parenting struggles with three(7 Posts)
We have three kids (just 5, 3.5, 22mths and due baby in April)
I just find that the only way they will listen (if being asked not to do something or if they can do something is by bribery like.. "Well you won't be going to nannys etc" or raised voices resulting in getting no where and is feeling like horrid parents.
We try to parent as attached and gentle as possible and have done. But as they're getting older, particularly the 5 and 3.5 yo. One day it's easy, the next and usually in a huge roll of weeks of bickering, never picking stuff up, being difficult when we need to be somewhere. Etc.
I like to give them options, and validate heir feelings and needs. I just want the good balance for us all.
I want to be able to manage like I did before it seemed to get hectic. School runs have complicated our lives as it's always rushing, kids don't like rushing, I do six school runs a day and it's a faff. Come the weekends and we still end up doing telling off when we want to cherish that time with them.
We don't do time out, or charts as it hasn't helped. We want to stop with the bribery mentioned above, and get them to listen on their own accord. And it's always the way that they're angels in school/ nursery and when at home it's just manic, a constant flow of me over reacting to their actions sometimes (horrid hormones thanks pregnancy) and then axtually being hard work and seeming to not want to listen, I then raise my tone after asking a few times then I feel awful and feel defeated then end up sobbing out of sight. Especially when your kid says they don't like you anymore. I know it's small talk but hormones take over.
I dislike having to repeat myself three times to be listened. Then there's the playing mummy and daddy off against each other which is hard.
I want to be a happy mummy, one who doesn't shout to get a reaction, I want our littles no matter how small to know how much we love and do for them, and for us to respect one another instead of bickering and mKing everything a competition. In a gentle and attached way.
I've tried reading books then get demotivated as on our good days I feel like I could write the books and the info doesn't help my situation.
Be good enough. You are not perfect, and the actuality of this means you will not always behave in ways that you like, you then feel like a hypocrite and pthat everything you have done with your children is nothing but a lie. This is not true. You have to forgive yourself, and move on to the next challenge with your head held high. We ALL make mistakes, and that is ok, it is normal and human. Nobody has EVER brought up their children without making any mistakes, wether small or large. Look at the bigger picture all the time, don't lose sight of perspective, it isn't ok, but it is ok, more ok than you think.
Bribery is something I swore I would never do before dc. I now think it is better than the alternative. Your dc are still tiny, when they get older you may be able to talk and explain things more, but at the moment chocolate buttons are your trusty friend.
You are doing great. Enjoy your moments when they come along, and many congratulations on your pregnancy.
Do you think maybe sometimes your fear of hurting them and/or confronting them is getting in the way of having firm boundaries?
Attachment and gentleness are extremely important, as are valuing your children's points of view and opinions, but another way to love your kids and make them feel safe is, in my opinion, being strict with them (in a gentle loving way!) and making it very clear that there are certain lines they don't cross and certain behaviour that is inappropriate and won't be tolerated. But I think some parents can misinterpret being firm with being unloving.
Discipline - and i don't mean punishment, I just mean setting clear boundaries - can actually be more painful for the parents than for the kids sometimes, because you have to be "the bad guy". But in the long term it's best for your kids.
I tend to be a big softie with my kids and my dh is better at being a bit strict.
Sometimes however my 4 year old dd will go through phases of really pushing the boundaries, having constant tantrums when she won't get her way, refusing to do anything we say. When that happens we use an adapted version of the naughty step. It's an actual step in our living space, so she is in the same room as us and not separated from us at all. She can still see us. The only requirement is that she has to stay there for a couple of minutes and can't get up to do something else. It's only 2 min so it's not overly harsh, but it really sends a strong message to her that her behaviour is wrong. We decide beforehand what will lead to her going on the step and it's not everything. It's things like (1) hitting or pushing her brother, (2) refusing to do something that needs to happen, such as co-operating with getting ready for bed or ready to go out the house - and actually, that's the only 2 things I can think of. She wouldn't go on the step for just random reasons. But it helps her learn there are certain things she just can't get away with. I want my dd to be accustomed to understanding that you don't get into a huge argument every time the adult in charge asks you to do something. Also I want her to understand that hitting /pushing is in no way ever acceptable behaviour. Those are values I want to pass on to her - to be kind to others and to behave in a way that will contribute to people being able to enjoy their day and learn, not disrupting things because of a whim.
I just want to say though as well that having 3 kids AND being pregnant is an incredible challenge and I hope someone else comes along soon who can give better advice because life gets harder when you are dealing with all those personalities and school runs. I just have two and find it really tough a lot. Don't be hard on yourself as anybody would find your situation challenging... I hope things get a lot better for you soon, All the best
I don't really have any advice as such I just wanted to say that with my daughter she can be a right handful at home sometimes but is also a complete Angel at school and always was at nursery too.
My mum always tells me it's because she knows that whatever happens, I am never going to not love her and I will always be there. Yes I get cross but she knows that it doesn't mean I don't care. I know it's annoying and upsetting how they can be so different for you than they are for others but I think that's a nice way of putting it.
Also, easier said than done, but when I feel myself getting cross and I'm ready to shout I stop for a moment and take a deep breath....maybe even go into another room then come back when I'm ready. I save my ''raised voice'' for when I really really mean it. I learned this off my mum who had always taken that approach with my 3 brothers and I. Even now when she raises her voice you know s**ts hit the fan and you better start behaving, and we are all now mid 20s to mid 30s.
With regards to a comment someone else made about how people confuse discipline to being uncaring, my mum was the ''harsher'' of my parents and I never once felt she was uncaring or unloving. We are best friends and have always been so so close.
I'm sorry that isn't much help.
I feel my parenting is effected by my pregnancy. Tiredness, hormones, coping skills.
Not only this I literally am with my kids all the time and have been basically since day dot (for which I'm thankful) but as they're getting bigger and I have no adult time I find myself being irrational and like them in a moment of heat.
This morning 5yo laughed when 3yo hurt herself and I said well that's not kind, I'm sure your friends won't like you if they knew you did that. Then she cried and said she hated me because now she won't have friends, then it escalated.
SILLY or what. I find my irrational mind has gone lately. I want to be the gentle and calm mama I was not long ago.
I feel myself using a moody tone a lot, and just feeling stressed.
Then they go off to nursery and he guilt over rides me and in all honesty I've cried about six times today where I've missed them so much, and felt that all we needed was a big hug to make it better. I don't want to be shouty, I want them to see me as a fun, happy mum who I was before.
It can be very hectic when they all squabble, it's tiredness all round and dinner time, you arguing etc it all gets a bit much then I just feel short fused.
My mind is just a bit frazzled and I want to fix it so I can nurture my connection with my kids and not feel sad like I have been.
The look in their eyes when I am cross is heartbreaking. And then we get the "I just like daddy" etc. Then I act like a kid and take it to heart!
Three year old is being extremely testing this week and I feel like I'm only human. Like I've mentioned before we try to parent as gentle as possible with boundaries but they just don't listen.
She has screamed and shouted and just been out of control with listening this week.
Today I've lost my temper twice and shouted and just feel like shit because of it now. She just won't listen.
Have you for some help? I have similar age gap and honestly - I am so much calmer since we've had an aupair.
Three (almost four) children in such a small time frame is hard, not only on your body but also on your brain. I used to be mentally exhausted as well as physically exhausted. We started by having a nanny to come for 3 hours each evenings but now mornings would be a nightmare without help so we have an aupair and things are smoother. They are mischievous and when they wind me up I know someone else is there to take over from me. It is still hectic, but it no longer is chaos (or if there is, then it can quickly be sorted). And.... Laundry... Just for that my aupair is worth the trouble!!!
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