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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am fully committed to gentle discipline. I believe nobody should hit my kids and for me even yelling at them (except occasionally for volume reasons) is not acceptable. But I seem to lose it often. I often lose my temper to the extent that I am screaming at them to "make them do" what it is I want them to do. And I have hit them more times than can be excused.<br><br>
I even tried seeing a psychologist, but I live in Switzerland and they are generally not so "anti" discipline here and he didn't seem to understand my problem.<br><br>
I have done some self-help work and get it down to the fact I want to be in control, but knowing what is going on doesn't stop it from happening.<br><br>
Does anyone have any experience and/or useful suggestions?<br><br>
I'd love to hear....<br><br>
arcenciel <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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I don't know if I have anything helpful to tell you, but I'm right there with ya. I sometimes wonder if I might do better if I had a partner and some relief. I dunno. I do find that talking to my dd about what the problem is and asking her to help me come up with a solution is helpful. We've had family meetings. There was an article in Mothering a couple issues ago about having family meetings that was very good. Also Mazlish and Farber (not sure I am spelling those correctly) have a couple books that are very helpful. The one I use ideas from is "How To Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk." I haven't read it yet, but plan to, and lots of people on here have recommended it, "Kids Are Worth It" by Barbara Coloroso. Also, I took a Love and Logic class which was a tremendous help. It was all about not trying to control everything and putting the responsibility on your kids and not trying to make their problems your problems. Stuff like getting ready for school on time, picking up their things, going to bed, etc.<br><br>
I still lose it and scream sometimes, and rarely swat her behind or threaten to, but I am slowly getting better. I talk to her about my shortcomings and how those things are wrong, but that I am human, make mistakes, keep trying to do better, and sometimes I just don't know what else to do. She told me tonight that I am good mom even though I yell at her sometimes and sometimes spank her, but she knows I am just trying to help her grow up. She had a little quiver in her voice and was close to tears. I feel so sad that I have shortchanged her in this way, but we are learning together, she and I, and I can only keep trying to do better. I am having to relearn everything since I was parented differently.<br><br>
Good luck to you!
 

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OK- First, cut yourself some slack. We all do things we don't want to. My Dh and I are committed to GD, but we recognize that we could get pushed past our limits.<br><br><br>
Ok, I would honestly sit down and view the situations where you lose it. What is going on that is causing you the stress? In my case, I notice it is a time pressure thing. I want to get to xxx and Goo is not moving as fast as I want or she wants something else. I get very close to losing it and I take a deep breath and ask "how important is it?" Sometimes, it is important. I have to get to the doctor's. Ok, I pick up Goo and tell her gently that I know she doesn't like it, but we have to go NOW.<br><br>
How about when I want to run up to the library. Not so important. I take some yoga breaths and then try to let her do what she needs to do.<br><br>
You've identfied that it is your need to be in control. That's good. Now, what can you do next? Can you try to let go of some of that control? Maybe in small doses?<br><br>
I am really shooting off the cuff here, but I hope you can find that happy medium.<br><br>
Sofiamomma is right, working together with your kids will help the situation some because you all realize that you are in this together.
 

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arcenciel, I don't know how old your kiddo(s) are but am also a yeller - or used to be. I do still feel myself losing it now and then, and when I do I take DD to a safe place, set her down and tell her "mommy needs to take some mommy time for a minute" and will leave her. Usually she cries and runs after me, but this cooling of time is long enough for me to put myself back in the moment and calm down and get myself back to her level and able to respond to her needs.<br><br>
•Be in the moment, each moment. This really helps to be aware of when an explosion is coming.<br><br>
•Give yourself a time out. I think this models a few things - one is that I (we) have feelings and that I (we) get angry and upset, and two is that I handle it in a manner that shows DD it is NOT ok to yell or hit, and it is OK to say that you need some time to yourself.<br><br>
Remember that our natural response is ingrained from our own ways we were parented. Hitting and screaming were a normal part of my childhood. These are deeply ingrained reactive behaviors for me. Maybe for you too. But you can choose to respond, rather than react. it is as simple, and as difficult, as remaining present and aware in each moment. Oh, I still blow my top sometimes, but not nearly as often as I used to. It takes practice, and it's not easy to change - but it can be done. Also, about control issues. You cannot control your children. Try to learn to get them to cooperate willingly. When you let go of control, much of the frustration that causes explosive reactions disappears. I have found that the times I feel like I am going to explode are when I am trying to make DD do something she does not want to do at that moment - when I am focused on what I want, rather than what she wants and finding a cooperative balance for us.
 

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I just finished reading "Lib parents, Lib Children." There were hings I liked and things I didn't in that book.... but one helpful peice of advice was to "express anger without insult." In other words, its okay to be loud and to express your angry emotions to your children -- but never to insult, put down, or berate your child. This makes sense to me.<br><br>
It makes sense that <b>*parents get to express their feelings too!*</b> We work so hard at giving our children appropriate words to express their feelings, and then we expect ourselves to just stifle our anger and frustration. When we do that, it comes out anyway -- but in an out of control crazy fashion. By expressing your anger, even with loud words, you model to your child that it is good and right to express our feelings.<br><br>
The hard part (the part I'm working on) is learning how to say, <b>"I'm angry about what happened! So angry that I want to scream!"</b> Without insulting, name calling, labelling, or disrespecting our children.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. It's nice to hear advice from people that have gone through the same thing instead of just getting disapproving looks, or nods of agreement from people who don't actually see a problem with it.<br><br>
I had just ordered "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" so I'm really looking forward to it now.<br><br>
It's tough sometimes for me to take a time out because my 2 ds' are 3 and 4 and sometimes it means ignoring the fact they are wrecking the house or doing something else I would really rather they didn't... but I could do it much more often than I do.<br><br>
How do you handle accepting things like the fact the house just will be in a mess? Or that they just will drop their food on the floor? Or be noisy in supermarkets? Sometimes these things don't bother me, but I think maybe I also have to change my attitude to sharing my home with them in a way that doesn't happen immediately when they are a baby. - Don't get me wrong, my house is not the clean and tidy type anyway, but my limits are different from theirs!<br><br>
Thanks again,<br><br>
arcenciel<br><br>
SAHM to Ryan 4, Calum 3 and No.3 due in October
 

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Hi Arcenciel!<br><br>
I really struggle with controlling my anger, at times (just a few hours ago, for example) and I can identify with your situation.<br><br>
I just wanted to share this 'anger scale' with you that I discovered on MDC a while back. I am sorry, but I do not remember who wrote this or when, to give them credit for such great info.<br><br>
It seems some of us who struggle with anger have difficulty being aware of low levels of anger; perhaps we don't notice that we are angry until we are very high up there on the scale, so to speak.<br><br>
1. Mildly annoyed; tapping feet, sighing<br>
2. Annoyed; negative tone of voice<br>
3. Upset; making sarcastic remarks, arms folded over chest, not<br>
listening to other point of view<br>
4. Angry; yelling, crying, slamming doors<br>
5. Out of control; screaming, hitting, punching holes in wall<br><br>
Anyway, I hope this is useful info. for you; if not, just disregard it. I hope and pray that you are able to grow through this problem. (again, I find it ironic to be sharing this and encouraging you, seeing that I'm just coming down from being nearly out of control with anger)
 
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