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I screamed at my 2 year old...

1734 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  orangeiron
I'm not proud of what happened nor am I proud of the way that I react sometimes and I would prefer helpful posts not posts telling me what a horrible mother I am. I really already feel bad enought about myself as it is. I also apologize becuase this will be long.

Last night I turned off the TV for dinner and our 2 yr old had a breakdown, screaming at the top of her tiny little lungs. I lost it and screamed at her. I scared her and she got quiet and went to her room where I found her a minute later just sitting there. It makes me sick to even think about it again. I lost my cool which isn't the first time since we have a 5.5 yr old boy who has been testing my patience more and more everyday. I guess he's a typical 5 year old, he's mouthy, can be disrespectful etc. He is scared of me though. We have never hit or raised a hand to either of our children but because of my yelling he gets scared, I can see it in his eyes and it breaks my heart. All in all though he is a great kid and 99.9% of the time he is as sweet, thoughtful and considerate as can be. This isn't about them though because they are great kids, it's about me and my inability to control myself. I know I'm wrong so does anyone have any suggestions on how to calm myself without going to a psychiatrist because I feel like I might need one sometimes. I feel like I'm completly failing as a mother.

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I can completely empathize with you, because I was pretty much there this morning. DS (18 mos) was clinging to my legs, whining for no reason, not letting me get one pot washed so we could get ready to leave the house for work and daycare. I yelled more than once (mostly a loud "NO!", which is a word we hardly ever use). I finally put him in his high chair with a handful of CHOCOLATE CHIPS so he would just be quiet for a few minutes.

Once he discovered the chips (that he's never been offered before), he WAS quiet. Then he started signing "more," and I was stuck, because I wasn't prepared to give him more than 10-12 chocolate chips. But I did get the pot washed and the rest of the kitchen in order.

I guess my frustration load is compounded by the fact that my husband does things better than I do. He manages to get out of the house in the morning in half the time it takes me (on days when he does the morning routine and daycare delivery). Then again, he stops at fast food for his breakfast (or eats none), and I must eat at home because of DS's allergies.

Do you get any relief or breaks? I think that is really important for my sanity.
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This is an awesome thread...some very good tips. Lots to read, but worth it.

You are not completely failing as a mother. Just might take some tweaking on your part.

It happens to the best of us. Frankly, I either do not trust or do not believe those parents who say they never ever lose it with their kids. Or I assume their kids are really alien life forms in disguise. Seriously, each of us has those moments when we lose it. If all you did was yell then you are ahead of many!

Like many behavior issues with toddlers, I think prevention is a big part of coping in the future though. When the kids are acting out a bunch, I always run through a mental checklist to see what might be causing the underlying issues. It took me a while before I finally realized that I also needed to look at a similar checklist FOR MYSELF when I was "acting out" consistantly. So, my mommy checklist goes something like this:
* Am I eating reasonable meals at a reasonable times? How is it that we feed our kids balanced, nutritious, organic meals and think we moms can survive on coffee and leftovers from the kids?
* Do I need to drink more water?
* Am I getting some sort of outside time consistantly? Kids at the park, walk, gardening... Heck, sweeping the sidewalk counts.
* Have I used the toilet when I needed to? Seriously. Think about how often you hold it or forget to take care of your basic needs.
* Am I getting as much sleep as possible? I have two older kids and I still don't get what I need...
* Excercise of some sort? Playing tag with kids counts!
* Bigger issue -- have I had my needs for down time met? This is really, really hard for moms of little kids, especially those who are home all the time. But its essential. And your needs will be different than other mom's needs. Make sure you are getting what you need, not what you think you should need, not what the moms in your playgroup say they need, not what your partner is willing to help you get. You might have to get really creative to get it, but it is so worth it!
* Even bigger issue -- nough intimate time with partner (assuming you have one)? I know, even worse than time alone.

We make sure our kids needs are met, but we (as a generalized group of moms) tend to neglect our own. Of course, you may be really different, but I've never seen many of us that are really good at this. IMHO, time with a babysitter, time with the TV, time in dropoff childcare, whatever it takes for you to get your needs met so you can be a better mom overall is better than having a mom who loses it/screams/hits/whatever. Heck, letting kid cry at the door while you use the toilet is going to be better overall than your ignoring your needs and then yelling for something unrelated.
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Be gentle with yourself.

Set yourself up for success - eat better (more protein especially), get more rest, get out without the kids for adult companionship.

When you have your energy stores built up, you have more resiliency. Spend 15-20 minutes engaged with each of them. You will fill their tank so they will behave better. You will be happy because they are behaving well. It's a win-win situation.

Read a little of our story -

Why one-on-one time works better for behavioral issues

I hope this helps. I've been there. I went down a downward spiral for a little while. I often felt guilt for contributing to my dd2s attachment/anxiety issues, but I didn't understand what I know now.
Thanks Ladies for letting me know I'm not the only one out there. I am definitely in the group of moms that makes no time for myself. Granted I have 90 mins of quiet in the car twice a day for my commute but that is usually spent on frustration because of the traffic. However, I've been wanting to start running again for a few years and I just bought myself a new pair of running shoes and will be going home to tell my hubby I'm going for a run - watch the kids. Thanks again and thanks for the links. They are just what I was looking for.
These are all really great posts - I have been struggling with this too.
I would recommend taking fish oils - like 1000 mg. There is one by CountryLife called OmegaMood. My therapist also recommends meditation but I struggle with this. Then when I find myself getting ready to explode I take a mommy time out. The kids know they need to go to their rooms or wherever they pick to calm down so I just explain that I'm going to go calm down for a minute so I can use my nice words.
Also it's important to back up and say "is it really worth it right now to get into this power struggle or screaming match?" Take a deep breath and put yourself in your child's shoes. Would I be mad if my DH came in and turned the TV off to tell me to come to dinner when I was in the middle of a show? Maybe. I know it sounds stupid but usually kids have a good reason for being upset and we need to take a deep breath, calm down and show them to work situations out with words calmly. By you calming down it teaches them how to do that too.
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Deinitely need some alone time. When I hear myself screaming at my kids, it means I am with them for too long... except a break doesn't happen occasionally...
Yelling happens, it's what comes after that counts, I think. When I do lose my cool, I make sure to talk to them afterwords about why I yelled and explain if I was tired or hungry or just frustrated. This helps them understand their own anger when they feel it. It is also good for them to see you are not perfect you are human and it's OK. I apologize for yelling and try to have some hug/snuggle time. Usually my almost three yo will then tell me for the rest of the day "don't yell mama" it's heartbreaking, but it's learning too.
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