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.

moogalicious Sat 27-Oct-12 12:04:00

Thanks again everyone. I'll have a look at that book today midseason

Marmite glad to hear your sibling is ok but sad you don't have a relationship with him. Mind you, that may have happened anyway - I'm not that close to my sibling.

Escape I'm gonna try the word. I guess we need to wait for another blow up before we can test things sad

Basking thanks it's good to know I'm not the only one. I'll carry on posting, so watch this space, although it might not be for a week or so. Saying that, it's half term this week so it could be sooner!

Misty thankyou so much. I've read through it but will keep coming back to that post <parent brain> She didn't seem that keen to talk yesterday so I need to pick the right time for a chat. The book midseason suggested might be a starting point.

DH back from footie so will post later smile

Misty9 Fri 26-Oct-12 20:57:19

Book not boom.... :sigh:

Misty9 Fri 26-Oct-12 20:55:27

Hi again - sorry, have had pretty hellish day (I am sadly not very practiced at keeping my temper...).

In reply to your question, it seems you've already established she doesnt recognise the early warning signs of getting angry so one thing you could try (and explain to her what you're going to do first!) is to sit down and get her to remember a recent time she felt angry/unjustly treated/peed off with siblings - then as she remembers and describes as much as she can she will more than likely get angry. So together get her to label those physical feelings (write them down on a body outline is good) and even better, see if she can order them from calm to angry - I find a thermometer picture is useful and fun for this.

If this works, the next step is for her to figure out which signs are "too late" and she's gonna blow, and which ones are early enough she can do something about it. For the latter, see if she can come up with techniques to address them - you can coach a bit eg maybe suggest taking herself off to her room. For the "too late" ones try talking about what is reasonable for both of you to do in those situations - and unreasonable. In my experience, there is nothing more aggravating to someone who is getting angry than to hear "calm down"! But, if they say it to themselves, it can make a world of difference.

You could try taking her to choose a really relaxing scene on a postcard (or colours/abstract, whatever calms her) and have her carry it around. Also a calming basket of items in her room, for use when she needs it, can be a nice thing to create together (a boom about being calm, a special piece of material/cuddly, a stress ball, a snow globe - whatever you come up with).

Finally, sounds corny but maybe coming up with some family guidelines to address any unfairness she may perceive? I don't know your family, so that's just a suggestion smile

HTH and sounds like you do an amazing job and she's lucky to have you as a mummy. Oh, and I def agree about keeping the 1-1 times, they are very important smile and punishment should fit misdemeanour IMO anyway (I like the idea of repair rather than 'sorry' as this fits into this perspective).

My heads a bit fried tonight so I hope that all made sense! smile

baskingseals Fri 26-Oct-12 20:16:47

moog i also have a 10yo dd. she has shown me parts of myself that i didn't know i had - and not in a good way grin

just wanted to say that i have said and done awful awful things. i don't want you to think that everybody else is just swinging along smelling the roses and it's you and only you who can't do it.

i do most of what has been suggested on this thread. i try to remember that the most important thing is that i love the very bones of her, and she knows that.

if you would like to pm about anything please do. dd has two younger victims brothers, so i think there are probably a few similiarities grin

take care

midseasonsale Fri 26-Oct-12 20:15:19

Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out: The Anger Management Book [Paperback] by
Jerry Wilde (Author)

This book is for your DD to read by the way - although I think the adults gained something from it too. Great ratings if you read the Amazon reviews. It's helped many of the kids.

midseasonsale Fri 26-Oct-12 20:12:09

Do update - I do think things are going to get better.

Marmiteisyummy Fri 26-Oct-12 19:56:17

Sorry for dreadful typos.....

Marmiteisyummy Fri 26-Oct-12 19:55:40

Hi moogalicious, sorry to Not reply last night. As late answer to your question by elder sibling eventually got a reasonable handle on his temper, has a good job, married and kids. But neither me nor my other brother have much of any relationship with him.
The other thing I wondered about was yoga. Something you could do together and really teaches control and gives thinking time. Just a thought. Sounds le you're feeling more positive which is great.

EscapeInTheCity Fri 26-Oct-12 18:41:22

Yes a word could be good. Perhaps you need to involve her in choose the way (word, sign, hand gesture...) so she feels comfortable and in control.

I think it would better than distraction because with the latest she has no way to start to learn to recognize the signs of her getting angry. That means she has no way to recognize the signs when she is on her own.

But quieter times means she doesn't get told off as much which will help with her behaviour anyway as I suspect some (a lot) of it comes from badly handled frustration.

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 18:14:44

I was just thinking that escape although I was thinking maybe a funny word, something random like 'banana' to diffuse the situation and then I could get her to chill out.

Behaviour still good today, although earlier she started getting stressy with one of the others but I managed to distract her. Hooray!

EscapeInTheCity Fri 26-Oct-12 15:53:57

What about a visual signal that you can both agree on (let's say an orange light and a red light) to point out when she is starting to get angry and then when she is angry (but perhaps not yet in full blow anger).
There would be no words which makes it easier (problems with tome of voice, words etc...that can be misinterpreted).

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 15:14:20

Thanks. Think we're a long way off from dd recognising that she's starting to get angry! I will carry on using 1-1 time, not nagging her about her behaviour (eg make sure you behave at x's house) and try some of the new techniques/books.

I think we're making progress albeit in small amounts. Her behaviour day-to-day is good now and it's only been a few weeks since my OP.

Thanks everyone for your advice - I'm really hoping I don't have to post on this thread again grin

Taffraid Fri 26-Oct-12 13:37:48

Visualisation is just "close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere really calm....." it could be in bed, in the bath, on a quiet sandy beach ( although most DC don't have experience of quiet beaches eh grin )

DS goes in the playroom or his bedroom, or in the garden if the weather is OK.

Recognising the triggers is a big step, when you see it coming, you can help her head it off with some of the techniques.

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 12:18:02

ok, just had a chat with her and she doesn't recognise when she's getting angry. She's knows afterwards that she's been angry but not before. I think it comes over her so quickly she just can't control it. However, I can see it a mile off now.

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 11:59:50

What do you mean by visualisation? Where does your ds go to calm down

Yes, guessing tiredness isn't helping (end of term) but also when things don't go her way generally.

Taffraid Fri 26-Oct-12 11:42:46

My DS has lots of anger. When he is hungry and tired mainly, but the key thing that pushes his anger button is when he feels things are unjust or he's been wronged/the goalposts shifted.

We practice adult anger management techniques ( he's 9 next week ) eg counting to 10, visualisation, deep breathing. Most of all for him its about distancing himself from the situation that is upsetting him temporarily, and giving him time to calm down.

He is a hotbed of emotions and he has to learn how to cope with them, which is where we come in as parents. Alongside discipline and rules of course about violence not being tolerated.

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 11:25:51

btw that hmm wasn't directed at you midseason but at my assertion that I'm calm!

moogalicious Fri 26-Oct-12 11:23:34

Thanks for all your advice. I will have a look at the books smile

I think what I'm after is some anger management advice (for both of us!) and for her to recognise the signs. Over the last couple of weeks I have learnt to recognise when she is about to kick off and I need to find a consistent way of managing that.

Re anger management for me, I know it doesn't seem it from my first post but I am usually calm hmm it takes ALOT for me to lose it. To my credit, since that awful first post I have not lost my temper and I hope you understand that to have a 10 yo kick me, scream at me and threaten to throw a chair at me means I was pushed to the limit!

Kate I have to carry on with the 1-1 time. I know that sleeping in my bed was wrong, but an hour of my time here and there is not something I can take from her. I have had issues with her behaviour from a young age and I think it stems from jealousy so it's important we have bonding time. She has been punished for her behaviour - the ds/computer is important to her so it does have an effect. I intend to talk to her today - she is off school (inset) so it's the perfect time!

Misty is there anything we can do when the warning signs start. Sending her to her room to calm down is obviously not working! Guessing she feels she is being punished?

I feel better knowing it's an anger management thing rather than a consistent bad behaviour thing, if that makes sense. We've had a lovely morning together, just hanging out going to the shops, I'm working now (well, supposed to be) and she's watching TV.

KateShmate Thu 25-Oct-12 22:32:47

Hi OP, I don't have a 10YO but hope I can give some advice anyway smile

Please don't take this the wrong way OP, by the sounds of her behaviour you are doing a bloody good job! But, it just sounds like every time she has a tantrum and is abusive to the rest of the family, and then you've rightly punished her, you then feel guilty and reward her with sleeping in your bed/ doing fun things together / go to a craft fair etc etc.
I know that you need to get the balance right between having some good 1-1 time with her, but you also need to make her realise that you simply cannot do these nice things when her behaviour has been so bad.

I know it is going against a lot of other posts, but personally I think you need to sit down with her and have a serious word about how unacceptable this kind of behaviour is at 10 years old. You need to make it clear that you will not tolerate this from now on.
I think you said that you don't think she realises how bad her behaviour is when she goes into a tantrum like this - I've heard people before recording their DC's tantrum on a video to shock them into realising how awful it is. Would you try something like that?

I was going to suggest something like a reward chart, but I also think that it runs the risk of giving her attention for her behaviour when your other DC's behave but don't get anything, IYSWIM? But on the other hand, you know your DC's best and so might think it would be a good idea to try.

Second-ing what another poster said - I think anger management would be a good thing for her. She needs to be able to control this temper before the tantrum has even started. Maybe some professional advice will teach her how to breathe to calm herself down, and other similar techniques?

HTH OP, well done for persevering smile

Misty9 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:27:25

Sorry this is brief, but check out the Incredible Years book - cant remember the age range off the top of my head but is basis for a parenting programme and also a good read. Definitely talk to someone or seek support - tier one or two CAMHS should have links with school (depending on area) so maybe start there?
Paul stallard has done some Internet based stuff for kids on anger/stress, not sure how you get hold of it but could try googling?

Some basic stuff you could try discussing with her (when not angry!) is whether she recognises the early warning signs of her anger (focus on bodily things like feeling hot, clenched fists, breathless etc) and maybe develop a traffic light system for her to use? Requires her cooperation...but I'm guessing if her lack of anger control is scary for you then it is for her too.

Will dig through my stuff tomorrow (psychologist when baby brain hasn't melted it all...) and see if I can think of any other ideas.
Hope some of that helps smile

EscapeInTheCity Thu 25-Oct-12 22:09:32

The blame thing: my dcs have been known to know that just because it is easier to be able to find someone/something to blame than to accept that it was accident or they might have broken it. I am guessing it was probably an activity she was enjoying and she quite liked the necklace?

TBH, I don't think she can see/realize the extend of what she is doing Remembers comments from her own parents that didn't make any sense until I became a mother myself. It doesn't mean it's acceptable but I would be inclined to take that approach rather than saying she is doing it on purpose knowing how bad it is iyswim.

What abut contacting your GP/CAMHS and ask for support? There is some support available for children re anxiety and stress management.
Otherwise, I would go along the lines of what has already been said, 'Love bombing', 1-1 time etc... (Have you read How to talk, also exists in the teen version)

midseasonsale Thu 25-Oct-12 22:08:39

from amazon

midseasonsale Thu 25-Oct-12 22:05:23

Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out: The Anger Management Book [Paperback] by
Jerry Wilde (Author)

midseasonsale Thu 25-Oct-12 22:03:59

Have you looked at some kind of anger management - for her and you!

moogalicious Thu 25-Oct-12 21:50:16

Anyone? Could really do with some advice sad

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