, Superman can breathe because he doesn't have any kids."

: go ahead, flame away....I failed them all this morning....
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#134 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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Apmom- Sorry you're having such a crappy morning. Don't beat yourself up too much-you're only human. Your kids will turn out ok, even if you blow up at them once in a while. Hope the rest of your day turns out better!

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#135 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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It's true, APmom, you're only human and the whole point of this thread is that we all do it sometimes. I really sympathise with you on that one because sometimes when I get really wound up I yell at our 7 month baby to "shut up". I know it's completely ridiculous and I HATE it when DH does it, but sometimes I just can't think while she's crying and if I can't stop what I'm doing to handle her I get stressed out doing the other thing without really concentrating....

I guess maybe the thing would have been to accept sooner that you weren't going to get to work out and just to give up and improvise something else.

I haven't "lost it" for ages, but reading this thread each day just makes me more conscious of the fact I have been a grouchy mom for ages, I find myself several times each day just shouting orders because I'm just tired all the time. But I don't want that to be how I am with the kids. People keep asking me if I have any help and I guess I don't really but I don't feel like I mind either. I just accept that the house is a mess and that life is disorganised. I'm ok with most of that, except the grouchy mom part.

Oh well. Food for me to think about. Hope your day gets better APmom.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#136 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Well I'm going to go out on a limb and try something new...I'm going to go out IN PUBLIC with dd! I'm one of those housebound moms who hasn't taken their kid to the store in over a year because I don't know how to deal with her behavior. We almost never go anywhere together unless dh is there too. But today she was asking for a butterfly, so I figured we could go to stores that sell Beanie Babies and see if there are any butterflies.

I'm a little apprehensive, but we'll see how it goes!
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#137 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First - APMom - I'm so sorry, but your post really made me laugh. Not in a mean way, it's just, I can totally picture you in a water filled bathroom with screaming kids and no sleep and, well, it's a total "Calgon take me away!" moment, isn't it? I guess the only thing I can say is that I can't believe you didn't lose it at 2 AM!!! Honestly, I am totally impressed that you managed as long as you did. Seriously. Kudos to you for hanging on that long. YOu know, although we're all trying to retrain ourselves, I think we have to let ourselves lose it once in a while, you know? There's only so much of you to go around. One more month. One more month. One more month. One more month. . . Oh, and I don't think your using going outside to get your DD to put clothes on was coercion. Seemed like a good compromise to me!

Arcen -
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I have to admit, now that I think about it that I really have very little patience for him when he starts like that. He is really "in your face" about his negative emotions and there is only a very small amount of whining or going on about stuff that I can stand. Only so many times I can say, "I see you're really upset/sad/... about ...."
I KNOWWWWW!!! [wail] For me, I really have to leave. I either tell him I'll be in another room and he can come get me when he's ready, or, lately, I give myself a time out and either do something I really WANT to do (like read a book or talk to a friend) or I engage in as much positive internal dialogue as possible. Oh, and I count. To like a billion.

Monkaha - NO, I don't think 3 is too young for choices. I think you have to figure out what works for you. For example, I find that the fewer choices DS has, the less in control he seems to feel and the worse it gets. That seems contrary to many previous posts here. (Interesting, isn't it, Grease?)

and Grease - Ohhh! I hope you have a good time going out! I actually find that if I have a day where it's just me and DS, things go so much more smoothly if we DO have outings. I usually plan several things from morning to lunch to get us to the nap point. DS loves to go out. "I wanna run ewwands!!"

Keep up the good work mamas!!!

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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#138 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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Well, it went OK...we went to one toy store which didn't have butterflies, and dd was ok with being pulled away from the tub of teddy bears to go somewhere else. Then she saw this dog statue and wanted to climb on it and pet it for awhile, and didn't want to leave, but eventually I got her to.

Then in the other toy store she spent a lot of time with one of those Thomas the Train sets, and I thought I'd never get her away from there without a scene. I told her every so often "We're going to go soon" and she'd say no every time, but after the third time she was ok with leaving. Then we got a snack, and left for home. She didn't throw a fit at all until we got in the car to leave, which is fine with me because I can just turn up the radio. She usually stops when she knows she can't be the loudest.

So it worked out all right! Maybe tomorrow we will try going to other places.
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#139 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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That's great Greaseball - I'm sure the more you take her out the more she'll learn how you expect her to behave and soon the two of you will be out and about often.
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#140 of 335 Old 05-19-2004, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grease - that sounds like a good time to me!

Here's a typical daily round if I'm doing the home thing (y'all know I'm not a SAHM, right?).

Drop DH off at work
Get mama some coffee (perferably somewhere with not too many breakable doodads!)
Go to the park
Go to the library (snack at park or library)
Go shopping (grocery, hardware, browsing, etc.)
Lunch
Home for nap

Then I get a nice hour or so to relax or clean or whatever. By the time DS is up, snacked and ready to get moving again, it's often 3:30 or so and we just go out into the yard.

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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#141 of 335 Old 05-20-2004, 12:14 PM
 
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Okay APMom, I can one up ya! I know, I know its not a contest. I'm just feeling like such a mean, mean mommy.

I got really really sick on Tuesday while at work. Super nasty respiratory virus thing. By the time I left work at the end of the day and picked up dd, I was a mess. I could NOT stop coughing. I could not complete a sentence without errupting in a fit of wracking coughs. It so so so so sucks when I am sick. Being that I am a single mom, not only is there no one to take care of me, there's no one to take care of dd. I told her when I picked her up, between coughing spasms, that momma was sick and that she could watch a long movie when we got home. That is a super, special treat; we don't watch TV during the week except for like 10 minutes of PBS while I'm getting ready in the morning. So we got home, I turned on the oven to throw in a pizza and I got into a steamy shower to try to break up some of the crap in my lungs. Anyhow, we ate pizza in the living room (another special treat) and when the movie ended I told her it was time for bed. She asked for stories. Now the whole night I am whispering to her in abbreviated sentences because I truly cannot get any words out. I do read to her every single night so it was understandable that she would be dissappointed, but she threw a huge, huge fit. She refused to get her pajamas on. She refused to go to her room. I can't say I yelled at her, cos I couldn't have yelled to save my life and I really couldn't even pick her up I felt so out of breath. So I did the awful and unthinkable. I swatted her bottom!!!! I felt/feel so badly. I've never hit her; I am so deeply against it. I just felt so, so, soooo crappy and so fustrated. I just started crying (which really helped the whole not being able to breath thing), she was crying and screaming at me "You're a bad, bad mommy! You're not supposed to hit me!!!" I went around the house, while she was still yelling at me, turned off all of the lights except fot the bathroom and her room and went in my room and closed the door and layed down and coughed and cried, feeling the world's worst mom but also feeling so angry at her for pushing me so hard when I felt so sick. I mean, I know she's too young to feel empathy necessarily, but it would've been so nice if she could've cut me a little slack and been cooperative.

She came in and layed down with me. We snuggled and she apologized, I apologized. She patted my back when I coughed (so sweet). She fell asleep quickly, but I basically didn't sleep all night. My lungs were just making a racket; I couldn't take a deep breath. I took cough medicine, put on some Vick's.. I tried everything.

I was worse in the morning and basically on no sleep. I had a deadline at work that I felt like I would be really screwed if I missed it, so, stupid me got ready to go to work. My dd was watching PBS when I came in and sat down to put my shoes on. I was coughing my head off and my dd says "Mom, can you go somewhere else? I can't hear the T.V. cos of your coughing." I shot her a really dirty look and continued to put my shoes on. Then dd raises her voice and says "Mom, get out of here so I can hear!" So I grabbed the remote, turned off the T.V. and like the very mature grown up that I am threw the remote across the room. Of course this upset and scared dd so she starts to cry... ugh! It was so awful. I really hate myself for reacting that way.

I went to work and met my deadline by about noon and then promptly took myself to the ER where I was found to have a 103 degree fever and needed two breathing treatments in order to well, breathe. Its just a virus, no pneumonia or bronchitis, my lungs were just super inflamed and spasming. After the breathing treatment I felt much, much better and a lot less crazy. But I feel like such a witch. Last night was better. DD was fine with me not reading stories... but I know that wasn't out of sympathy so much as it was probably out of fear from remebering the night before.

I so do not want my child behaving because she's afraid of me. I have apologized to her a few times and told her that it was very wrong for me to have acted how I did. I feel like I'm exactly what she said, a bad, bad mommy.
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#142 of 335 Old 05-20-2004, 12:50 PM
 
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Wow do I ever need this thread lately! I havent had time to read through all 8 pages, just the first few, but I wanted to drop a hello and say that since the birth of my daughter (5 weeks ago) I feel like a maniac! Ive been working on getting back to myself (which admittedly I yelled then as well) but not like I yell now, or feel. I get very easily stressed, and I feel like a one woman circus.

In most cases its just my natural instinct to raise my voice, its how my family 'talked' to eachother, there were no regular conversations, and I really, really do not want my children to be raised the same. So I keep on working on it, and I like the idea of positive thinking, Im going to implement that in my life starting now.

Im so glad I found all of you, I always felt like a failure AP mama, because I would lose my temper.
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#143 of 335 Old 05-20-2004, 02:09 PM
 
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Yay Greaseball! Triumph tastes good hey? Its funny to hear about people stressing out over public spaces with their kids. My survival strategy has always been to be at home as little as possible. I feel like I am a much better mama in public than private. It sounds awful but I really think its true. When I am at home with my kids I am much more irritable, my kids argue and fight more and we are just generally less tolerant of each other. As soon as I can get us all out the door though, everything changes. We all become so much more pleasant. A child that was screaming blue murder seconds before suddenly asks me why there is no frost under the trees? or something. We walk down to the maiin street in our neighbourhood or to the park and all is well with the world. Its funny because I am a SAHM (though I'm not very fond of that term!) and I had all kinds of visions of baking cookies with them, doing all kinds of great crafty things, you know, Little House on the Prairie stuff Oh well, Cést la vie!. What are your tried and true survival strategies for when its all going haywire?
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#144 of 335 Old 05-20-2004, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OH, honey~

What a crappy experience. I'm so glad you were able to get some treatment for your virus. It sounds to me like you might have been suffering from oxygen deprivation. Whatever - you were really sick. Jeesh.

I think your behavior was totally understandable. Completely. Your DD will be fine. What you have to do now is forgive YOURSELF.

It's a continous learning process, isn't it? Now you know - next time you're feeling really sick, take a break. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. I constantly have to remind myself of that, and even then, I don't always listen!

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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#145 of 335 Old 05-20-2004, 05:05 PM
 
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Hey Shonasmom and spicensnail007, we must have cross posted.
Shonahsmom, that virus sounds horrible! Is there anyone else you could arrange some sort of contingency childcare plan with for when you're that sick? I have so BTDT with my two when I've felt ill, you do have to work the hardest at forgiving yourself and moving on.
Spicensnail, I too, have felt like I didn't deserve to call my parenting AP because I lose my temper. Your babe is only 5 weeks old! You need to give yourself some time to heal and rest. Can you arrange for some post partum help? Your old self will not have a chance to return if you can't give yourself a break.
Where did we all get this idea that we should be able to do it all and be perfectly loving parents ALL the time?
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#146 of 335 Old 05-21-2004, 01:58 AM
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I am new to this thread but need to be here to learn and listen. Today for the first time in awhile I didn't get upset or raise my voice. Kids were ill so just hung out.
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#147 of 335 Old 05-21-2004, 09:06 AM
 
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Hello again.

I've been thinking so much about this thread and about how I treat my children vs. how I want to treat my children and how my children behave vs. how I want my children to behave.

I don't remember if I read this on this thread or elsewhere, but it was something about how playing with your children for even five minutes a day can make a difference in how they behave. The statement really got me thinking about how I interact with my children all day long.

Am I playful and happy or am I just rushing around commanding things get done? How many times a day do I ask them not to do something, tell them to stop a behavior vs how many times do I get down and play with them or praise them? How often am I smiling at my children vs how often am I glaring at them?

Perhaps more than just controlling my anger and trying to find a way to "make my children behave" I need to revamp my idea of parenting. I need to be more positive with them. I need to make sure they are getting the message, not only do I love them, but I like them as little people. I’m not sure I’m doing this right now. Sometimes I am so focused on what has to get done, I forget to have any fun at all. I’m just going about my day from task to task.

Anyway, this message is kind of rambling, but it’s just been something I have been mulling over in my head. Yesterday I made a point of smiling at my children as often as I could remember. I took time out of the things I had to do and played with my children and you know what? They were better behaved and I was in a better mood and less prone to even want to yell.
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#148 of 335 Old 05-21-2004, 10:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcommama
I don't remember if I read this on this thread or elsewhere, but it was something about how playing with your children for even five minutes a day can make a difference in how they behave. The statement really got me thinking about how I interact with my children all day long.
Yeah I said that... author Becky Bailey says that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcommama
Am I playful and happy or am I just rushing around commanding things get done? How many times a day do I ask them not to do something, tell them to stop a behavior vs how many times do I get down and play with them or praise them? How often am I smiling at my children vs how often am I glaring at them?

Perhaps more than just controlling my anger and trying to find a way to "make my children behave" I need to revamp my idea of parenting. I need to be more positive with them. I need to make sure they are getting the message, not only do I love them, but I like them as little people. I’m not sure I’m doing this right now. Sometimes I am so focused on what has to get done, I forget to have any fun at all. I’m just going about my day from task to task.

Anyway, this message is kind of rambling, but it’s just been something I have been mulling over in my head. Yesterday I made a point of smiling at my children as often as I could remember. I took time out of the things I had to do and played with my children and you know what? They were better behaved and I was in a better mood and less prone to even want to yell.


Great! You know what??? Mary Sheedy Kurcinka talk that I attended this week focused on just that...

She talked a little about being an Emotional Coach and devotes a cool chapter in her book (her talk is right there! but better explained than I can right now.)

Are you an Emotional Coach or Intimidator?

Emotional Coach
touched gently
was firm but didn't overreact
gave the look
helped him pick up
redirected him
took a break with him
showed him how to stop
used a firm but gentle voice
asked questions

Intimidator (When we lose control, does this make kids feel? Does it help our goals???? When our parents treated us like this, were WE MOTIVATED to change? Nope. It made me fold my arms and stay put. Angry and hurt.)
jerked
screamed
pinched
hit
criticized
called him names
wouldn't talk to him
threatened
punished

The emotion coach
works with
sympathizes (Kneel down, look them in the eye and softly speak: "I know you really want to stay at the park longer, and you are very sad and angry, but we need to leave now. Hold my hand and let's walk together.")
makes it special or a game (use humor)
talks with and explains

The intimidator
Do it now!
threatens
screams
rushes

I bought her new book Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles You can view the table of contents on Amazon. Effective strategies that will help you:
- Stay connected with your child. (This is important because she and other authors like Bailey explain that kids are motivated by behave when they feel good about the emotional connection with their parents. I definitely see this with my 4 year old. VS the way I grew up, my mom was very critical, negative, scolding of me, and it made me fold my arms and go to war (stubborn) with her. I wouldn't budge.
- Bring down the intensity.
- Understand why your child is misbehaving.
- Stop the tantrums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgarda
Re: Introverts vs. Extroverts. Well, honestly, I have a huge problem with this classification. First, let me just tell you that I have a degree in Organizational Development, so I'm very familiar with various personality types and personality assessments and pretty well aware of my own needs. The reason I don't like the intro/extro dichotomy is that I find it to be way too simplistic.
I hear you. You are right, it is. Many people are a "blend." But I personally still find that with myself and DS we lean towards one side more, and just skimming her SPIRITED book has REALLY helped me understand my DS's needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgarda
Basically, I think that DS is just like me. When he is angry or frustrated, he feels very closed in and needs people to get out of his personal space. However, he isn't sophisticated enough yet to know how to turn internally for reflection or how to walk away from a problem so he can come back to it later. My heartache is that I know how he feels, but I don't have tools to help him since he doesn't WANT help at the moment.
What about the books????? Look a degree in Organizational Development doesn't prepare you for THIS! Theory, classifications is one thing, actually reading what what someone else has written (give the Spirited book a chance) may help you A LOT. This isn't new territory. You are not the only one going through parent/child struggles. THANKFULLY, there is help... unfortunately, it's a matter of finding the right books. But give it a chance. I think you'd benefit from both SPIRITED and POWER STRUGGLES.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgarda
As for "spirited," based on what others have said about their spirited kids, I wouldn't really describe him that way. He is actually a pretty calm and collected kid and his extremely high verbal skills make dealing with him much easier than most, I think.
That's fine... but that book will STILL offer insights for *** your *** calm and collected child.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#149 of 335 Old 05-22-2004, 02:00 AM
 
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I've been having similar thoughts dotcommama. I even have a plan in my head to try to spend more time playing, doing more smiling/laughing and less rushing round and getting things done. But I'm not sticking to my plan. Sigh. I think a lot of the problem is that DH has been away (he got back a few hours ago. YAY!!) and he's such an involved, hands-on dad that I'm not used to carrying all the load myself. I'm VERY tired, and haven't had enough me time. But instead of letting things go, I become more 'controlling' (but I'm not really in control).

I hope that I'll be able to get myself together a bit more over the next couple of weeks. Then DH is going away again for another two weeks. Based on this last trip, I'm REALLY not looking forward to him being away so long. Although maybe for the next trip, DS won't be trying to cut two teeth and will be sleeping better.

My plan:
have time to myself each day (when I don't have to be doing things for other people)
have time alone with DD to do something fun
smile and laugh more
let things go (what is it that Barbara Coloroso says? if it's not life-threatening or morally/physically unhealthy)
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#150 of 335 Old 05-22-2004, 02:41 AM
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great advise everyone. i will try to put it to use tomorrow.
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