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.

Lastyearsmodel Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:34

Oh god, I could have written your post! I have DD1 6yo who is v sensitive and often in her own world and can be v harsh with DS 4yo. Now DD2 2 yo is joining in I am like a banshee some mornings.

But we are not hideous mums! We are doing our best and recognise that the shouting a. Makes us feel horrid and b. Doesn't really work and just makes them copy us.

I have no magic answers, sorry, but am better when I am calmer. Are you getting time for yourself? Any big stresses at the moment?

UnMN <<<hugs>>> to you.

Lastyearsmodel Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:06

Ps I presume you're doing the usual telling then warning then carrying out consequences? It's all a phase, this too will pass.

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:37:10

You need to take control and feel in control. If you have a 'go to' response for undesirable behaviour then it eliminates too much thought. What sort of behaviour correction to you currently use?

I think it helps to be clear in your mind of how you'll handle things, time out is really good to give both of you chance to calm down and when time out is finished you can calmly explain why that behaviour is unacceptable.

Being stern and consistent will bring quick results

It is a gradual process, dh was a shouter so we've been through this and it's not easy to change

chestnutblue Wed 23-Jan-13 10:37:58

Thank you, I wish I had answers for you but it's wonderful to know I'm not the only one. I have some time just now but seem to spend all down time regretting my terrible behaviour and thinking of my boy's miserable face post shouting.
Lots of stresses but I know I shouldn't be transferring the stress on to them. And he does drive me crazy ...

chestnutblue Wed 23-Jan-13 10:41:40

It's always worse when I'm trying to get him to school and trying to meet a deadline plus sorting other two. Being up against the clock means I can't do the timeout stuff - which I do use. Also, I can see that 70% of the time he's not doing it out of badness, he's just 6 and can't keep a thought in his head!!
I need to find coping techniques that will head off my rage before it begins. I often find myself in the middle of screaming at them before I realise it.

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:42:23

I should probably add that my dc's can be right little shits as I'm too soft sometimes, I know what I'm supposed to be doing but don't always want to be the bad guy!

Lastyearsmodel Wed 23-Jan-13 11:40:14

What Aspiemum said about your go-to response is true. A deep breath and a strategy you stick to is good to aim for.

DD1's flash point is getting dressed so as we try to get dressed before com ing downstairs (a bit of breakfast spilt on uniform is the least of my worries ). If she kicks off I remind her she will be leaving the house in her jamas with her uniform in a bag. If it gets bad I tell her I will ring her teacher to warn her.

We do timeouts for hurting or repeated not listening. She also shouts and rages at her siblings so if I can I try to remember she has learnt it from me and I should set a better example.

But you are human and trying and that is very important. I have had a shouty week and am trying to be calmer and plan ahead more.

Lastyearsmodel Wed 23-Jan-13 11:41:46

Ps lots of good advice on here about making mornings as easy as possible for you.

Hand holding here. Had to do nothing but shout at my dd this week she's done nothing but be deliberately difficult at every opportunity resulting in mad rushes for school. She just cannot listen like ever!!! Grrrr

Will be watching this thread with u

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:59:50

My dd was 8 when I decided silence was better. However, this works for dd as its a power struggle she's looking. Though a fair bit of laziness thrown in.

Basically I explain the natural consequences.

Don't do your homework? Get in trouble at school
Don't put laundry in basket? Do laundry yourself
Don't get washed? Will be smelly.
Don't brush hair? Will get tattier

She can scream, stomp, slam doors, be rude etc but she rarely gets a response from me ( occasionally I've cried despite best intentions) she always apologises after. My response? I appreciate you acknowledging you were wrong. Can you try next time to express anger/disappointment/frustration better? How? ( it's all v hormonal ATM!)

For yours, not playing nicely could mean a timeout or exclusion for x mins. Not sure how you feel about dc hitting back?

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 12:05:18

Re mornings- what's your routine?

Can you get up earlier? Are clothes/bagslaid out night before? Breakfast table set? Can he get dressed a place with less distractions? ( No toys, mirrors etc) Do you give breakfasts that can be eaten en route? ( pref not something he overly enjoys so its not a treat!)

DD has made it to end of driveway in pjs twice before running back to get dressed in 30 sec flat.

When we were wee we got dressed into uniform then put our dressing gown on to have breakfast in case of spills!

AlienReflux Wed 23-Jan-13 12:05:40

I find myself flipping out sometimes, usually over something that's much less serious than stuff I've coped with earlier. I find being tired makes it worse, and being late!!

I've started to go to bed earlier, and honestly, I'm noticing the difference already, and making myself organise school stuff the night before, so the morning's not a mad rush.

No matter what planning you do though, there will be times when he pushes your buttons, I saw a programme (supernanny I think) where she said, don't wait til you're at boiling point to discipline, which is what I do, give warning at first sign of bad behaviour, then time out or what ever.

None of us are perfect, but yes, when I see my boys eyes filling up because I've shouted, I feel bloody awful sad

hillyhilly Wed 23-Jan-13 12:24:53

I've lost it with my ds (5) twice this week already, and am feeling bad about it too.
I get demented by the sound of my own voice politely and pleasantly saying the same thing about 10 times and being ignored, I shout, it gets done and that's wrong.
It helps me to recognise that it's not just him, its me (pmt), and that its down to me to make the changes.
It also helps enormously to read on here that I'm not the only one!!!

You most definately aren't!!

I swear they r just programmed to be difficult !!!! Short of sticking them to bed clothed for the next day there is nothing more I can do night before!!!

WhitePeacock Wed 23-Jan-13 12:56:25

I only have the one DD, and she's 2, so don't have a lot of your stress factors, but I started out as a massive shouter - not at her so much as my poor DH (that's what my mum modelled for me and what I thought was normal). When DD arrived I realised I didn't want to make her as scared of me as I was of my mum, so practised standing back in my head to look at myself/the situation and trying, TRYING to resist the temptation to bellow (I did fail a few times and I still fail now but am rewiring myself to a new normal.)

The thing that's made all the difference for me is being able to apologise - to say "I was tired, I felt stressed and cross, and I'm sorry - I didn't mean to shout at you." I still get DD to sort out whatever has made me lose my cool but when I've said sorry we usually do it much more companiably and I'm not so afraid that I've broken our relationship forever and transmogrified into my mum at her worst!

Feeling the stakes aren't so high helps me not get to rage-point so fast. Sympathies though, having to get to places on time with others in tow stresses me out something awful. I'm sure the school run, even with just DD, is going to tempt me to do a Hulk every day.

Bearwantsmore Wed 23-Jan-13 13:02:07

I'm a screecher too, I hate it. I never knew i had such a short temper until DD turned 3/4 ish and I really do need to try harder not to shout and screech at her. I worry that her memory of her childhood will contain a lot of me shouting, and sometimes that thought is enough to stop me.

Also.. Have you had his hearing checked? It turned out DD had v poor hearing caused by glue ear and she genuinely wasn't hearing me some of the time. So now I try to address her clearly face-to-face and try to be more patient.

Panzee Wed 23-Jan-13 13:05:41

Not sure if it works with your own, but a few years ago I got into a bad habit of shouting at my class. I wore a hair bobble on my wrist and twiddled or yanked it when I felt like shouting. It was a little reminder to myself to rein it in and try something else. smile Maybe something similar might work for you till you get out of the habit?

PolterGoose Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:37

My ds has an ASD and some of the techniques used with children with SNs are really good with all children. Some ideas:

Make a visual timetable, let ds draw the activities that have to be done in the morning, eg getting out of bed, having a wee, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting on shoes and coat, leaving house. Then ask him what he likes to do in the morning and if it is one thing have that as the last thing he does, if it is several scatter them between the compulsory tasks. Stick it all up in your agreed order. As he is probably too little to tell the time you can draw a clock face with the hands in the right places for each task.

You can use a stopwatch to time how long the compulsory tasks take and maybe keep a record for him to beat. This worked really well getting my ds to dress himself and eating breakfast which were taking an age.

Set up a reward system. Make a chart or something, 5 spaces and each morning he gets ready with no fuss he gets a sticker. I'd start with aiming for 3 stickers for a treat the first week, then 4, then 5. Don't expect too much too soon.

Tackle one problem area at a time. Get a routine really well settled before doing another. Once the first has become instinctive for him follow a similar process for the next problem. Tweak it as you go to make it work for you and him.

Try to frame requests in positive terms. So instead of "STOP HURTING YOUR SISTER!" Calmly ask him for "gentle hands please ds", find phrases that work. We use 'tidy feet please' when ds is stamping or kicking his legs under the table, it doesn't really make sense but it is easy and quick to say.

Try not to say "No". Answer properly except if he is in danger if course. If he wants something he can't have explain why and in what circumstances and when he can have that thing, eg when he is 7 or when he is calm or once he has shown you how kind he is to his sister. Look for ways to answer positively.

chestnutblue Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:05

God, it's good to share, isn't it?
When I posted this morning I felt like a failure. Reading your replies has made me feel proud to have spoken up and determined to do better.

I'm a night before organiser and have everything for all three out and ready to go. Including breakfast table set, porridge soaking etc. We have more than an hour before the school bus arrives and my younger two are really no problem but it just takes my eldest to take 5mins plus to wash his face (via the lego box) and we're all out of sync and I'm losing it.

I'll be getting his hearing checked and trying to warn earlier and shout less.
I wish I could re-train myself - shouting seems to be my default - but I'm not really sure how to do it. WhitePeacock, I think we're coming from the same place.
All and any suggestions, or just what works for you, would be welcome.

BuiltForComfort Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:28

When you're asking him to do something, are you in the room with him and do you have his attention? No good calling from another room.

When you've asked him, get him to tell you what it is he needs to do now.

Give him loads of praise for each thing he does - you got your pants on, well done, what's next? You got dressed by yourself after I asked just once, that's brilliant! etc

Get him to take charge more. Before we leave for school in the morning, what do we need to do? That's right, put clothes on and do teeth, what else? Put shoes and coat on, well done for remembering all those things, do you think you can do each thing in turn now?

Make it more fun - I bet you can't get dressed by the time I've done x.

Also get him to think it through. If you don't get dressed in time, you won't have time to play in the playground before school starts / jump on that tree you like on our way / choose a CD to play in the car. Being late is rude to Mr / Mrs Teacher, we need to make sure we get to school in time, how do you think you can help?

and so on and so on ... It requires lots of fore thought and effort on your part, so you need to think it all through before the flashpoints usually crop up, allow extra time etc.

Eglantyne Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:49

Another shouter here. I hate myself for doing it. With my dd(8) it's because she just doesn't stop the back chat when I'm telling her off, she gets louder, I get louder etc etc. I go from "be quiet", to "not one more word" to "SHUT UP". (Yes, I know, horrible). But... I have a plan. I have now given her a notebook, and told her that if she can't stop and she has to get the last word / say it's not fair / all someone else's fault, then she can write it in there. She can read it back when she's calm, and if she still firmly believes it's something I need to read, I will read it. Haven't had to put it into action yet, since Sun, but it will be interesting to see if it helps.

SpudtheScarecrow Wed 23-Jan-13 13:23:26

Haven't really got any tips but wanted to put my hand up as another shouter blush. Mine are 7, 5 and 2 and just in the last 6 months or so the older 2 have started winding each other up all the time. I'm trying hard to stop tho as more and more frequently I've found myself shrieking STOP SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER! So it obviously is having the wrong effect grin

I do know hat I shout more when I am tired, stressed etc so I try and think through why I am getting worked up and not worry if it's something that doesn't matter. Getting out of the door for school is a nightmare though. It doesn't matter how 'ready' we are, DS2 (5) will find something to faff about and make us late!

SpudtheScarecrow Wed 23-Jan-13 13:28:22

Eglantyne both my old ones do that - they just don't know when to back down - might try the notepad I think they'd like that.

I did start reading the Calmer, Happier parenting book and found that v helpful but have slipped back into bad habits lately

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 13:38:45

Could you have a meeting with him and discuss the problem? I got this technique from How to Talk So Kids Will Listen - a brilliant book. I used it to great effect re mealtimes in our house recently and the change for the better has made us all happier.

Basically call a meeting around the table. Explain that you have a problem in that you don't like to shout but are finding that this is happening because of XYZ. Invite suggestions about how this could be improved, and write down everything suggested by everyone (this is v important). Have a discussion about resulting ideas. Make sure there are things for everyone to take on board, so your ideas for not shouting are included as well as ideas for improving listening skills etc. Re-organise into a shorter list and put on the wall.

My six year old has responded really well to this. He knows where he is with it all.

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:02:01

We have a confiscation box. I put on a note of why it was confiscated and what they need to do to earn it back. That works well when time is short.
They are quite attached to their things and I take something that they really want back.
They get one warning most of the time but they know that violence doesn't get a warning - that's an immediate consequence

Lastyearsmodel Wed 23-Jan-13 18:26:06

THought we'd turned a corner with DD1's behaviour... how wrong I was. She came out of school having been awarded her class's top behaviour star and within 5 minutes I was having to stand outside the car while she hit the window and raged about having to put her seatbelt on and screamed at anyone who looked at her.

It continued until bedtime (see how early I'm writing this? That's how early bedtime was tonight...) - not listening, swinging from sulking to over-excited, ignoring consequences (lost telly time, lost playing in the bath, lost bedtime story and eventually, after laughing and smirking all the way through a talk from me, lost every cuddly toy from her bed.) Twice we had little quiet chats, hugs, asking her what she thought was wrong and how to solve it.

The laughing when I tell her off makes we so angry I can barely look at her. Just fuming. AGHGHGGHHGHGHGHGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

<and breathe>

littletomato Wed 23-Jan-13 18:45:35

a one-year-old child was brutally bludgeoned to death in massachusetts last week, allegedly by the nanny. story
i find that reading these kind of horrific stories changes my mindset when i'm feeling frustrated.

chestnutblue Wed 23-Jan-13 21:21:23

Lastyearsmodel I really feel for you. That sounds horendous, but I'm full of admiration for your patience.

I have a plan for tomorrow and will be putting some of the advice into action:

*I have a band for my wrist to 'snap' when I feel the urge to explode.

*After dressing etc all washing will take place downstairs to prevent ds from having a wee play when he should be cleaning up

*I'm going to start the pasta pot and use the reward system

*I'm really not going to behave like my mother, really, really, I WILL NOT

*I'm going to try and remind myself that it's only getting 3 kids ready for the day. Surely I can do this without behaving appallingly.... (tell me I can) hmm

You can

You can

You can

Aspiemum2 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:24:09

Of course you can do it smile
Guilt is something that seems to go hand in hand with motherhood though isn't it? I've spent many an evening thinking how I should have handled something differently and always resolve to do better the next day.

Chinateacup Wed 23-Jan-13 22:34:25

Been a bit shouty myself too recently. Some great advice on here - I have been saying to myself "be kind" as a mantra. It's a faff to get out on time but I try to remember that it's unlikely I would shout at a peer like that, so why on earth am I doing it to my most precious people ...

Leafmould Wed 23-Jan-13 22:50:16

Get a video camera. Set it up to video you and your family at the most difficult times. If you end up shouting, watching it back will be so awful. Hopefully it will help you to keep focused on not shouting. My dp recorded me shouting at my dd once. It was absolutely awful.

WhitePeacock Wed 23-Jan-13 23:05:17

Chestnut you've made a great plan, and you CAN do it!

Re the mum thing particularly - I was very lucky in finding NHS therapy that allowed me to see the processes I went through when I got anxious or depressed or angry. That helped me feel able to change them, rather than believing they were imposed on me by outside circumstances and I was stuck with them forever. So eg thinking that things have got out of my control makes me want to rebel/act angrily, or to seize control back - and I feel furious and stressed en route. I tried a bit of working on not-being-in-control and tolerating it - letting DD make a mess at meals without hovering to tidy straight away, or letting her actually do a bit of proper mixing/stirring/cooking <twitches>, with good results. But that's v personal and specific - being aware of what was happening in my mind and how it translated to my emotions was the key to change for me.

Having said that, today I had real trouble - lots of terrible two food-throwing and chair-climbing after a horribly early start. I got REALLY tired and pissed off, but just about managed not to shout. The old "pretend you're in a documentary - how would the ideal telly mum behave?" works for me then - it starts out artificial but if I give it enough welly the patience, humour and appreciation begin to feel real. Hats off to you for even managing to get out of bed with three! DD is likely to stay my only one as I think she's about what I can manage (mostly) smile Hope you feel every bit as positive and able to make changes in the morning!

SwedishKaz Thu 24-Jan-13 09:42:28

I am so relieved to read this post. I was in tears this morning again after having shouted at DS trying to get him ready for school. Now I have read this, I feel a bit of comfort to know I'm not the only one, and I will definitely try the meeting and writing down suggestions as HumphreyCobbler has written. We have had meetings before, but they seem to be forgotten about so I am going to try the minute taking.
Thanks and please don't be too harsh on yourselves, mums & dads. We're only human.

londonkiwi Thu 24-Jan-13 09:46:21

Another vote for How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk An oldie but a goodie. I'm not a big one for reading parenting books but this was recommended by so many people I have started reading it. Simple, realistic, really good strategies. I have a 5 yr old DS and realised how trapped in shouting/threats I had got.

Smudging Thu 24-Jan-13 10:09:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

adoptmama Thu 24-Jan-13 10:18:17

OP, you are not alone smile Sometimes I feel like the most undeserving parent on the planet when I start screaming and shouting.

Like you getting out for school/work in the morning is hugely stressful and a 'challenge' as DD1 - almost 6 - is the world's slowest person. However this week we have it aced, (long may it last) as I am being super, super loving when I wake her - lots of cuddles, 'you're my special baby' (a thing she loves to be called) and so on. So a very gentle waking - stops her normal grumps and refusal to get out of bed. And then (after her morning pee and making sure she is awake) we race to see who is ready first - me with my shower or her with dressing. She has beaten me - to her glee - every day this week. I do kind of fix it in her favour by making sure that all her clothes are laid out in my room in order and helping her out of her PJs first; but she has gone from taking 25 minutes to dress - with me yelling at her - to doing it in under 3! I so hope the competition thing keeps motivating her. Plus now she knows she can do it, so hopefully that will help. Then we race again - me to dress DD2, her to get boots on (previously a 10 minute exercise!) We are out of the house a full 15 minutes earlier than normal even with now having time to actually eat breakfast before leaving. And we are getting in the car without tears, screaming or shouting from any of us. So much nicer.

I do find to that just telling myself the neighbours can hear makes me rein myself in smile but also the lack of stress in the mornings this week has meant I have been catching myself at other times of the day (usually when v. tired or hungry) from getting unfairly nasty with them. I think/hope I am getting into a pattern of better behaviour (mine not theirs) and so it is becoming easier; I am less likely to default to 'shouty mama' (or 'Beast' as DD1 calls it!!)

Good luck.

MaisyMoo123 Thu 24-Jan-13 19:07:23

I nearly cried when I found this post!! I'm a shouty Mum too, and the feeling of relief reading all your posts and knowing I'm not alone is amazing! I have 2 dcs - dd is 7 and ds is 4. They 're not particularly bad - It's just the classic stuff that you've all mentioned that causes me to lose the plot, and mornings are definitely a flash point -not listening, stubbornness, general messing about and being unhelpful etc. I know I'm harsh on them both - I have ridiculously high expectations and forget how young they are. I hate myself for yelling and I hate how normal it's become - I'm sure they're being desensitised to it too sonit's not even like it registers with them much anymore! I KNOW it's not the right way to handle things and I spend hours stewing over things afterwards but I just can't seem to help it. However many times I tell myself I'm going to stop/change I find myself reverting back to horrid shouty Mum again. I'm pretty sure hormonal craziness makes me worse because I'm not like it all the time. It's been a pretty shouty week so I'm feeling particularly awful about it at the moment.

Thanks for posting this and I will be watching the thread and sharing my experiences too. I'm done with shouting! Who's up for a fresh start?

chestnutblue Thu 24-Jan-13 19:55:08


I put my plan into action - didn't get the pasta jar done though - and today I didn't shout! Woo-hoo!!

I did snap the elastic band on my wrist a couple of times (ouch) and it actually helped to divert me - and stopped me going crazy at them.
There was all the usual not listening and random playing but I felt much stronger today, which I think has a lot to do with starting this thread and understanding that I'm not the only one.

Maisy you describe exactly as I feel. It's the middle of the night self-loathing that is particularly destructive for me.
Hormones do make it worse but I admit it's not the main factor. I struggle with a lack of patience and a huge control issue (WhiteP, I hear you).

It's made a huge difference reading your posts and seeing how you cope. I'm inspired by you Smudge.

Thank you, thank you for speaking up and giving advice (this is beginning to sound very AA, isn't it?!)

I'm going to re-post my progress.

FairyPenguin Thu 24-Jan-13 20:09:45

Sounds like you've had a really good day!

Most of what I would say has already been said so I won't repeat.

A couple of things I've started doing are:

- get up 10 mins earlier and shift the whole morning routine by 10 mins. This gives me more leeway (and less stress) because I am allowing them more time to get shoes and coats on, and go to the toilet (which takes FOREVER). Sometimes they are ready 10 mins earlier - don't let them play for those 10 mins! - just leave the house once they're ready, then you can take your time walking to school / waiting in playground.

- set a timer if you need them to get to the table for dinner / go upstairs to get dressed, etc. Tell them "you can play with this/watch this until the bell, then it's bathtime". For some reason, my DC will actually stop what they are doing as soon as the bell goes, but not if I just ask them.

These are currently working for me, so hope they help you too. smile

chestnutblue Fri 25-Jan-13 10:26:24

Another good morning. No wrist band snapping required, although I did raise my voice once I didn't shout (if that makes sense). smile

1yo was screaming, 4yo had major tantrum and 6yo wandered off but I kept my cool and tried to focus on one of them at a time. I am only one person and can't speak successfully to 3 at once etc etc.

I hope my fellow shouters are also making progress. I'm thinking of you all.

WhitePeacock Fri 25-Jan-13 15:56:20

Well done chestnut! I've done beautifully too today as my mother-in-law is here and in charge of The Obstreperous One while I get to have my head All To Myself Joking apart I have realised again how much harder tiredness makes everything. Hope you are getting enough rest. You should be Very Very Proud of how well you're doing so far!

chestnutblue Fri 25-Jan-13 17:01:50

Good for you WhiteP. It's excellent that you had some help today, I hope you managed to get a little private time. I always feel better after some "space". Make use of the MIL if she's around, we would kill to have some grantparents to help, but we did decide to live where we do so can't complain about it... smile

MaisyMoo123 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:38:47

Pleased to hear you've been successfully keeping your cool chestnut and whiteP- especially as you've obviously had to work hard and dig deep to find the strength to change the pattern (from what you've said anyway chestnut!?). You're giving me hope - I've not had quite the fresh start of a day that I was hoping for and feeling pretty shitty about it all to be honest. I am so determined to change this behaviour pattern but when the flash point strikes I just can't seem to help myself. It's awful. Today has been up and down. First thing this morning was good - Dcs were fine and I was calm and we got to school with no heated moments and lots of smiles - "i can do this" I thought - but the stress started when ds refused point blank to walk on the way back (it's an ongoing battle we're having at the mo!) and was downright awkward all the way home. I lost it when we got in the front door, shouting at him and we both ended up really upset. As usual I felt (still do feel!)!terrible. We chatted about it and hugged and the rest if the day was ok - fine even. But shouting once is too
much and I just can't live with myself doing it anymore. They are such sweet kids and they really don't deserve it. I hate myself for it. We've had a happy evening with lots of laughter and cuddles but in back of my mind I still feel sick about the shouting. Keep up the goof work girls - just hope I can find some of the strength you have over all this!

Xenia Fri 25-Jan-13 22:21:56

It's like a trappist monastery here for some reason a lot of the time. I'm pretty silent and the boys are. It hasn't always been. So why? Personalities - you obviously just have more difficult children (and they are younger than mine are).

Secondly children mirror your behaviour and mood. I never swear. I am very quiet. I don't shout and for some reason the twins have always liked routine from being very small and tey do the before school we need to do without thinking about it as everything happens at the same time every day. I am very very lucky.

Look at their food. Make sure breakfast is mostly protein - eggs are really good with some brown toast. No cereal. No milk. Not much carb.

Have they had enough sleep?

One solution many women use is full time work and help with children. It is not for no reason women the world over in all cultures laways (and men too of course) ensure others do a lot of the grunt work. Get an au pair, return to full time work or whatever. Or you go to work at 7am and let their father do the whole morning thing.

We have a lot of lea way in timing for getting ready for school which helps. One is now cooking a complicated breakfast every day and asked me to get him up 10 minutes earlier..,,. in a few years yours may be like that and it will all be easier. If you can just keep a very calm atmosphere until then so much the better. never do time out. Don't punish. Say 5 positive things for every negative. In general say a lot less.

Am in year 28 of being a mother. It gets easier the more practice you have.

chestnutblue Fri 25-Jan-13 23:36:03

Maisy I want you to know that i don't expect this to be a miracle cure, and that I completely understand and can relate to what your going through. Please don't be down because you've had a bad moment today. I'm slowing learning to be a bit kinder to myself - and a little more forgiving. i hope you can too.
I think we all know that we're not discussing 'normal' shouting here. My episodes are horrible, all consuming boughts of rage. I can also see that they are a release of some kind and that they are hugely misguided. That said what we are doing is difficult, and that is not something people, in my experience, discuss. Children are hard work and we often expect ourselves to be able to do everything well, rather than accepting that something may suffer - usually ourselves.
Being able to care for them and keep them safe is a huge acheivement in itself. We need to be able to do the same for ourselves to give them our best.

Posting this and reading the feedback has been the most helpful and positive step I have taken in a very long time. I hope some of you stick around and that we can work through this together - however 'bad' we've been.

MaisyMoo123 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:52:03

Thanks chestnut! Just knowing there is someone out there going through the same thing and facing the same personal challenge is really helpful! I don't feel so alone with it all anymore. You're right though - I'm sure there's no easy solution. It's going to be a journey to kick what has become an awful habit. I think this thread is going to help though - chatting it through and being refreshingly open about something that you rightly say, we don't talk about (well I don't anyway!) in real life is empowering and therapeutic in itself. I can't thank you enough for starting it chestnut!

We're definitely not talking about 'normal' shouting here. My rages are crazy, ugly and irrational. When the moment has passed and I've calmed down I look back in complete shock and disbelief at how I've behaved. It doesn't matter how many times I do it it still shocks me how angry I can get.

Today started ok. I woke up feeling stronger and positive. Unfortunately dd woke up in a complete grump and started stropping and playing up (yes, I know she's mirroring what she sees me do! - just to add to my guilt!) I kept my cool and let Dh deal with her but the situation escalated and she was rude and unhelpful when we came to leave for her ballet class and that's when I lost the plot. Another failure. I'm definitely sticking around. Just don't want to sap the positive energy that was starting up in the thread. I'm not doing quite so well!

WhitePeacock Sat 26-Jan-13 19:48:05

Maisy perhaps therapy to find where the rages come from (that seem so out of character and alien to you) might help? (I know it's easy for me to say, but I have done it myself and I think going in with the will to change makes the whole thing much easier and quicker, although it can seem like a huge life-work impossible task at first). Don't lose heart. You are able to talk to your DC and acknowledge you don't always get it right, and that is a HIGHLY positive behaviour you're modelling right there, as well as the less good rag-losing!

Thanks Chestnut! Do you splurge on a babysitter from time to time since you're somewhere with no GPs to do it for free? My DH and I often tend to feel it's an unwarrantable expense but actually I think it's probably worth every penny, just to touch base with who you are in your non-parent incarnation. Hope you're having a good weekend so far.

pixi2 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:57:13

Just to say I've been watching this. My dc are amazing. But the school run and 3yr old refusing to eat dinners are my stresses. Even asked ds if he likes school, figured I could justify homeschooling. But he loves school.

I refuse to remain a mum with a short fuse.

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

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 08:22:43

Oh, and I use humour as well- to diffuse tension. Ill start shuti g "DD, get here this minute!" Then catch myself on, deep breath, smile and by the time she tells "WHAT?!' In a grumpy voice. And sticks her head round door or whatever, I'm pulling a silly face, have lips puckered up for a kiss, or just say " I love you so much I NEED to give you a hug this instant to keep me from exploding!" If she grumps more and move away I do silly voice or whatever and she soon cracks. It may not work for every child though! DD gets it so its ok. smile now I'm shouting less I still occasionally would randomly, sitting on sofa while she's on the floor, exclaim. " oh no" <look sad> she asks what's wrong, I say I haven't had a hug in a million squillion seconds.... < cue cuddles >

Took us a while to get to that point though! And as a preteen she's a bundle of hormones so may need to look at introducing other techniques too.

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 09:09:27

Pammy, the more I think about it, it sounds like an attention thing.

What does he do right?

Today while everyone's at school can you make a chart /poster etc saying " 5 things I love about dc1. 5 things I love about dc2 etc" don't comment on it, just leave it up where they will see it. Can 5 yo pick a dinner for Saturday? Whatever it is, let them have it. Even if its ice cream ( though if they suggest dessert you could say " oh! A back to front dinner! What a very clever idea for a special treat!" And serve a small dessert followed by main course.) then you could go to the local shop and he can help pick the food. It will potentially require A LOT of tongue biting for you but stick with it. Praise him for small victories " you were so good in the shop! You counted that money very well! I loved how you took your time choosing carefully /I loved how you knew exactly what you wanted as soon as you got there ;) not one after the other but try to not say anything negative or look bored. It was great you didn't get distracted by the toys/magazines - we can go home and play a game now! Etc. what do you think?

This is a game I played with some v ill mannered children I used to childmind. They were v good at it actually!
Manners Game

chestnutblue Wed 30-Jan-13 09:14:04

Morning all, a much better day so far for me.

I have started the 'pasta pot' suggested by a previous poster:
my 6yo and 4yo have a jar each with a robot sticker on it.
I put 5 pieces in each and said obeying the rules - Be kind to your brothers and sister. Do as you're told first time - will result in another pasta piece going in.
Disobeying the rules means one comes out.
If they get 25 they get a "special treat" - KidsAm cinema maybe?
If they get 50 they are allowed to spend some of their Xmas money on Lego

I started it after school yesterday. I've never heard so many "yes, mummy"s in my life!! They got one piece each for getting ready this morning but it was taken away for fighting later. I almost didn't take one away but did as I realised they have to be clear of the rules and what will get them more pieces. I sat the jars on the dinner and breakfast table. It really seemed to focus their minds.

I have also started How To Talk So Kids Will Listen... I'm only a few pages in and it's making a lot of sense to me. I can see my negative behaviour written in there and, thankfully, how to tackle it.

Pammy that sounds horrendous. You have a huge amount to contend with, maybe feeling overwhelmed sometimes is normal? Can your eldest be induced to help you? Do you get any respite?

I followed Pajimjams' link to the American parenting tips site. This popped in to my inbox today. It's really worth a read:

chestnutblue Wed 30-Jan-13 09:16:12
hillyhilly Wed 30-Jan-13 09:26:25

Less zen and a bit more rushed this morning but I still stated calm despite ds (5) being very distracted and shouty. They can earn a marble for each piece of good behaviour so its much less specified than reward charts. I read somewhere that you shouldn't take marbles (or pieces of pasta) back out of the jar so I've stopped that which is really hard as I feel I want to punish bad behaviour but I just keep repeating (or is it threatening?) that there'll be no marble if this behaviour continues. There were marbles earned this morning but it was still calmish

hillyhilly Wed 30-Jan-13 09:27:13

Sorry that should read there were no marbles earned this morning

chestnutblue Wed 30-Jan-13 09:30:44

Hi Hilly, I thought it was don't take all the pieces out of the pot as it would be soul destroying, but if you don't take any out how will they learn about the consequences of bad behaviour?

Well done for staying calm this morning

pammy6 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:59:13

Bluecarrot you sound like a wonderful parent ,thankyou for your advice ,I will keep trying .I must be on about plan N by now but I will keep going ,try a new plan .I'm just so short of time to follow around giving attention and praise not to mention being exhausted.Any sense of humour has been battered out of me a long time ago.
Chestnutblue thankyou for starting this thread and I wish you good luck with your children ,sounds like behind closed doors a lot of us are struggling with the same issues .Thanks to all the lovely mums who have taken the time to post advice as many more people will no doubt read and benefit from it .

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 10:23:59

My dd may disagree with you there! I still lose my temper, but I can also realign myself and admit when I over reacted.

Can you get your older dc involved?

mum2gabi Wed 30-Jan-13 10:56:34

It is such a relief to read these posts and realise I am not alone. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes after yet more screaming and shouting at my children. I honestly feel like the worst mother on earth. I simply have no patience (my issue to deal with) and I am a stay at home mum retraining for a new career and I am tired and stressed and I am re-acting to the slightest little bit of 'bad' behaviour in such an extreme manner that I am worried I might actually psychologically damage them!! To be honest they are not bad kids but its the not listening, constantly repeating myself, not doing as their told, stamping of feet etc that is driving me bonkers. There's some excellent advice in this thread and I am going to re-read it all, take a deep breath and a new approach to dealing with it in a calm manner.

BuiltForComfort Wed 30-Jan-13 16:20:12

Definitely second the marble jar / pasta pot idea, it works really well but you have to keep on noticing all the small stuff they do well.

I do really disagree with taking pieces out though. If they earned a pasta piece or a marble for doing well, don't undermine that bit of praise. They "won" that and now it is being taken from them.

They just don't get another piece until they have managed some nice behaviour. If they are really playing up then taking pasta away isn't strong enough, it needs to be a natural consequence, or an apology or a time out to think things through. Sometimes though, rather than shout or punish, you can stay really calm, get down to their level and say something like "hmm do you think that was the best way to ask? / the right thing to do? how about you do it again and see if you can think of a nicer / better / kinder way to do it this time?" That way they get to "do over" the behaviour, feel better about themselves, have learnt something and didn't get yelled at!

MaisyMoo123 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:47:44

I'm definitely starting a pasta/marble jar - sounds like a really good focus to encourage positive behaviour and I like the way it's not as specific as reward charts too.

Pammy - sounds like you've got your hands full. Hats off to you -my head feels like its going to explode with 2 sometimes so I can't begin to imagine how you feel!! I hope you've had a better day today and that you're managing to find some coping strategies. It sounds like you have the strength to turn things around which is half the battle! We're all here to listen and encourage!

Mum2Gabi - I could've written your post. It's all about patience, or lack of it for me too. I was always such a laid back, patient person till I had children and now I just seem to have completely run out of it!!

It's been an ok day here - although I've been out at work again all day(!!) - just a raised voice at ds who thought about refusing to go to sleep. He thought better of it though and we had a lovely cuddle so it all ended calmly.

Hang in there everyone!

pammy6 Thu 31-Jan-13 11:27:59

Bluecarrot thanks ,unfortunatly 16yearold daughter is also driven mad by 5 year old ,maybe I will have to speak to her ,as when I am trying hard to praise and encourage she comes and tells him off for something and ruins it !Not too bad a morning although 5yr old ds did cry all the way to school as he didn't get to sit in the seat he wanted .I just breathed hard and tried to block it out .
Mum2gabi my feelings exactly , really worried that my children will grow up psychologically scared . Hence so much guilt.
I just want them to have good memories of their childhood and i think if only they could just follow simple instructions and stop arguing over the most petty stupid things then life would be so different and more enjoyable for everyone .
I just feel so frustrated and fed up with every day being a battle and every small task having someone working against me .If motherhood was a job I would have quit years ago ! I would love to have a break but I don't think I would want to come back .
Maisymoo thanks for your support ,me too -used to be calm patient person but after 16 years of changing nappies ,sleepless nights and dealing with childrens temper tantrums and moaning ,patience is all gone .....

chestnutblue Sat 02-Feb-13 13:07:05


MaisyMoo123 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:00:45

It's gone very quiet on here. Hopefully that just means everyone's doing ok and managing to keep on top of those bursts of anger?

Things haven't been too bad here. I've avoided any major outbursts and haven't properly shouted for a nearly a whole week now!! There have been moments when I've had to really check myself and I've been counting to 10 too - it might be an old classic but it seems to work!! I seem to have a more positive attitude too - and a bit more patience (though still not as much as I'd like!) I'm convinced a lot of my rage is hormone related though so we'll see how I handle things when that time of the month comes round again!

Lizzygirl Sat 02-Feb-13 23:06:21

Hi chestnut and everyone. Another mum who has devoured every one of your posts and recognised myself a million times over. I have 2 DC. DD is 8 and DS is 6. They are lovely kids but I feel like worst mum ever. Defo think it's a deep rooted issue as to the outside world I'm calm n kind yet I'm a witch to my angels with full blown rages which even scare the hell out of me, let alone them. But you are all amazing mums, trying to do your best and I'm positively inspired by you so will also join you in trying each day to make a step in a better direction. At least we recognize we haven't always got it right. That's got to be better than blind anger and rage. Will talk more later.

midnightsnacks Sat 02-Feb-13 23:37:19

I have a son who has ADHD as well as many other complex learning/social problems, and add to that hormones and the first year of high school. I also have a 2.5 year old who is VERY active and can be pretty challenging at times... and yes sometimes it really does all get too much! It can feel like ground hog day, constantly telling them the same things over and over.

I can really relate to what you've said chestnutblue, i've had so many days when I've just sat down and cried and thought 'I'm bad at this, I'm a terrible mother'. But i do know i love my kids beyond anything else in life and as well as losing my temper and shouting sometimes, i give them so much love and time, and they are happy.

My oldest is going through some tough stuff at the mo' and his first reaction is always to get angry, which then makes me angry. I'm now trying to focus on all the positive he does instead and praise him for it (even if its as small as remembering to put the lid back on the marg!), and slowly it does work, he's happier and therefore easier to be with b'cos he's not dealing with my anger on top of his problems.

By far the best thing tho is organising plenty of days out and activities to relieve his frustrations too. Sounds simple but works for us.

And above everything, don't beat yourself up for it, we're all human. The fact that you recognise its a problem and you're seeking advice shows what a good mum you are x

chestnutblue Sun 03-Feb-13 15:33:46

Hello all, and welcome to Lizzy and midnight.

I've not been doing very well at all I'm afraid. Pasta pot is good, and they are responding, but my anger is forcing it's way out as usual. It's been a difficult few days with external stresses mouting up, but I'm not trying to excuse my behaviour.

midnight, I see my anger reflected back to me in my kids' behaviour too. I am desperate to break this cycle. My mum was angry, I'm angry and now I can see my children go there as a first resort.

Being able to come here and say this stuff is a huge help. I hope to be better at this soon.

dreamydora Sun 03-Feb-13 17:13:51

I am finding it very difficult not to shout and get angry with my son. He is 3 yrs old and understands everything, I think, but when he jumps on me and it hurts and I tell him again and again until I loose it why doesnt he listen? Are other 3 yr olds like this? My partner says Im inpatient and I need to stop shouting at him. But it is with anything I ask him to do or stop doing..he just doesnt listen. Am I expecting too much from him? I dont really know how to deal with it. I just want him to do what I ask him to i.e. come nd put on your shoes..

TreadOnTheCracks Sun 03-Feb-13 20:41:04

blue carrot. I am liking the sound of silence is better.

My DS is six and has terrible potty mouth, also speaking to me with a dreadful attitude. All encouraged, of course, by the fantastic "fireworks" reaction it provokes in me.

I have tried ignoring it but he always undoes me by starting up while we have mother in law visiting/are having a cup of tea in a busy coffee shop/at a friends house with a roomful of people listening.

WWYD when you have an audience?

bluecarrot Sun 03-Feb-13 21:47:21

TreadMy DD has very rarely done it in public - its only really with me at home so no advice on that Im afraid.

However, do you find he does it more when you are not giving him attention? Is he just bored?

MaisyMoo123 Sun 03-Feb-13 21:54:45

Oh chestnut - sorry to hear you've been struggling. I'm sure this journey will be full of peaks and troughs and we're all bound to come unstuck along the way and feel disheartened but ultimately, as Lizzy said, facing up to our negative behaviour is a majorly positive step in itself and we mustn't lose sight of that. We're all here to listen and empathise! Good that pasta jar seems to be working - still need to set mine up.

Dreamy I TOTALLY sympathise with your anger at your ds not listening! It is utterly infuriating and completely soul destroying. My ds is just 4 and exactly the same - he rarely does anything he's asked and I have to ask him things 4+ times, growing more exasperated each time, before I get a response. He also refuses to do things I know he can do for himself, like put his shoes on. Aaarrghh! It really would test the patience of a saint! Luckily he's gorgeous and affectionate with it which stops me from totally losing the will to live! Dd has her moments of not listening too - and when they're both at it and I'm in the wrong frame of mind I just lose it!

MaisyMoo123 Sun 03-Feb-13 22:04:59

Treadon We have "potty mouth" moments too. Just coming out of a phase now which was brought on by a weekend with friends who laughed at it (thanks!!) I started off making a big thing of it and telling off every time a toilet-related word was used but in the end ignoring proved to be most effective - and I haven't heard the "poo" word for ages now! Ds did do it out and about a couple of times and I quietly told him not to ad reminded him that it wasn't funny or clever at the time as didn't want people thinking I was happily ignoring it. You have my sympathies - its a really annoying and unfunny phase!

beautyguru Sun 03-Feb-13 22:16:44

My relief in reading this thread is immense..I find myself being a banshee so so often as DD1 age 7 infuriates me with her lack of listening..more so as I am severely lacking in sleep as DD2 age 2 is an horrendous sleeper.

She never fails to hear me if I am offering her something she wants eg a biscuit but yet nearly all my other requests seem to go unnoticed, especially when we are trying to get ready for school!!

Will keep reading this thread with interest & will invest in copy of How to Talk so Children Listen. Thank you to all you shouty mums for sharing thanks

defineme Sun 03-Feb-13 22:17:15

Have only read op's posts.
I am prone to being a shouter.
I try to remember how stupid me and dbro thoght our df was when he shouted way over the top.

It sounds ridiculous, but it was just a little thing that made me stop. I was watching an episode of a tv programme where the father was introducing his new girlfriend to his kids. One of the kids knocked a drink over and they waited fearfully for the expected explosion of shouting (that their mother would do). New girlfriend just laughed and said accidents happen.

I decided my default would be to laugh/shrug. I have got serious shit in my life to get angry about-ds1 not flushing or dd being mean to ds2 is not worth my anger. .

Ds2 really cannot hear me-he's got it from me-I can zone out in the noisiest of places. A quick clap in front of his nose wakes him up and we have a laugh about how his flappy ears that hear all my secrets can't hear me saying his name repeatedly.

I use the 'kids to listen' stuff sometimes -getting them up the stairs or into the bath is helped by something imaginative.

If they've made me cross-embarrassment in public is something I can't quite laugh about-I ignore them and get on with housework for half an hour til I've calmed down.

I tag team with dh too-I take a breather and he takes over.

Losing my voice this week helped as well!

I wish i could apply the 'just don't' thing to over eating and drinking wine, but so far I've only managed to stop shouting!

defineme Sun 03-Feb-13 22:20:22

My dd gets rude in public. I used to sit and simmer with rage(utterly unable to face a public scene-I saved shouting for private) til we got home and then I'd shout like mad, but now I take her to one side and whisper very firmly in her ear that she needs to stop it right now or various things will not happen!

neolara Sun 03-Feb-13 22:20:23

Can I also recommend 123 Magic. It's very simple, yet very effective.

MaisyMoo123 Sun 03-Feb-13 22:38:53

Totally know what you mean about quietly simmering with rage defineme! I never want to cause a scene in public and usually manage to keep things under raps till we're behind closed doors and then I'll blow. I've yelled at my 2 in the car after leaving somewhere more times than I care to remember and none of the people we've been with would have a, lizzy I definitely know what you mean about appearing happy and laid back to outside world too - I think I pull that off as I rarely show anger towards my Dcs in the company of others - good in a way, but also makes me feel really guilty and like I'm "putting on a show" rather than being genuine, stable, "proper" mum!

sheeesh Sun 03-Feb-13 22:53:50

Agree and relate to so many of these posts and scenarios. And such a relief to know that I'm not alone.

This weekend consisted of some shouting, some fun and plenty of wanting to hide from the world as I felt drained by all of it.

I'm so grateful to read all the posts on here.

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 04-Feb-13 21:10:39

Blue carrot - thanks for your reply. I have made up my mind that silence is better and oddly enough no potty mouth today ! Perhaps he has sensed I am more relaxed.

Potty mouth from DS happens anytime he is not getting his own way. Especially in the mornings when we are rushing.

I agree with all the great advice abut being prepared, I have clothes laid out etc the night before. We race against a timer. I am up at 6.15 and go down to get breakfast laid out and lunch boxes packed. Get the DCs up at 7 - we have 1 hr 25 minuites before we leave the house but still find ourselves rushing. DS is just so obstinate! Today I left him upstairs in his PJs gave him a shout when breakfast was ready and he did ok. Again - I need to relax. I just don't like not having any contingency time! I was fully prepared in my mind to go up with a carrier bag and take him to school in his PJs too!

I have been giving it some thought since reading this fab thread and I think he knows the family rule is that we speak politely to others, so if he breaks that when we are out we go straight home/leave the shop with no treats etc. I dare say I will only need to follow through on that once or twice and he'll get the message. If he is speaking like that to his sister I will take him to another room.

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 04-Feb-13 21:17:20

MaisyMoo - here's hoping we're both through this potty mouth stage soon. I'm quite sure our dc will be fabulous teenagers as once we have gone through this they will have it all out of their systems and are bound to be perfect from then on grin

MaisyMoo123 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:28:21

Oooh Treadon - I'm loving the thought of a perfect teenage phase! We can but dream hey!!

I got very cross with ds when he decided he was wide awake and "not tired anymore" at 4.45 this morning hmm. He had woken dd up asking her to read to him and then started screaming when i put him back to bed. I managed to keep my cool for a bit but ended up "whisper shouting" (have you done that?) at him when he just refused to settle. Mention of not getting pasta for his jar did the trick in the end - magic! I went back to bed feeling like I'd not dealt with it as well as I might've and didn't manage to get back to sleep.

TreadOnTheCracks Wed 06-Feb-13 06:44:03

Sounds like you've learnt from it though Maisy?

Hope you've had a good nights sleep today.

TreadOnTheCracks Wed 06-Feb-13 18:50:33

Not done too well today. Found it hard to ignore DS yelling potty mouth insults at his sister in the back of the car as I was driving. Ho hum.

chestnutblue Thu 07-Feb-13 17:15:19

Hello all

I've been doing ok but struggled yesterday and today was shouting. Can 'see' myself ridiculous behaviour but can't seem to get out when I'm in it.

On the plus side, the pasta pot is proving to be a powerful tool. And I like the ahaparenting daily advice articles. They're just the right length to read in 2 mins.

I hope you're all doing well.

MaisyMoo123 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:13:52

Good to hear you're doing ok Chestnut. It's definitely an up and down journey we're on though! I'm sure we can all sympathise! I know exactly what you mean about knowing its wrong but not being able to get out of it when you're in the moment - its so hard when the rage descends. It's all about finding coping/distraction strategies I guess.

I agree that the pasta jar is a very useful tool. My 2 seem really motivated by it and we haven't even bottomed out what "treat" they will earn at the end of it!

Treadon - dealing with bad behaviour in the car is always tricky. I have got cross in that situation so many times!

Things have been ok here. No real shouting though did get quietly cross with dd this morning. It blew over very quickly though unlike my usual episodes which make us all miserable and a hundred times worse!

chestnutblue Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:37

This one came in today from the parenting site. It's short and really worth a read.

It's called 10 Tips to Stop Yelling...

chestnutblue Thu 07-Feb-13 19:30:20
TreadOnTheCracks Thu 07-Feb-13 21:16:26

I like this too (may have got it from a link upthread?)

kittycatyot Thu 07-Feb-13 21:42:26

Could you get them to help lay their clothes out for the next day? I find they feel a sense of pride and get dressed easier and quicker. Also if they ready sooner they could have their favourite breakfast. My children make their own lunch the night before (with my supervision) cause my son ate more that way so i find getting them involved in the whole prep the night before helps. As for shouting i think EVERY MUM alive has felt guilty about shouting at her children or saying something they're not proud of!!!!

MaisyMoo123 Fri 08-Feb-13 12:20:24

Thanks for sharing those links Chestnut and Treadon - both really helpful and just what I needed today after a bit of a stressful morning and a slightly raised voice hmm

chestnutblue Fri 08-Feb-13 14:14:01

Yes thanks Tread, that's a good one. And thanks for the tips kitty.

I ended up putting the kids in the car - after over an hour in the park where my 4yo cried pretty much constantly - and sat on a bench where I could see them but couldn't hear her. It was just 2mins but I didn't lose it - and I was about to - and they were in silence when I returned.

I hope your day improves Maisy.

MaisyMoo123 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:12:55

Hello! How's everyone doing? Hope things are going ok and you're all managing to find ways to stop yourselves yelling.

Things are going ok here. There have been moments, don't get me wrong! But generally things have been loads better. I gave myself a very serious talking to and told myself to grow up, that my shouting and outbursts were destructive and so counter-productive and that I owe it to my Dcs to sort it out. It ended up being almost like a bit of a mantra that I repeat and weirdly it seems to be helping. It was like a real turning point. I'm also trying to be less uptight and to let the little, insignificant things go a bit more which means that I feel less like I'm constantly nagging and makes me less likely to blow. I keep reminding myself they're only young and that I should be kinder to them.

I'm approaching that time of the month now though so I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't all come crashing down. I'm definitely more inclined to be irrational and angry at this point. I'm going to have to dig very deep I think, but I am determined!

helsbels03 Tue 12-Feb-13 18:18:35

Any tips for when dh is a shouter too??? I am terrible, and seeing the consequences not only in dd1 who has turned into an absolute monster, but also dh. I am getting to the point when I shout at him to calm down for talking to her in exactly the same way I do- its creating a horrible atmosphere.

TreadOnTheCracks Tue 12-Feb-13 19:22:20

hels Did you take a look at these?

Does you DH agree the shouting needs to stop?

MaisyMoo123 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:24:01

Poor you Hels. That's a really tough one! I'm lucky in that Dh is definitely not a shouter and has made it very clear that he disapproves - and that's part of my motivation to sort myself out. I can see how with 2 of you shouting the habit is going to be harder to break as you probably egg each other on. Have you spoken openly about it and as Tread says, does he want to stop shouting too? I'm sure you can find a way through!

helsbels03 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:21:59

Have signed up for the daily emails- hopefully they will come through before we get up for school so will help with mornings- we are at the point where none of our dc3 listen until we shout, I admit the problem is ours but he finds it difficult, still thinks that they should do as he says instantly but truth is they have had at least 3 years of hearing us arguing which we have worked through now, but still, to model their behaviour on. Will def hold a family meeting tomorrow after parents evening should be a good time as all are perfect at school-

On a good note tho- I managed to stay calm at bedtime even tho dd2 was trying her best delaying tactics and woke ds up, also had some snuggle time with dd1.( as had been particularly shouty to her this morning). The link about every shout hardening her heart to me was all I could think of, kept me calm tho, and dd1 liked the fact I apologised.

helsbels03 Wed 13-Feb-13 07:33:44

I just had to post this miracle that happened just now- I said to dd2, when you're ready get dressed and come down for breakfast... And within 5 mins she was dressed and sat waiting!!!!!! This is usually a 30 min job as she has to change every item if clothing I have put out for something else (she has school uniform so not that much choice but is usually enough to send me twirling!) sorry I can't find who posted this suggestion but thankuou for the tip xx

flowerandrandd Wed 13-Feb-13 10:11:04

Read divas vs dictators. I hate these kind of books but I couldn't recommend it more, my dd2 is a nightmare, I'm having a particularly difficult time with her but honestly this books helps your sanity and amazingly works immediately, it is uk author o no cheesy hug it out crap either x

MaisyMoo123 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:00:02

That's brilliant Hels! I've tried that with my 2 but doesn't seem to have quite such a miraculous effect! Long may it continue to work for you though!!

Hope everyone else is doing ok and making some progress too?

Not so positive here over the past couple of days hmm. After doing so well and really feeling like I was getting somewhere the flipping hormones have kicked in and I feel like I've gone backwards. Its so disappointing. I'm nowhere near as bad as I was last month (so far anyway!) which is some consolation - I feel less irrational and completely brimming with rage - more snappy and short-tempered. Hopefully the various supplements I've been taking are doing some good and I won't sink as low as I did last month!

TreadOnTheCracks Thu 14-Feb-13 20:56:44

Maisy. It's so hard and I suppose it's going to take time to change our ways as well as our DCs reaction.

DD (7) was a nightmare at the shop after school. I was pretty calm, pleased with myself, then as we were driving home I realised I'd forgotten the milk and bread I really went for and exploded at the thought of having to stop at the local shop.

I have resolved to try and have a little talk with her /them before we going shopping next time to make sure she is clear on the behaviour I expect and see if that helps.

Ah well, another day tomorrow!

MaisyMoo123 Fri 15-Feb-13 18:14:54

Urghh! Shopping can be a real flashpoint can't it Tread! You have my sympathies - the number of times I've come out frazzled and angry without the one thing I went in for! I hope your chat works well and it's more successful next time!

Things are ok here. I'm still feeling hormonal and generally snappy but have been keeping it under control - just about! Ds (just 4) has been testing the boundaries a bit today but I've managed to stop myself exploding. I think I'll reward myself with a glass of wine later! wink

TreadOnTheCracks Fri 15-Feb-13 20:21:17

Enjoy that wine!

Tearaway Mon 11-Mar-13 10:09:11

Aspiemum - would you be able to share some ideas that you used to help DH? Mine loves his kids to bits and is really affectionate when they come for tickles and loves nothing more than to snuggle with them on the sofa but he is incredibly intolerant of childish behaviour and doesn't seem to remember what it is like to be a bouncy, irresponsible, self-centred child. He really shouts at the boys when they get on the wrong side of him - my 7yr old in particular. DS can be infuriating: whilst mostly obedient, he sometimes chooses to ignore requests or does the opposite of what he has been asked. He has a particular problem with doing things he has been told repeatedly not to do (i.e a game will start up with his younger brother, he'll run away and slam the door shut to keep his brother out - it's all in play but fingers could get lost and we have lost count of the times we have told him not to do it and why - he's always sorry but gets tearful (after being shouted at) and says he "forgets") . Where his behaviour is wrong, I accept that we need to deal with it but DH's response is to absolutely bellow with fury. He is never violent but the shouting scares me even. In the last two weeks I have had the following from DS:

"you must be disappointed that you chose the wrong boyfriend to be your husband because Dad does get quite angry".

He told me that, although I was "kind", I only scored 7.5 out of 10 because I chose an angry man as my husband.

This morning, after a conversation today about a teacher who had time off because his father died last week, he projected it onto himself and said "it would be quite sad because someone had died but it would be good because then you could marry someone who wasn't so angry".

Each time I have let it just drift and then changed the subject. I don't want to tell him his thoughts are wrong because I need him to be able to speak openly with me but this morning's comment really worried me.

Can anyone offer some thoughts? Even commentary on whether I should be approaching things differently and telling DS not to talk that way.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 11-Mar-13 10:25:08

Hiya similar problems here! I spoke to my dr how over the top and hard I was being on dc for minor things and he switched my birth control pill. Only the last month so can't for sure say it's working but it's not been a normal month either.

Hullygully Mon 11-Mar-13 10:26:15

tearaway that has made me so sad! He is telling you these things because he desperately needs you to intervene. Please acknowledge what he is saying and the truth of the shouting, it is really hard for a child to have their reality ignored.

Dh needs some behaviour management strategies. Seriously.

One of the best pieces of advice i ever got was when my first child was a baby and a friend said, you just have to always remind yourself who is the parent.

Parents are the adults and they musn't shout at kids, little people smaller than themselves, because the relationship is unequal. If you shout at them it is like bullying, and also means you are reacting to them like a child yourself, not like the parent.

I appreciate everyone knows and accepts shouting is wrong and horrid, but all the shouting makes me sad. Well doine to everyoine trying to change it and I agree it is all about anger and unresolved issues in the adult.

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