Help me to stop shouting (really shouting) at my children

(131 Posts)
chestnutblue Wed 23-Jan-13 10:23:51

I have three, ages 6, 4 and 1. I find I am very hard on 6yo son. He drives me crazy because he doesn't listen or do as he is told and is unkind to 4yo. I know he's only small and this is normal but it literally drives me crazy. I find myself screeching at him, utterly furious that once again he is not listening. Repeating myself endlessly is soul destroying.
How do you deal with this sort of behavious? (mine and his).
What coping techniques do you use?
Please help, I am a hideous mum who is making my lovely boy miserable.

NellysKnickers Sat 26-Jan-13 21:01:53

Well I've just shouted so much at ds1, I feel so sad and guilty. It was the usual, 10 min warning before bed, 5 min, 2 min then he lost it completely, full on fucking tantrum. I'm ashamed to say I had a tantrum all of my own and screamed back. I too feel like the worst mother ever, even though we've had a chat and a cuddle. Op you are not alone, and thanks for starting this thread, I certainly needed it tonight!

chestnutblue Sat 26-Jan-13 21:02:57

Hi all, I've had a reasonable day, some shouting but of the normal variety rather that the head spinning kind. My hub has been around so I find I'm calmed in the face of his short fuse. Does anyone else get that?

Maisy I can back up WhiteP's suggestion. I have a lot (a lot, a lot, a lot) of unspecified anger in me and I also feel overtaken by my rage when it hits. I'm trying to get some of this sorted out through counselling - I was led there after v bad PND following my second child. I was very sceptical but it's quite incredible what's coming out and I find it astonishing that I was never able to see it for myself. If it's possible I would suggest trying it. There are reasons for our rage and sometimes it is more that the stress of parenting. I find it very hard to distinguish between anger and other emotions - frustration, exhaustion, irritation etc - and anger is my go-to point of expression. Not good.

WhiteP we very rarely get a sitter, which we keep promising to remedy. I agree, finding time - however expensive - to remember that we were people before we were parents is essential.

Pixi I'm glad you've found us. I hope we can help each other through.

Here's to a serene Sunday!

chestnutblue Sat 26-Jan-13 21:04:48

Nelly hello and don't crucify yourself. You're in good company here and we all want to be better. Fresh start for tomorrow and forgive yourself for today. (Giving advice is sooooo much easier than following it! wink)

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 26-Jan-13 21:17:51

i'm a shouter too sad
mostly it happens in the mornings, because i don't have time for any other techniques
when I got up early last week, to do a cooked breakfast for everyone because it was DH's birthday, it was the best morning in ages....i can't always incorporate allowing more time for things, but I'm going to try.
and I agree that apologising to the DC helps as well

another thing that helps is to remind myself that if I "need" to keep on shouting, then it can't be working, and I'm making us all miserable for nothing.

my father was a terrible, raging shouter, quite verbally abusive, and it's horrid to feel that I'm falling into that pattern, but I'm a lot better than he was, and trying to get better still.

Pajimjams Sat 26-Jan-13 21:31:10

Google "aha parenting"- I get a little email from them every day with a snippet of their no shouting philosophy. It's a bit American but I really like the ethos of parenting through love not fear, and find the daily emails- just a paragraph- keep me focused.

They talk about you child's behaviour showing you what they need - more sleep, less stimulation, a boundary, attention etc

Might seem a bit wanky but I like it! In fact some days it makes me a bit emotional to connect to how much I love my child and how much I want to nurture her.

MaisyMoo123 Sun 27-Jan-13 00:56:50

Chestnut I'm going to thank you again for starting this thread! It's amazing!! WhiteP and chestnut - interesting what you say about counselling. I've never had any. Just not sure what my justification for it would be - can see that it might be useful for tackling this situation but not sure how you go about getting these things? Is extreme outbursts at children enough?

Nelly - welcome. You're definitely not alone and I'm feeling the support already.

Primi (or something like that - sorry!) Thanks for sharing that website. I'll have a look. American or lot, every little thing is worth a try right now and it does sound quite positive stuff.

Chestnut - well done for another good day and thanks again for your kind words. You're very reassuring and supportive. Sorry if my sobbing has overtaken your thread! The rest of my day was ok. No shouting with kids this afternoon/eve despite some challenges (!!!) and a relaxing evening with friends drinking champagne cocktails - apologies for dodgy typing as a result!! Here's to a fresh start tomorrow! I'm going to be digging deep!!

Chin up everyone!!

MaisyMoo123 Sun 27-Jan-13 00:57:55

Paji not Primi - sorry!! shock

WhitePeacock Sun 27-Jan-13 01:21:22

Maisy you could make a start by visiting your GP, and saying you're having difficulty managing your stress and anger and would like to ask about therapy options (alas waiting lists on the NHS do tend to be long but you might get lucky with a cancellation). And if there's nothing going on the NHS, or nothing that you feel inspired by, perhaps he/she can point you in a good direction for private therapy. It's important to find a therapist who's a good match - settling for/sticking with one who leaves you feeling baffled, or more guilty, or useless will do A LOT more harm than good. But the right one for you might be revelatory (as chestnut found, and as I have too.)

I was very resistant to the idea of therapy initially - I'm a very "I'll fix it myself!", stubborn, touch-me-not person - but I came to realise I didn't have the tools to manage what I was dealing with. I feel as though I do now.

Sorry haven't read all the replies but I found myself turning into a shouter..
Mine are 5 (year R) 4 (nursery at same school) 2.5 & 13 months.

I decided to challenge myself to not shout at them for a week the week before last. I did manage it & it was hard but I really noticed a difference in their behaviour because of it.

The 5 yo is the one who pushes me most. The two things that work with her are - as a previous poster said- threatening to tell her teacher & the other is (after giving maybe two or three chances to stop whining/fighting etc) to refuse to talk to her.
She absolutely loathes this & it's miles more effective than shouting at her!

newbiefrugalgal Sun 27-Jan-13 01:44:09

Marking placesmile

achillea Sun 27-Jan-13 01:54:39

Hardest job in the world. When they are little, getting 3 of them ready at the same time to catch a bus - no mean feat. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you achieve this.

Along with the many other suggestions, I hate to say dog whisperer, but yes, Cesar Milan has very useful tips on how to be a 'pack leader'. Body language is very important with children and if you hold yourself well it really helps when you are out and about to 'round them up'. Works with dogs as well as humans. It is useful to use your body to assert your authority instead of your voice as children understand this better. So if you want them to do something, stop by them and wait until you have their attention - they will always look round if you stand there long enough - and then tell them clearly what you wan them to do. Always get full attention and command respect through your actions rather than your voice.

The other suggestion is bonding. Every time you shout you will be hurting them a little bit - so make sure you spend 15 minutes of passive one to one time with them every day. Time that they know is just for them and give them your full attention. Sitting on the bed at bedtime with them is good for this, let them do what they want and you join in.

anonymosity Sun 27-Jan-13 03:59:42

Sometimes this happens to us, but usually its when I am tired, or I am hungry. I know that sounds ridiculous, but if you have a cup of tea or can have something to eat when you're feeling low energy (if you ever do) I think it can cheer you up and help you deal more rationally with what they do, or at least in a less shouty way.

CaptainNancy Sun 27-Jan-13 21:14:26

It doesn't sound ridiculous at all anonymosity- my children's behaviour is about 10 times worse when they're hungry, 100 times when they're tired grin Why would we as adult be any different?

Walking away can help- my youngest immediately stops creating if he hasn't got an audience.

discorabbit Sun 27-Jan-13 21:16:11

when my ds was like this, i used to turn off all noise in the house so there was silence, quiteness really makes any noise sound really loud so makes everyone tone down

SetFiretotheRain Sun 27-Jan-13 23:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chestnutblue Mon 28-Jan-13 09:22:23

Hi all, not a splendid morning here. No full out rages but very aware that the fury was creeping closer and closer and struggling to keep it down. Lots of very loud talking if not actual shouting (sigh).

Trying to get my 6yo and 4yo to listen and do as I ask is just impossible sometimes. I find it quite soul-destroying. I think it's compounded by the fact that my hub doesn't really listen to me either (!) so I'm always close to anger when being ignored.

SetFire, I find rushing around difficult too. I've tried to pare down some of our activities recently. Trying to get everyone out of the door for a deadline is so stressful (we had one class where I had to pick up 6yo from school with 4yo and 1yo and get the eldest two redressed and into their class in twenty minutes - ridiculously stressful). I have dropped one class a week and now we have some relaxing time. It's incredible to have a couple of hours to just relax with them. Although I did feel guilty, it means it's one less morning of shouting and they must appreciate that.

Achillea, it's good to be reminded to make time to enjoy the kids too. Somedays I'm just aiming for bedtime and some respite instead of taking pleasure from being with them.

Girlsyearsapart - what can I say? I can't imagine how challenging your days must be. Huge respect for recognising the shouting and being able to stop it. I can see my behaviour mirrored in the chidlren and it's heartbreaking - and a huge incentive to try and end this cycle, which started with my mum.

Good luck for today all.

WhitePeacock Mon 28-Jan-13 11:56:06

Well done chestnut for dropping the class, that sounds incredibly wise. Not being listened to makes me go loopy too, I automatically feel unheard and totally disrespected. My therapist made me look at my relationship with DH overall and realise that he was actually very respectful in the things that really mattered - just absolutely PISSPOOR at putting cups in, not on, the dishwasher angry. Re sitter: I def found that setting aside time to be nice to and with DH, and just DH, made it easier to talk calmly about the bloody cups and how they made me feel, without being blamey and furious from the off.

MiL goes home tomorrow NOOOOOOOO

Mischeif Mon 28-Jan-13 12:12:34

ohh i find myself flipping out alot and Ive only got the one. Never ever again I tell you!

She's quite cheeky, when we go somewhere she seems to think all these people are there just for her and she'll quite happily wander off and talk to anyone and everyone, will ask people for sweets, or like last night, went to pick our kitten up, shes asking the lady in the house to go upstairs, to see the other animals, this mind you, is after the usual, dont be cheeky and start mithering for things warning. She cant seem to help herself! She also likes the sound of her own voice.

It's not like shes even naughty or anything really, she jut never engages her brain, it drives me up the wall saying the same things over and over and over again. She spends quite alot of time on the time out chair. But that jut makes me feel guilty when she seems to be on it every 10 minutes....

Humphry, Ive tried that myself - it sinks in for literally 5 minutes and its like she just forgets and is off being giddy or bouncing about in peoples faces again. She's not doing these things on purpose which makes it all the more frustrating argh!

Ive also never known a child to feel the need to be centre of attention so much. I think part of that problem is limited one on one time we have, but with my not working now - im hoping there will be some improvement if we can do more stuff, just us together. I don't know if that's possible for OP to try...? Another thing that started getting results for things such as brushing her teeth, which she seems to be really adverse to, is the reward charts. Making bed, putting clothese neatly etc.

I also got her an electric barbie toothbrush, so at the moment, the novelty hasn't wore off, but we'll see!

MaisyMoo123 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:16:49

How's everyone doing? Sorry to hear you didn't have quite such a positive day yesterday Chestnut. Sounds like you did an amazing job keeping a lid on it though despite the rage trying to break through! That's such a massive step in the right direction - recognising the feelings bubbling but managing to stop them exploding everywhere! I know raised voices aren't ideal but way better than full on shouting and the irrational rage that goes with it.

Interesting what some of you are saying about your dhs and how they help/hinder matters. My DH is no way near as shouty as me and I admire him for the way he can deal with the frustrations in a much calmer fashion (though in honesty he doesn't have to deal with half as much as I do!!). The thing is I know his way is better - and he knows I know, but when he suggests that my shouty approach is ineffective and is clear that he doesn't approve of it in the heat of the moment it just seems to make me more angry - like he's superior and I'm a disappointment. He's supportive but I just don't think he knows how to handle me when I'm on one - don't reckon anyone would!!

Things have been a lot better here for the past couple of days. The determination has kicked in and I've managed to keep a lid on full blown rage and have only raised my voice a couple if times. Everyone seems happier. I've been reading 'Positive Parenting' by John Sharry which has some useful stuff in it, including using a mental pause button when you feel anger with your children mounting to give you time to think about a reaction other than your default (I.e shouting) - seems quite effective. I've also been taking st john's wort and various hormonal balancing things to try and get my moods more stable generally as really feel that's quite a major factor for me. So far so good and I'm going to stay focused.

Hope everyone else is doing ok!

FedupofTurkey Mon 28-Jan-13 23:04:25

Marking my shouty place!

chestnutblue Tue 29-Jan-13 09:31:30

Morning everyone, I didn't do well this morning. Had full-on rage with my 6yo. Was one of those mornings where the kids just wouldn't get moving. Lots of wandering around in a daze with I asked - repeatedly - if they would get ready.
I finally flipped out after my 6yo seemed to regress to a toddler in front of my eyes (bit like mummy?). He went to the loo, made a mess, didn't flush and didn't wash his hands. AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
I can't bear it. He's really good at all that stuff but just wakes up some days as if he's never been taught the basics. OMG I feel furious just writing this.
I'm off for a few deep breaths.

hillyhilly Tue 29-Jan-13 16:32:37

We had an almost zen like calm and tranquil morning this morning, partly thanks to this thread.
I got up earlier so we had lots of time, I kept reminding myself not to shout and had marbles and money for an event in school to bribe them with. I also occupied ds while dd did her hair as that time is always a dreadful flashpoint.
Hope we can do it again tomorrow! (& the next & the next)

MaisyMoo123 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:45:28

Hi ladies! Sorry to hear you had a stressful morning Chestnut - it is just the most frustrating thing when children just don't do a thing you ask them too. I definitely sympathise - that is a major trigger point for me completely losing my rag! I just hear myself saying the same thing over and over again and it echoes round in my head and the tension and anger start to mount! Hope your day has got better as it's gone along?

Hilly - I'm loving the thought if a zen like morning!! How did you do it?? I think I might start the marble jar - is this just where you put a marble in for every time they listen/do something good? We've got reward charts but they're getting a bit complicated and open to negotiation at times!

Another fairly calm day here - though I've been out at work for most of it!!! Last night ds threw a wobbly as we were going to bed because he wanted to be in with us (doesn't work, I don't sleep a wink) but I stayed perfectly calm through that and he settled ok in the end. Minor triumph - that's the sort of thing that often gets me really worked up!!

pammy6 Tue 29-Jan-13 21:19:12

Hi I came on mumsnet tonight after crying for exactly the same reason.I was amazed to find other people with the same problem. My 5 year old son is driving me crazy ,really crazy .Especially like you said around never listening and trying to get out in the mornings .I have 5 children ,16 ,9, 7, 5 and 22 months and I just can't take it anymore I just seem to be shouting all the time ,I feel like the invisible woman and tonight after a very hard day I told all my children that I can't take it anymore and either he's going to have to go and stay with someone else or I'm going to leave and I meant it .( I feel awful -like I've probably scared my children for life )I feel like I'm on the verge of a break down . 5 minutes later I'm upstairs crying and my son is downstairs laughing which hurt me even more .I think he must hate me so much ,if I left he'd be happy .I've tried the praise thing but I feel I have so little left inside me .

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 08:10:51

Pammy - that sounds really rough sad you have a LOT more experience than me at parenting so feels a bit weird trying to offer any advice!

Do you think he might be playing up to impress the older ones? How do they respond to you? What do they do if he misbehaves? ESP the 16 year old? Is your DP about in the mornings? Can he be for a while or Is there anyone else who could take your older kids on to school ( if they are ok getting ready?) is there one particular flash-point?

My DD should have been up at 7.45 as she refused to get washed or put uniform out last night ( so agreed I should wake her 30 mins early) of course it's 8.05 and she's just up. I just went in there now and said "I'm trying to help you not be late for school honey" in firm but non-shouty voice. She's up now. smile

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