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to want to apologise to my son

(67 Posts)
WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 11:12:18

I have nc because I'm ashamed.

My lovely lovely 8YO DS who is an absolutely delightful bright happy kind and sensitive boy is ever so slightly clumsy. He drops things and spills liquids, not on purpose. I am an impatient person and it takes a lot of conscious effort for me not to get angry when this happens.

This morning I put a glass of milk in front of him and kind of joked 'be extra careful not to spill it'; as I reached the sink he was already behind me grabbing a cloth. Not a word said. I turn around and followed him to the table to see the milk spilled all over the table.

I lost it. Oh my god how I lost it. I went on and on about I expected better of him as he wasn't a 2 year old anymore. I was purely and simply NASTY and even though I knew it at the time, I just couldn't stop. I went on for about 2 minutes, just throwing vitriol at him and being disproportionately angry. I told him he wouldn't get his computer time that day as punishment because I had had enough.

I am so sad I did that to him and so ashamed I haven't stopped crying all morning. I really couldn't wish for a better son so why do I treat him like this?? I was vile, really vile. I wasn't physical except I did shove him out of my way and snatched the cloth off his hands to wipe the milk myself.

He apologised very sincerely. About 20 minutes later I apologised to him and I said that my reaction was ridiculous and that I shouldn't have spoken to him the way I did. I told him of course he wasn't punished and he would get his computer time because he had done nothing wrong. He just said 'it's okay mummy'.

But I know it's not okay. It's over now and I did apologise but I feel so awful that this could be one of his memories of me when he grows up. I just wish I could erase it but I can't.

Do you react like this sometimes or is it just me?

I want to write a short card of apology to him so that he knows I'm truly sorry and that he did nothing wrong. Is this a good idea you think?

Astelia Tue 12-Feb-13 14:59:52

My two used anywayup beakers for years and years, saved a lot of grief. Children's plastic beakers have a high centre of gravity so aren't very stable IME.

Maryz Tue 12-Feb-13 14:28:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

milbracat Tue 12-Feb-13 14:06:00

M&S chocolate-filled pancakes
Tut Tut! grin Isn't the whole point of Shrove Tuesday is to use up the fatty foods before the austerity of Lent? (so I've read)

For those that DO make their own - why is the first one always a dud?

Getting back to topic; OP, you say your DS is not sporty, but is he doing enough physical activity to develop his spatial awareness and coordination? The fact that he was grabbing a cloth to at least help clean the mess up is reassuring that he is considerate and care around glasses of liquid will surely come with time.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 14:00:50

Been there done that it hurts like hell.

You son will probably remember that there's only so many times you can spill something before you annoy someone, my DS is EXTRA careful these days, accidents still happen, so I've taught him exactlyt how to clean up after himself (rather than him trying to sort it with loo roll).

You son will remember that everyone has a limit and sometimes people get cross. He will, you will. Guess what you're human. Knowing you're human isn't a BAD lesson!

Your son will remember your apology. THAT is a good thing.

A sincere apology is still just words. A straight "sorry" doesn't cut it with any of us, when we apologise we say what we're sorry fo, why we're sorry and how we going to try and avoid the situation in future. But bless him, my son, like me is a clutz. I am always truly sorry for breaking things, I am always trying not to, I am prepared to dig deep a replace things often... and I never touch something that isn't mine and is valuable (urns, jewellry, naice glasses - I always ask for a beaker not a posh glass, and children) because I wouldn't want to upset anyone!

gymmummy64 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:53:33

If my DDs have done something awful and are terribly upset, writing me notes etc, I generally tell them that being really genuinely sorry means thinking twice before doing it again another time. ie learning from it and making a conscious decision to act differently when a similar set of circumstances come up. Otherwise it's just words.

Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do if you are truly sorry is work out how not to react the same way next time and how you will stop yourself getting angry.

Much much easier said than done of course!

OxfordBags Tue 12-Feb-13 13:46:41

OP, if you were a rubbish mother, you wouldn't be worrying about how you behaved. You lost your temper and weren't pleasant, no, but you did teach him a positive lesson - that if you get angry and are mean to someone, you should be big enough to acknowledge your mistake and to apologise sincerely. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone loses their temper, and not many people will apologise or make amends.

But YABU for telling us about M&S chocolate-filled pancakes, you evil witch!

valiumredhead Tue 12-Feb-13 13:26:17

I've just had a look through my saved bookmarks and can't find where we ordered them from but just had a google and there's some pretty good deals out there. Will ask dh if he remembers when he gets home.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:22:09

valiumredhead thank you, I'll look those up, and perhaps also read the instruction booklet that came with the cooker.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:20:58

Chazs, see he's great with lego and handwriting, not so much with model making and picking up glasses of milk wink.

We have a little card on the fridge that says 'treat others as you'd like to be treated'. Sometimes my DC point at at when I'm not being particularly pleasant. Today they didn't dare though...

valiumredhead Tue 12-Feb-13 13:18:47

Yes, we bought STELLAR pans which are amazing - we paid just over £100 for a big set on line which included a steamer and stock pot and gravy jug - if you just wanted a basic set you could easily get it down cheaper. We bought online as the discount was massive. My MIL has had Stellar pans and they last years and years. I will try and remember where I ordered them from and PM you if I remember smile

The reason I asked about the lego was if he struggles to pick up the small pieces then he might have issues with his fine motor control i.e. the small fiddly controlled movements necessary for handwriting, model making, picking up glasses of milk wink.

The fidgety question related to retained reflexes, some children don't lose all of their early reflexes that they had as a baby that should disappear as they get older and that can make them clumsy and fidgety.

One other thought, he doesn't have any eyesight problems does he? DS2 is a lot less clumsy since he got glasses.

p.s. Once when I lost it and got very shouty with my two so they sent me to sit on the step for 5mins to calm down (as I would have done to them if they were being equally stroppy). I did it.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:15:40

Thank you everyone for all your comments, I will read this thread again and again. It's help me a great deal. I can't wait to collect my DS from school!!

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:13:38

valiumredhead if you're still here, would you recommend me a set of pans and frying pans, and a wok if possible please. Thank you.

CailinDana Tue 12-Feb-13 13:12:42

I was clumsy as a child and my mother's voice still rings in my ears all the time. I find myself fumbling and getting panicky when I do something because in the back of my mind I'm waiting for her to tut or take over. The thing is, as I got older I got less clumsy but I did have normal accidents and yet the family story was still that I was "clumsy like Aunt X" and it drove me absolutely nuts. We used to get our milk delivered in glass bottles and I remember bringing a bottle in one wet day and dropping it on the floor where it smashed. Bearing in mind that the bottle was very wet, it was something that could have happened to anybody, it wasn't because I was clumsy. I broke down and cried and cried - I just couldn't face the inevitable minute-long telling off from my mother for something that I didn't do deliberately. In the end when she did see what happened and saw how upset I was she just let it go. I was so relieved.

From the point of view of clumsy child I would say DO NOT make any reference to not spilling a drink, or keeping it upright or anything like that. Your son knows he shouldn't spill the drink FFS! Reminding him not to spill is just drawing attention again and again and again to his clumsiness and chances are it's making him even more clumsy out of nerves. Don't say anything. Just hand it to him. Being clumsy isn't deliberate, and reminding someone isn't going to stop an accident. You need to work on accepting that this is just him and he will inevitably drop things and spill things, but at his age he should be able to clean up after himself. Don't react at all if he does spill (apart from maybe helping him) because there's just no point, you're not going to teach him anything other than that he's a pain in the arse for being the way he is (which is how I always felt). His spills are his business, he's not doing it to annoy you or be naughty so just don't get involved.

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:09:08

He is sensitive to clothes because he has eczema but I wouldn't say he's fidgety at all. He is very good at lego, can build very sophisticated structures following the instructions.

EllieArroway Tue 12-Feb-13 13:06:10

These moments (and we all have them) are hard. The guilt we feel is crippling. I lost it like that a few times when my DS was growing up for similarly trivial reasons. If it's any consolation, mine is a happy, healthy, well-adjusted 16 year old now & we are really, really close.

Your DS will learn that life is not always a bed of roses, and people - even those we love the most - sometimes don't behave as well as they should. But he's also learned that mummy loves him enough to say sorry & give him a cuddle when she knows she's been wrong. This will mean more to him than you realise.


Is he fidgety or sensitive to clothes / shoes rubbing? Can he pick up small things like little bits of lego, beads and the like or does he struggle?

tempnameswap Tue 12-Feb-13 13:00:16

I have been like this OP and, as lost of posters have said, you are only human and you have apologised. It is infuriating as it seems like they are just being careless and you are overstretched without having to clear up spilled stuff all the time.

I would draw a line under it - for children, overly emotional apologies can be worse than the shouting - try and have a fun pancake evening and take a deeper breath next time. You are not inherently evil in any way, just probably a bit tired and fed up!

Thumbwitch Tue 12-Feb-13 13:00:05

OT = occupational therapist

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 12:58:55

What is an OT?

WTFisWrongWithMe Tue 12-Feb-13 12:55:25

nickelbabe. I think he is just a little clumsy like his dad really, no more to it than that. If I read about dyspraxia, sure he ticks some of the boxes, he's not particularly sporty, he's very slow at getting dressed and he can be very disorganised, just like his dad. However, he's a little math genious, excellent at writing amazing stories with really good handwriting and he is top of the class on everything. He learned to read by himself at age 3. He's not a natural sportsman but learned to ride his bike without stabilisers before he turned 4, so he can be balanced and co-ordinated. His artwork looks like it has been performed by a 4 year old and he cannot create anything with clay or plasticine. I'm no longer worried about that.

miemohrs Tue 12-Feb-13 12:52:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crashdoll Tue 12-Feb-13 12:52:01

You lost it, then apologised. It happens. Stop beating yourself up over it. smile He sounds like a lovely boy and you sound like a lovely mum. Enjoy your chocolate pancakes!

Thumbwitch Tue 12-Feb-13 12:50:52

I would second Builtfor's suggestion.

If you say to someone, "Don't do X" the first thing they have to do is work out what X is before they can then not do it, by which time chances are they've set themselves up to do X.

So yes, find another way to ask him to be careful, that involves only positive phrasing (I'm not talking about Pollyanna language, just avoid using the word "Don't") "Please be careful with this cup" "Keep this upright and safe" "keep the table dry" etc. etc.

And forgive yourself but learn at the same time that it is something to avoid a repeat performance of - I get horribly frustrated with DS1 as well sometimes but try so so hard to keep a lid on it and always blame the behaviour, not the person.

Wewereherefirst Tue 12-Feb-13 12:50:16

Yy to proper working pans that are suited to induction and fit over the hob itself, I learnt how to cook again when I got new induction pans!

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