to want to apologise to my son

(67 Posts)
WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 11:12:18

I have nc because I'm ashamed.

My lovely lovely 8YO DS who is an absolutely delightful bright happy kind and sensitive boy is ever so slightly clumsy. He drops things and spills liquids, not on purpose. I am an impatient person and it takes a lot of conscious effort for me not to get angry when this happens.

This morning I put a glass of milk in front of him and kind of joked 'be extra careful not to spill it'; as I reached the sink he was already behind me grabbing a cloth. Not a word said. I turn around and followed him to the table to see the milk spilled all over the table.

I lost it. Oh my god how I lost it. I went on and on about I expected better of him as he wasn't a 2 year old anymore. I was purely and simply NASTY and even though I knew it at the time, I just couldn't stop. I went on for about 2 minutes, just throwing vitriol at him and being disproportionately angry. I told him he wouldn't get his computer time that day as punishment because I had had enough.

I am so sad I did that to him and so ashamed I haven't stopped crying all morning. I really couldn't wish for a better son so why do I treat him like this?? I was vile, really vile. I wasn't physical except I did shove him out of my way and snatched the cloth off his hands to wipe the milk myself.

He apologised very sincerely. About 20 minutes later I apologised to him and I said that my reaction was ridiculous and that I shouldn't have spoken to him the way I did. I told him of course he wasn't punished and he would get his computer time because he had done nothing wrong. He just said 'it's okay mummy'.

But I know it's not okay. It's over now and I did apologise but I feel so awful that this could be one of his memories of me when he grows up. I just wish I could erase it but I can't.

Do you react like this sometimes or is it just me?

I want to write a short card of apology to him so that he knows I'm truly sorry and that he did nothing wrong. Is this a good idea you think?

pictish Tue 12-Feb-13 11:14:29

You have apologised already. I think he understand that you are sorry.

I have lost it over trivia once or twice in my time. I sympathise. You dealt with it very well.

Love to you xxx

language Tue 12-Feb-13 11:14:55

Parents are only human, don't be too harsh on yourself. Of course, we all try not to loose our temper, but it's hard at times. If I were you, I wouldn't write a card, I would not mention the incident in the future and just try to be more calm next time.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 12-Feb-13 11:16:51

Draw a line under it.

I have an infurinatingly clumsy son as well, it really is trying! Sometimes the words aren't out of my mouth yet and it's spilt. He's now under OT care and in the process of being assessed for DCD.

So I feel mega bad about the times I've had a go at him for things like this!

You've apologised, you're allowed to lose it sometimes, you didn't hurt him, you acknowledge your reaction was over the top and you sound like this is totally out of character for you and not your normal reaction.

It happens.

I don't think the card is a good idea to be honest, you are the parent after all and you do need to step in and tell them off. Sure, you could have done it in a different way but please, stop fretting! I bet he won't even remember after lunch!

And have pancakes for tea.

msnaughty Tue 12-Feb-13 11:37:02

i think a lot of parents have done the same at some point. i don't think it was just about the split milk i guess its the build up of things... I done same thing with my 5 year old as he knows how to talk and use his voice but he just crys instead of asking for things drives me mad i went mad last night kept lecturing him and telling him how stupid the behavior was i just went on and on at him. i don't think he even understood what i was going on about.... Anyway chin up we have all done it at some point...

milbracat Tue 12-Feb-13 11:39:12

OP, I think writing a card is a bit OTT given that you have already apologised and. The situation is literally crying over spilt milk smile and I don't see the point in making a protracted issue about it. I think you need to put it behind you and move on.

We all do things we later regret. Our DS has always been closer to DH. When he was 4, we were waving DH off to work and taking DD to school, DS was playing up. I told him something like "Behave yourself, or daddy won't come home!" Well, daddy did come home. He had heard what I said, turned around, went straight to DS, gave him a hug and told him that he will always be there for him and the family. "Now be good and I'll look forward to hearing about your day when I get back". DH then told me off for saying what I did, said another goodbye and went back to the car.

It has not caused any long term harm between us but kids are affected by parental emotions and if every spillage and accident is going to cause distress and be such an issue, he may well be scared to try things for fear of the consequences.

momb Tue 12-Feb-13 11:39:28

You behaved badly and apologised.
Draw a line under it. I honestly think it does children no harm to realise that their parents are fallible too. You did the right thing by apologising straight away and that shoudl be the end of it.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 11:40:16

Thank you. I think I'll go buy some pancakes now...

MrsKeithRichards Tue 12-Feb-13 11:42:30

You can buy pancakes?!

YANBU - I so feel your pain.

I was a bit harsh with my DS today...he is 10 and still has me up in the night like a baby....I am sick of it, I am tired, he is tired, DH is tired! I took the plug off the x box today so he cant go on it till he sleeps all night.

I feel bad now and hate the thought that he is at school and sad!! He went off today looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Kids .......try the patience of a saint!

You've apologised so move on. Your son sounds like my 6y/o and your reaction is the same as mine would sometimes be.

I think we need to take some deep breaths and remember they are only little still. Accidents do happen.

Do something fun together if you can tonight. smile

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 12-Feb-13 11:43:41

I'm very clumsy and spill and break things ALL the time.

However, I do get annoyed if my DD spills milk. I hate milk being spilt, I think its the one thing I would shout at anyone for.

You said sorry, don't be too harsh on yourself.

HecateWhoopass Tue 12-Feb-13 11:44:41

Why did you react that way?

If you can really understand why you blew - you will be able to address whatever it is that led to it, so that it doesn't happen again.

Is it just that you are an impatient person and it annoys you? Do you blow at other people? Is it something you feel you should work on? How would you go about that? Or is there something else going on as well? Another problem or worry or stress that is weighing you down?

valiumredhead Tue 12-Feb-13 11:45:29

You have apologised.

Deep breaths and carry on.

If it's any comfort ds is 11 and I have banned drinks from the front room unless they are in a sports bottle!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Feb-13 11:47:41

You have apologised if you grovel and keep on apologising you make it into a bigger deal than it is.

Just don't do it again,find a strategy of not letting spilled food/drinks winding you up

DaveMccave Tue 12-Feb-13 11:48:26

Oh god I overreact alllll the time! I also use te 'you're not a 2 year old' line a lot. I often apologise though when is realised, and I think it's a good lesson for them, nobody is perfect, not even adults, but we can still admit it and apologise. And even accidents piss people off!

valiumredhead Tue 12-Feb-13 11:51:20

BTW if you poured him milk in those plastic Ikea cups then I'm afraid YWBU - my goodness it was a happy day in our house when I chucked them out, they go over SO easily!

You've apologised so I would forgive yourself now. Its not a bad thing if children see adults make mistakes and then apologise and sort things out.

Two things struck me
Don't say "be careful not to spill..." because you have immediately planted the idea of spilling the milk in his head.

Secondly, if he is generally clumsy have you had him checked by an Occupational Therapist. DS1 was clumsy, tripped over a fair bit, not very coordinated etc. We took him to an OT and it really helped she gave him a variety of exercises which really improved his coordination, handwriting and general fidgetiness.

Illgetmegoat Tue 12-Feb-13 12:04:14

Poor both of you - rough morning.
Firstly - I think it has happened to all parents, something we are ashamed of and wish we hadn't done. I am a kind of parent that believes in apologies & doesn't hold to the not losing face philosophy. I think when these things happen they teach us & hopefully stop us doing it again.

Secondly - one of my parents was frequently nasty. Very nasty. But then I would get very over the top apologies and long monologues about them being a terrible xyz etc. However it was never enough to stop the awful hurtful behavior. So round we went hurting/apologising and it was rough - sorry means nothing when it is used as 'sorry I did something that makes me feel bad about myself, I want to ease my conscience'. I'm not at all saying this is you, at all, just my experience. I feel it is important to make a sincere apology that means - I should not have done this, it made you feel bad and I will do my absolute best to stop it happening again- obv not saying that to a little boy but having that cemented in your head.
I agree with Hecate too - work out why and work on that for yourself, draw a line with your DS and even if you don't feel it try to act as if it is all forgotten and forgiven and he need not be scared/worried about an accident next time while you carry on gently reminding him to take care, concentrate etc - work off the same sheet - we try hard, we don't punish for accidents but we try even harder to make sure they don't happen again, we are kind when we know we are doing our best (pretty much the mantra in this house atm me with kids, Dh with me, me with him - dogs with everybody!)
Enjoy a lovely pancake tea - have silly fun and you will do more good than another apology will ever do.

BuiltForComfort Tue 12-Feb-13 12:15:31

Can I make a suggestion? When you give him a drink, do NOT say to him "don't spill it". DO say to him - "I would like you to be careful with your drink. Look where it is on the table and make sure to put it back in the same place so it stays upright." He then has a positive instruction to keep his drink safe, rather than a negative one to not spill. I'm sure he's not doing it deliberately but try to help him think about where to put his drink, where his hands or arms are, to look at the table when he picks the drink up and puts it down. Rather than "don't spill" which is a more difficult instruction to follow.

Re losing it, I feel your pain, I've done that more than once, the totally unnecessary over the top rant. It's horrid but you've said sorry and you need to move on, by helping him with how to become more careful.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 12-Feb-13 12:18:57

Apologise with words, a hug and food.
I do it all the time, mine respond much better to a low-key acknowledgement that you lost the plot. He'll remember the shout for a while, the pancakes for longer.
OTOH, if he's clumsy, like my DS, think about a bit of adaptation. Mine has a mug with a wide, heavy base to drink from. If you know you get stressed about things, try and look ahead and see what you can do to circumnavigate it.

Maryz Tue 12-Feb-13 12:23:39

I agree it would be worth trying to work out why you reacted as you did. You can't do anything about it now, but you can stop it happening again.

Was it the final straw? Is there something wrong that you should be dealing with? Are you angry at someone or something else?

I think apologising to children when we fuck up is a good thing. It is important for them to realise that we are human, we make mistakes, and when we do we apologise and then we all move on.

SocialClimber Tue 12-Feb-13 12:28:42

I've done this too. Lost it when she's done something relatively minor, when she is the loveliest and most thoughtful girl I know. It is especially bad if they've gone off to school and you're left to feel terrible for the rest of the day. So much easier if they're at home and you can cuddle them when the guilt gets too much. These are rare moments, and the fact you feel so bad about it shows you're not some monster.

On the one hand, I am my child's parent, not their friend, so I am there to tell them off at times. But, I don't believe the opinion that parents shouldn't apologise at times, like they never do anything wrong. I apologise to my daughter, for instance she told me the answer to a homework question, and I told her she was wrong, quite emphatically! She then went on to explain why I was wrong. blush I apologised, and I did it sincerely. I have apologised if I've gone over the top when telling her off, too. Not every time, because children have to be told off on occasion, but for the times when we know our behaviour is awful.

You'll feel better when he comes home and you can give him a cuddle. Don't apologise again or write the letter though, it's done now and making a big deal will make things worse, he's probably already forgotten about it!

Then flip some pancakes and all will be forgotten.

Tryharder Tue 12-Feb-13 12:30:33

Look, I've done this too. I'm sure he''s forgotten about it already. Don't beat yourself up over it.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 12:32:37

Thank you everyone for your kind words and for trying to make me analyse my reaction. I have been doing this. I guess I sometimes react like this because I'm impatient by nature but also I think there's some sort of resentment in that I find I'm always cleaning after someone. I feel I also expect too much of my DS because he's generally so mature, his behaviour has always been fantastic, he has never in his life has had a tantrum... I seem to expect and demand more and more. My lovely DH is also a little clumsy. If I think about it, it is a very endearing trait on a lovely kind ambitious and successful man. When when he is actually clumsy though, all I can think about is the fact that I'll have to clean it. Yes, of course he'll clean his own mess, but without exception he won't notice the splashes in other areas. I am so anal that I do.

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