I called my son a 'little shit' today(57 Posts)
And I feel so very ashamed.
As the words came out of my mouth I was completely horrified but seemingly powerless to stop.
He is 7 and didn't even do anything that bad - he got into the front passenger seat of the car through the driver's door and planted muddy footprints all over the seat, which I then sat on.
I apologied immediately and said I shouldn't have said that, but he turned away from me and I could see he was working hard not to cry. I feel like I am wrecking his confidence and totally fucking my kids up. I called DS2 an 'idiot' the other day for saying something completely idiotic.
I feel like I am parenting so very badly - normally I'm pretty relaxed but sometimes I completely over-react. With today's situation I could have just wiped the seats like a normal person and said 'goodness me what a mess' but if I'm honest, I don't believe that would 'deal' with the situation sufficiently to stop him doing it again. (they know they are not supposed to crawl all over the car like it's a toy, and yet they do it).
What do you do when you are maddened by something your kids have done - how do you express your discontent in an adult way? How do I repair the damage I've done? My mum was very controlling and I see that I'm turning into her which is the absolute last thing I want to do.
Parenting tips please!! (I have just bought Toxic Parents and What to do when your children push your buttons).
Whilst I disagree with what you said, I think most people would get annoyed at this. Do has a door by his seat but insists on climbing all over the seat. An adult way maybe to issue a consequence. Next rime hand him a cloth
As usual said. Seriously we've all done it.
It's the guilt we feel
Each day is a new day.
We've all done it
I've just learned to swear under my breath instead of out loud now
I can't believe your son is 7 and it's the first time you've said it! Seriously though, we've all been there. You apologised, just say it in your head next time.
I'm just terrified that I'm breaking down their confidence by over reacting to 'minor' issues in the same way my mum did. I did everything I could to please her, and as a consequence was very well behaved.
So when one of my kids does something I wouldn't have done at that age, I don't seem to handle it very well, taking it as a personal hit on my ability to bring up decent, kind, thoughtful children.
I expect my kids to behave well too - so when they don't (being thoughtless, unkind, mean, impolite, bad table manners etc) I get cross and pull them up on it - but too frequently it's in a nasty way.
How do we bring up lovely kind children without losing our shit, and without reflecting the bad parenting we might have received ourselves?
I could have just wiped the seats like a normal person and said 'goodness me what a mess'
That only happens in TV ads......doesn't it?
I can't offer you much advice, as I am a serial over-reactor myself, and often think afterwards why didn't I just............?
My family life was fairly dysfunctional (not abuse, but warring/beseiged parents) and I think after years of unexpressed rage as a child, I finally discovered the power of words and used them as a weapon when I got angry, just to get my own back. Unfortunately I have found it difficult to kick the habit.
I actually try to practice 'reasonable' things to say when I get cross. I'll think of a situation which I know would rile me, and imagine myself saying them, instead of the usual put-downs I often come up with. I'm hoping it might gradually become the default!
Despite trying very hard not too I overreact quite a lot.
I remember one time I felt so bad about snapping at DS1 that it ruined the whole day. When I apologised again to him at bedtime, he casually said he'd forgotten all about it.
We get it back when they cheek us, DS1 is now entering the early teens and karma is definitely coming back to bite me.
I hope I'm a bit more relaxed now, but I think everyone has the odd slip up.
ive called my kids worse than that. Im not proud of it, but parenting is really hard and relentless sometimes
We all do it. For me, it's usually when I'm tired and/or stressed about other things and DC do something that pushes me over the edge. Try not to beat yourself up about it.
I think trying to practice natural consequences is a good way forward, and I'm trying to do that more. So in your example, if DS makes the seats muddy, you make him go and fetch a cloth and clean it - if he's late for school or whatever because of that then he suffers the consequences (this doesn't work so well, admittedly, if it doesn't matter to him that you're late).
All been there. One thing I do try to work on is calling out the behaviour rather than the child. So "that was a really stupid/selfish/thoughtless/irritating thing to do," rather than "you're so stupid/selfish/thoughtless/irritating."
It's not a huge change for me, but it hopefully helps the child recognise it's the action I'm annoyed with, rather than them.
p.s. the fact that you are beating yourself up over it, and are posting here, proves you're not a terrible parent by the way! You're so aware of your issues with your mother that it's highly unlikely you'll fuck your kids up in the same way
Pretty sure he's going to be called a lot worse than a 'little shit' during his lifetime. Don't beat yourself up about it, I'm sure it's not going to cause him any long lasting damage
Only topsy and tims mum would have said "goodness what a mess". And I swear she's heavily medicated / drunk.
Agree with natty that ideally we should call out behaviour. Although sometimes they are old enough to know better so it is infuriating. A toddler clambering over seats isn't half as annoying as a school age child doing it.
I think how you say it and not what you've said is more important. I've called my boys "little shits/sods/buggers/ ratbags/horrors" on numerous occasions usually (but not always) in a jovial laughing at their antics type of way.
I bet every single 1 of us has said something we regret or said it something in a way we regret on more than one occasion parenting Is God damn hard and stressful.
Don't beat yourself up as PP said I doubt he will long term traumatised. If you are feeling guilty though then apologize to him and speak about the events leading up to the event- both of you were in the wrong at some point
Actually OP I think you were out of line and I'm not sure why people are saying it's ok as it is one off. It sounds like it isn't....?
My mother was like you - slowly degraded my confidence. I remember her telling me that I couldn't even piss straight then laying into me about silly stuff.
I've been harsh on my dcs and can see it is because of how my mother was with me. I say things then feel awful afterwards. I read somewhere that saying sorry isn't enough to undo the harsh words because they run deeper.
I'm being deliberately harsh OP because a) I have a 7 year old and know how easy it is to crush their confidence. It's quite an anxious age in some ways.
Are you ok in yourself? Are your stress levels ok?
I've begun listening to a book called calm parents happy kids and it really has opened my eyes and changed my parenting. I've been too harsh on my dcs and have seen how it has affected by oldest especially. It's a long slog but you can change it.
I will add - I think you were out of line because you called him a little shit. And it clearly got to him as he held back the tears.
Imagine if someone did that to you?
I saw that you asked for tips - for me it is about recognising when situations are stressful in advance so I prime myself for not over reacting. For me bedtime is a massive flashpoint as is the school run. That's when I'd slip up and say horrid things.
So i try and have tactics for dealing with the situations. E.g. At bedtime I used simple language and be clear what's next. On the school run I'd be prepared earlier and not yet and get the kids out with 15 mins to spare. That sort of thing.
I also started looking after myself - exercise and decent sleep etc.
It's a good lesson for kids to find out their parents are human! I'm sure there's no harm done x
I think the important thing is you know it was an awful thing to say and seeing how upset he was and knowing how dreadful you feel might help you reign your temper in next time.
I don't know what the answer is because we all lose our rags in different ways. I have certainly shouted so loud it's hurt my throat!
You are only human Mythree, don't be so hard on yourself. Treat it as an opportunity to show your children how to apologise.
People have feelings and one of those is anger, children need to be able to deal with that. The world is not all "my goodness what a mess".
OTOH, the boy climbed with muddy feet all over the front seat and he's been told not to do it, he's not 3, he's 7 years' old, obviously whatever consequences Op has been doing, he's not taking her seriously. Losing your temper is never any kind of good but normal adults do sometimes lose their temper and say sorry, that is a normal part of life. Op knows if she's constantly nit-picking, one incident doesn't tell us whether that's the case or not. if her DS is confident to keep putting muddy feet everywhere it doesn't sound like he's living in fear does it?
OP, was it the fact that you called him a little shit that upset him, or the fact that you were cross with him. Most probably, the latter.
Unfortunately, he'll hear a lot worse than this, throughout his life.
This is the real world,not a pink fluffy one.
Try not to voice it next time, it's no big deal 😄
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