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help just shouted at my kids

(12 Posts)
purplegoats Tue 28-Jun-16 16:37:33

I have just really shouted at my kids and slammed doors! I have two adopted DDs, 5 and 8 oldest is prone to being argumentative and controlling and youngest just constantly shouts.

Oldest came home and hadn't eaten her lunch, this has been an ongoing battle. She had a massive strop as I wouldn't let her have some crisps (I did let her have several pieces of fruit) and has been complaining for an hour about being hungry, she also threw a strop at her sister who wanted a turn at watching something on tv.

Youngest has also been shouting at wanting food or tv or anything she can think of since she got home.

I switched tv off and said that I had had enough of the way they were speaking to me and that they needed to find something else to do until dinner. At which point youngest told me I should go and find something to do till dinner. I left the room. She kept shouting and shouting for me to come back and then asked if I'd play a game.

I said yes let's play a game. But youngest kept cheating and oldest was getting really stroppy, then youngest threw the game board up in the air and left for her bedroom. She laid on her bed shouting mummy over and over. I said I needed a few minutes but she kept on and on and then I went up and shouted at her so loudly I scared myself. I'm still shaking. I've just put telly on for them and given then crisps and biscuits and come up to my room to cry.

I feel like such a failure m, I can't keep calm. I have a terrible headache. I know they experienced some terrible parenting when they were little and I feel awful for behaving this way. I feel embarrassed and sad and horrible.

We are having some post adoption support (eventually) and although this is great in the sessions it doesn't seem to be improving everyday life. I don't know what to do now.

DPotter Tue 28-Jun-16 17:14:32

Look we've all shouted at our kids (well the vast majority of us have) - kids know how to push our buttons all too well. You're not a failure - you're a normal Mum in a stressful situation.

May I suggest you dry your eyes, make yourself a cuppa and then go and join your girls watching the TV. When the programme finishes, say you need to speak to them about what happened and turn off the TV. Then apologise for shouting and explain that shouting is upsetting - you get upset when they shout at you and you're sure they get upset when you shout at them, so lets agree to try and not shout at each other.

I found the period between arriving home after school and serving up tea / dinner can be very stressful - the kids are hungry and tried, I've got to get food prepared, house work tackled and they want attention. Recipe for fractiousness all round. I found if I gave DD a proper snack, eg cheese sandwich, (ie bit of carbohydrate & some protein) and a drink - that sorted out a lot of fractiousness on her part- gave me some space to get my head together. I know its not strictly MN to give snacks, but hay it worked for us. With a reasonable snack inside her, there was less pressure to get a meal ready so I could spread a bit of time with her. Only when everyone is on an even keel can you talk through the important stuff.

You need to establish some ground rules. I like to tackle one thing at a time - keeps the focus sharp. So the shouting - Maybe not even call the shouting 'shouting'. Maybe using phrases such as 'indoor voice' 'quiet voice' might make things a little clearer. Asking your DDs to use their quiet voices to ask questions in the same room as you, not loudly from another room. Build up a repertoire of sanctions, eg TV off, early to bed - for being loud, fighting, answering back etc and explain that to your DDs.

Choose your battles as they say...

RatherBeIndoors Tue 28-Jun-16 17:23:32

Hugs. You had a crummy time and you're human. You can't live every day trying to be a living compensation for what they experienced (but I totally understand the instinctive drive to try). In the end, we do our best, and I don't believe it does terrible harm for our children to see we have limits - but I do believe we need to make the most of the opportunity to demonstrate how we heal and repair relationships afterwards. And for what it's worth, I think it's normal for things to get more stirred up at home during the early stages of therapeutic sessions, so go easy on yourself, forgive yourself, and take a deep breath and a cuppa before starting again.

purplegoats Tue 28-Jun-16 18:04:13

Thank you both for your posts. They both came up and had made me cards to say sorry! I have spoken to them and told them I was wrong to shout and need to be better at managing when I'm angry but that we all need to work on being nicer to each other. I think I need to work on improving our after school routine a bit. Thanks again

Cleo1303 Wed 29-Jun-16 14:43:45

DD is very fiery and so am I. (My mother says I was just the same at DD's age.) She could argue for England and she is very clever at it. Hardly surprisingly she is doing wonderfully well in debating at school! She has an answer for everything. She is a real door-slammer when she can't have her own way and when she was younger she could go on for over an hour. We only really argue about two or three things:

1 - Homework. Please get it done as soon as you come home, and don't tell me you have no homework and then "suddenly remember" you have homework which is going to take two hours at 7.00 p.m., after you have spent two hours on

2 - Computer or ipod chatting to your friends which is way over the time
you are allowed, and arguing until I get very cross and start yelling having asked you to get off for over half-an-hour.

3 - Bedtime. You have school tomorrow and cannot stay up until 11 pm watching The Hunger Games.

These aren't adoption issues I know, but we do argue a lot. The main thing is that after every argument we've had since she was about four once it has calmed down we always say, "Even though we scream and yell we love each other very much." That is our mantra.

I didn't know it "wasn't MN" to give a snack. Everyone I knew at DD's school seemed to get a snack when they came out of school and she always has too. I did when I was a child as well. Your two are only little and it's quite a long time between their school lunch and supper.

It sounds like you are doing a great job. Be kind to yourself.

Kitkatandcake Wed 29-Jun-16 23:01:11

Don't beat yourself up, if you're this upset about shouting I'm going to assume you're doing a pretty remarkable job. I shout all the time (my youngest is hard of hearing, and I'm naturally loud anyway) but I always make time to apologise for it after. E.g. I'm sorry I shouted, I shouldn't raise my voice but I got cross blah blah. Tomorrow is another day.

UltegraGirl Wed 31-Aug-16 17:29:42

Thank your for sharing your post! It made me fee a little more human when I've had bad days and shouted!!! Think you handled the after-talk perfectly, by the sounds of it.

My DD is going through a biting-when-angry phase and it stings like a b*tch!!! I've actually turned around so she couldn't see me and growled quietly, it hurt so much! My calm, controlled 'you don't bite mummy' can get quite assertive as the day wears on. I'm working on it though and trying to stay calm.

It's bloody hard sometimes isn't it - we're just humans at the end of the day, not superbeings!

Keep going!!! ❤️

pleasemothermay1 Wed 31-Aug-16 19:57:50

We all shout now and again and never believe anyone who tells you they don't

I once spotted my supervising sw from my fostering days bundle her kids in the back of her space cruiser as shout

Well there will be no bloody ice cream for anyone now she promptly rang her husband and and said xxxxx have we wine in the house

Lol so we're all human and no I never mentioned I saw her

Italiangreyhound Wed 31-Aug-16 20:06:05

purplegoats you are human, humans sometimes shout. Relax, it is OK.

Lots of good advice already.

I shout a lot! Far too much.

I'm not proud of it but this is real life.

How long have your girls been with you and are you adopting alone?

Push for more support if you need it.

Totally agree on calling it ''indoor voice' and perhaps 'outdoor voice'. I might make a joke, (as long as they will not get upset), 'Hey, I can hear you fine, I'm not on the moon!" etc. (Yes, not very funny, but add a few silly voices and smiles and you can defuse situations sometimes).

Try and have few rules, if you can. Make sure sanctions are relatively small. Once you have lost tablet or TV for the whole day or, goodness me, all week, what is there left to live for! (Or computer time or whatever.)

Losing a privilege for even a few minutes can be as useful a 'punishment' as taking it away all day.

Use 'Calm down' times or 'Take a break' which are not a punishment but work to relax the child and kind of re-set. You can go through the pattern when they are calm and use a teddy or dolly to be the child.

Prepare a call down or take a break spot. This can be a big cushion or bean bag on the floor in the room you are in or could be a chair/stool or step, and could be elsewhere but ideally within sight of you.

Be careful, this is not the naughty step, and some children will react badly to being put out of the room you are in. A cushion or mat is ideal as very portable. Try and keep it in the same room, or if out of the room, within eye sight. This may work with children of any age but adapt for the age.

So, back to the role play, if Teddy is not behaving appropriately, Teddy gets a warning (tell the child what you might say but let the child give the warning... eg... 'Teddy, please play nicely with dolly! If you don't play nicely, you will need to have a calm down time or a take a break, etc).

When teddy proves utterly unable to behave have your child put teddy on the calm down spot. Calm down time would only be about two minutes and ends with Teddy re-joining the fun with no further comment.

No need to apologize, because this can reignite the issue. The aim is for Teddy to forget the problems that caused the issues and move on.

Of course if the behaviour involves biting or hurting another person (or themselves) you will need to address that once all is calm.

Never leave in calm down spot for more than about two minutes. Always give a warning. I was introduced to this as 'Take a break'. Call it what you will but not naughty step or naughty spot.

Italiangreyhound Wed 31-Aug-16 20:15:13

purplegoats Re food I never force my kids to eat food, because I feel it can be harmful, but I do strongly encourage the kids to eat their vegetables an (I am an over eater myself!)

We do strongly encourage the kids (our son especially) to eat some food at meal times because he loves to drink and finds food hard work! He does get hungry and fractious if not eating enough. So, for example, I pour some cereal and my son has it without milk for breakfast, his choice (he has the milk in a cup to drink). If we are off out and it takes him so long to eat cereal we might take it in a plastic pot in the car!

For lunch I made him ham sandwich, with two slices of buttered bread, (which we had out at a place we went today). He chooses not to eat the crusts (like my 50 year old sister!) and rarely manages the whole two slices, maybe one slice would be OK but it was a fun-filled fuel-needing day and he is a six year old. I did strongly encourage him to eat some pear (he managed about a third of it). He also got some sweets and a brunch bar, and was offered other food. I'm saying this just to show how much he as a six year old eats, I've no idea if this is normal and if you are parenting for the first time it may be hard to work out how much your girls need to eat.

I try and always have tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries etc and other fruit on hand (in the fridge) and there is no problem with the kids eating these, even if they want someone quite soon before dinner (I'd call it a starter).

If it is early in the adoption some of this behaviour will be testing, this works both ways, will you stick to your guns and will you love them if they mess up. Your main aim is to prove you love them, which you are doing brilliantly.

To help with the sticking to your guns, IMHO, I would say rarely draw those guns, rarely draw those boundaries when they do not need to be drawn.

Safety etc, essential, but other things like exactly how or when to eat food (as long as it is not a safety issues, e.g. food on the trampoline or other chocking hazards) - I'd say 'let it go'.

People will often assume as parents to birth kids and 'regular' parenting, you can always get less strict you cannot get more strict. I would disagree.

My birth dd has autistic tendencies and is very dyslexic, which can make parenting hard. We met our son almost two and a half years ago and he joined us by adoption (and is pretty emotional at times).

IMHO both my kids need a non-traditional method of parenting, a more positive and less confrontational method than some use.

For such kids it can be very hard to make lots of firm rules and stick to my guns, because this can lead to massive meltdowns etc.

So, I'd say, not too many rules, choose your battles, and as much as possible avoid battles or show downs about food, especially about trying to coerce kids to eat or about withholding food.

Bless you, it is tough! thanks

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Wed 31-Aug-16 20:16:29

It's not QUITE a zombie thread but I imagine purplegoats is over this particular episode since it happened in June grin

Italiangreyhound Wed 31-Aug-16 21:30:26

Oo errr did not see that! Purple come back and tell us how it is all going!

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