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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I had a great talk tonight after we had a horrible incident with ds1. It's not even worth describing in detail - it was just a typical power struggle, yelling, punishing, non-GD exchange with a tired, bored child that started and ended badly, and was about 98% our fault.<br><br>
Anyway, dh and I are recommitted to modeling behavior rather than making ds comply with our requests. But I have this horrible sinking feeling that it's too late - ds yells when he's angry because we yell when we're angry. Even if we manage to stop yelling most of the time, he's still learned to yell.<br><br>
I could use some reassurance that it's not too late, that we haven't ruined our child forever!
 

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I don't think it's ever too late. I do think that you and dh have to stop yelling all together though if you expect ds to. I would also talk to your ds about your new idea, something like - "Mommy and Daddy don't like how much we all yell at eachother. We don't want to yell anymore. We are going to work hard to find other ways to show our feelings when we are upset, and work together to solve problems. We would like you to stop yelling too. Sometimes it is hard not to yell, but we will help you learn how." -Then it will take a little time for the new behaviours to sink in.<br>
Not yelling I think is a skill that a process of constant vigialance. It takes a lot of personal work, going inside, seeing what it is in you that makes you yell, and learning the ability to see things in a new way. It takes real commitment and consistancy. But again, I don't think it is ever too late, and the results are soooo worth it.
 

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(((Oceanbaby))) Its not too late because you haven't done anything all that damaging. Really and truly - you are SUCH a devoted and consciensious mother that it seems like any difficult or less-than-perfect interaction drags you down. Your son is still at a difficult age. And I imagine that is the extent of the problem, complicated by life circumstances from time to time. Every 3 and 4 year old who I've ever had to deal with gives his/her caregivers a run for their money on a regular basis. I bet if you took a poll, every parent on these boards have "lost it" with their kids at this age. More than once! <b>You have NOT ruined your child by any means!!</b> Sooner than you realize he is going to start to leave some of this stuff behind him, and you and your DH will start to relax too.<br><br>
We feel so anxious about our first kids. Every hard spot feels eternal, and its hard not to feel like a constant failure. You will be so surprised at how much more easy going and relaxed you are about the *exact same* issues with your 2nd child at this age!<br><br>
Eliminating your child's yelling/shouting may not be a realistic goal at age 4. If he's not hitting/kicking/spitting than I'd say he's doing pretty well, actually! Yelling is a perfectly legitimate way to express feelings, IMO... and doesn't hurt anyone so long as you yell about what you feel and you are careful not to yell insults. I used to coach my sons at this age to shout, <i>"I'M ANGRY!"</i> instead of lashing out physically. Using a soft voice, and diplomatic words was a task for ages 5 and 6. And they did learn it eventually. Its just a long process.<br><br>
I'd also encourage you to work hard on easing up on him. In terms of expectations. Maybe I'm off base -- but just thinking back to my oldest at this age, with a younger sibling, I was way too much down his throat all the time. I was so anxious about his behavior that I didn't allow him much space to be imperfect, and to be a kid. I think I made him really tense, which didn't help his behavior. If I'm off base here, than I apologize. It may be that I'm projecting.<br><br>
He'll be okay. You are doing great. Its just a bumpy road.
 

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Aww, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">.<br><br>
ITA with the previous two posters. An aspect of gentle discipline that I find the most reassuring is that it is about growing WITH your child. Part of it is learning and re-learning your OWN issues, expectations, and behaviors to enable you to be molded into a more respectful, compassionate human being. You're not just guiding and disciplining a child... you are guiding and disciplining yourself, as well.<br><br>
I think that is a key to being successful at GD... showing your child that you understand that you are not always right, that you sometimes make less-than-desirable choices, that you sometimes get nasty, that you are not perfect. By allowing your child to share in the journey of growing into a more respectful, compassionate person, you are showing him that it's okay to admit you are wrong, to grow, to change, to always strive to be a better person.<br><br>
Good luck to you, mama!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br>
Oooooh, I am sure it is not too late. My husband and I shout at each other a lot and we are trying to improve...Actually, I shout at him and he sulks and occassionally gets very upset. All very messy. I am finding it very hard work to change, but I have, for the first time in my life, a great reason to leave the past behind (my beautiful son <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"> ).<br><br>
But as everyone has written, it is a path. Do not be down, just work hard <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> . As they say in Japan "failure is the mother of success". I am thinking of going on a non-violent communication course if there is one in Tokyo- I would like some more grounding in the alternatives to shouting. I have shouted my whole life, it is a bit hard quitting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"><br><br>
Show your son that life is a path. This a great tool for him too.<br>
Lots of love xxxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for your replies. Your words mean a lot to me, as I really do struggle with this. It definitely is a part of my perfectionism issue, as well as feeling like I am a failure when he acts so horribly.<br><br>
Mamaduck - you are right that we expect too much of him. I think it's because overall he's such a kind, reasonable, mature little guy, that we have too little patience when he acts like the 4yo that he is.<br><br>
I'd love to write more but we're actually in the middle of dealing with a pancake incident. I'll definitely be back to this thread later today.
 

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Three empowering books:<br><br>
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles<br>
Raising Your Spirited Child<br>
How to Talk so Kids will Listen, How to Listen so Kids will Talk<br><br>
These will change the power dynamics in two weeks. All respectful and transferable, practical tools of reflective listening and honoring other's perspectives.<br><br>
Let us know how it goes.<br><br>
Pat
 
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