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Discussion Starter #1
I am so angry right now that I am shaking.<br><br>
I really need help w/my 4 1/2 yr old. His behavior the last few months has gotten out of control and I just can't handle him anymore. I am very committed to not hurting my children in any way but sometimes in the moment (like right now) I think that maybe I am wrong. (Of course I am not wrong, parenting out of fear doesn't make sense to me on any level but what have I done wrong here?)<br><br>
A few minutes ago he asked for ice cream, I told him he can have some after dinner and he started yelling and telling me to shut up. I told him that he can't talk to me like that and not to talk to me until he can speak to me nicely (which is what I always say). So he keeps yelling and telling me that I am stupid so I put him in timeout. (I don't know what else to do bc just talking about it DOES NOT work with him, neither does hugs or extra love, or distraction, he apologizes so he can do what he wants and then repeats the behavior a few minutes or hrs later).<br><br>
While he is in timeout he throws a shoe at me and ds1's backpack. I just lost it, I screamed at him and roughly moved him to another spot where he can't reach me with anything.<br><br>
First of all, I never want my children to feel the way I felt while I was growing up. I was hit, screamed at, not allowed to voice my feelings, it was horrible and I have dealt w/many anger issues. I have been a mother for over 7 yrs and I have managed (I think) to do a pretty good job of parenting the way I wish I was parented. Then comes ds2 and his 4 yr old attitude.<br><br>
Tell me what book I need, what the answer is bc I need him to be respectful to me and dh. It is not okay for him to be throwing things at us and verbally abusing us. I see that the way he talks to me is very triggering and brings up a lot of rage.<br><br>
Please help me bc I don't even want to feel like hurting my kid (I never have but I know that it's scary when mommy loses it).
 

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I don't have much time but I would say that if my DS spoke to me that way at dinner he'd go to bed, immediately and I would talk to him in the morning. For us it would mean that he was exhausted and irrational. And he'd hear the words 'absolutely unacceptable' about 25 times. Likely at the top of my lungs.<br><br>
So yea, not helpful probably but you're not alone in feeling outraged! I feel angry on your behalf just reading that.<br><br>
Have you been in therapy for you own abuse? I think it's not unusual to kind of overcompensate in the other direction.<br><br>
I will say that I'm on one end of the GD spectrum. I don't think GD means that your children never get to see just how much they hurt you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks DMcG, I am much calmer now so I can look at it in a rational way a little more easily.<br><br>
I think he was hungry which led to the outburst. The weird thing is that he is just such a sweet boy and I miss my sweet boy bc I haven't seen as much of him lately. It's the other, irrational, crazy mad side of him that i see a lot these days. He just gets so frustrated and explodes sometimes.<br><br>
Some days it is several times a day, other days he is very calm and sweet and well behaved.<br><br>
I don't consider myself permissive at all. We have rules and ways to conduct ourselves as members of this family and there are consequences to bad choices. We have left places before or not done fun things bc of his bad behavior.<br><br>
I haven't ever gone to counseling even though I think I need to and feel like it would benefit me, I keep making excuses, it's just so personal to pour my heart out to someone that I don't know and the main blockage is my fear of finding a good counselor (xh and I saw a really bad one for a while, waste of money).<br><br>
Anyway, if I know what exactly to do when ds2 is acting out then I will feel much more calm and able to handle it. I just don't know what to do bc it feels like what I am doing isn't working or might be letting him think that there are no consequences.<br><br>
Thanks for any advice, I will be checking back.
 

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I'd suggest: How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen (by Faber & Mazlish) and Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Davis and Keyser. I've heard some good things about Scream-Free Parenting, but I haven 't read it myself, so I don't know how good it is overall.<br><br>
Maybe reading up on child development will help you too. 4-5 year olds are learning the power of language. They're testing out people's reactions when they say "you're stupid" or "I'm not your friend any more". I found it most helpful for my kids to rephrase for them into language I could live with. In your situation, "You sound really mad that I said no" might just have done it. (The How to Talk... book is good for this.)<br><br>
Finally, one thing that works for me is to take a timeout myself. When I've had it, I need a cooling off period, and I figure it's decent modeling for my kids. Actually, I know it is because ds now does the same thing, complete with stomping up to his room and slamming the door. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tanyam926</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15399869"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A few minutes ago he asked for ice cream, I told him he can have some after dinner and he started yelling and telling me to shut up. I told him that he can't talk to me like that and not to talk to me until he can speak to me nicely (which is what I always say). So he keeps yelling and telling me that I am stupid so I put him in timeout. (I don't know what else to do bc just talking about it DOES NOT work with him, neither does hugs or extra love, or distraction, he apologizes so he can do what he wants and then repeats the behavior a few minutes or hrs later).<br><br>
While he is in timeout he throws a shoe at me and ds1's backpack. I just lost it, I screamed at him and roughly moved him to another spot where he can't reach me with anything.</div>
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I've no real advice for you since we're dealing with a 4yo ourselves but here's what *I* do. I don't do timeouts (because my child does not sit in the timeout spot <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). When your son started shouting the obscenities, after repeating that you do not use such words in your house, I would just ignore him. Go on with my day/tasks as if he wasn't there. With my ds it always calms him down when he sees that his antics are not being appreciated. Then when he's done yelling whateveritis and has at least stopped shouting cuss, he will usually approach *me* saying, "mama, why are you ignoring me?" <i>That's</i> when I reiterate that I don't listen to him when he's being disrespectful. The difference for us is he's much more receptive to my hurt feelings when *he's* the one affected by it.<br><br>
Anyway, this age is hard (by God!) but hopefully we'll all come out unscathed of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tanyam926</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15399869"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am very committed to not hurting my children in any way but sometimes in the moment (like right now) I think that maybe I am wrong. (Of course I am not wrong, parenting out of fear doesn't make sense to me on any level but what have I done wrong here?)<br><br><br>
Please help me bc I don't even want to feel like hurting my kid (I never have but I know that it's scary when mommy loses it).</div>
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Yep. Terrifying for a kid to see you lose it. But it is your introduction that caught me. I know the rest of the posters are giving you great advice, and offering tons of support. I can tell they are really feeling compassion for you.<br><br>
Consider my take though; I appreciate your "commitment" to not hurting your children.I think you might be lacking some inner peace and harmony, such that you verbalize "commitment". I wonder if you somehow can find that inner peace, and really, with toddlers...oy... then you won't have to "commit." Because I think, that when you are calm inside, no matter what kind of storm your toddler rages in to, you won't need to commit because the non-violence will come naturally. It is automatic. You won't need to realize, verbalize, or commit. So I would start there. Yeah, deal with your toddler and implement the suggestions above.<br><br>
But don't overlook the neglect of yourself and your spirit. It all starts with you. It does.
 

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I have a 4.5yo, so I totally feel your pain! It has been a hard age. For the example you mentioned, I need to make sure to deal with the situation as effectively as possible the first time he mouths off. Because if I let it escalate it just makes my blood boil and then there is no way to get us both to come down. Plus, if you don't deal with it right away, I think it teaches them that they can call you stupid once or twice, but <span style="text-decoration:underline;">then</span> you'll get really mad. I'd rather them just know that they may not call me stupid at all.<br><br>
So, if my ds asked me for ice cream and I very kindly told him he could have some after dinner and then he started screaming and using name calling/bad language, I would stop for a minute and sit down with him. This gets my blood pressure down and I get into a very calm/rational voice. And I'd say something like this, "I understand that you are mad about not having ice cream right now. I know you want it now. BUT, it is unacceptable for you to tell me to shut up and call me stupid. If your mad about the ice cream, then you can say I'M MAD! You can stomp your feet. You can tell me how you feel about it, but you may not call me names." At this point, we would both be sitting or he might be standing in front of me so we are face to face and (hopefully) having a calm conversation. Then, I would say he needs to sit in his room (or wherever), until he is ready to speak nicely and apologize for speaking so rudely.<br><br>
At that point, he might storm off crying to his room. But we've done this 20 times, so he knows the drill. He might stay in his room for 1 minute or 10. But eventually, he'll come out tell me he's sorry and we will try again.<br><br>
The key for me is really calming it down right at the beginning so it doesn't get completely out of hand. This does NOT always happen. But ideally, I would remember this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> If you try something like this, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't go exactly as you hope the first 5 times. I think they need to learn that we are going to talk about it, have a consequence, try again.<br><br>
I would also just flat out refuse to allow the words stupid and shut up in the house. come up with some funny more acceptable words to express such contempt! When ds was 3, he started saying OMG, which he picked up from somewhere, and I hated it. So, I told him we don't say that in our house, let's pick a different word. So, he chose the word hamburger. If I heard him say OMG, I would look at him and he'd say OH HAMBURGER! It worked and we laughed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
ETA: I am a yeller if I let these situations get to me, this is why I really try to nip it in the bud and give my kids the words that will not set me off in the future.
 

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Oh, do I feel your pain. I have 3 girls - 5, 4, and 3. If it's a bad whine or screaming, I use the phrase, "I'm sorry, but I can't understand what you are saying when you use that tone." with a very puzzled look. That usually works. If the fit continues, I will walk away and say, "Let me know when you are ready to talk to me with your normal voice because I really want to hear what has you so upset." I really, really dislike "shut up" and so I never use that phrase with my kids. However, I have heard them saying it to each other and I always nip that one quickly by saying, "Shut up is not a nice word. Lets use 'could you please be quiet' instead." If it kept up, there would be a consequence.<br><br>
If it's something really severe, there is a consequence attached. "You did xyz, so there will be no movie tonight." or some other thing that I know they loooooove.<br><br>
I also think that consistency is key. I am very proud that both DP and I follow through with what we say. No idle threats and we keep it short and sweet (their attention spans are 3 seconds!)<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Hang in there, Mama.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15400533"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, do I feel your pain. I have 3 girls - 5, 4, and 3. If it's a bad whine or screaming, I use the phrase, "I'm sorry, but I can't understand what you are saying when you use that tone." with a very puzzled look. That usually works. If the fit continues, I will walk away and say, "Let me know when you are ready to talk to me with your normal voice because I really want to hear what has you so upset." I really, really dislike "shut up" and so I never use that phrase with my kids. However, I have heard them saying it to each other and I always nip that one quickly by saying, "Shut up is not a nice word. Lets use 'could you please be quiet' instead." If it kept up, there would be a consequence.<br><br>
If it's something really severe, there is a consequence attached. "You did xyz, so there will be no movie tonight." or some other thing that I know they loooooove.</div>
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This is exactly how I do it, too. I can't help people when I don't understand what they're saying, so I either wait/let them know where I'll be when they want to talk with me in words/reasonable voices. We have consequences, too -- sometimes natural, sometimes not. I try not to get completely unrelated but I have handed down punitive consequences with only a small thread of naturalness to them. (i.e., if they're too tired to not have a tantrum under the table and call us poopyheads, then they're too tired to stay up for the promised episode of Little Bear before bed/books on tape in the sleeping bags/milkshakes on the porch, whatever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> To bed it is.)<br><br>
I have posted on here before about my 4.5 year old's language, and wise mamas have told me about how 4 is the age where kids are exploring with language. I have definitely found that to be true. It seems that this is the age where they're learning about tone/inflection, etc., as well as *which* words are appropriate for their toolbox: happy, sad, mad, frustrated, etc.
 
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