Advanced search

I hate my DS, wish I never had him

(223 Posts)
RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 10:51:03

He’s miserable all the time, doesn’t want to go out, always causing trouble. Seems no matter how lovely I am and what I do for him, it’s never right or enough. He’s 4. I don’t care if he’ll grow out of it. He’s been like this for so long and I really wish I never had him. Deep down I love him but he’s ruining my life and I want my freedom back. I often think about getting my own place and leaving DS with DP but I love DP and I know I can’t really leave as that would be reprehensible. So i’m doomed with forever being unhappy and regretting my life choice.

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 10:51:46

I feel trapped

roundligament Wed 15-May-19 10:53:25

Ring your GP and get an emergency appointment

Is he tired? My son is dreadful when he is tired, can you go for a drive and let him sleep. When you get home try to see what he wants a bath, say yes to what he asks.

Have you told him he is making you very sad?

I am so sorry you feel so terrible

OurChristmasMiracle Wed 15-May-19 10:55:33

OP. First of all I think maybe you need to see a GP. Maybe some parenting programmes to be more positive and maybe see what’s causing your DS to be so unhappy and not want to go out.

Also he’s 4; he doesn’t really have the final say. You as the parent say “today we are going to do x or y”

It sounds like you need to have some you time. Can your DP take your DS whilst you go and do some adult things- even if it’s a walk in the park? So you can feel like you again?

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 10:57:07

How long has he been this way?

Does he sleep well? Does he have any health issues?

When does he start school?

Does he go to nursery?

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 10:58:49

The thing is he’s so head strong if I make him do something he doesn’t want to do he just makes the whole day miserable

BallyHockeySticks Wed 15-May-19 10:59:09

Yes, emergency appt with your GP.

I know it feels a long way off now, but is he starting school in Sept? Is he in preschool?

crosser62 Wed 15-May-19 10:59:36

I can completely relate to this, completely.

I often had fantasies about getting a job abroad and coming home every 3 months for a week.
The guilt of course was crushing.
I disliked being his mother, disliked being with him as I found it so so challenging and was secretly jealous of others gushing about their perfect little children.
It got better when he started school and I increased my hours at work, that was my escape and breathing space.
Luckily for us, my dh absolutely adores the bones of the child and was/is a very hands on and a much better parent than I could ever hope to be.
I have no answer for you op, just know that it’s not just you that feels this way.

Isaididont Wed 15-May-19 10:59:45

Some children are more difficult than others. It sounds like you've ended up with a child that you find really challenging. Some people have kids that are easier than others, for example my DS is so much easier to deal with than my DD. (Love my DD but she can be very hard work).
I don't think it will only be about your DS, though, it could also be about your feelings about motherhood, your experience of motherhood when you were a child, stuff like that. From that point of view, I think you could do with counselling or something to help you get to the bottom of why you feel this way - it could be some form of depression or something similar to PPD.
Do you get enough support? Can you afford babysitters when you need a break? We used to pay a teenager to babysit so it cost just £5 an hour but we would always be just around the corner and made sure she knew to ring us if any problems. She was v responsible. It just made it more affordable to get a couple hours the two of us (DH and I).
I wouldn't tell him he is making you very sad as the poster above suggested (although I agree about the tiredness and getting a GP appt). He's only little and not responsible for your feelings so i don't know if that's a good idea.
All the best, you're not alone, many people struggle with motherhood flowers

OurChristmasMiracle Wed 15-May-19 11:01:26

The thing is what you are teaching him is that if he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t have to. He’s learnt that even when you make him do it if he makes the day miserable you will back off and won’t bother.

He’s getting his own way! You need to be consistent.

I do think you may benefit from a parenting programme

RosaWaiting Wed 15-May-19 11:05:05

is there anyone you can stay with temporarily?

Friend of mine was in a very similar position and lived with her mum a few months to get some peace. Then she returned to her partner but they set things up so he was the main childcare person as he was clearly much better suited to it than she was - something they may not have found out at all if she hadn't taken a time out.

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 11:09:39

I’m not depressed though (and I know what depression feels like as I’ve had it on numerous occasions), I am happy at work, I’m happy when alone, happy with friends, happy with DP but when I have to spend time with DS alone or as a family I would rather I wasn’t, I don’t enjoy it and feel like he’s ruining what would otherwise be a happy existence.

NoSauce Wed 15-May-19 11:12:43

I’m sorry to read this OP. How does your partner feel about your DS? What’s his behaviour like at nursery/school? Do they have any concerns about his behaviour?

RosaWaiting Wed 15-May-19 11:13:09

I hear you OP
hence my suggestion

my friend found it very difficult to get past the stereotype thing of "OMD a mother leaving her child" but sometimes it makes more sense.

how does your DP find parenting?

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:13:21

Even if you've had depression before it doesn't mean it'll present itself in the same way again. I honestly think if you're at the point where you start a post saying you wish your 4 year old had never been born and you hate him and you want to leave then you should see a GP as an emergency. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad , motherhood is so hard sometimes x

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 11:15:56

DP loves him so much, they have a good relationship although does realise he’s annoying at times.

He’s with a childminder 4 days a week and he’s well behaved. He’s just a nightmare at home with us.

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 11:17:04

I’d go full time but it doesn’t make sense when he’s going to school in September and then the day off I have I can spend on myself

ChariotsofFish Wed 15-May-19 11:17:15

How long have you felt like this? If it’s been since soon after he was born then it is worth exploring whether you have unresolved PND, which can feel different to other forms of depression. If it’s more recent than that, is he in a phase that’s particularly challenging? Do you think he might have any special needs? How much child free time do you get?

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 15-May-19 11:18:22

What was your childhood like? Just wondering if that might a factor.

NoSauce Wed 15-May-19 11:19:12

I honestly think you should talk to your GP. It’s not fair on either of you to have these feelings OP.

Redcliff Wed 15-May-19 11:19:14

4 is a hard age - am going through it right now. Have you read any parenting books - I found "how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" helpful- also Dr Sears when he was younger.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 11:20:27

OP, I have three boys and this age is seriously tough.

For us, it starts age 3 and starts to calm down age 5.
I really don't like that stage though, our boys were little blighters.
Really awful tantrums, daily. Not going to bed without an hour tantrum, smashing things, screaming etc.

My first son was the worst. My second son at least complied with the naughty step and would come running if I said "fine I'm going then see you later" while he was on the floor in Tesco.
My first son would just carry on screaming. I had to physically carry him kicking and screaming.

They are 8 and 12 (youngest is a baby) now and absolutely lovely kids, well behaved, well mannered get on well, do well at school and generally lovely boys.

It gets better. It really really does.

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:23:02

How long have you felt like this? If it’s been since soon after he was born then it is worth exploring whether you have unresolved PND, which can feel different to other forms of depression and can often present as resenting your child.

TFBundy Wed 15-May-19 11:24:50

I think many mothers of a pre-schooler feels like this at least some of the time. I know I do!

I can't add anything to the above advice, but I do know that my MH improves when I get a day to myself during the week. flowers

NabooThatsWho Wed 15-May-19 11:25:02

Motherhood is really hard. You don’t realise how much freedom you are going to lose until your child is born and then of course it is too late. Add to that, having a difficult, challenging child, it can be hard to get any pleasure out of it.
Don’t really have any advice, just know that it gradually gets easier as they get older.
The first 3-4 years are so demanding, but it does ease off.

You will get your freedom back OP.

Teddybear45 Wed 15-May-19 11:28:54

Do you shout at him? If so he could be copying you.

PickYourselfUp Wed 15-May-19 11:28:59

You've had lots of really good advice, but I just want to echo Andoutcometheboobs that this age is sooo hard, or it was with my DS. DD is not quite so bad, but certainly more challenging than she has been. DS got better from 5 upwards, after a year or so at school. I also made more effort to do nice, not challenging things with him. Something we both really enjoy is books, so my 'thing' with him is to read to him each night, more 'grown up' chapter books that I can get into. Famous Five/Secret Seven or some of the earlier Roald Dahl were our choice at that age. We've just done the first three Harry Potter books now he's 7. I definitely notice our relationship deteriorating when we haven't had this special, enjoyable time together. All the other stuff just feels so much more challenging.

I'm not saying it would work for you, but it helped me. I was able to see him as a person in his own right. We'd discuss the book, enjoy it together, try to solve the mystery, laugh over silly voices - it was the only time I enjoyed being with him sometimes, but then it started to spill out into other areas.

Good luck - I know how hard it is to feel like this

Tootyfrooty35 Wed 15-May-19 11:30:05

Definitely agree about seeing a gp,.... You've got some massive feelings going on there and it's best to seek help sooner. I'm sorry you're feeling at such a dark place with him.

If he's at the CM four days a week then you and your dP on weekends it only leaves one day for you and him.... I have a 4yo and they really need to express their feelings with mum, we're their safe place so all his 'bad' feelings are saved for you. It's bloody hard sometimes, I know, don't get me wrong but, imo, you need to love him unconditionally and it sound alike you really need some support right now.
Telling him the truth about your feelings is such a bad idea, he doesn't need that on his shoulders. Read some Janet Lansbury and similar on Aha Parenting.

Onemansoapopera Wed 15-May-19 11:30:45

We need to stop telling OP to got to the drs as this is in her head for her to deal with. Some children like some adults are really really difficult to get along with, not all children are angelic and joyous and therefore spending time with them when they are so oppositional is tiring and soul destroying. OP, please look up a-z of therepuetic parenting. This is invaluable for tips and coping strategies for 'difficult' children and for decoding their behaviour and hopefully affecting change.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 15-May-19 11:31:16

What are people expecting the GP to do?

BertieBotts Wed 15-May-19 11:31:54

4 was a frigging awful age for DS1. 3 was pretty bad as well so by the time he was 4 it felt like it had been going on for a really really long time.

He is 10 now and he's lovely. Obviously still has his moments but like a totally different child.

I can share what I think would have helped at the time if it would be useful to you? flowers

Onemansoapopera Wed 15-May-19 11:32:17

Exactly @vladimirpoutine

Tootyfrooty35 Wed 15-May-19 11:32:44

Agree with Pp too about having more fun... I find if we giggle more then we have way fewer negatives feelings here. Its really important for bonding. I use it to distract them from things they don't want to do, but have to. It sounds a bit trite but it's so true.

TipseyTorvey Wed 15-May-19 11:33:24

OP I totally understand what you're saying and I was the same until a year ago. Whilst I don't want to be 'that' poster, we were having a horrendous time with DS, constant tantrums, screaming, refusal to do ANYTHING, meltdowns every time we tried to do 'normal' family outtings and I was beside myself. He's now been diagnosed with ASD and its SUCH relief, we are no longer 'bad parents' not disciplining him enough nor is he a 'bad child' that needs to learn to behave. We're getting so much support now and the whole house has calmed down. I've now got a lovely relationship with DS, other DS now gets attention and everything is going to be okay. I'm not saying your DS is ASD but perhaps do a bit of reading around to see if the symptoms fit. I also second other posters - please see the GP as this must be horrendous for you. Good luck.

RunSweatLaughAndLatte Wed 15-May-19 11:33:53

I haven’t told him how I feel, it just grows inside. I do love bomb him even when i’m not really feeling it.

I rarely shout at him as it doesn’t work, I put him in time out and reward good behaviour with stickers but equally he gets a sticker ripped off if he’s too naughty

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Wed 15-May-19 11:33:58

It is very concerning when you say "he's ruining what would otherwise be a very happy existance". I agree with previous pps you need emergency appointment and toget some parenting support/advice. Please get help and tell your DP how you feel, because it does sound like a form of depression.
You say you are lovely to him but its never enough. Children pick up on this..
Some children are challenging, He's probably more than ready for school, and a bit bored because of that and therefore acting up slightly? He probably needs the extra activity and interaction with lots of other children that Reception would entail.
Can you get him some extra nursery time?

cakecakecheese Wed 15-May-19 11:34:12

You say he gets on well with your partner, has he not had a word about how he behaves around you?

NoSauce Wed 15-May-19 11:34:51

What are people expecting the GP to do?

Assess if the OP is depressed and try and understand why she’s feeling this way, like someone else asked, whether her own childhood could be causing her to feel this way and maybe go down the counselling route. It’s not something the Op can ignore and maybe the GP is a first point of contact for her?

BertieBotts Wed 15-May-19 11:37:11

I will say, Aha Parenting was totally useless to me at this age as it had been following all of the Aha Parenting advice which partly led to the difficulty. Plus all of the preachy "Well I have always shown respect to my children and therefore they are always respectful and kind and lovely to me" crap just boiled my blood and made me feel inadequate, like I'd got it so badly wrong. It is NOT true that you can prevent all bad behaviour simply by parenting respectfully. Sometimes children behave like utterly infuriating shits just because that's the stage of development they are in.

Andrea Nair and her article about the "Fucking Fours" was much better grin She just "got it" - much more than any of the gentle parenting sites seemed to.

mabelsgarden Wed 15-May-19 11:37:27

I'm sorry you feel this way OP ... and as you are so frustrated and aggy with your son, he will be picking up on your negative vibes, and behaving even worse!

YY to people saying about the age of 4. The worst age is supposed to be 2. (The terrible twos?) But IMO it is 4. Mine were as annoying as fuck at that age!!! Moany, irritating, grabby, spiteful, whiny, kept interrupting me every time I spoke to anyone, would not let me and DH have a conversation without butting in! Lasted for about a year. I was so frustrated by it all.

However, it did get better, and your situation will too.

Cannot suggest anything else sorry. Be kind to yourself, and try maybe to do some stuff with your boy that may take his mind off being annoying. Go out more with him, do crafts and painting, ANYthing.

Just know that you are not alone in feeling pissed off with your kids, and you are not a bad person!

I would agree with the posters saying see the GP though. They may be able to help/suggest something...

Good luck. flowers

Yogagirl123 Wed 15-May-19 11:38:02

It is hard, my two DS’ are entirely different. DS1 a dream baby, toddler, and teen. DS2 terrible baby, even worse toddler, but a dream teen so far (16) if I had had DS2 first, there never would have been another!

It really does get easier, you know that, but it doesn’t help when you are in the situation, I know.

What can you put in place to help you through this difficult period, have you told your partner how it’s getting you down? Could your partner help more to give you some space doing something that you enjoy/help you to relax. Have you a relative or friend that could help. Any local parenting groups where you could swap ideas with, your GP may be able to signpost a suitable service.

Good luck OP.

Can I suggest a really practical and structured intervention, like Theraplay? You can find local practitioners on their website. It can give you a chance to engage with him in a really positive way and can help a child with learning how to engage within boundaries. Might help you feel more in control if you have a concrete step you can take to work on the relationship!

Annasgirl Wed 15-May-19 11:40:31

Ok so in my work I specialise in PND and psychology.

Some children are just not nice - there has been lots of work done on it and it is rarely published in mainstream as it is not PC, but some people do not have nice personalities. I have lots of friends who have really not nice children - I hate to see them coming to play, so I can only imagine what they would be like to live with. So people rushing to say the problem is with the OP - it may not be, her child may simply not be nice.

It will get better for you as he gets older as he will spend more time away from you and you can at least enjoy the time alone. I hope you can manage to get some plan in place to deal with him so that you can have a good relationship even if he is never going to be your favourite person.

It is OK to feel like this - you just need to have strategies to help you cope. It is great that DP gets on with him - honestly, some people just clash and we cannot all love all children.

BertieBotts Wed 15-May-19 11:41:37

And this spoke SO strongly to me at the time as well (sorry the link is such a mess).

I have never fellt such utter despair that I would cry on total strangers as I did when he was 3-4. Perhaps it was a late form of PND? I think it was just an incredibly tough time. It didn't help that I was on my own as well and he wouldn't sleep so I got no alone time.

PuppetShowInTheSoundofMusic Wed 15-May-19 11:41:43

I agree with seeing your GP. Sounds as if you are depressed.

Beyond that - he is 4 years old. You really need to push through this barrier of him being in control.

Not the worlds greatest analogy I know but if you get a new puppy, and you keep letting him jump on the bed, you have no chance of stopping that when he's an adult. He's used to jumping on the bed and that's how it is.

the same is true with a 4 year old. If from when he's young you say we're going out whether you like it or not, eventually he'll get used to it even if he's being difficult initially. You cannot allow a 4 year old to dictate to you. It's not healthy for them as they will not learn anything about boundaries and acceptable behaviour. They will grow up spoiled and thinking whatever they say goes. you are also setting up a situation where he will not respect you or your parental authority.

Sounds like you aren't managing this because you need some support yourself. Best wishes and hope things improve for you

Mummy0ftwo12 Wed 15-May-19 11:41:59

Is he not at nursery / school during the day? also, might be worth watching some super nanny / Jo Frost episodes on you tube for ideas

bibliomania Wed 15-May-19 11:42:29

I generally find DD to be great, but age 4-5 was the roughest (she's 11 now).

Have you ever looked into love bombing? Definitely worth a try.

IHateUncleJamie Wed 15-May-19 11:43:04

I wouldn't tell him he is making you very sad as the poster above suggested (although I agree about the tiredness and getting a GP appt). He's only little and not responsible for your feelings so i don't know if that's a good idea.

^^This. You can’t go on like this because it’s not fair to either of you. If he hasn’t already, your DS will pick up on your feelings and play up even more because he will know that you dislike him. This can lead to a vicious circle of misbehaving because unconsciously he will think “Mum thinks I’m horrible/trouble/difficult so I might as well BE horrible”.

No child is responsible for its parent’s wellbeing so please don’t tell your little boy he’s making you sad. If you have to, you can say his behaviour makes you feel sad/cross/tired. His behaviour is a nightmare but at 4, HE isn’t a nightmare.

I agree that an urgent GP appointment is the way to go as you sound overwhelmed and exhausted. PND can go on for years and can feel very different to depression that you may have experienced before. Please speak to your Doctor ASAP. flowers

Inmyvestandpants Wed 15-May-19 11:43:07

You say he is well behaved with the child minder, but not with you. This indicates that there is something you can change to encourage more of the good behaviour he is capable of.

It sounds to me as though you are afraid of his moods, but really you can set the tone and help him to deal with him emotions appropriately.
As PP have said, consistency is key, and letting him know that you are the boss. When children feel that they are in control of the family dynamic, it is very frightening for them because they are not able to handle the responsibility and this can be expressed as moodiness and vile behaviour.

I used to be very frank with my children at this age - they understand far more than we often give them credit for. Eg if they were moaning on a day trip I would - calmly but authoritatively - say something like, "it doesn't matter how much you whinge, we are all spending the day here. So you have a choice: you can continue to whine and feel rubbish, or you can choose to enjoy it and have a good day." Don't bring your feelings into it, but help him to see that he is the author of his own unhappiness in these situations. If he chooses to perk up, make sure you comment on how much happier he is feeling now that he's smiling and taking an interest in things.

Don't let his emotions set the tone for yours. You have to rise above whatever he's feeling or saying and show him the higher ground. Encourage him, and make sure when he is calm and happy you tell him how much you love being with him because he is such good company.

My DS used to ride off on his bike ahead of me. If I tried to catch up with him, he'd only go faster. So one day, before he started to speed ahead, I told him "Isn't it a gorgeous day. I love cycling with you, you're good company". It set the tone for an enjoyable ride, taking in the sights and smells and sounds, and being together in a lovely way. Which is a long way round of saying, you CAN change the dynamic, but you have to set the tone.

springclouds2019 Wed 15-May-19 11:43:15

Right I'm going to be harsh in my post, I've been your child and the damage caused by a mother who doesn't like/love you is severe and lifelong. Please get counselling around this.

Your son knows deep down you don't like/love him and that is just awful for a child.

I also have a 4 yo and he is hard work, he is grumpy, he is frustrating, he drives me crazy and I get mad with him and sick of the sight of him, but I love him so deeply and so passionately and he knows that deep in his soul and he is happy and secure. I'm not saying that to be smug but to say it is possible to really struggle with a child's behaviour and personality but still like and love them and have a healthy relationship. The relationship you have does not sound healthy and you need to address it urgently.

This is not about you now, you will be damaging your son, it's about him, you need to talk this through with a counsellor and try to fix this.

StrangeLookingParasite Wed 15-May-19 11:44:57

I wish I had something more useful to give you other than my son (gorgeous boy now, 13) was pretty bloody horrible at four. At one point he headbutted my cheekbone so hard I heard a cracking noise and got a black eye. It is just really, really hard, and it's not just you.

BertieBotts Wed 15-May-19 11:47:00

I don't know that it's very helpful to say some children aren't nice people, is it? I'm pretty sure if you judged most four year olds apart from the odd empathetic one most of them would come out as absolute narcissists, because they're four. Most children, thankfully, grow out of the destructiveness, argumentativeness, selfishness, stubbornness etc. It's more helpful in my experience to look for the things to love about your child (which are going to be there, nobody is entirely evil!) rather than just writing them off and then trying to work out how to spend time away from them confused I mean yes, time to yourself is absolutely essential but confused

Onemansoapopera Wed 15-May-19 11:48:03

@springclouds how can you be so sure that your son doesn't pick up that you are frustrated and sick of the sight of him? The answer is you can't I'm afraid.

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:48:14

I rarely shout at him as it doesn’t work, I put him in time out and reward good behaviour with stickers but equally he gets a sticker ripped off if he’s too naughty

Don't take away something he's earned OP, if head earned it then he's earned it. Keep it all positive of you can.

Any person going to the doctor using the sort of language the OP is should be taken seriously. It is not the same as saying "Bloody hell he's being challenging/difficult/naughty,this is a difficult age etc."

IHateUncleJamie Wed 15-May-19 11:48:19

but equally he gets a sticker ripped off if he’s too naughty

I’m not sure that this is wise. He will soon wonder what the point of behaving well is if that reward can be undone the next time he’s naughty.

If you think of it like giving a dog a treat for being obedient, you can’t stick your fingers down its throat a week later to retrieve the treat if it’s disobedient. You reward the good behaviour at the time. No point then undoing it later because you’re teaching him inconsistency.

TheFormidableMrsC Wed 15-May-19 11:48:24

Hi OP, this is an awful thing for you to go through. I felt not dissimilar with my DS...he was an absolute nightmare, I was trapped, couldn't go anywhere (or if I did, it was hell on earth). Fortunately we had a really on the ball HV and she spotted something wasn't quite right. DS was subsquently diagnosed with ASD and SPD. He is now 8, an absolute joy of a child, fun, engaging, quirky, but about to be referred for an ADHD diagnosis. We have our issues but I have learned how to manage them with good support. I am now a lone parent which quite frankly has been to both of our benefit (not suggesting that this is for you though!!), it was just that me being less stressed, able to focus more on him meant that we've found a way through that works for us. Interestingly, my son was pretty good in settings where he was expected to be good, such as when he started nursery, but he is also an epic "masker" and mimic and will do what he sees as necessary to fit in. I refer to that because of your comments of being well behaved for the childminder.

I don't want to always jump on the SN bandwagon, I am just relaying my own experiences having had similar feelings to you. Him going to school in September may bring about observations from others, they may not, however, that will at least give you a chance to settle into a more solid and regimented routine, for some children this is hugely positive.

At 4, you can still see the HV, could you make an appointment and discuss your concerns? Might be worth a shot. Good luck flowers

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:48:39

**he's earned it

IHateUncleJamie Wed 15-May-19 11:53:49

@Annasgirl Crikey. We’re talking about very young children here. I don’t think it’s fair or helpful to say that a toddler/preschool child is just “not nice”. confused

Until the brain is sufficiently developed to display empathy and realise that we are not the centre of the world, I don’t suppose anyone is “born nice”. Our primary carer is supposed to teach us these things. If your friends’ children behave like little horrors when they come round, perhaps their parents should be teaching them how to behave appropriately?

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 11:54:19

I agree that it isn't helpful to tell the OP to see the GP. It's not in her head, it's a difficult childhood stage!

And I agree it's not helpful to say the child isn't a nice person.
I've had a really stressful week and I'm feeling low. I snapped at DH yesterday and despite knowing the reason why I'm down and snappy, he told me I was being vile.

Really fucking unhelpful. It's not that I'm not a nice person all the rest of the time, it's just that we all go through shit times.

And I assume being 4 years old is pretty tough, otherwise why would they be such total bastards?

OP, I don't think it's helpful to 'undo' the reward stickers.
What's the point in him earning them if they are just taken away.
If we get a bonus at work, it doesn't get taken away from us if we fuck something up
the following week.
We still earned the bonus, you can't undo good work.

He should get to keep the stickers, otherwise he will never reach the goal.

And bad behaviour gets time out.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 11:54:40

(And if the goal becomes unattainable then why should he ever be good!)

TheFormidableMrsC Wed 15-May-19 11:54:44

Also, I agree with comments about removing a reward, that is so counter productive and pointless. It gives him no motivation. I'd be inclined to walk away from bad behaviour and remove the attention from it.

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:55:38

I agree that it isn't helpful to tell the OP to see the GP. It's not in her head, it's a difficult childhood stage! How do you know that?

IHateUncleJamie Wed 15-May-19 11:56:25

I agree that it isn't helpful to tell the OP to see the GP. It's not in her head, it's a difficult childhood stage!

Undiagnosed depression or PND isn’t “in your head” and of course the GP is the appropriate first port of call, given the desperate language the OP is using.

suburbanmumabby Wed 15-May-19 11:56:49

I have 2 children, and everyone goes through rough patches, even your own offspring. my DS is now 21 and when he was 14 he was really sad and always aggressive towards me, but that's just the stage of puberty. stamp your foot down and don't give him an inch, this stage will pass.

much love and good luck x

BallyHockeySticks Wed 15-May-19 11:57:22

What are people expecting the GP to do?

Consider a referral to counselling. Screen for depression which can manifest in different ways, even in the same person, and which a GP will be patently more capable of assessing in person than internet weirdies in a forum post. Especially as depression can reduce our insight - sometimes we need a bit of help to see it.

That summer before school is also notoriously challenging with a lot of children.

However TheFormidableMrsC had a good point, HV might well be a good option. I also don't want to cry "ASC" on every post but my autistic child was really, really difficult at 4, and in hindsight we should have asked for help earlier rather than just struggling on.

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 11:57:49

Undiagnosed depression or PND isn’t “in your head” and of course the GP is the appropriate first port of call, given the desperate language the OP is using


AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 11:58:18

My point is, she's describing a difficult child.

Instead of trying to give tips and advice for the difficult child, you're suggesting that she sees a doctor.
How will her seeing a doctor improve the child's behaviour?

And it is possibly to get fucked off with a child without it being because of depression!

FireflyEden Wed 15-May-19 11:58:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NoSauce Wed 15-May-19 11:58:52

I agree that it isn't helpful to tell the OP to see the GP. It's not in her head, it's a difficult childhood stage!

But the OP has said that her DS isn’t difficult for his dad and childminder, so it doesn’t jump out that his behaviour is to blame for the way the OP is feeling. She can’t just ignore it surely?

If not her GP then maybe a counsellor that specialises in parent/child relationships?

NeatFreakMama Wed 15-May-19 11:59:04

It sounds like you desperately need a break away from him for a bit or a holiday to yourself to try to get some space. Could you talk to you DP about how you feel and see if he could cover everything while you go away for a week with a friend or someone in your family?

Do you have anyone else you can talk to? Perhaps a counsellor to help you deal with these feelings you have. Particularly around your feelings that you don't see how this situation will improve flowers.

bookmum08 Wed 15-May-19 11:59:32

What does he actually like to do? What does he enjoy playing with at the childminders. Sometimes children don't want to 'go out' and do lots of activities. He could be frustrated that you are saying to go to the park but he wants to line up his Hot Wheels cars and race them - but he doesn't yet know how to say that. Try to find his 'thing' and spend time doing that (and adapting - so if it is Hot Wheels cars read books about cars etc) and then he might seem less grumpy.
I also agree that parenting classes etc may be helpful.
I also agree he is probably tired. It's hard work being 4.
Also you need to find an activity /hobby for yourself. Even if it's an hour on a Sunday going to Costa to read magazines. He needs to see that you are you and not just Mummy and when Mummy isn't at work she likes to sometimes do her own thing.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:02:38

IBut the OP has said that her DS isn’t difficult for his dad and childminder*

Yup! Very common. Kids are the biggest arseholes to the person or people they trust the most.
Mine did especially with me.
It's the nature of the beast.

I'm not saying that I know whether the OP does or does not have depression.

I'm saying she is describing a difficult stage with her DS and people are telling her to see her GP about herself.

It's the DS that is difficult. It's normal to feel all kinds of frustration, annoyance and anger at this stage.

What helps this is good parenting tips to manage the behaviour.

TacoLover Wed 15-May-19 12:03:29

Have you told him he is making you very sad?

hmm do not follow this poster's advice OP. I'd also recommend seeing your GP as other people here have already saidflowers

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:03:58

Also - the OP clearly stated that she is happy at work and away from DS.

Which backs up my point that it's the issue with DS that needs help.

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 12:04:59

It's the DS that is difficult. It's normal to feel all kinds of frustration, annoyance and anger at this stage

The language the OP is using isn't 'normal' at all.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:06:11

do not follow this posters advice OP.

Why on earth not?!

When DS1 was 4.5 years old I was 9 months pregnant and he had a 2 hour tantrum in which he utterly destroyed his room and wouldn't do as he was told.

I sat and cried.

Why shouldn't he know that he reduced me to that?
Why shouldn't they learn that their behaviour impacts the happiness or wellbeing of others?
This is how they learn empathy but!

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:06:45


How old are your kids?

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 12:07:51

AndOutComeTheBoobs. 18

NeatFreakMama Wed 15-May-19 12:09:02

AndOutComeTheBoobs I agree there's nothing wrong with crying in front of him, they should understand emotions and learn empathy but actively saying that 'he's making her sad' is too much to put on a child of four. OP needs to be responsible for her own emotions and not put responsibility on a kid. At the very least say something like 'your behaviour now where you're shouting at me is making me sad' or similar?

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:10:29

Girl or boy?

Did you ever endure this stage? I know a lot
of parents didn't.
My own parents didn't with us. Apparently my older brother had one tantrum and I had none. I know my little brother didn't have any.

Came as quite a shock when my kids came along.
I can totally understand someone finding this language abnormal if they themselves have never endured it.

Iggly Wed 15-May-19 12:11:33

A four year isn’t making his mother sad - he’s not responsible for her feelings!! That is her reaction.

Parenting is hard and at certain stages kids will change quite a bit and an adjustment in expectations is needed.

DecomposingComposers Wed 15-May-19 12:11:41

Which backs up my point that it's the issue with DS that needs help.

My 2 could be challenging, frustrating, annoying, whiny at this age but I never said that I didn't love them or that they had ruined my life or that I wished that I had never had them.

That seems to be beyond the usual parental frustrations. Imagine being that little 4 year old and realising that your mum hates you and wishes you'd never been born?

Kleinzeit Wed 15-May-19 12:12:27

Does he really make the whole day miserable? Or is it more, that there are a few good bits and some really terrible bad bits? I had to learn to tell myself that even a couple of almighty tantrums and a lot of whinging did not spoil the whole day, there was also the fun bit where we watched the show or jumped on the trampoline or fed the ducks no matter what horrors happened before or after.

Also I found my DS was not good at whole days out or big exciting trips. He was much better with a fixed routine that included some shorter outings - half days at most - or simple things like going for a swim or a play in the park or a trip to the library or a snack in cafe. Just one thing at a time. Trying to do big day full of exciting things tended to cause trouble.

The memorable occasion when DH said to me "you're not supposed to enjoy family outings you're just supposed to have them". That made me laugh and somehow the rest of the day went a bit better, I have a happy memory of DS and DH soaking wet going down the helter-skelter in the rain.

And every single holiday we have ever been on, the first day I think "why did we bother, he is miserable and foul tempered and he hates it and we are all having a horrible time". But after a day he kind of settles and we do all start to enjoy it.

Sorry you're having such a hard time. One of things I liked abut the parenting group was meeting parents who were going through the same things, or something different but just as bad, or worse. And you're all figuring out ways to cope together. You'll get some ideas, some will help, some wont, the ideas that do help will be like gold.

I agree that it isn't helpful to tell the OP to see the GP

My GP pointed me at the parenting group (and other useful things). Helpful much! And if the OP's DS is always miserable then maybe he needs some extra help too, the GP can help with that too.

Amibeingdaft81 Wed 15-May-19 12:12:38

nothing wrong with very occasionally crying in front of children but it really shouldn’t be a regular thing. That should be avoided.

OP it’s a tough age.

Did you have a particularly rough morning? I ask that because it’s easy to lose perspective after a really shitty drama fuelled morning

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:13:57

IOP needs to be responsible for her own emotions*

What do you even mean here?

Being responsible for your own emotions?
So if someone called you a twat and it made you cry, you have to own those emotions and not put it on the person who called you a twat and upset you?

That's ridiculous. The person doing the name calling caused the upset.

A 4 year old is MORE than capable of reducing an adult to tears with their behaviour and there's nothing wrong with them knowing that.

Amibeingdaft81 Wed 15-May-19 12:14:17

*The memorable occasion when DH said to me "you're not supposed to enjoy family outings you're just supposed to have them". That made me laugh and somehow the rest of the day went a bit better,*

I like the sound of your dh grin

TacoLover Wed 15-May-19 12:14:45

Why shouldn't he know that he reduced me to that? Why shouldn't they learn that their behaviour impacts the happiness or wellbeing of others? This is how they learn empathy but!

hmm because this child is a normal four year old. He should not be told that he's negatively impacting someone else, an adult, for being the same as every other four year old. It is not a child's responsibility to take care of their mother's feelings. The child is not responsible or culpable for their mother's mental health problems. There are many child psychiatrists that have spoken about the horrible effects of telling your child how sad they make you. It's just a shitty thing to do reallyhmm why would you blame an innocent child for your own problems when they are acting normally for their age?

WhoKnewBeefStew Wed 15-May-19 12:14:59

I’m so sorry op flowers you really do have my sympathy. I have a dd like this and I thank my lucky stars my ex dh was a twat and had an affair so we split up. This was I have eow free. I do often find myself fantasying about just buggering off and leaving her with him... I’m just not cut out to be a mother

TeaRoseTallulah Wed 15-May-19 12:15:02

*Did you ever endure this stage? I know a lot
of parents didn't*

A boy and yes I did,4 was VERY hard. I also had depression so am very aware of the desperate language the OP is using. Resentment,wishing her child wasn't there so she could enjoy her day,wishing he'd not been born- all that should flag up concerns with a HCP.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:15:08

A four year isn’t making his mother sad - he’s not responsible for her feelings!!

Jesus wept.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:15:38

tearose totally fair enough.
I hear you.

converseandjeans Wed 15-May-19 12:17:06

This is really sad. I think if he is fine for childminder and also for his Dad then your negativity could well be rubbing off on him.
Children are hard work - that's just how they are. They are not going to do what you say straight away. So you need to accept him for what he is.
He could well be tired after 4 days with the childminder. I think he is old enough to sit down and have a 'planning meeting'. So you both chat about what he would like to do on a Friday when you have your day together. I used to want to take DS to the zoo and so on but he wasn't really interested. He used to like going out and about - going on the bus, popping into town etc.. He was never really into 'toddler' activites, apart from soft play and the park. Maybe if he feels like he has had some say in what you do for the day he might enjoy it more.
Also by that age you could have a set reward system - so he also gets a say in what the reward is - for example 10 stickers is something from Poundland, 20 stickers is a comic, 30 stickers is a trip out somewhere and so on. Don't remove the stickers though!
I honestly think you need to put some thought into it as it will just get worse as the years go on. The title of your thread is horrible. I feel really sorry for your DS.

Isaididont Wed 15-May-19 12:17:52

Crying in front of your kids doesn’t teach them empathy (although there is nothing wrong with letting them see you have feelings - in fact, it’s good to).
They learn empathy from having it modelled to them, from being shown empathy by parents (and others).
It’s fine to cry at your kids’ bad behaviour at times, but ultimately kids need firm boundaries, not a parent reduced to tears.
My mum was always crying at our behaviour as kids. We felt that she couldn’t handle us and that made us feel scared.
Kids will sometimes push and push until they find something reassuringly firm, they need that to know they’re safe and being cared for.
For those who say the OP must not be depressed as she’s fine when she’s not with her child - well, to me that shows that there is a major issue that is drawn to the surface by her role as a mother. An issue that needs dealt with in therapy. I am speaking as someone who also has problems around being a mother because of my childhood experiences.

bigKiteFlying Wed 15-May-19 12:18:05

The thing is he’s so head strong if I make him do something he doesn’t want to do he just makes the whole day miserable

Can he not be persuaded with races - you puts the shoes on first - or jollied/bribed out of it? Does the childminder find him difficult?

DS was difficult between 3 and 4 - before he started school. He’d been the easy baby didn’t help DH was working away and I was exhausted.

It was finding strategies that worked with him – stickers and charts never did– I had to distract him before he got a head of steam going sometimes by being silly sometimes by challenging him–he also reacted badly to being rushed still does - but while he’d bare a grudge he could be jollied unlike eldest who just had to calm down in her own time and you just had to wait.

Though all my children knew in end they'd do what I wanted - we never gave into trantrums.

Some childen are more work - some of them have underlying conditions - could you contact your HV there're supposed to look at under 5 see if they have suggestions - though I think first suggestions are usually parenting courses before assesments.

AndOutComeTheBoobs Wed 15-May-19 12:18:27

The child is not responsible or culpable for their mother's mental health problems.

I didn't have mental health problems. I had 4 year old problems. After months of hellish behaviour I cracked and cried.
And I don't for one second, think it's bad for my son to have realised that his behaviour was a direct impact for that.

Just like when he is at school, if he were to
say something unpleasant to a child and make them cry he should understand that it was caused by his behaviour.

How is it any different?!

My goodness.

Itscoldouthere Wed 15-May-19 12:18:29

My DS2 was really difficult and seemed so naughty from 2 till 5, it was so hard.
It did end up that he is ASD (not suggesting this is your issue whatsoever) as part of the process, I had positive parenting classes and it was very transformative.
Negative thoughts really do cloud ones mind and can send you into a downward spiral, using negative words compounds the situation.
I really changed my parenting style, tried to be talk in a positive way as much as possible, stopped drawing attention to the bad stuff, tried to praise any good behaviour even small things like sitting quietly and reading.
It made such a massive difference about how I felt about DC2, I stopped disliking him and instead, disliked some of his behaviour, but did my best to move on to more positive things as quickly as possible. Don’t let one meltdown or sulk set the whole day, move on and try and end up with some good things.
I also started telling him I loved him more, praising him and stopped telling him off all the time.
For me and him it really worked, he’s the loveliest 18 year old now and I love him so much.
OP I really hope you can turn this around for that little boy who needs you 💜

Antibles Wed 15-May-19 12:18:47

Much sympathy. Some children are harder than others. They certainly have a habit of saving the worst behaviour for their parents! That is actually quite normal and in a way means they trust they can be horrible to you but you will still be there for them.

But I do agree with ChristmasMiracle: The thing is what you are teaching him is that if he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t have to. He’s learnt that even when you make him do it if he makes the day miserable you will back off and won’t bother.

You say your son is making the day miserable if you force him to do something he doesn't want to do - but he's making you miserable anyway. You've got nothing to lose really so why not make him do the perfectly reasonable stuff you've planned? Or offer him two choices of your liking which gives him a bit of perceived control still.

He's not getting any nicer to you even when you him have his sulky angry way. Some people aren't like that, children included. Some push it until they find your boundary. If they don't find a boundary because you keep retreating in defeat, they carry on getting worse and worse.

If he's better with your DP, why not observe the interaction between them, specifically whether your son respects a 'no' from your DP.

I do feel for you, it's hard.

Littlechocola Wed 15-May-19 12:19:55

Have you spoken to your dp?

NeatFreakMama Wed 15-May-19 12:20:45

* AndOutComeTheBoobs* a four year old is not responsible for my emotions, they're mine. I'm the adult.

A four year old is being a four year old. Telling a child that they're the reason you're sad is not acceptable, it's too big a responsibility for a child to hold.

CaptainMyCaptain Wed 15-May-19 12:22:00

I suspect you are suffering from depression even if it is presenting itself differently although I had a child like this in my nursery class years ago (permanently whingy)and he turned out to be diabetic. Whatever is the cause you both need to see a GP.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »