I come here with a plea of help and advice.
I have a 3 year 3 month old and a 6 month old (boys). In the last month or so I am really struggling with my own anger issues. My 3 year old is really pushing his boundaries, he even tells me he wants to make me mad! I have found myself shouting at him on many occasions to the point where I can feel myself losing control. I have to leave the room and calm down so I don't do something I regret. I'm am scaring myself, and maybe him and I desperately need to find a way to redirect my anger. I just see red. And I'm usually holding my 6 month old at the time so he hears/sees it all. I am such a dreadful mother :0(
I have always followed and believed in attachment parenting principles. We all co-sleep and I breastfeed and babywear. I believe in gentle discipline and try to practice it. But my anger is just taking over. I know this is a trying age and that having the baby to deal with too is making things harder but I am the adult and he is the child. I should be able to rise above it. But at the moment I feel so lost.
A little background. My life is particularly stressful at the moment. I am seeing a relationship councillor with my husband as we are having problems. Not too serious, but we recognise we need to address our issues between each other. My husbands business has recently failed so we are verging on bankruptcy. He is looking for work where he can which means he is away 3 nights a week at the moment. I am feeling very alone dealing with everything and the children.
Anyway, if anyone has any good suggestions or ideas of how I can start to find ways to rechannel my anger. And stop myself seeing red at my eldest. He is only three. He is very precocious. He has the vocabulary of a 6 year old and has always been a very confident, quite aggressive child.
Hi Niblett. I have been there with the 3 year old and the baby and it is hard. I don't think I'd ever been angry at DD1 before DD2 was born! Good on you for recognising that you need to redirect the anger. I don't know how qualified I am to give advice as I'm still getting on top of my own anger. What I've found works the best is reading up on the effects of anger on children, and reading ways of positively responding to challenging behaviour - Larry Cohen's Playful Parenting is great, you can sign up for an e-newsletter and his perspective on child-adult relationships is inspiring.
The Parenting and Anger thread (I think in personal growth?) is good support too. Good luck, you sound like a lovely mama who has a lot on her plate :)
How often do you get time for yourself? What sort of things do you do to fill your own cup, and are you doing these things on a regular basis so your cup continually stays full? Here are some things I do on a regular basis every day, some of these things take as little as 30 seconds while others can take up to a hour:
*chant, or recite a mantra
*visualize yourself as a strong oak tree, nothing can break you or make you bend
*read a chapter of a good book
*put on some good music and clean, or have a impromptu concert or dance party with the kids
*get outside and take a walk in nature
*turn off all media and play with kids
*mindfully drink coffee or tea or eat chocolate
*put on a family friendly movie and snuggle with your kids
*make a drawing or painting
*call a friend
I have dealt with that anger before, it can be very trying I feel for you. I have some great articles from Dr. Laura Markham on how to stop yelling, would you like me to post them? How is your diet? Do you take any supplements? How about energy work or a massage?
I love Playful Parenting, and we also use a nvc based approach here as well.
ETA: I know of a great parenting course that's dealing with a lot of these issues going on right now, would you like me to pm you about it?
You are not a dreadful mother, you are human and it sounds that at this point in time your family dynamic is off and something needs to change. You mention that your 3yo is doing things that pushes your buttons... could you be a bit more specific? Maybe I could help. I have a 3yo too ( and two other older kids) and a few months ago I also found myself frustrated, angry and my marriage not so happy either. I decided on a few changes (most were quite subtle actually) and I can't believe how much happier we all are.
Thank you so much for your replies. I have been recommended Playful Parenting before, I will definitely get it and sign up to the newsletter. I will also look at the Parenting and Anger Forum, thank you for that suggestion.
I don't take care of myself properly (for eg I am replying to this thread at 11pm when I know I NEED to go to bed!) But it would be rude to not reply to you lovely women who've made the effort to reply to me. I like your list of things you try to do each day. I think that I could compile a similar list and find ways to do those things. It could be really helpful.
I think I get angry the most when DS1's and DS2's needs clash. We all co-sleep but DS2 is generally at his wits end by 7.30pm. I say to DS1. If you could sit quietly for 5 minutes (this is literally all it takes) reading a book, I will get DS2 to sleep and then we can have lovely reading books and cuddle time together and cuddle to sleep too. DS1 decides to jump around the bed shouting - I find myself getting madder and madder. He doesn't do this every time. Sometimes he is lovely and will sit quietly. This is only one example. The other day he pooped in his pants (we are in the middle of potty training and it is not going well!) I was calm and took him to the bathroom to clean it up. No problem, all happy. DS2 awake in sling. I take his trousers off and then realise I have no wipes! I ask DS1 to stay in the bathroom while I go get the wipes. He says 'No!' and does a running jump onto our bed in the bedroom next door and starts jumping and rolling around the bed, smearing poo everywhere. I couldn't stop him because I had my hands full with DS2 as well. So I freaked out and shouted at him. Way to go in helping him to learn to poo in the loo! Anyway. there are 2 examples!
Thank you for your ideas and replies!
I would love to hear of the parenting course please! Even if I decide not to go that route, it wold be great to check it out. It might be just right for me.
Oh and I have a good diet, I always cook fresh food and eat proper meals. (I have to as I suffer from low blood sugar quite badly in the early evening if I don't eat) Although lately I have increased the caffiene and chocolate intake which is probably not good. I don't take supplements (I'm terrible at remembering them) and while I used to love massages don't have the time anymore. I have never tried meditation.
I really like Dr Laura Markham, if you have those articles to hand I would love to read them thank you.
It sounds like you have so much on your plate! I only have one kid, so I've never juggled two, but it sounds hard! Be kind to yourself. It sounds like you have a lot to be frustrated about. I wonder if it would help in the heat of the moment to try to think about what's really making you mad and focus on that instead of your DS. This is a stupid example, but sometimes I start to get frustrated and I realize I have PMS. DD and I have some chocolate or something together and things seem better. It makes it easier to treat myself and DD kindly when I realize there is another factor contributing.
-Ecstatic mommy to amazing DD, 2/07 :
Niblett: Just wondering, have you tried audio books for your son while you get the other to bed? My kids adored Sparkle Stories for a while, and I've heard Jim Weiss is very good. I'm not sure if I can post about the parenting course here, but check your pm inbox in a few minutes. Here are the articles from Dr. Laura Markham:
*It only takes 3 minutes to stop yelling
*6 simple steps to stop yelling
*10 ways to support yourself to stop yelling