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to ask for professional help to stop me shouting at my DS

(99 Posts)
uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 10:51:41

Just that really. I have a lovely 3.5 year old DS who is extremely talkative and wears me out 13 hours a day (not making excuses). I also have a 10.5 month old DD. Sometimes I completely lose it with my DS just because I am tired, or feeling resentful about the fact that these kids seem to have taken over my every waking moment.

I know this just sounds like the same old story, but I am really starting to worry that I will damage this child. I will shout at him so loud so that he can hear me over the sound of his crying. I know in myself when I am doing it that if someone else could hear me they would be shocked.

I don't swear at him ever or say abusive things, but for example this morning there was an accident in the kitchen which I had to clean up and he said 'that was your fault mummy, and when am I going to get my breakfast?' and I just went mad, shouting at him 'that is the last thing I need, that is not helpful, its not all about you' at the absolute top of my voice. The awful thing that I have to admit to myself is it almost feels like a stress relief when I am doing it. Just writing that down makes me feel sick.

The problem is he understands everything I say and stores it up, so later on he said to me 'Mummy, its not very good having children is it' which just broke my heart. I think I forget that he is not an adult and cannot be expected to think before he speaks in a stressful moment.

I think I need some anger management or something - I know you guys will probably just say 'pull yourself together and stop, you are the adult, this is emotional abuse', but in the heat of the moment I can't seem to do that. I try to remember to count to 10 or whatever but I just forget and shout. I know this is dreadful behaviour, and I wouldn't do it to an adult so why do it to a defenseless child? I need some help but is CBT or something really going to do anything? Am I being unreasonable to ask for professional advice? I feel dreadful and I don't want my DS to just remember me going mental at him.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:00:16

Yanbu to ask for help. I also feel guilty about losing my temper with my dc... This morning my dd really lost her temper with her brother. I thought it may be helpful to give her a coping strategy for when she felt that angry and was about to say something unkind. I told her to count to ten and remove herself from who ever was making her angry until she had calmed down... I then thought this is something I should do more often too!!! Sounds simple enough but in reality/heat of moment not always as easy!!! maybe worth a try yourself though.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:01:31

Sorry op... Aren't really read the last par of your post... My advice prob isn't that helpful to you after all!

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:01:54

Hadn't ...give up!

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:03:20

Thanks you are right it's just finding that second of calm to think 'don't do it' and I really seem to struggle with that I just see red.

wonderingsoul Wed 05-Dec-12 11:07:43

first of have a hug and a brew

i think the fact that your so worried is a good sign, you know its not on and are wanting to stop it! you are human.

i think, if it was an adult doing the same you WOULD react the same. but imo an adult wouldnt act that way would they? you are there 24/7 for this child he relies on you for everything. not like an adult, so of course your going to feel worn out. so i think its a bit silly comparing how to act with an adult to a child.

i feel like this at times. some times it feels like all i ever do is shout, but i catch myself doing it. and like you relise im taking my frustration of every day life as single mum ( dare say parents with two in the house hold feel the same to tbf ) out on them. when i get like this i just stop what im doing. and play with them when possiable, think sod the house work what ever just do something fun. even if its just to a minute to give them a hug or tickle/play fight. it doesnt always stop me from going over the top, but 90 percent of the time it does.
or just locking myself in the bath room, have a quick cry or rant.

on a more practically note, have you thought about parenting classes. i k now theres still some taboo attqached to them. people think y ou must be a crap parent to go to them. BUT would a crap parent seek out help to maker the family home and life a better one? no. they can help you with any behaviouraly problems.. give you different techines/ how to keep clam when you feel liek your going to explode.

that was bit of an essya but i hope your having a good day and dont beat your self up about it. xx

No, YANBU. You should get help for this.

Why are you so stressed? Perhaps you also need to look into this. Perhaps you need some time to yourself.

Your instincts that this is not good are right. Whatever you do and however you behave, just remember you are teaching him....

And if you wouldn't do it to an adult but choose a defenceless child instead, then that is because you can. It's called being a bully.

Think CBT might be just the thing. Look into it and start the ball rolling, at least then you'll feel better about the fact that you are making the effort to put this right.

I think I forget that he is not an adult and cannot be expected to think before he speaks in a stressful moment. Well if you can't do it, why would he be able to?

He learns how to behave and make his way in life from YOU.

chocoluvva Wed 05-Dec-12 11:09:46

I'm guilty of this too -though it's become a rare occurence as my DCs get older.
The worst time was when I was at your stage - with a baby and a toddler. I was exactly the same as you - horribly, massively shouty and very guilty about it. With everybody else I'm gentle and kind - often commented on -but then I'd lose it with my own DC.
I used to apologise to them afterwards like you. As you say, it can't possibly be a good thing, but I don't think my DCs have been damaged by it. (16 and 13).
You are probably exhausted which is probably a large part of your shouting.
That should improve as your DCs begin to manage without constant attention.
It might be most helpful to do something to help you relax and de-stress rather than seeking help with your 'parenting' or 'anger'.
I think we're under pressure to try to be the perfect parents - be kind to yourself - the calm, cheerful parents probably fall short in some other area - maybe they feed their children rubbish, spoil them with material things, let them spend far too long in front of a screen, .....

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:15:21

Thanks wondering and choco. It's nice to feel there is support out there, but Scarlet you are right. It is being a bully and that's exactly the word I have thought to myself when looking back on incidents. I hate it and wondering yes I have been to two parenting courses already.

I try to do everything the best I can, feed them healthy food, do lots of activities with them, answer all my DSs questions, and 90% of the time everything is rosy. But then something will push me over the edge. I don't know why I am so stressed. I have always had a temper (no excuse). I am secretly pissed off that I don't get much time to myself except for the half hour that DD naps while DS is at pre-school (i.e. now!). I feel like half the time I am wishing their childhood away while also spoiling it with my tantrums.

Levantine Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:05

The baby and young child stage is awful. I would lose it at ds1 at that stage - I have a nearly four year gap. It does get better, I very rarely shout now. I always apologised to ds1 and I think that does help. Can you take yourself into another room when you feel yourself losing your temper ordo they follow you?

noteventhebestdrummer Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:13

I remember feeling like this, it is worth you asking for help, yes. Our nursery ran a parenting course and that was good for me - partly for strategies for coping, partly for getting out of the house one night s week for 6 weeks!

EmmelineGoulden Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:47

OP I've never had CBT so don't know if it would be helpful to you in your situation. I don't hink it can hurt to ask though.

Counting to 10 is the one "trick" we're all told to try to avoid losing our temper, but I think it only really works in limited circumstances - because once you hit that flash point it's often too late to remember the counting. I think you're likely to be more successful if you can recognise possible flashpoints earlier and avoid walking into them. So if, say, cleaning up mess is a big issue then when a mess is made don't try and clear up when DCs are around. Put them in the lounge with a game/TV/whatever before you go back and clean up. This only really works if there are particular things that seem to really push you over the edge. If you're on edge over all sorts of things it's less useful.

I have another suggestion for you:

Find a way to get more regular time to yourself. You sound stressed about your life at the moment. It's not being a bad mother to want to have a bit of life that doesn't entirely revolve around your DCs. There are two children to think of and they do deserve to come first. But coming first doesn't mean getting everything. You also need nurturing and a chance to feel like you matter too.

And I'd like to point out to you that you are a brilliant mother, because you've noticed a problem, you've recognised that you aren't able to handle it, and you are looking for help. There's nothing to be criticised in that.

MrsMuddyPuddles Wed 05-Dec-12 11:21:44

I have a similar issue blush The leaflet here is kinda helpful, but the most useful thing is that you can call them anonymously and have a chat without worrying that you're going to get "in trouble" or something for loosing it. not that I've called them myself, mind you

What works sometimes for me is trying NOT to get to the point where I explode, either by saying "ok, I'm tired/stressed/whatever this morning so I'll go easy on myself and everyone" or by putting myself in "time out" when I need a break- saying "ok, I've got to go to time-out now, I'm not being very nice" to my DH and DD, and holing up in my room to relax for a few minutes.

Another thing you might want to try is the stupidly named non-violent communication. With it, you basically try to see the objective facts of a situation, get to the feeling underneith it, the need that is or isnt being met, and a request. It can go either way, internally or in conversation. It's hard to do when emotions are running high, though.

And finally: yes, shouting IS stress relief, it really really is. Can you maybe do a shouting game WITH your son, either try and make echos somewhere or do sleeping bunnies or junior birdman and get as loud as you can? Or any other quiet-loud game?

Do you have any other types of stress relief? Or even any break at all? Even just "dump them into softplay?"

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 05-Dec-12 11:23:22

It's called being a bully. Very unfair comment. It's called being a stressed parent. A bully wouldn't be looking for help or feeling remorse.

Uggbug, you are not a bully so don't be so hard on yourself. We are all guilty of shouting at our children from time to time. If you think it is becoming unreasonable then good on you for seeing it and looking for help. You sound like a good mum who has their children's best interests at heart smile

I am secretly pissed off that I don't get much time to myself

Aha! And there you have it....you don't get enough time to yourself. Work on that. Work on taking away the source of your irritation and stress. Your little boy is not the source. You are spending all your time trying to be the best parent you can be, while secretly being pissed off about something. Your DS says something and that triggers off the pent up anger you are feeling about other stuff, not fair on him.

In order to be the best mother you can be, you must take care of your own needs. This is so important. Really, that is worth working on.

Bearandcub Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:54

Uggbug I could have written this. Yes, ask for help the relief is incredible, just taking that step and being listened to.

Speak to your HV and your GP.
Parenting course has been v helpful.

Kelly - the op recognises she's being a bully and is trying to do something about it. Not unfair at all.

Is unfair on her son though, and she knows it, which is why she has posted.

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:28:52

Thanks everyone. I've downloaded the leaflet thanks MrsMuddy and I am going to look into CBT. I actually tried to do an anger management CBT / NLP thing online and it was good, but a bit like the hypno-birthing CDs - you feel relaxed afterwards, but no-one is playing you that when you've just dropped a pint glass on the floor and there are two screaming children to contend with!

I can sometimes do the step back thing and think 'is this really that big a deal' but when I normally lose it is when we are on a time schedule to get out of the door and something happens to throw that off. That's when I can see best-laid plans falling to pieces and that makes me mad.

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 11:28:57

uggbug, do you have any RL support? Do you have a partner? If so, what do they do to help?

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:32:57

Abigail I have a DH but he is not at home when the kids are awake during the week. However he is around at the weekends. The worst thing though is that he has never really seen me behave like this with them. That is because if he is there I will shout at him instead! What a cow I am.

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:34:04

Thanks for all the help and advice I think it has confirmed for me that I am not alone with this issue and also that yes I need to fix it. Thanks all - got to go and pick DS up now

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 11:36:34

uggbug, you are stressed sweetheart. Your DH needs to pick up some of the slack at the weekend and let you have some time alone. Speak to him about it. Get him to take them out on a Saturday morning whilst you put your feet up with a cup of tea and a newspaper (or whatever!).

helpyourself Wed 05-Dec-12 11:39:08

Imagine that you're being filmed, and act 'calm mummy' it does get easier and the more you react calmly and without shouting, the more natural it will become.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Wed 05-Dec-12 11:39:51

Well, a bully might feel remorse in private (don't want to commit all bullies to a pit of not being able to be rescued)... but I agree with you Kelly that's not a very constructive comment.

I would certainly talk to your GP about it. They would probably investigate depression - I saw my GP about anger management issues but had no signs of depression (scored 1 on the test), but it would at least reassure.

I've found a lot of my real blow-ups in the past corresponded with the PMT part of my cycle & since then I've taken starflower oil and vitamin B6 to help. I haven't found myself losing it as much since then - maybe just my children aren't so bad but I don't think so. Perhaps try something like that?

I hope it gets better for you; please don't think you are alone.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:43:37

You have a small age gap between your two dc, not dis similar to mine... It is hard work... I used to try to get a few bits done prior to the most stress full parts of the day ie getting up and ready to go out and bed time. Such as, I always found that if I had managed to make dinner during the day so it was ready to just warm up and serve at tea time it would make the overall stress levels lower and I felt more in control... That's not to say there were not bad days when everything went wrong!

Try to take some time out for yourself each week and also learn to recognise when you might lose your temper before you get to the point of not being able to not shout... Hope it helps

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