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How do I undo this (I think I need to try to)

600 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Fiercemama
Our dd is 4. She is spirited and bright and dramatic. What I am going to describe is not all the time, but I need help, because I am afraid it's getting out of control and DH and I don't necessarily agree fully on GD.

I was abused as a child, physically and emotionally. I am working to GD, but tend to revert to yelling and grabbing things away from DD, and removing things to punish her.

I *know* and understand the difference between discipline and punishment, but I find myself punishing her-if I ask her nicely many times to get her PJ's on and she refuses or dawdles, then dawdles to brush her teeth, I will threaten (and then follow through) with, 'If you take too long getting ready for bed, we'll only have time for 2 stories, not 3'-if it's a rough night, she gets one story of 3.

She has taken to yelling with a very angry voice, right in people's faces (mine, dh's, her 18 month-old brother's) 'I am ANGRY!', then refusing to talk to/listen to that person.

My mother used abandonment strategies and time-outs with me, and I withdraw from DD when I am frustrated or angry sometimes. I think she is copying that.

When DD yells and tells me she's angry, I usually tell her it's alright to be angry, but it's not okay to hit (or kick). I try to empathize (a la faber and mazlisch), but she plugs her ears.

I think I lecture too much, but I also will take her by the arms roughly sometimes (I know this is not okay and I am working on it).

She seems to have lots of anger. I have ongoing anger issues-all of my life-and am working to deal with these, too.

How can I help myself and my dd.

(oh, DS has started yelling 'no!' in a very accurate mimic of DD-and growling when upset or told 'no' about something) I really don't want 2 kids yelling and screaming.

I don't do this all the time, but I beat myself up a lot (constantly) when I do make these mistakes. I need to help my DD find (and value) balance.

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I don't have specific suggestions, but you might try reading Playful Parenting. The author's suggestions and examples were very helpful to me in figuring out ways to defuse anger (my son's or my own) and turn tense unhappy situations into happy ones. There are some threads about the book on here but you'd get the most by just reading it. If your library doesn't have it you can probably get it through interlibrary loan. Good luck!
I have many of the same challenges myself. I too have found book Playful Parenting helpful. Not just for the humour that helps to diffuse situations that can quickly become escalated, but also for the concept of connectedness. For me, its become the next development in AP.

At least your DD is able to articulate what she is feeling. That is definately a first step. Next she needs to know some concrete skills to help her handle that big, scary emotion. The most basic thing I'm trying to teach my DD is how to take deep breaths, and we do it together. Its good for everyone!

This is a book that we've found helpful, not just for DD but for me and DH too! Its called When I Feel Angry.

Here is another great one. Its got fantastic illustrations, deals with frustrations with siblings, and I think its Caldecott winner. Its called When Sophie Gets Angry.... Really, Really Angry.
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