I've been annoyed by my child for three years - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-04-2014, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy I've been annoyed by my child for three years

My son is incredibly annoying to me.

He is five years old. I love him with all my heart. When he's sleeping, I go in and stare at him, stroke his hair, kiss his cheek ... I wish he could be this still when he's awake.

I think he has ADHD. It's genetic, and my husband and father both have it, and I believe I have ADD (without hyperactivity). My son is go go go, all day long. He's careless and wild. He's constantly breaking things, getting hurt, etc. Lately, he whines and cries about everything. He isn't rebellious and is a very sweet-hearted little boy, but he argues about EVERYTHING. I cannot tell him no without hearing him complain and try to negotiate with me. It pisses me off to no end.

I wish I could say this is just a recent thing, but my feelings toward him extend to the last three years. Nearly everything he does, I find annoying. I feel like my relationship with him is more of that of a little obnoxious brother than my son. (And I have a little brother, so I know what it feels like.) I don't like holding him and snuggling him. I hate it when he touches me. It's like nails on a chalkboard. He talks constantly... no really, CONSTANTLY. He does not know when to shut up. I'm serious. It's actually a joke between my family and I... his grandparents laugh about it, but when you are the parent and have to hear him talking constantly 12 hours a day, ya just want to yell SHUT UP ALREADY!

I feel horrible, but I am being completely honest here, because I need help. I don't want to feel this way toward him. Even as I'm sitting here typing this out, he has to come up to me 4 times and ask various questions. Finally I just yelled WHAT. CAN YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR TWO MINUTES?!

My little girl does not annoy me like he does. I am an introvert and my son is clearly an extrovert, through and through. I get weary from answering questions all day, watching him jump and dance and spin constantly, dealing with him knocking things over and just acting foolish. My daughter is an introvert like me, and she knows how to sit quietly and hum in her carseat, rather than talk the whole damn car trip. She knows how to snuggle and read books, rather than jump on the bed and knock the lamp over and spill her water.

Am I an awful mother? I love him. We had a wonderful breastfeeding experience for 20 months. We co-slept. We homebirthed. He never attended daycare. I felt an instant, gooey, sappy connection with him the moment he was born; ironically, it took me several months to feel this connection with my daughter. But now I can't stand to be around him 75% of the time.

Help me. Is anyone like this with their child? Am I just a horrible mother? What can I do to change??? I feel like this isn't normal. I asked my mom if she ever felt like this with any of her kids, including her very difficult child, and she said no. There were maybe afternoons here and there where she felt like this, but not constant. Not all the time. Not for years.

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Old 08-04-2014, 09:43 PM
 
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You ARE NOT alone!! Unfortunately I can't speak for myself, but a lady my mom goes to church with spoke up a few years back and confessed that she had a very strong dislike for her daughter. She said that she had hated her 12 year old daughter for the past 8 years and she too felt like an awful, horrible mother, but everything her daughter did drove her NUTS! I honestly can't give you advice on how things can be different...maybe only counseling will help? I know its a very far stretch but I can try to get ahold of my moms friend? I don't think this issue is very common, I hate to say.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:43 AM
 
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You are not a bad mother. Your feelings are ok. Expected. Normal. I'm sorry for what you are dealing with. I have no advice but want you to know its ok to feel so frustrated. As long as he doesn't know and knows you love him. I hope things improve!
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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You are not an awful mother. You love him, but his behaviors drive you nuts. As his behaviors improve, you will be able to enjoy being around him more.

Because you suspect ADHD, have you considered a diagnosis and treatment?

Since he is 5, will he be starting school soon? It would give you REAL breaks. With REAL breaks, you might find you have more tolerance for his behavior when you are with him.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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I love my son. But he, too, annoys me. I also had that instant bond with him, more than with my younger son, but... I love to be around my younger son. My older son... We just don't "click". He's clingy and stills asks the "why" questions at 16, when clearly he can understand that I just wouldn't know the answers to the "why" questions he asks me. I, too, feel a ton of guilt about this. I am aware that I am creating those "mom" issues, but don't know how to switch my thinking. I spend a lot of the time we interact on auto pilot mode. Numb, almost, just waiting for him to be bored with me. I have been counting down the years for years. He's a wonderful young man, super sweet and helpful, amazingly intelligent, considerate and caring. Loving. All the positive traits we hope our little people have. But I feel like I shrivel up inside when he's around.

I don't have advice for you. Just empathy. Lots and lots of empathy. When he's not around I think, "gee, I miss him. When he comes home, I'm going to be so much more attentive to him." But then he comes home and starts to talk in this monotone childlike voice, and the switch goes off again. He recently told me he was going to look at a local college, and I thought... OH NO!

When he was young, I was a great mom to him. As he's gotten older, not so much.

I look forward to hearing of others responses who may contribute some great ideas for turning this feeling around. Until then, hugs to you mama friend.

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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Wow, I could have written that myself. Every word. When my son started kindergarten (he missed the starting date by one week and had to wait till he was 6 ) I felt like FINALLY I could string two coherent thoughts together. At least for 6 hours a day. It was great.

A few weeks into the school year I started asking his teacher if she thought he might be ADHD. Finally one day she hands me a 3 page list - Signs and Symptoms of Asperger's. She had highlighted all the signs she was seeing in my son. And suddenly, I saw them too. She was right. I just couldn't tell the social pieces until he started school and was around other kids all day. He was just as hyper and "busy" at school as he was at home. He pestered the other kids so bad it was disruptive and interfering with the whole class. He interacted inappropriately by using bathroom words and laughing hysterically at stupid things. We reluctantly started him on Adderall.

By accident I stumbled across a chiropracter who practices kinesiology. I took DS in and lo and behold, he's intolerant to gluten. About 4 months after quitting gluten we realized he hadn't had a tantrum/meltdown all day. That was huge for us. Coincidentally we dried off our milk cow and drastically curtailed our consumption of dairy. (You can see where this is going. ) After 5 months without gluten (and minimal dairy) we realized he was no longer ADHD and he was much more calm and "present." He doesn't yap all day long about stupid stuff and crash into stuff. We stopped the Adderall.

One day he came home from school high as a kite. Bouncing off the walls, knocking stuff over, laughing at nothing, talking a mile a minute, couldn't focus on what I was saying to him. It was just like the bad old days. I was stunned. He said they had pudding packs for snack. I took him back to the kinesiologist and found that he was also intolerant to dairy. We immediately cut all dairy out of his diet too. We started the GAPS diet. After doing full GAPS for a couple of months we did the Intro portion. He detoxed really hard for 2 days. He was sick as a dog, vomited, no appetite, lethargic, glassy eyed, slept a lot. When he came out of that, all the autism symptoms and everything was gone. It was like his maturity level went up by 2 years. He was fully calm and "present." He's delightful, charming, and affectionate. He acts appropriately at school and at home. He's NORMAL.

The thing in a nutshell is, as long as he stays completely free of dairy and gluten, HE IS NOT ADHD. He's not on the autism spectrum anymore. He's normal. And so much more loveable! I wish I'd known years ago, because I look back at his photos and see a darling little boy. That nobody could stand to be around.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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Feelings distort memory. If you're annoyed with him right now. Likely you'll remeber all the times he's annoyed you. You feel the love when he's sleeping. This sounds totally normal to me. Have you had a chance to really miss him? Maybe a school program or summer camp? Stay with grandparents a week?
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:44 PM
 
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You are not terrible. My son just turned 4 & I've been dealing with a similar situation nearly since his birth.

I don't have great advice. I am an introvert, my son an extrovert. In addition he's extremely challenging (writing my own post after this) & I am also diagnosed with depression & I am on meds. One of the best decisions I've made for my family. When I take them I feel like I can at least find the patience in me.

It's extra hard when our personalities don't mesh. I found the book raising your spirited child pretty helpful.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:56 PM
 
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I just wanted to chime in and say that I think the introvert-extrovert combination is REALLY hard. There are quite a few threads on here addressing that issue, and I think us introvert parents can really struggle. I definitely go through phases where I feel much like what you're expressing in your post, and I have since my daughter was born. I wish I had some great advice for you, but I just wanted to add my support for how you're feeling. You're not bad and you shouldn't feel awful, but I understand why you feel that way. Hopefully things will get easier as school starts and your son gets older.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:51 AM
 
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Have you considered his diet? Does he eat sugar or any artificial additives, especially food coloring? There are a few specific food colorings and one preservative (sodium benzoate) which are linked to hyperactivity in children. Here in the EU they have to place a warning about it on labels and in restaurants. It's not just some fanciful notion. Anyway I would look into his diet, some kids also have certain allergies or intolerances or just reactions. I know many parents have seen enormous changes in behavior once they adjusted the diet / eliminated certain foods.
Best of luck!

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:21 AM
 
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You can't give anything to anyone else without taking care of yourself first. It sounds like you're running on an empty cup, and your son probably is too. The introverted parent/extroverted child is a really difficult combination. You need alone time to feel refreshed and recharge your batteries; he needs connection. When you're both empty, you'll be seeking isolation and he'll be seeking connection - with you. I have the same dynamic with my 3.5yo DS, though probably less extreme, and it's hard. When he's acting out I know it means he needs some sort of human interaction - he needs to go to the park, the museum, invite a friend over - but the acting out drains me and makes me want to stay home.

My suggestion would be to find a mother's helper, ASAP. Pre-teen girls are awesome for this, maybe an energetic high-schooler, a home-schooler would be even better since they may have weekday availability. You don't have to pay them as much as a babysitter, you wouldn't be leaving them alone. The point is to give your son someone else to bond with, someone with fresh energy that he can use to refill his own, while you get some time to sit by yourself, read, take a bath, find the end of the internet, whatever you need to do. I'd aim for at least a few days a week, if not everyday, just a couple of hours would do you both good. When you come back together, you'll both be more refreshed and better able to cope and connect.

And since I'm a student nutritional therapist, I have to echo what P.J said and mention that food sensitivities can have a huge impact on behavior. There is a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome that addresses diet and ADHD specifically. Maybe after you get into a better space and feel up to the undertaking, an elimination diet might be worth trying. The big offenders are wheat/gluten, corn, soy, sugar, food dyes, nuts and dairy. There are tons of resources now for paleo meal plans that are inherently (most) allergen-free.



Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:46 AM
 
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Oh Cantalope, I feel for you. BTDT. By the time my son was 6, my former husband divorced me and our family fell apart. I hate to say it but ds' needs did contribute to it .

I am happy to say that my son has come a LONG way - as a ten year old he is in a developmental phase where higher levels of his brain can help him organize the lower levels of his brain, which are very disorganized. That's what I learned from the Eide Neurolearning Clinic where I had him assessed 1.5 years ago. When he was 6 he was found to not be on the autism spectrum but he came close! My son is gifted, has ADHD, sensory issues, and 3 learning disabilities. Based on my experience, here is my advice to you:

0. Boy and girls are different. Expect your boy to seem like an alien to you, especially if he is rambunctious and has ADHD and is extroverted. Be curious about what makes him tick. Read and learn about boys. Talk to mothers of older boys, especially if they have more than one.

1. make a religion of your son getting major daily outdoor exercise (at least an hour, has to be outdoors, has to be vigorous). this truly helps ADHD kids, and helps you too if you can get some exercise in the process

2. keep very consistent sleep hours (you and your son) - use melatonin if needed to make sure he gets to bed at a reasonable hour and has good rest

3. get assessment for Aspergers and ADHD - some are diagnosed to be on the spectrum very late, but the parents find it very helpful to access the resources and support. if your son turns out not to have Aspergers, still look at the books/resources on social skills, etc. - I found them helpful for my son's issues. giftedness can cause a lot of annoying behaviours as well.

4. supplement with vitamin D3 (1000 IU a day) and cofactors and fish oil (1 mg). recent studies are showing that ADHD kids have lower vitamin D levels in their blood! and there is good evidence that fish oil helps. D3 also is linked with poor sleep and that can be an underlying cause of children being annoying as heck.

5. work on managing his need for attention at home. I did this: 10 minutes "mom time", 10 minutes "son time", 10 minutes "daughter time" - alternate. as he adjusts, increase the length of time. it took time but it did help us! I could get my stuff done and feel OK about saying NO to interruptions. I just kept saying "look at the timer". during "his" time he had my complete attention. it helped ME to not be splitting my attention all day as well - focus on what I was doing, even if it was only in 10 minute blocks.

6. don't try to do computer stuff or stuff requiring sustained focus while looking after your child. hire a babysitter so you can do one thing at a time. try to have two switches with your child: "I'm focused on you" or "I'm busy don't bother me". Chunk your time so that you can get satisfaction from whatever you are focusing on at the time. this is important if you have ADHD yourself.

7. don't be a perfectionist about screen time. when I finally started letting my child watch a movie or tv episode every day, I realized that it was probably helping him get a break from HIMSELF. Audiobooks and a giant bin of LEGO also were lifesavers at one stage - the audiobooks gave him "attention" and occupied his brain and the LEGO occupied his hands. I was constantly going to the library stocking up on books on CD. My library also offers audiobook downloads on the computer. this needs to be balanced with outdoor exercises, outings outside the home, etc.

8. many are helped by gluten free and dairy free. but be realistic...if you cannot or will not pull this off, don't waste your time. I know a lot of moms who drive themselves nuts doing elaborate baking projects with exotic ingredients, yet their kids are "cheating" (their words) all the time. Their time would be better spent getting their kids climbing trees, swimming at the beach, and hiking through forests rather than trying to be perfectionists with food, IMO. with a kid like this, you have to listen to your gut and figure out what to make a priority. The mom experts I know on gluten-free say that you have to try it religiously for 3-6 months to even know if it would help your child. It's also a lifestyle for them and it affects what families they hang out with, what activities they do, etc. In my case I just could not pull it off without neglecting other major life priorities, and I still can't. I choose not to beat myself up over this.

9. take care of your marriage, if applicable. protect time alone together after your son goes to bed, date nights, etc.

10. cut way back on time-sucks (social media, screens, forum, etc.) and take care of yourself: exercise, sleep, get your vitamin D levels checked and supplement, make yourself beautiful. At the 5 year mark of parenting I was overweight, frumpy, run down, hadn't slept well in years, depressed, anxious, procrastinated horribly, etc. Feeling crummy wasn't helping me connect with my son and be present with him. Even if you sleep 10 hours a night, you still have 98 hours a week of wake time. Even if you do paid work, you have more time than you think to use your time wisely. time management tends to be an issue for those of us with ADHD. take vitamin D3 (4000 IU/day) with cofactors and fish oil yourself.

11. If anxiety/depression is an issue try this - it's drug free, cheap, safe, proven effective and it will help with parenting:
Amazon Amazon
feeling good about yourself will help you feel good as a parent

12. address major life issues: is your home beautiful and orderly? are finances in order? is marriage healthy? if overwhelmed try a program like this: http://flylady.net/

13. do you love yourself? are you enjoying yourself? If not, work on 8, 10, 11, 12. Loving and enjoying yourself is necessary for loving and enjoying your child.

Long list! And some may not apply to your situation. I encourage you to look at the big picture though. Best wishes to you.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:30 AM
 
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Chiming in to repeat that you're not alone--I could have written your story almost word for word. I don't have a whole lot of advice, other than to say that I am starting to consider diet as a possible major factor in my son's level of wildness/carelessness/high level of activity as well. But mainly, just... I know these feelings very well, and I'm sorry that you are going through them too. It's so difficult, and so painful.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with advice on this thread--cantalope isn't the only one who will be helped by it, for sure. I appreciate it.

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Old 09-10-2014, 06:38 AM
 
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I recognize myself a bit in your post but I mostly get overwhelm by him at the end of the day.
I refuse to think that he is sick with ADHD or other stuff (doesn't mean that other kids don,t have those diagnosis, but I think he is justa variation of normal). He is normal, I am normal, but we don,t match. He is 5, so pat of it is also age related.
things that help me:
1)set aside a good 2 hours just for me: mother helper, DH, grandparents, babysitter etc....I make sure I have 2 hours alone daily. If I don,t get them, I try not getting upset with my DS, but rather realize that it is because I didn't get my alone time. During those 2 hours, I can clean my closet, do groceries alone etc. Just doing those things that need to be done, but ALONE!
2) Understand his need for social interaction, and try to provide to him. If I don't meet his needs, I can't expect him to be happy. He is unschooled for now, but still plays with other kids daily.
3)Remind myself that I married and extrovert, so there must be something appealing about them! and when I am recharged, I can see all the amazing stuff about him.
4) kids need exercise. Like at least 4 hours a day. Easy to get in the summer, but very hard in the winter....
5) rather then focusing on our differences, think about what we both like, then abuse of it. He likes exercise, I adore nature: so we are in the lake or forest daily. He likes to socialize, I have an introvert friend with kids, we meet often in the park, he gets all his social interactions with kids, I socialise very quietly with my introvert friend.
6) since my husband likes interactions, he spends more time with him. DH needs to go buy building material? Brings DS with him. Needs to meet a friend: brings DS with him. etc. I take care of DS2 (he is only 2y.o., but easier for me, since he likes his alone time).
7) when DS2 naps, it is screen time for Ds1. So I get a good hour of alone time.

I am 36 weeks pregnant with baby3, so we are trying other thing now: registered him to 5 different courses: swimming, soccer, dance, language and playgroup. DH or his mom will be taking him to those. So He will get 5 times a week of social interaction and physical activity, and I will have a small daily brake.

we will see how it goes.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:27 PM
 
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Both of my daughters have been overly hyper since birth, my 12 yr old moreso than my 4 yr old but my 19 yr old son has always been the calm, sweet one. I can feed him a whole pot of strong coffee or give him caffeine pills all day and he will still be tired and have to pinch him to see if he's still breathing, lol. Yes, I'm exaggerating but he is very calm compared to my girls. I always heard lies about how girls were easy and calm so I've had to really adjust myself over the last 12 years over being extremely disappointed in being lied to by so many other parents. Thankfully they grow out of it but it does get tough still at times with my 4 yr old, she is very talkative and active most of the time but does obey me so that helps a lot. And the fact that she goes to her dads from time to time gives me a break.

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Old 09-12-2014, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilitchka View Post
I am 36 weeks pregnant with baby3, so we are trying other thing now: registered him to 5 different courses: swimming, soccer, dance, language and playgroup. DH or his mom will be taking him to those. So He will get 5 times a week of social interaction and physical activity, and I will have a small daily brake.

we will see how it goes.
I really need to figure out a way to do this. I know it will make a HUGE difference in our house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post
You can't give anything to anyone else without taking care of yourself first. It sounds like you're running on an empty cup, and your son probably is too. The introverted parent/extroverted child is a really difficult combination. You need alone time to feel refreshed and recharge your batteries; he needs connection. When you're both empty, you'll be seeking isolation and he'll be seeking connection - with you. I have the same dynamic with my 3.5yo DS, though probably less extreme, and it's hard. When he's acting out I know it means he needs some sort of human interaction - he needs to go to the park, the museum, invite a friend over - but the acting out drains me and makes me want to stay home.
It's always so helpful to read when someone else hits the nail on the head with my own situation. It makes everything so much more normal.

And that said - to speak to the other poster's suggestion about reading about/learning about boys. I went to the library recently for the Kadzin (Kazdin?) method book. While there I saw a couple books about parenting boys/raising boys. Know what? My kid is totally normal. I'm not gonna lie - I wondered. Could this level of energy REALLY be normal? Could X,Y & Z really be normal? Yep. Normal. While it doesn't really make dealing with it in the moment easier, at least now I have 1 less worry.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:55 AM
 
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Wow, jim, I can hardly believe I just read this on MDC. Shaming the OP is not going to help her son. Giving him up for adoption - really? That won't damage him mentally? The son is innocent but not the mother? Did you read her post? She loves her son. She is crying. He's just more stimulation than she can handle - AND SHE'S CONCERNED ABOUT IT, hence the post. I think YOUR post is extraordinarily sad and damaging.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:27 PM
 
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I felt like this once with my oldest dd. I wondered if I got so busy with the next two that the bond had been broken, or if her spending more time with my mom before I quit my job made her more my mom's than my own (and we don't agree on the way she handles grandkids) and I felt totally awful, especially since it wasn't always that way. A year has gone by and it's totally changed. I kind of realized that I loved her but didn't love her behavior and slowly started going about fixing it and teaching her not to be.. well, kind of obnoxious. She still has her moments but she can reign herself in. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate or not but I figure it's a lesson in knowing your audience. Maybe other people let her act that way, but, please, not with me. It is a really bizarre feeling though, isn't it?? There is hope though! Kids are a work in progress, don't give up on him!
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