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help! adult temper tantrums/ repeatedly losing cool with 11yo

(11 Posts)
CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 10:57:05

i'd like some advice please smile
some background:
i am 41 yo. I am very emotional person by nature and have periodically struggled to keep my emotions in check when upset. I used to have quite big rages/ tantrums when DH and I got together 2O years ago. door slamming, hysterical sobbing, pummelling fists (against my self/ the bed). however, I was 18-20 years old and then I seemed to calm down with age and realise that my behaviour was unacceptable.

fast forward a few years, aged 30 ish I had 2 lovely dds. I suffered with post natal anxiety a bit and had plenty of days in the early days where I would sob and wail at dh that I just couldn't cope. but I never lost my patience with the dds, I honestly was calm, loving and patient with them. I somehow managed to 'be the adult' when they were babies/ younger children.

now they are 9 and 11.5 and my elder dd seems to be triggering me massively into losing my patience/ cool. sometimes even having 'rages' that might be called an adult tantrum.
I never hit or through stuff, swear, or say mean things but I do sob, rant, rant, rant, shout, shriek in a 'woe is me, I cant cope with you anymore way'. I hate this and am deeply ashamed of it.

on the surface, its usually about not doing what she's asked at bedtimes/ other 'getting ready' times. she just seems to be pulling in the opposite direction, ignores requests to get ready/ hurry up/ tidy her room. I work hard, need to be on time for work, get tired in the evenings and do a huge amount to support her emotionally (she's quite complex too!) I seem to have got into the rut of feeling offended/ let down when she doesn't co-operate with me. I then get cross. and overreact due to stress and tiredness.

I can go months without an episode like this, but dd1's adolescent stroppy behaviour triggers a red mist, and its happened probably 4 times in the last fortnight. it has to stop. any advice please ? its almost like i'm trapped in a cycle and feel a bit out of control.

ps I think my dd1 and I are both a bit addicted to the drama in some way: her in that on some level (negative attention?) she is doing it provoke me, and me because I feel out of control. help!

CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 11:03:27

actually I think I can say the odd unkind thing, and low level swear words, but the dialogue is not the main issue.

I would suggest an anti depressant, maybe citalopram. Depression in women can present as uncontrolled anger- get help, it's a chemical thing, and you will be lovely calm mum again. Don't ignore it, and try not to feel shame that you can't control it, but you must get help before it affects your dc.

sneezecakesmum Sat 20-Jul-13 11:13:11

Have you asked your gp to refer you for anger management. If you are not clinically depressed I can't see anti depressants working.

You know this is not acceptable or right so you have a good chance of responding to therapy. I would get help immediately. My H has the same issues and my daughter told me recently she was glad to leave home as it was like walking on eggshells all the time. You don't want your DDs to feel the same I am sure, these rages are far more destructive than you may realise.

CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 11:13:29

talking, its really kind of you to post, but I don't do drugs and I honestly don't think medicating this prob is the answer. im also fairly sure im not depressed. i think stress is more likely. this seems to be triggering some innate emotional patterns that seem to be part of me, that emerge when stressed, tired, or feel let down or upset by someone

CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 11:17:54

sneeze, to put this in perspective, I might have an episode like this maybe once every 3 months normally. do you think that could have a long term destructive effect, when I coped well when they were little?
obv I want to stop this behaviour, but its not been regular enough until now for me to feel out of control. I don't want to minimise this but just to stress that its not historically frequent.

CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 11:22:51

ok, just re read my OP and it does seem from it that this is all about crazy me (and I have just posted in mental health!) BUT... can I just also say that dd is triggering Dh massively atm and she is objectively being very tricky. he is usually patient. its more a case of her adolescent behaviours triggering something in me emotionally that I cannot cope with. so... this is prob a relationships issue as much as an emotional health one. thb, I did start posting this in parenting, then changed my mind.... could net decide between, relationships, parenting or mental health. I guess its a bit of each, but am not depressed.

sneezecakesmum Sat 20-Jul-13 13:35:56

Cool. My H had these episodes every 6-8 months initially. The periods between became shorter 4-5 months. And yes I felt they were very destructive, so did my children. It has irreparably damaged my marriage and my childrens relationship with their father is very much on the 'careful what you say to dad' level. Some of my Hs issues were stress related but still not acceptable and not all. I think it was also learned behaviour from his father. In my experience allowing himself to behave like this just normalised abnormal behaviour and made it, to him, quite acceptable.

All teenagers and even pre teens behave in this awful way it's part of growing up. What it shouldn't do is provoke equally awful behaviours from their parents. The parents are the grown ups and should always try to remain in control however provoking the child is....not always easy I know!

I would definitely look at stress or anger management control. It is anger and attending doesn't mean you beat up people grin. It's about learning coping mechanisms and understanding your own behaviours. You and your DH need to work out strategies together and have a united approach. The motto of teenagers is 'divide and rule' !

It is a problem of where is the best place to post. Certainly in parenting too to get ideas from others going through this with children.

CoolBox Sat 20-Jul-13 14:52:30

sneeze, I totally, totally agree that I need to look at stress/ anger control issues. I am hearing what you say about your dh but I hope im not subjecting my dc to that feeling of treading on egg shells. I know its not good- hence this thread, but I am not unpredictable. I don't fly off the handle for no apparent reason. its always because of a stressful overwhelm, as a result of them not getting ready in time/ helping with chores/ me feeling ignored. at least im predictable sad

I'm really, really sorry about your dh but don't think im in that league tbh x

by the way, dd1 and I had a good chat since I started the OP. she was having a meltdown after lunch about some behaviour earlier at dance class and dh and I needed to deal with one or two issues. she was in such a rage. I let her let off steam, then just held her. I didn't get cross or mirror her rage in any way. feel much better for dealing with her better today.

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 15:08:23

Could it be hormones? I know it's an obvious and easy answer...

sneezecakesmum Sat 20-Jul-13 17:23:05

I think hormonal problems would have been there all the time and following a cycle, but anything is worth checking. I think because you handled the situation well today is very positive. Just realising you have a problem is 50% of tackling it. Also if you have tantrums you can't expect your daughter to behave differently, she is learning that its ok to shout and carry on. Funnily enough just acknowledging your issue with your daughter will help both of you manage anger and stress better.

I'm really glad just talking about this has made you think of different approaches to stress. There are books to help with stress management and techniques like walking away to another area, deep breathing etc.

As for my H he is just a twat who has lost more than he'll ever know grin

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