I think I have an anger problem...

(35 Posts)
HankeringForSun Sat 02-Feb-13 20:09:09

Am I the only one who loses it? Do you feel your temper on a daily basis with your kids? Even if you don't lose it? How calm do other mothers stay when their kids REALLY wind you up?
I grabbed DS, aged 5 today, really hard and swung him round because he mimicked me when I was trying to talk to him about not biting his sister, and throwing stuff around. I felt the force in myself. My temper. Horrible.
Help!
I feel so so awful. I have scared myself too many times. Am I the only one?

angel1976 Sat 02-Feb-13 21:06:17

Nope, you are not the only one! I'm sat here, it's 9pm and I just shouted at the kids to go to bed. And they have finally gone quiet.

Three days ago, I resolved NOT to shout at my children. I just seemed to be shouting at them ALL THE TIIME and I heard DS1 (almost 5) shouting at DS2 (just 3) and it was ME all over! sad

Day 1 went well. DS1 who winds me up no end, he will just push my buttons over and over again until I lose it, then he is very sorry obviously. He basically got a few warnings, then instead of shouting, I turned off the TV and walk away (otherwise I will end up staying there trying to reason with him and end up shouting!). He then has a tantrum and I go to another room to cool off. When I am calm, I then go back to deal with him. Worked on day 2 too. But today, while it was fine all day, I lost it just at bedtime as I have made so many allowances for them tonight as it's not a school night and they up still up at 9pm.

I know what you mean about the 'force', they just make me so angry at times, angrier than I have ever felt before I had kids! <hugs> to you. I keep telling myself that at least I am trying every day to be a better mum.

Almostfifty Sat 02-Feb-13 21:20:50

There are two camps here.

One is that if you are really angry, your children will see that and do anything to stop you being like that.

The other is that you don't ever want your children to see you that angry in case it gives them nightmares.

I belong to the first camp. My children are almost all grown up and knew then and now, just how far they could push me. They are all well adjusted lads who are doing well.

However, none of them were particularly sensitive souls. I don't know how I would have handled it if they had been.

HankeringForSun Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:32

Taking great solace from both reactions! Thankyouthankyou.

It's the physical handling that worries me. I squeezed DS's arm quite a lot too hard earlier and it's not the first timesad If I were only shouting, I'd probably feel hoarse and a bit crap but my ability to swing a child around does worry me.
I will resolve to keep my hands to myself and to leave the room if my blood boils. Thanks so much for sharing!

Eglantyne Sat 02-Feb-13 21:38:32

You're not the only one sad.

Missingthemincepies Sat 02-Feb-13 21:53:39

You're not the only one, but it's not right and you do need to get some help. I speak as a child who was manhandled when a parent lost their temper.
Kids drive you bonkers, it's what they do. Shouting is one thing, physical violence another. You know yourself it's not right, but you may need some help to find a way of tackling it if the old chestnut of leaving the room and counting to 10 doesn't work for you.
Sure start centres often have great parenting classes.
None of us are perfect. It's a great step that you have recognised that your actions were unacceptable. Please keep trying to find a way to never do this again.

Lancelottie Sat 02-Feb-13 21:54:37

I have seriously lost it once per child. Really terrifying red mist. After I'd inexcusably shoved DS1 onto the bed and raged at him I swore it would never happen again. Two years later I did much the same to DS2 (same age child) and smacked him hard as well.

Both times it was as if I'd been caught off guard and someone else was taking over.

We're talking 10 or 12 years ago btw and I haven't hurt them since but I wonder unhappily if just the once was enough to scar them -- surely must have frightened them badly. If I'd had MN at the time I think i might have been booking myself in for anger management (do GPs really refer people for that though? Round here you have to be pretty bloody suicidal to get any help as far as I can see.)

No, you're not the only one. I scare myself sometimes. I can't afford private anger management courses though. A good tip about the sure start centre. May have to try there.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 02-Feb-13 22:02:41

I do get very angry with the DC, but not very often and only after a sustained campaign of naughtiness.

DS2 wouldn't do what he was told at all today ie running into the road, running off generally, making rude noises, saying NO and ended up with a smack and crying for about half an hour.

DS1 who is 7 was sent to bed in tears tonight after he was very rude to DH about the special dinner DH had cooked for him. I was soooo angry that my child would be so obnoxious. His Dad had cooked him mussels which is his favourite dinner. He said Yuck, then this bread has no butter and then can I go and watch telly. He went to bed in tears and was asleep by 6.30pm.

So yes we both shout at our DC, but when I feel I am losing it I walk away from them. Sometimes they just push every button

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 02-Feb-13 22:07:14

I agree that the anger I feel towards my DC is far more powerful than any anger I have ever felt before. I am not an angry or aggressive person but when my DC get to me they really get to me. I feel total fury on the odd occasion, and have been known to cry in frustration. After that they usually behave beautifully!

elportodelgato Sat 02-Feb-13 22:15:03

I also lose my temper scarily often hmm I hate it, i did it today, have been on my own with both DC all day as DH away and by about 6.30 I just snapped. They are only 4.5 and 2 but my GOD I find it so so hard hmm

Has anyone found a way to stop being so cross and deal with it better?

RarelyAGobshite Sat 02-Feb-13 22:15:39

It's certainly not unusual and you're definitely not alone.

I very occasionally smacked my eldest. But I was cross once and I was shouting, I raised my arms expressing iykwim and my ds1 flinched and cowered. hmm

I will never, ever, smack my children again.

On the occasion in question I wasn't going to smack him (he obvs didn't know that), and I've literally smacked him maybe give times in his life (he's 6 and extremely trying at times)

It upsets me now still that that was his reaction. And rightly so. Ill never forget his face.

I try to deal with anger/red mist/frustration differently now and it's rare I raise my voice now to my children.

My point is, what happened today may change your perspective on things. You now know(in hindsight) that your reaction may have been too hard. Take it as a lesson. And if you feel the need to, explain to your ds what happened and that you're sorry and it won't happen again, you love him very much etc.

It's hard being a mum sometimes and it's a learning curve. This is one of the tougher curves.

HankeringForSun Sun 03-Feb-13 09:38:48

Hello there
Thanks so much for all these reactions.
after I posted last night I lay down and listened to entire CD of Marshal Rosenburg's Non Violent Communication. It is AMAZING stuff. Really put me back together, with a plan and it's already working. When DS started throwing the contents of my purse all over the room, AGAIN and trampling on my bag this morning, I was able to observe without judging (BAD), explain my needs (the need for order and respect of my things) and request without demanding (would you be willing to put those things back in my purse) explaining that it would make me feel really happy if she could help me keep order in the house. IT WORKED. Although as Marshall says, the idea isn't to be fixated with making this type of communication 'work' straight up. It's about connecting with your child, seeing his or her unmet needs, communicating your own and allowing the deepening connecting to bring a 'working together' mentality to fruition. I find it really inspiring stuff. My DC's are only 15 months apart and the mounting exhaustion etc over the years has brought me to increasinly violent places and I was never that way before. I will listen or read to ANYTHING that might help me to be inspired to communicate differently. Your sharings are so helpful.
Thanks people.

baskingseals Sun 03-Feb-13 10:37:57

sometimes you lose your adult self and become like a child again.

i think it is fairly normal, and i think you learn how to deal with it as time goes on. i lost it much more with my eldest dc and than i do with the younger two. i know myself better now.

have a game plan. in the evening, when they are finally in bed, think about what you will do next time they wind you up. and remember just how shit you feel when you do lose it.

try not to take their behaviour personally. keep a sense of perspective, and look after yourself, if at least some of your own needs are being met, it is much easier to meet theirs with patience.

cory Sun 03-Feb-13 16:54:42

When mine were that age I used to go around muttering as my mantra "Childrearing is work in progress". Meaning you can't expect one telling-off to fix things forever and you haven't failed if this doesn't happen.

CrapBag Sun 03-Feb-13 22:02:38

God this is such a relief to read!!!!

I feel like this a lot. I feel like my DS in particular must really dislike me sometimes although he insists I am the best mummy, I certainly don't feel that way though. I am always shouting but he is going through a real phase at the moment (he's 5) and its driving me mad. Not listening, being completely ignorant. But what really grates and gets me mad is when I say he isn't allowed something and he still reaches out constantly to get it, I repeat very firmly and move his hand away and he will STILL reach out and this will go on and on. I get to the point where I roughly move it away, not smacking or anything but I still feel like I have had quite a firm grip on his arm. Doesn't stop him though!!!!! There has been occasion where he has cried and said I have hurt time, so then I feel dreadful, but he will still do the same next time so he hasn't leant at all. All its made me do is feel like a shit mother who can't control her child.

I am firm but fair, we have clear boundaries and rules. DS certainly isn't allowed to get away with stuff but it just doesn't seem to be sinking in with him at all. I do see some bratty children and am thankful that my DS isn't like that, he is generally very polite and well mannered but I still feel like people must think he is a pita really. And he isn't. He has some really redeeming qualities. Extremely generous, kind, very well behaved in school but there are other things that make me feel very embarrassed about his behaviour.

angel1976 Mon 04-Feb-13 08:05:57

Crapbag Your DS sounds exactly like my DS1. He will press my buttons just like you described until I lose it at him completely. But outside of home like school and at his grandparents', he is very well-behaved and polite with other people as long as I am not there.

Like you, I also have to watch him carefully when out as sometimes he can be very embarrassing! It is very exhausting! However, can I give you a word of comfort? I have DS2 now and it's really NOT your parenting. I felt like a shit mum until DS2 came along and he is perfectly well behaved and listens to me when I say NO the first time. Sometimes, it's just personality! I take comfort in the fact that DS1 is very well loved and social and he will do well in life when older once he learns to control his impulses! grin

CrapBag Mon 04-Feb-13 09:57:52

Thanks a lot angel that does help. smile

Sometimes I feel guilty because I am getting more 'pleasure' from DD at the moment but she hasn't reached the stage where she does anything wrong. She is very compliant and a joy to be around. I do anticipate that this will probably change as she is about to turn 2 but I don't need to tell her off hardly at all and all it takes is a few words for her to listen. DS was like this but then developed a personality of his own (how dare he grin). You are right. Some things I need to put down to his exuberance and not be so embarrassed. I die of shame when he rolls around on the floor and things when we are out but then I do see others doing the same and it makes me feel better. Although I look at children who just walk sensibly beside parents in shops and feel great envy!! Why doesn't mine do that!! He does it fine on the way to school, although there are stretches where I let him run ahead.

angel1976 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:33:50

Crapbag We were at a play farm yesterday. DS1 decided rolling down a bogey hill into a big mud pile was funny... He ended up covered in mud and I had no choice to leave him like that for the rest of the day. To be fair, it doesn't seem to bother him much, looking like a right mess! Yes, the walking to school thing is an issue. I have banned taking scooters as it gives me a heart attack every time he heads off out of sight and I end up shouting and screeching like a banshee on our streets! blush Oh well, at least you had two years of pleasure from your DS before he changed, my DS1 was a difficult baby from day 1 but he is also the sweetest and kindest kid you know!

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 12:10:14

I scream at my kids all the time. Less now that they are older, but still, kids are infuriating. I wonder about those who say they don't.

Most important thing is that they see you apologize when you feel that you have gone overboard, and even MORE importantly, that they feel that they have control over whether you are angry with them or not - i.e. your anger is reasonable and relatively proportional.

CrapBag Mon 04-Feb-13 21:18:19

Thats a good point Saski. If I have gone really OTT, I alwayd apologise and calm down. It is good for them to see that we aren't perfect either. I also reassure DS that however infuriating I find his behaviour, I still love him.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 10-Feb-13 06:48:49

This thread is a bit old, but I just found it.

I have this problem, too.

The other day, I realised that all kids act up, and it wasn't personal. I took bad behaviour to mean that I was a bad mother, and I would react by over compensation and trying to be strict in the form of yelling and sometimes smacking. sad

CrapBag Sat 23-Feb-13 12:02:21

Katy that sounds exactly what I do, his bad behaviour meaning my parenting skills were at fault so over compensating. Its probably what many of us do. I'm just never articulate enough to actually be able to put it in words. smile

Nice to know that we aren't alone though and the reason is because we do care about the people that they will become one day. smile (Its what I tell myself anyway, makes me feel a bit better grin).

insanityscratching Sat 23-Feb-13 13:46:52

I don't have a temper but that's not always the best thing tbh. Ds who is now in his twenties thought he'd discovered some hidden talent when he got to school and was really amused to get his teachers to lose their tempers and shout because I never have.
No idea why I don't have a temper, I never have had, I am very placid and really don't like people's anger at all tbh.

Hoopsadazy Sat 23-Feb-13 14:03:28

How many of the kids mentioned here are boys? Just seems to be a lot of 'DS' mentioned here smile. We have a DS here who doesn't seem to listen, understand 'no' and I do worry what he will be like at school.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 23-Feb-13 15:52:26

All three of my dc are boys! In fact, we're on the tram home from a museum, where they acted up and I over compensated and got slightly shouty and strict. grin

Completely agree that it's not always about parenting. I have dd (13) who was an absolute delight & do easy to parent, I thought I had the parenting thing cracked. Now have ds (3) who is an absolute nightmare but great for everyone but me. He just knows how to push & push my buttons. Dd is now a nightmare so I'm hoping when ds is a teenager he'll be a breeze!

Hoopsadazy Sun 24-Feb-13 18:53:08

From what I hear, boys are testing when young and then tend to be easier as teens and girls are the opposite.

Huge generalisation, obv! smile

My friends with girls the same age seem to be confused as to why when I shout at DS he doesn't just burst into tears to see me so upset like their girls do............!!!

He just stands there and laughs at me usually or pushes even harder.

Perhaps it is an emotional empathy thing?

Possiblyoutedled Sun 24-Feb-13 19:18:01

I shouted my way through three boys and am now a shouty mum if girls.
I sometimes feel as if I'm going mental with rage as dd is so cocky but you are right she gets upset that I'm upset whereas the boys would be found on their games consoles as if nothing had happened.
I don't know why I'm so angry because my mum wasn't like that at all.

mummy2benji Sun 24-Feb-13 20:02:57

Yes I have had that 'red mist' descend too, which I never had prior to becoming a mum. At times it has really scared me as I've felt myself come close to losing it entirely. I have a ds too (4) but have had the odd similar moment when dd won't stop crying (4 months), usually in the evenings if dh is working late or on nights and I'm desperate to have a bit of a break. I can't say I always respond well in these situations and have frequently shouted at both children, but I think it is very important to recognise in yourself when you are no longer in control and must leave the room to regain some composure before you behave in a way you'll regret. Most of us lose our tempers and shout, but if you are having a moment where you think you could actually hurt your child, you just need to go next door / outside / shut yourself in the bathroom for a minute to calm down. I have found retreating to the kitchen and throwing something non-breakable helped! (Not when ds could see me).

So far that's definitely been my experience hoopsa, so i am desperately hoping for an easier time of it when ds is a teen. Also feel I couldn't have the stages any harder at the moment with them both.
That is exactly what my little boy does when he gets a row, laughs, makes a joke, I only had to speak sternly to my dd & she behaved. Oh it's hard isn't it? x

Fishandjam Sun 24-Feb-13 20:29:27

Just placemarking as I don't have time to post fully now - but I am also a red mister (and a sobber-in-the-bathroom-away-from-DS). Back soon!

PoshPaula Sun 24-Feb-13 21:04:07

I have found this thread so comforting. I shout, I lose it, as my two are so very testing (aged 4 and 2). I feel awful every time, guilty, tearful, etc. and I try very hard not to lose my temper. I was the same with my much older boy, when he was little.

NickECave Tue 26-Feb-13 15:23:28

My DDs are 6 and nearly 3 and I disagree about boys being more challenging - my 6 year old is an expert at pushing my buttons. She will completely ignore instructions eg. not getting ready for school in the morning, although this is now the third year of the same routine of going out to school and she know exactly what she should do. Her younger sister copies her but I'm better at dealing with her, probably because I've already experienced this stage once before, whilst I have higher expectations of the 6 year old which are often not met. Both I and DH had fairly strict upbringings but are fairly relaxed parents ourselves (although we do set firm boundaries and expectations). I constantly find myself thinking, if I behaved towards my parents the way DD1 often behaves towards me they would not have tolerated it. My father had a very short temper and sometimes hit us as children, so I am determined not to use smacking myself, but I recognise the "red mist" feeling only too well.

bedhaven Fri 01-Mar-13 21:32:39

Phew...also feeling better hearing it's not only me. I totally lost it today, the biggest tantrum which was way in excess of the trigger. I just couldnt calm down, even locking myself in the downstairs loo screeching to be left alone so I could cool off. Only to escalate quickly for the smallest reason. I do try and be careful of what words I scream but the ferocity is frightening. I feel like I am imploding.
How can I calm down in the face of sustained whinging from DD 2 years?
On the plus side, I didnt throw anything sad

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