I'm really shit at this parenting

(64 Posts)
moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 20:33:08

I'm so fed up with being shouted at by my two older dcs but most days I deal with it. I try hard not to be a shouty mum.

Dc1 is 10 and is aggressive and can be quite nasty to her siblings. She can also kick off and have the most amazing tantrums if she doesn't get her own way, including throwing things down the stairs at me, shouting at me etc This evening it all kicked off. She squirted perfume in her younger sisters mouth and face. I went up to tell her off and she literally screamed in my face. I'm really ashamed to say I completely lost it and hit her on the arm. Not hard but I shouldn't have done it sad She then proceeded to hit me back and tried to throw a wooden laundry basket lid at me. I got her on the bed and said something really horrible to her. I'm too ashamed to say what, but I have apologised to her and said I said it in the heat of the moment, I love her so much. God, this sounds like something an abuser would say - all remorse after the event iyswim sad

I have tried so hard to be calm when she has her tantrums and I've fucked it all up. I was so angry. I'm sure she's going to grow up with issues and it's my fault.

Don't really know why I'm posting on here, just feeling really sad about the way I reacted and no one here to talk to.

She's sleeping in my bed tonight because I feel so guilty.

Oh dear. This sounds grim - I think you need more of a strategy than simply "to keep calm" - you need something positive that you are going to do, not just a plan that you're not going to lose your temper.

I don't have children this age, I really want someone to come along with some tips. Maybe you could search some of the threads about parenting books - some books seem to be recommended quite often.

Mypopcornface Mon 08-Oct-12 21:01:05

Parenting course? Maybe one to one time with her and a real chat so she can tell you what is bothering her? I remember as a child my uncle asking me why I was so angry?....I didn't know the answer and I even thought I was angriernhan anybody else but I probably was since he was asking....maybe she needs help to Nederland her feelings and dealing with her problems .

Mypopcornface Mon 08-Oct-12 21:01:44

Parenting course? Maybe one to one time with her and a real chat so she can tell you what is bothering her? I remember as a child my uncle asking me why I was so angry?....I didn't know the answer and I even thought I was angriernhan anybody else but I probably was since he was asking....maybe she needs help to understand her feelings and dealing with her problems .

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:03:52

Thanks for replying.

I know all the strategies - that's what I mean when I say I keep calm. I've had a look at some of the parenting threads tonight and I know how do deal with tantrums. Usually. And believe me, my eldest has been having them since she was a tot. I fucked up tonight though and wish I could turn the clock back.

I guess my post above makes it seem like it's like this all the time. It's not. But I'm sometimes pushed to my limit. I guess tonight I had my youngest crying, the middle one being all shouty because he didn't want to share his sweets and the eldest screaming in my face.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:06:25

popcorn that's a really good idea about the one to one time to ask her why she's so angry. Or just some one to one time. Thankyou.

How do people keep it together all the time?

Mypopcornface Mon 08-Oct-12 21:21:46

Don't ask why she is angry, ask if there is anything bothering her, if she want s to tell you something, if she wants to change certain things in her life, if she has any suggestions in how to be a better family. I was pretty shocked when my uncle used the word angry and I felt there was something wrong with me and I also felt criticised. Maybe because he wasn't really looking for an answer or to help....anyway it didn't make me feel empowered or good about myself, just pushed me even more down.

Yes, OP, I did think you were saying it was like that a lot of the time, sorry.

I don't think people do keep it together all the time do they?

I'm not a lot of help - I'm blatently bumping, really. Your post just sounded so raw. I do know that on one-to-one LoveBombing is all the rage.

Hassled Mon 08-Oct-12 21:31:18

If you were really really shit at this parenting malarkey then you wouldn't care enough to post here, but you have. You'll be OK. And tbh sometimes it does a child no harm to know a) that their parents have a tipping point and b) where that tipping point is. Your DD is testing the boundaries - and you've shown her where they are. I'm not saying you were right to shout etc - you weren't. But don't spend to much time dwelling on it - it's done, she knows you love her, and you need to find a way to move past this.

I agree absolutely with the one-to-one time. It was the only thing that kept me sane and kept any communication going when my DD was a nightmare - we'd have those chunks of time where we had a laugh and were close, and they helped me keep it together when what I wanted to do was scream and shout. We'd go to the cinema or something and even if we weren't actually talking, there was a shared experience that was just ours.

And never be afraid to walk away. Never feel you have to deal with this issue, this tantrum, right now. As long as there's no immediate danger to the child or siblings, walk away. Go and make a cup of tea, play some mindless game on your phone, count to ten a bit. Learning not to rush into a reaction is hard, but really helps.

MaryZed Mon 08-Oct-12 21:34:20

If you have a difficult child, you do end up feeling like a shit parent, but that may not necessarily be true - you could be a fan-bloody-tastic parent with a very difficult child [optimistic].

I have a couple of suggestions. Firstly what Mypopcorn said about one-on-one time, but do make it fun not an opportunity to question or lecture her.

Secondly, try to keep a diary of what she does, how she is, what makes her angry etc. You may find that you can work with her triggers (worry, hunger, tiredness, friendship issues, school etc) and head off some of her anger to make life easier for her. Also make a list of the really difficult behaviour, and try to work on one thing at a time.

Thirdly, introduce a "no violence" rule for everyone - no violence, hitting, pushing, shouting abuse, insulting, everything. React instantly to any occurrence of this, with an instant sending to her room. And don't worry or comment if she trashes it, she will get used to it soon if you do it Every Single Time. By the way, my kids now have a punch bag which has been great - they thump the punch bag rather than each other grin.

Finally, don't take it all so personally. Step back and look at her a little more dispassionately rather than feeling angry, guilty, upset, hurt etc.

I would second the idea of a parenting course. I went on one when mine were 10, 8 and 6 and it really helped. We used to be given different techniques to practice, or challenges, and then came back the next week and discussed them in a group, to see what worked and what didn't. I found it great (and it got me away from them one night a week).

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:36:26

popcorn I think just having 1-1 time would be good. Sounds obvious but what with work, childrens out of school activities, family stuff it tends to get forgotten.

Surgeons I felt better once I posted. I guess I need to draw a line under it and move on. I don't think I'm a horrible mummy, I'm just stressed and busy and have 3 dc's. But when I look around everyone seems so perfect and I think, 'i bet they haven't lashed out at their dcs'

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:45:15

Thanks hassled and maryzed

I usually walk away, not sure what happened on this occasion. Sometimes you just get swept away with it all. Great idea about the 'no violence' rule. I think my problem is I'm not consistent but going straight to their room is easy enough.

I find it really hard to take a step back. I always end up feeling guilty if I make a mistake.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:48:18

I wish I knew why she is so difficult. My other two are just normal kids, a pain in the arse at times but loving. It's hard to even get a cuddle out of my eldest.

winnybella Mon 08-Oct-12 21:49:26

Yes, one on one, but also some discipline. She sounds like a spoiled brat, tbh, and even if she is going through some difficult time/puberty there is no excuse for her to torment her siblings, have mega tantrums, throw things at you or hit you shock
My 10yo DS can be challenging at times, argumentative, likes to have the last word, also has some mood swings etc but there is no way in hell would he ever throw something at me or his sister.
How do you usually react when she does things like that? Punishment? Talking it over?

PrincessSymbian Mon 08-Oct-12 21:53:30

You apologised, which is really important. Also I bet that this is not a regular occurrence and I also bet that your behaviour today, while it may have shocked your daughter, is not going to lead her to walking on eggshells around you.
You are a human and as a human there is no way that you could ever get it right one hundred percent of the time!

colditz Mon 08-Oct-12 21:54:47

DOn't feel guilty and don't give her special treats for being naughty. I'm not surprised you lost it - I don't condone it, but I'm not at all shocked. I am surprised that after all that, you're giving her special attention, because next time she wants special attention, she knows how to get it.

Next time she screams at you give her a ban on something she really likes. Money, computer time, going out, mobile phone etc. Take it off her then disengage completely.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 21:54:57

winnybella no offence but you don't know my dd and she isn't spoilt. Far from it. Believe me, I discipline. Of course she is punished if she hits/throws.

My other 2 are like your dd. Unfortunately, my eldest is difficult and I worry about her the most. There are times when I've thought she is on the spectrum or has ADHD or something. On the plus side she is extremely bright, sensible and a delight when I have been out 1-1 with her.

MaryZed Mon 08-Oct-12 21:57:02

That's the problem with having three kids, one is bound to be a difficult one. The only people I know without one difficult child are those who only have one or two kids grin

She is quite possibly attention seeking, having learned at a young age that having tantrums or teasing the other two is the quickest way to get you to turn around. This type of learned behaviour is hard to unlearn, iykwim.

With oldest children it is easy to get into the habit of ignoring them when they are good (because you are tending to the younger ones) and only reacting when they do something bad, and it become a vicious circle. More attention when she is being nice, instant separation from everyone when she is nasty, staying less emotionally involved with her tantrums and doing things with her when she is nice will help.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 22:00:27

I hope not princess and thanks colditz I guess she's in my bed because I felt guilty about hitting her. I feel guilty because she is always the one being punished (no computer) because her behaviour is so much worse than the others.

I spoke to all of the children tonight and said if there was any more shouting there would be xx sanction. As maryzed said I'm going to do this with hitting etc. And be consistent.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 22:04:47

I praised her this weekend - she had a sleepover and was so good. Didn't make much difference tonight though hmm

And yes the teasing drives me nuts! I think shortly before i lost it I had a load of 'dc1. . .stop it' from my younger ones.

MaryZed Mon 08-Oct-12 22:11:35

I used to have separate chairs for tv watching for my three at those ages. And a ban on touching.

They could be so horrible to each other.

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 22:14:54

grin I have a corner sofa, with one child on each end and one in the corner.

Aw, thankyou for all your advice. I feel much better although a couple of glasses of wine helped

colditz Mon 08-Oct-12 22:16:12

Mine have a ban on body contact, are made to sit at opposite ends of the sofa, and are made to take it in turns on the ps3 because a multiplayer game usually turns into a fight.

It's nice for people who don't have children who scream, or throw, or aim kicks at siblings, but it's also not the overwhelming majority. A LOT of people have primary aged children whose main aim of the day seems to be to make each other cry sad

moogalicious Mon 08-Oct-12 22:22:31

I remember me and my sibling being the same.

Well, tomorrow we have an after school activity for the youngest. Cue half an hour of dc1 moaning that she's bored (despite me suggesting she takes ds/book/homework) and telling my youngest how crap she is at said activity. As ever, I will give her 'the talk' before we go. As ever, she will ignore it and end up being punished.

MaryZed Mon 08-Oct-12 22:32:53

Don't give her the talk.

Take a pen and a piece of paper, and try to get her to list off all the things she wants to do in the next year. Or make a list of all the things she is good at. Or talk to her about things that she will be able to do soon: subjects and sports at secondary, wearing make-up. Tell her how much you are looking forward to doing said things with her.

Take a pack of cards and teach her a new game. Or find out if she wants to learn to knit/cook/whatever. Use your phone to check destinations/activities. Make a shit list of things she hates in school, and sympathise.

There is a lot you can do in half an hour.

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