I'm really shit at this parenting(64 Posts)
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 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
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.
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 .
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 .
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 .
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).
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'
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.
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.
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
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?
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I praised her this weekend - she had a sleepover and was so good. Didn't make much difference tonight though
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.
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.
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 helped
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
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.
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.
Sorry, moogalicious, that wasn't a nice thing to say and indeed just an impulsive reaction to your OP rather than thoughtful advice. I can only offer raging PMS as an excuse, sorry again
10 is a difficult age, you want more freedom and responsibility, but you can't have it.
I was a very horrible 10 yo, DD2 had her moments (still does at 11, but can now see others side a bit too.)
If you can just send her to her room to rant do. If you totally loose your rag say sorry. I've had to. Even my Ddad has.
But don't make a great fuss.
Lots of attention when she's being nice, and look for ways she can begin to feel grown up. Look also for ways she can still be a little chid. Preteens need freedom, security and lots of cuddles
DD1 is 14 her best friend is 15, they are the nicest teens you could possibly meet. Why? because they can still be daft little girls. They can be very responsible and grown up too. Balance comes naturally to them. For most DCs it's far harder to achieve.
Hey Winny, you know it is really, really nice to see someone say "oops I over-reacted, I'm sorry".
It's a rare occurrence on here, so good for you
I am feeling the love tonight < strokes fellow vipers, in a platonic way!>
Thanks. I think I have got stuck in a rut. We get in a situation where I know she is going to misbehave and I react.
Having slept on it, you're right I shouldn't give her the 'I expect you to behave yourself blah blah' talk. We have a new game to learn, I can take that if she wants to.
Jeez, when someone spells it out to you it sounds so obvious!
Alls well this morning by the way
I wonder whether this technique might be useful to you? I know it seems counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense to me. Similar small-scale things have really worked with DD1 when she was 10 and getting quite teenagery and tantrummy.
Thanks pointy I've heard of that and I think it would do dc1 good. In the past she has reacted well to time together even if it's just me and her baking. And I think allowing her control would be ideal - most of her tantrums revolve around her not being in control.
I still feel crap about what happened last night, but more positive that I can turn things around.
I've tried to move on from what happened but dd's behaviour is no better. By that I mean she cannot control her temper. At all. When she gets angry she loses the plot completely.
We've had some lovely 1-1 time together. We learnt how to knit, started doing a zombie doll kit, dog walking, we're going shopping tomorrow and going to craft fair in a couple of week. She has been great company. I haven't told her I expect her to be on her best behaviour when we've been out. She's been great with her siblings.
But. Last Sunday she had a 2 hour tantrum. I think it was over her ds and she started thumping her brother. Ended up with her throwing cushions at me and shouting that she hated me. She lost her ds/computer time for a week.
We are nearing to the end of that week, her behaviour has been great and she's been looking forward to getting her ds/computer back. We were all making necklaces and hers broke which she blamed me for (even though it wasn't in my hands). She was getting more and more shouty and tetchy with everyone so I asked her to go to her room for 5 mins to chill out. And she exploded. Kicked me and worse of all, grabbed a chair and threatened to throw it at me. I have to say I was scared because she could have really done me some damage.
She has lost her ds/computer for another week. When I told her she kicked off again and tried to trash the dining room.
I don't know where to go from here. GP? CAHMS? Is that over reacting?
Reading that back, actually her beahviour has been better, generally. It's the lack of control when she's angry. It's frightening.
I feel for you, it sounds awful and you're right to tackle it now. How is she at school? Would some family counselling help, or ask her if she'd like to talk to someone herself?
Alternatively another outlet for physical aggression may help? Perhaps martial arts which are very big on respect and control?
Is she sorry once she's calmed down?
Could you give her some more responsibility round the house? Might help her feel more grown up?
Sorry if none of that is helpful. I grew up with an older sibling with violent outbursts, it was never tackled and it was horrible. Much respect for everything you're doing.
Thanks Marmite. I need to deal with this, it's bloody awful for everyone.
At school she is quiet and good although there was an incident last week where she fell out with her friend - her friend pushed her and she retaliated by pulling her hair. I told her she should have walked away but she said she wasn't able to do that. This is the only incident of this kind at school.
She said sorry tonight, although I think she was just paying me lip service. She wasn't sorry that she could have hurt me. I guess she's angry that she's lost her ds/computer and blames me - she can't see it was her own thought.
She already has jobs to do around the house. Martial arts is a good idea, although she's not sporty. I'll suggest it.
What worried me was the accusation that I'd broken her necklace - I hadn't touched it! I found that really strange.
How is your older sibling now marmite?
Anyone? Could really do with some advice
Have you looked at some kind of anger management - for her and you!
Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out: The Anger Management Book [Paperback] by
Jerry Wilde (Author)
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)
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
Hi OP, I don't have a 10YO but hope I can give some advice anyway
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
Thanks for all your advice. I will have a look at the books
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 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.
btw that wasn't directed at you midseason but at my assertion that I'm calm!
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.
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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
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).
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!
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.
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.
Sorry for dreadful typos.....
Do update - I do think things are going to get better.
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.
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
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
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
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 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!
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
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
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