Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 335 Old 05-07-2004, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello my fellow Anger Hounds ( !

The old thread was getting so long, that I thought I'd start a new one, with a positive report.

For some reason DS (2.5) didnt' take a nap at school the other day. Consequently, he was very, very tired and cranky when I picked him up. I slowly, slowly, slowly transitioned him into the car and headed off to pick up DH (and we were late). By the time we got there, DS was asleep in the carseat. We decided to leave him in it and let him nap for a little bit while we got dinner ready. Then DH went to get him. By that time, it was actually a little bit later than dinner and DS had been asleep almost an hour. DH woke him up and DS launched right into a tantrum. NOTHING would calm him down. He really doesn't like to be touched or held when he's really upset so it gets really hard to deal with him.

DH was getting pretty pissy and DS was screaming, "NOOO!" to every suggestion to have dinner, have something to drink, even to watch a show (our sure-fire way to help him calm down when he's way past melt-down). This went on for 1/2 an hour!! Nothing was working and I knew that the longer it went on, the lower his blood sugar would get. So, I finally went into his room and bear hugged him, quietly explaining (even though I really, really felt like yelling!! - that internal monologue helped so much!!) that he had a choice to eat some food with us or to put on his pjs and go to bed. I just kept ahold of him (not in a hurtful way) and continued to calmly repeat his choices and explain that I thought he was both hungry and tired and that Daddy and Mama really hoped he would calm down and join us for dinner. His first response was to keep screaming and fighting, but eventually I wore him down (so to speak) and he decided to come eat with us. Then I held him through the process of getting food and helped him do a lot of it himself so he could feel in control and it worked!! (Later DH and I had a conversation about making sure we always have snacks in the car so that if there is a no-nap day DS can eat while driving and we can just put him in bed if he falls asleep like that again.)

HERE'S THE BEST PART: The next morning, I had a good conversation with DS about how being hungry and/or thirsty can make you really, really grumpy and that next time you feel that way, you might want to try eating. That evening, after we picked up DH, DS started getting really grumpy (we had run some errands and were late again ) so I reminded him of our morning conversation and offered him a snack. He took it, ate it and then said, "That makes me feel better! 'Cuz I was grumpy and that means I think I was hungry!"

I'm so proud of myself for not losing it during any of this and for helping my little guy find a solution. And I'm SOOO proud of him for helping himself.

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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#2 of 335 Old 05-07-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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That is a great story!

I've been trying to work hard on keeping a positive internal dialogue going, but I have to admit this week has been tough and I even yelled once - which I hadn't done in weeks.

Lately, my internal dialogue sounds like this

I know that this means I need a break, some “me” time to recharge my batteries so I can be positive and calm. I’m going to try to get some time on Sunday. We’ll see.
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#3 of 335 Old 05-07-2004, 10:25 PM
 
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Hi-
I've been following this thread but only posting here and there. It is very helpful for me to read everyone else's trials and tribulations with anger. The positive mental dialogue stuff really DOES work, but does everyone else agree that it is REALLY, REALLY tough? It's like re-training your brain.

I've had a bad week, too, dotcom. Seems to move in waves around here. My anger is usually triggered by DS's sleep issues. Even if I'm not that tired. Like if he doesn't nap, or, like last night, stay up until 11pm.

I even if I can reign it in with DS, I storm around, acting like an immature 13 yo. Trying very hard to change this. Of course, I am married to THE most patient man EVER. Which is GREAT, but makes me question myself a lot.

Hadn't yelled in a while or raised my voice, and this week just BLEW it. Thanks again for this thread.
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#4 of 335 Old 05-07-2004, 10:27 PM
 
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Great job, Melina! You should print out your post and tape it to your refrigerator. That way the next time you feel like you are about to snap, you'll have it there to remind you that you can not yell and have things work out well.

My MIL is here this week, so I've been managing pretty well--there's no way I would "lose it" in front of her! :LOL
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#5 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 06:18 PM
 
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Hi! You don't mind if I jump in really late here do you?
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#6 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Hi! You don't mind if I jump in really late here do you?
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#7 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 08:00 PM
 
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Wow I really need this. I am having big issues with anger.
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#8 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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I just wanted to add a link back to the original thread for anyone new to the discussion.

It had some great suggestions to help manage your anger and stop yelling.
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#9 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 09:41 PM
 
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Hi. My name is DarkHorseMama. And I am a shouter.

I used to yell at DH when we first got married until he put his foot down that under no circumstances was that acceptable behavior and he would have to reassess his marital situation if I continued to yell at him. THAT pulled me up short and while it took a long time of adjusting (and failing) and trying again, I broke the habit of yelling at him. He was extremely patient but firm in that he would not be treated in that manner and to please accord him the respect he deserved.

I try...oh, do I try with my 2½ y.o. DD...but it is so much easier to yell at her because she can't really express herself as eloquently as DH. She does, however, speak from much closer to the heart by crying and saying over and over, "But I love you, mommy! I love you! No shouting!" Makes me feel about this big -> <-

One thing that I am doing whenever I do lose it is to tell DH when he comes home from work what happened. I have told him that I want to keep myself accountable for my actions and that I will not attempt to hide the behavior away from him. Keeping it flushed out in the open is good for my psyche and for the process of trying to quell the storms that cause it in the first place. I don't yell when he is around, so I know there is *something* inside me that can keep that urge in check even when he is not around.

Many of the problems stem from being stressed out about handling all at once a crying newborn (DS is 3 months) and a crying toddler and two dirty diapers and a barking dog....etc. I can handle X amount of things up to a point, but then that last straw gets dropped and I have a Donald Duck tantrum.

I'm trying, mamas! I'm right there with you!

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#10 of 335 Old 05-08-2004, 10:40 PM
 
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DarkHorseMama, I think it's awesome that you are so openly admitting to your issues and owning them! You aren't making excuses. And you admit that you can, when necessary, control those tantrums. Lady, you are half way there!

So my suggestion for a next step would be to listen to your inner voice when your dh is around and you want to lose it. What do you tell yourself that keeps you from yelling? What are you doing differently? Are you feeling the physical symptoms that are always present before the yelling begins and then bringing yourself back from the cliff?
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#11 of 335 Old 05-09-2004, 05:14 AM
 
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I'm a yeller too. I'm also loud when I'm feeling positive emotions.

I know I'm supposed to be adult and in control, but I often fly off the handle when I'm feeling bad. And then I just feel worse. I yell more when I'm tired and haven't had time to myself in a while (which is frequently).

DH is going away for a conference for 10 days. I'm scared. One way I try to keep the yelling to a minimum is to ring him at work to talk to him about what's going on. I won't be able to do that while he's away. And I also won't have anyone to take over baby/child duty when I'm tired in the evening or through the night.

My self talk at the moment is very negative. I feel mean and hopeless and like all I do is make things worse. It does feel sort of...good to know that I'm not alone in my struggles. I feel like I'm a great parent of babies through to five or six years. I seem to be very bad at being the parent of a seven year old. Or maybe it's because I'm now the parent of two and not one...So many things to ponder. And meanwhile, I keep coming here for inspiration and gradually get more and more tools and confidence. Thank you so much mamas.
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#12 of 335 Old 05-09-2004, 05:47 AM
 
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I'm glad this is still going, even though I haven't checked on it for a couple of weeks. I'll have to go back and read all the other posts on the original and maybe send it to dh, since we're both yellers. At ds & at each other, which really upsets ds and he often tells us "stop yelling everybody!", which is cute but he shouldn't have to do that, or to feel that he needs to do it.

My big problem is drawing the line, what's a firm/stern voice, and what is yelling? I mean, the extreme ends are obvious, but there's a line somewhere in the middle and I just don't know where it is or when I've gone over it.

We have good days and bad days around here, though I try really hard not to yell and I'm trying to get dh not to. He's also a name caller, which I find really awful and I don't know how to get him to stop. He says that he will, he agrees that it's damaging to ds, but the next time he gets annoyed, out comes the names. That, and the comments like "I can't trust you to do X".

Think some of the suggestions in the other thread would help dh with these problems? I know he really wants to stop and feels really horrible for doing them, but he doesn't seem to know how to stop himself.

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#13 of 335 Old 05-09-2004, 04:41 PM
 
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I really need this thread!

FullCream, nobody ever told me before I had my second that I would feel anger towards my first DS like I had never felt before. I don't think it helps!

DarkHorseMama, I really like the idea of being accountable to someone else. I don't think DH takes it seriously enough when I tell him how I've been when I lost it but my best friend would probably be horrified enough for me to be put off if I know I have to tell her!

It is such a relief to find this thread after 2.5 years of feeling almost alone - I even saw a a psychologist who told me "it's ok to say no". But it's not ok to say no by losing it with your 3 year old..... Most of the other parents I know either don't lost it the way I do, or think it's ok so I'm really happy to find you all

Thanks for sharing the not so easy stuff too!

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

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#14 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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Still with you folks..... Not doing so good on the yelling front this week, & quite honestly DH is not helping right now..... In fact, he's the one who copped it this AM for being a shit with the kids. I ask for his help in getting the kids ready this morning & what does he do? Goes berserk at them, screaming at them to get dressed, you're not watching TV, blah, blah..... yanks DS by the arm up the stairs! left a red mark across his chest!! I come running up the other stairs to see what's going on. DS runs to me, clinging to my legs, crying & screaming 'daddy hurt me'. DH is now grabbing DS (should I really be calling him 'D'H at this point??), yelling at me 'you didn't see it. you always take their side. you make the whole family situation worse.... it's all your fault they're like this.... blah, blah, blah..'

I'm pretty okay with my actions here tho. I stuck up for my son, I said to 'd'h "you're not helping- just go get yourself ready & leave him alone!" shouted it- you bet....

And where was I when all this broke out? Downstairs in the laundry room, scrubbing runny splattered dog crap out of pebblecrete. It took me an hour, when I was supposed to get to work early this morning....... It is these sort of situations where I really need the chill pills. I keep thinking if I had just maintained the calm from the very outset, then maybe 'd'h wouldn't have thought he could go off like that.... but I'm human, & this am was pretty stressful for me.... Far out... I feel like I only tell you guys the bad things, but that's my yelling confessional for the day.....

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#15 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 02:23 AM
 
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I finally read through the other thread and am now ready to plunge into this one.

*sigh* I too am a yeller. I think I shall camp out in the Gentle Disipline forum for awhile to shape myself up.

I'll add more later, but just wanted to add myself to the club.
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#16 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 02:30 AM
 
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I am another whose dh is not helping the situation any.
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#17 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 03:19 AM
 
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I needed to see this thread tonight. I've lurked on the previous one and have tried the internal dialogue with good success until tonight. I screamed at the top of my lungs at Ainsley to get back to bed. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm a child abuser. I am a yeller, that is how I get my anger out. I know that it's not fair to take it out on my dd though...I'm trying. I really have learned and enjoyed this thread so far, let's keep up the support mamas!

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#18 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 10:22 AM
 
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aussiemum. Under the circumstances you described, it sounds like you did great! I mean, really, you didn't knock your dh over the head with any large objects, right? So there's a small victory over anger impulse control right there!

I bought some Bach's Rescue Remedy a couple of weeks ago. I haven't used it yet, but it's there in case I feel myself about to go nuts. I don't know if the stuff really works, but I figure that it can't hurt. Just the act of getting it and taking it would probably be enough to diffuse a situation to some degree, right?

I've had a pretty yell-free week because my mil has been visiting all week. She leaves tomorrow, though, and my work has really piled up because of my distractions this past week, so this coming week will be a true test. Please send me any spare patience vibes you have!
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#19 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 12:08 PM
 
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Ok last week was awful, but I'm determined to start fresh this week and try again.

I've been feeling really lost with the whole idea of gentle discipline. I mean I feel like I have no tools that I can use to get my kids to behave when necessary. Does that make sense?

Let me try to explain further. I don't want to spank them. I don't believe in it, have never done it and don't intend to. But, what do you do when your child is really misbehaving and won't stop when you calmly ask or try to redirect their behavior? Yelling, not okay. Time-out? I don't find them effective and then there's all the stuff out there saying time-outs aren't gentle or good for your children either. Bribery? Not okay, right? Coercion, not okay. . .

So what's a mom to do?

Let me give an example: I have a big reclining/rocking chair in my living room. My almost 4 year old likes to stand on it and rock until it flips over. This is not okay for several reasons #1: He could get hurt. #2: It could land on his baby brother and hurt him. #3: It's a piece of furniture in my home and that's not how I expect it to be treated.

I can’t get rid of the chair because it's the only way my dh can get the baby down to sleep. My house is so small there is no area of the house it could go in where it would be inaccessible to my child. I can’t buy a smaller or more stable rocking chair because we have no money.

So what do I do when he's "riding" the chair like a bucking bronco? So far I take him off it about 10 times a day calmly explaining all of the above-mentioned reasons. Obviously, that isn't working. Since we do this 10 times a day week after week.

What do you do to really get your point across without yelling?
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#20 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 12:43 PM
 
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Rockerbabysmom.

Dot, my friend and I were talking about the kids doing things again and again and her advice is just to be consistant. It sounds like you have been for weeks, but just stick to your guns with getting him down, maybe not react negatively (hard next to impossible I know : )when he continues to do it. Perhaps when he sees he will no longer get a reaction from you and just gets put down he will stop. It's a major long shot, but worth a shot huh? Just reading the situation made my blood pressure go up so I understand the frustration. I guess it's easier to give advice when it isn't you right??

I'm going to try to have today be a yell-free day. My hubby is working til late tonight, so it'll be a challenge, but I can do it. I am going to talk a walk later after our breakfast settles so they can go play at the playground.
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#21 of 335 Old 05-10-2004, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok Ladies,

I had a repeat of my first post, only this time was better!! DS spent Saturday w/ friends and their DS is a HUGELY physical child - just runs and jumps a plays and basically wears our DS out. We traded time with the parents and the kids spent the evening at our house while the other couple went out. My DS had a total melt down at pj and teeth time and was inconsolable. After finally having to lay him on the floor and hold him down to brush teeth (it had been skipped 3 nights in a row and I just couldn't let it go) I took him into his room and closed the door and told him that it was time to put on pjs and brush teeth so that we could read stories. If he didn't want to do pjs and teeth, we could just put on a diaper and go to sleep. I kept the same calm voice and told him repeatedly that we really wanted him to join us for stories and that I was sure he could calm down and get it under control. Every time he took his tantrum down a notch, I praised him and said he was doing great and that we were getting really close to being able to go read stories and that I knew he was going to be able to get it under control. And he DID!! I was so proud of him and praised the crap out of him for it.

The bad part is that the reason DS was with our friends that day is because DH and I had such a bad fight Friday night (we're both HORRIBLE yellers), that it actually escalated to mild physical violence. The kind of thing that most women swear they will never, ever, ever put up with. Now I'm in a really difficult place trying to figure out what to do and how to move forward. (Please - no advice on this one - the marriage isn't over.) DH is going to anger management and I'm seriously considering following him. I would really, really love to hear what you all do to keep yourself from yelling at others besides your kids!

Dotcom - re: the chair, is there some form of "punishment" you would consider for your DS? I'm thinking that my response would be to explain that if he couldn't mind, and behave like a big boy, then I have to assume he is too little to play with X or to do Y or something like that. I don't know, maybe that's coercion? But I'm thinking that his behavior is illustrating his unwillingness to mind, and I think of that as a little boy thing. Maybe that's too negative. My other thought is, can you let him jump on the bed or something else that's not so dangerous?

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#22 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 05:26 AM
 
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Well, the last few days were pretty ok. I know for sure I didn't yell at ds at all yesterday (though I may have yelled at dh) I can't remember if I was completely free from yelling for the 2 or 3 days before, but I know that if I did, it wasn't much.

Then there was today. Does anyone else get really grouchy/ill feeling around ovulation or am I just nuts? I swear, it's almost getting worse than PMS. The smallest little thing can set me off. And it really doesn't help when dh gets pissy right back at me. I yelled at him more than ds, but I don't think it's good for ds to see that kind of thing any more than it's good for him to be the recipient.

And the thing that annoys me, is most of the stuff that set me off was just stupid, pissy little things that I normally would barely notice or would just blow off. I wound up having to reassure ds about dh's yelling at him and storming off, so I had a couple of hours where I knew I had to be really gentle because he was already feeling so upset. Why can't I feel that compassionate towards him all the time?

One of the big things, which I'm really upset about, is that I called ds a name. I try very hard that no matter how angry I am, I don't name-call. I know how incredibly hurtful that is, how permanently damaging it can be (I still haven't recovered from the pain of all the insults, mostly about my weight which there was nothing wrong with until I got called names so much, that I received when I was a child) and I often get angry with dh because he has a bad tendancy to name-call when he's angry. I just can't believe did that. I wasn't even really angry at the time, it was more said in an affectionate way, but I know that ds didn't take it that way because of the hurt look he gave me. I felt so bad, I gave him a big hug and told him I was sorry and I shouldn't have said it.

It's just so frustrating, the child freaks out whenever anyone tries to do anything with his hair. Tonight, I decided it had to at least be brushed (it really needs to be cut again, but I know that will be a battle and a half) since he hasn't let me do anything besides wash it in about a month. He started crying before the brush even touched him and I called him a wuss. I feel like such a horrible mommy. The yelling is bad enough, but I don't think I can forgive myself for calling him a name. And I'm really worried I'm going to do it again, since I've been thinking them a lot more lately. I think dh's bad example may be rubbing off. Does anyone have any ideas how I can stop this, now, before it goes any further? And get dh to stop, too.

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#23 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 06:04 AM
 
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Absolutely adviceless in the husband/partner department.

But full of commiseration, as usual....

I'm thinking on this one... thinking about DCM's chair problem, thinking about how to get the point across without yelling, thinking about getting name-calling under control before it gets started...... hmmmm.... don't be too hard on yourself Devaskyla, it happens... we all have moments in our parenting we wish we could take back, & being in a difficult family situation doesn't really help matters, does it?? I'm pretty sure I call the kids names (does dilly-pickle count when they do something silly- not in a mean way, but it's still a name right? altho it does make them giggle sometimes), & even tho I can't think of a specific example right this seccy, I'm sure I've said many a nasty thing to DD in the heat of argument.....

If I think of anything, I'll report back. Going home to my messy house & hopefully fed, bathed & in-jammies kids now.......

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#24 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 08:39 AM
 
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I'm on a bad week too. I hate it when I yell when I didn't even feel in a bad mood. I feel fine, I have time to myself and then something tiny happens and I explode. What can you do about that?

Dotcommama, I know what you mean about the chair. I think the thing is that at almost 4 he is old enough to understand that no means no and it's a question of getting the message across. A really useful thing I learnt from "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" was about expressing positve expectations. My personal interpretation of it is something like: "If you want to stay in the living room then you have to behave properly." - so if he's playing on the chair that is not properly and therefore he doesn't get to come in the living room. You can also say things like - "Jumping is for beds" or "climbing is for outside" which tells him where he can do that kind of thing.

Even if the chair wasn't dangerous you have the right to set your own limits. Mine is that my bedroom is not for playing in. They can come in to talk to me if I'm there of for cuddles but as soon as they start jumping around or throwing things I say that's enough and send them out (I used to warn them first, but now they really should know....).

Devaskyla, I'm not good on stopping myself or limits either! But for things like hair I have found that routine helps. For example, I cut their nails once a week on Sundays. So when they complain, I just say, "It's Sunday and we cut nails on Sunday." It's like a fact and we just do it. I don't give random arguments like that for things that aren't important but I'm not going to get into a discussion every time about why we have to do something. It won't necessarily work the first time very well but if you keep doing it regularly (like brushing teeth and other things) then they get that it's just something that has to be done.

Another really good thing that I got from "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" was that your family depends on your mood for it's whole day. So it is really important to recognise your own limits. So if you told them you would take them to the playground and then you feel too tired, there is no point in taking them to the playground and then yelling at them and spoiling the whole thing. It is better not to go. It's not a trivial changing your mind, it's preventing greater harm later....

As for partners, I don't have any problems yelling at mine because he would just switch off, but any ideas for getting him to behave better with the kids would be welcome! He agrees in theory with all the gentle discipline but when it comes down to it and he has difficulties with our boys he doesn't even feel like he did anything wrong.

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

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#25 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 01:00 PM
 
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Wow, lots of new messages since I last checked in.

Dot, the chair thing would drive me nuts too. And I agree with others, by age four you have a right to expect him to listen in that situation. I know if it were me I would also be instilling some sort of "punishment" after lots of explaining about how jumping on the chair really damages it, how he could fall and get really, really hurt. Show him with one of his things that he really likes. Ask him how he would feel if you purposefully jumped up and down on his favorite toy.

Melina, no advice, just hugs. Sounds like you are making real progress in the gentle discipline area, though. Catalog each success in a notebook or journal so you can read back over them in tough moments. No great suggestions about the not yelling at others since I don't ever yell at dh. But then we'd have to be willing to actually argue or even communicate on a regular basis for it to escalate to yelling...
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#26 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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I hate to fight; I hate to yell. I feel like a terrible mother lately (starting just before Mother's Day, ironically) because my fuse with DD is so freakin' short. She just turned 4, and KNOWS what she should/should not be doing, but goes ahead and does the opposite 95% of the time. And, might I add, she saves her crappiest behavior for me (yes, I know I should be flattered, but I'm not).

The whining has started again, and everything is a fight, from going to the park, how long we'll stay, what we'll do while at the park, the particular way that I do something at the park (it's always wrong, and DD gets very frustrated with me, and I get frustrated at her when she is yelling at me to do it differently and I can't understand, so we end up leaving, with me hauling her to the car and her yelling and screaming, "No, Mama! NO!").

I am actually scared about this summer. I am a teacher, and I am planning on taking DD out of her daycare for the whole summer before she starts pre-K. I haven't been full-time at home with her since she was one (I was SAHM for the first year, and only part time WOHM for the second and third), and I don't want the whole summer to be one long arguement. Currently, the only real discipline we use is talking to her about whatever is going on and, when that becomes impossible, having her go into her room to "think about what she wants to do." I physically cannot handle DD standing in front of me, yelling at me; the other day she told me she hated me. She tells me I'm not nice and she won't ever play with me, that she only loves daddy. Yes, she is 4, no, she doesn't actually mean it, but it is REALLY HARD FOR ME TO HEAR (and I have tears in my eyes as I type it!!! WTF is wrong with me!!!). I don't expect her to understand the sacrifices that I make for her; I truly don't. But is really hurts to hear these things from DD; I ask her how she can talk this way to "the bringer of all things good," the last time I said that (total jokingly), she said I hadn't brought her any toys lately so she wasn't my friend.

Okay, I am full-on rambling now, but this thread is what I have been struggling with, and I feel like I am ruining my child. She has a doll that she is CONSTANTLY disciplining; she sends it to its room for not wearing shoes, or says she will "force" the doll into its clothes if the doll doesn't put them on NOW. She also tells the doll that she will "spank [its] butt," a pleasant phrase she brought home from school (we have spanked her a handful of times, but it didn't work and was all about anger so we DO NOT SPANK anymore, although SO threatened her last night with it, which pissed me off). Mind you, we have not done these things to her verbatim, but this is probably her impression of the situations, and isn't that just as bad? I hear how she speaks to her doll and to her friends, and I feel like the best thing I can do for her is to leave and let someone else raise her.

It has been a rough week; sorry for the hijack....

HoneyFern

The Blog

Never let your schooling interfere with your education. ~Mark Twain~

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#27 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 01:59 PM
 
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May I join in for a bit? I'm working on the anger/yelling thing too. I have 3 kids, ages 4, 2 and 4 months. I've been struggling with the whole internal dialogue stuff, how to control my own emotions and respond to the kids (mainly my 4 year old daughter) with empathy and compassion instead of freaking out. Recently I read two extremely helpful books. One was called Peace Is Every Step (by a buddhist monk) and the other Everyday Blessings: the Inner Work of Mindful Parenting (more or less based in buddhist tradtition). It's a lot of buddhist philoshophy about being aware, being present, having compassion, being aware of my emotions without judging myself and while I cannot describe it all that well, these ideas have helped me more than anything else. If you have some spare time to read it might be worth a look. If nothing else, it's peaceful reading (at least it was for me). And thank you all for being willing to share your experiences-it's good to know we're not struggling alone. Hugs to all of you!
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#28 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Devaskyla
It's just so frustrating, the child freaks out whenever anyone tries to do anything with his hair. Tonight, I decided it had to at least be brushed (it really needs to be cut again, but I know that will be a battle and a half) since he hasn't let me do anything besides wash it in about a month. He started crying before the brush even touched him
Devaskyla, I don't know you or your history or your kids, but my daughter has similar issues with regard to clothing. I don't believe she actually has sensory integration disorder, but she is sensory defensive about certain things and for me, learning about sensory defensiveness helped me changed how I viewed behavior like taking her shoes off 10 times before we get out the door or having a tantrum over not having the right socks, or having her hair brushed or (heaven forbid) put in a ponytail so it looks neat. Once I had a different perspective to work with, and some ideas for solutions, it was easier to get through these episodes with a lot less stress, yelling and tears. One good book was The Out of Sync Child. I also like Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too tight (though that's really more about adults). There's also The Sensory Sensitive Child. Again, I'm not implying that your son has a disorder, just that for some people even simple things like hairbrushing really does hurt and maybe that's the sort of thing he's dealing with. Just a thought, and I hope you don't mind my piping up. I know how frustrating that sort of thing can be. Take care.
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#29 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 02:41 PM
 
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I am a single momma to a 4 yo dd. I just read most of part one of this thread. I am really interested in using the positive inner dialogue.

Due to the extremely abusive relationship I was in with my dd's father, I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. One of the symptoms of PTSD is irritability and another is extreme sensitivity to noise. Noise and stress can really send me over the edge. And when I go over the edge I yell. Just like everyone hear has expressed, I hate yelling and I feel like a terrible momma when I do.

Its so distressing. I am not using my experience as an excuse, but prior to that relationship I had NEVER yelled at another human being in my life. I screamed at my ex until I had no voice left because I felt so powerless and did not know how else to react to his awful treatment. I guess yelling just became a part of me.

Before having read this post, I was beginning to improve a lot just by working hard to avoid things that are triggers for both dd and me. I started really paying attention to us getting enough rest, staying well nourished and hydrated (we both get really crabby when we are hungry or thirsty). I also made sure to avoid things like going to the grocery store when dd or I are over tired or overstaying at the park or at a play date (ie leaving before dd gets worn out.. not waiting until then and then using that as an excuse to leave.. recipe for disaster).

I also, sparked by counselling, started to really reflect on how I felt when ex yelled at me.. how scary and intimidating that was... how much it hurt my spirit. This reflection, while it made me feel even more guilty than I already did, has helped me to be much more mindful of the impact of my words and actions towards my dd. I mean, when my ex screamed and yelled and stomped around and slammed doors to scare me, its considered verbal abuse. Why isn't it considered the same between a parent and child? I don't want to abuse my child.

So I have drastically improved in the yelling department.

I also keep simple round stickers by the calendar on the wall in the kitchen. After a great day, I put a happy face on the calendar. Bad day.. unhappy face. One unhappy face results in the loss of a priveledge; it changes based on what she is into at the given time. A week of happy faces result in dd getting to choose a small treat, like doughnuts on Sunday morning and a whole lotta praise fom me, telling her how much it helps mommy when she is kind and cooperative. I try to help her realize how much happier our household is, she and I both, when she is behaving well. She dreads those unhappy faces.

Also, when she is doing something she shouldn't I state what she is doing "Shonah, you are standing on chair". If she continues "Shonah, you are standing on a chair. Its dangerous. If you don't sit down, you will need to leave the table and go to your room." If she still persists, "Shonah, I see you are choosing to leave the table and go to your room."

Another awesome momma on MDC recommended this verbal approach. Its been very, very effective. The first few days were tough. She pushed to the "I see you are choosing.." part every time. Since then I rarely get past the first part of stating what she is doing. It takes all of the emotion out of the equation (for the most part) and places the responsibility on her. She understands that it is a choice to behave, cooperate, listen, etc.. and that there is an immediate cause and effect to her choice.

But alas, I still yell. I still slam doors and use hositle body language. But I am working on it everyday. When I slip and I yell at my dd, I am sure to apologize and to admit to her that I was wrong for yelling.

I just don't want her to grow up and hate me. I don't want to one day have a teen ager screaming in my face or worse yet, not talking to me at all.

I am going to use more inner dialogue. Before even reading this, I guess I was using it a bit without really thinking too much about it. I just stop and think "getting angry right now will not help". I've repeated that over and over in my head until I calm down. But I like the idea of taking it further, reminding myself that I am a good mom and that I can handle whatever comes my way.

Anyway, thanks for this thread!!!!
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#30 of 335 Old 05-11-2004, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
Also, when she is doing something she shouldn't I state what she is doing "Shonah, you are standing on chair". If she continues "Shonah, you are standing on a chair. Its dangerous. If you don't sit down, you will need to leave the table and go to your room." If she still persists, "Shonah, I see you are choosing to leave the table and go to your room."
Thanks I think I'm going to try that approach with the chair issue. I'm also trying to be 100% consistent about removing him from the chair the minute I see him rocking like a nut on it. Sometimes it means I have to put down the crying baby or stop in the middle of helping my oldest read a story, but I know that without consistency none of my attempts at discipline are going to work.

Btw thanks to those who said the chair thing would make you nuts too – at least I know I’m not just an overly mean Mommy.

I also wanted to add a quick to mmgarda. I know you don't want to get into a discussion about the issues with your dh here, so I'll say no more.

So now I’m going to add my tip for the day:

In my house a lot of my yelling is just me being overwhelmed. I’m doing five things at once and then my kids push a little too far and it’s just the straw that breaks the camels back – kwim? Anyway, we’ve been getting chapter books on tape out of the library. Each day I put them on for the boys in their room and they play quietly and calmly for about 30min – 1 hour while listening to the story. This has been really helpful to me. Some mornings I use the time just to chill out and nurse the baby and read the boards. Other days I use the time to get the house cleaned up while no one is simultaneously destroying it. Anyway, I find it gives me a bit of a break which helps me through out the day – so I thought I’d pass the idea along.
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