Screaming at kid(126 Posts)
More of a WWYD than AIBY.... But I'm desperate. Very long post.
Here after another sleepless night with my mind in turmoil again.
I think I'm a fairly good mother, DD who's 8, seems like a happy child; always singing, talking, at the near top of her class, healthy with all the material trappings of well off kid. while she has pretty much a lot she's no spoilt. She's loved and cherished by all of us.
Trouble is me. Evenings is when my tiredness hits me after 10 hours at a very stressful job dealing with chauvinistic, sexist Americans with hardly any sleep so everything sets me off. I end up screaming at her. It's usually, coming in from afterschool club and instead of doing homework, she sits on the telly. After the 5th time to switch it off, I end up screaming at her, grabbing the remote and give her an angry look that makes her cry. Homework is fraught and after the 3rd trip to go sharpen her pencil, I loose it again. Dinner is tough because all foods except pasta and pizza are no good. Cue screaming after a hour at the table to eat 1 flaming broccoli floret. By then is 7.30-8 and the bedtime takes for ever. After 4th time to tell her to brush her teeth but get ignored, I end up screaming again and end up slapping her bum. On top of everything we have additional stuff like for example yesterday: She has cat onesie with a massive stuffer hoodie to look like a cat head. It's uncomfortable to sleep with but she was stubborn to do so. I try to take it off her and we ended up arguing, screaming and me ending up extremely wounded up.
My husband helps and we share everything but every time I do her care, I can't do it right. She has told me point blank that she's a daddy's girl so I'm wondering if it's my behaviour, tiredness or general MH that fucks it up. I'm an anxious person and from what I can see with a short fuse too.
As a side story, I have an housebound mother, in a neighbouring country so while I visit every two months for weekends and some holidays she expects me to call her every day and spend an hour on the phone on average. I feel sorry for her as she's quite lonely. So while I cook after work while homework is being done, we talk with my mum. I also have the financial responsibility of my parents and helping a sibling come out of a financial ruining divorce.
I fall in bed at 10.30 sleep for an couple of hours if lucky and then spend the rest of the night contemplating all my failures at work, home life etc.
To the outsider, I'm an extremely well educated, highly paid individual with the perfect family and blah blah. Inside me, it's a struggle.
So you understand, all these make a bad mix. I don't know what to do to stop my screaming. It's affecting my child and I don't want to be a failure of a mother.
It sounds very tough and like you have a lot going on. Practical idea would be that the telly does not go on until homework is done. Make it a rule, and the sooner it's done, the sooner she can watch TV.
I wouldn't worry about her sleeping in the cat onesie thing. Some things just don't seem to be worth the argument to me.
If you feel yourself getting wound up, about to scream, try to go outside the door and breathe some fresh air for a minute.
Make an appt with your G.P and see about getting some help . Every battle with your little girl doesn't need to BE a battle , pick your moments better and tell yourself this too shall pass. It's my mantra these days. She's only little once . Get yourself the help/break you need. If your job is that stressful do something to change it . Life's too short to spend feeling the way you are .
I'm really sorry to hear about this, it sounds like a struggle. You have a lot going on so it's no wonder you have a short fuse. Taking it out on your daughter is not ok though. You need to do something to address the negativity in the house. How about instigating a reward chart for good behaviour? Homework before TV =
1 star. Trying everything on your plate = 1 star. After 30 stars your daughter earns some kind of treat. also you should look to spending some time together doing fun things when you have days off to rebuild your relationship. Finally, have you tried mindfulness meditating? It has made a huge difference in my ability to cope with life and only takes 10 minutes a day. Lots of free videos on YouTube. Good luck.
You could pick your battles a bit more. 8 years old is a bit old to be trying to control food so much. If she doesn't eat it there's nothing else, but don't turn it into a battle. Don't ask for the TV to be turned off 5 times. Just switch it off yourself or don't let it go on until homework is done which might hurry her up with the homework too. Cat onesie I would have left - she will learn for herself if she's not comfortable.
Can't she do her homework in after school club? That's what they do here.
I know it's only one part of the issue, but it'd take one little stress away.
Your job sounds terribly stressful, is it possible to change companies?
It sounds quite tense over there, OP! Agree with pp: pick battles. No TV is fair enough but don't argue with an 8 year old over it - just switch it off yourself. Let her eat or not. She will eat when she is hungry. Why does it bother you if she wants to go to sleep in her cat onesie? Maybe it's comforting to her. I certainly wouldn't be wrestling her out of her choice of nightwear. Good luck
I agree. You have too much going on to be "sweating the small stuff". if you carry on as you are the teenage years will be hell.
Just ask yourself "does it matter?". The onesie thing - no. Eating - as long as she is otherwise healthy - no. Homework - yes - she can sit with it until it's finished. She controls how long that takes. You control the TV.
Do they have a punishment at school for not doing homework? She gets warned once do homework or it goes to school not done and you do it there with the tv again one warning and just switch it off no need to force them to comply at that age
With the food I would disengage completely for now till things calm down provide the food she eats and a multivitamin
And she might benefit from an earlier bedtime for now
Firstly you can't be everything to everyone. Sounds like to me you have this image of super mum, super employee and super daughter you're trying to keep up with. You're putting so much pressure on yourself to do 'everything' then transferring that onto your daughter. Be sensible and say you can't call your mother every day. She gets lonely ask her to call someone else. If she has no one else she is an adult you have a child at home you need to take care of and be there for. You need to be there for your self too. It's too much.
Don't argue the small things food etc telly. Just switch the telly off and put the food on the plate if it's not eaten don't worry. Why are you putting so much pressure on her and yourself over small things?
Your work situation doesn't sound healthy! Change job? Speak to HR? Or is it your industry?
why are you financially responsible for so many people? Seems to be you've made yourself a crutch and the load is getting heavy. You need to start prioritising and making changes so you have less pressure and anger:
Finally see a GP you need a sounding board and probably some techniques of seeing things differently maybe some CBT would be helpful
On a parenting course l did years ago guy said most problems with dc are caused by stressed parents. Imagine if you were not tired or overburdened would those issues be such a big deal. I would be cross all evening if l had to talk to my dm for an hour everyday. That would have me at screaming pitch. Your dd is suffering because of the stress. You need to see a doctor. Can you call your dm on the way home from work for ten mins or after dd goes to bed. Maybe run a bath and talk then. It's not fair to your dd to have her time stolen by your dm. You may need some anti anxiety medication for a while.
Agree with others. No TV on but give dd your attention at homework time. Make it a good experience for her. Listen to her read and praise her etc. Then let her crash in front of TV. And let her wear whatever she wants and forget the broccoli for the moment. You have pressure but your dd should be your priority for that time.
Why doesn't she do her homework at after school club. She needs some down time if she has school and after school club. But if my kids have telly on when I've said no I turn it off and then put the remote out of reach. Don't scream at her about her tea or her onesie. You do sound exhausted though
Do you like talking to your mum? Do your siblings talk to her every day? If not why just you? Maybe she needs a care home if she is so lonely.
Stop hitting your child for a start. It's not her fault you are stressed. What kind of memories and relationship do you want to leave her with? My father was like this when I was a kid. I am NC with him now.
It sounds like she is pushing back because you are too harsh on her. Agree with the advice above, don't fight over things that just aren't worth it. It will ruin your relationship.
Food - make sure she takes a multivitamin and relax about it. You will be pleasantly surprised at her reaction to the pressure being taken off.
Nightwear- ignore, she will realise if it's not comfy.
TV- agree with advice above.
Homework - natural consequences. Give her 30 minutes to get it done, if it isn't done, let her face the consequences at school.
I would have a conversation with her about how you want to get on better. Admit you don't always get it right and say sorry. Tell her you want to work together so you are both happy. Let her talk about what she likes and doesn't like and go from there.
Agree re stopping hitting her. You are doing it out of anger and a loss of control. That is terrifying to a child and it won't help at all.
I think you need to stop, something has to give.
Take a deep breath and evaluate every part of your day to see where you can make changes to make your life. Change your behaviour / routines / actions today.
What things do you do that make you think you're a good mother? Do more of them.
Stop hitting her and wrestling her out of her clothes. Stop trying to control what she eats - she'll eat if she's hungry.
Agree with Stormwhale about talking to your daughter about this.
How would you feel about taking some time at the weekend to sit down with her, to tell her you're sorry and ask if she'd be willing to figure out a plan together? Be open with her about how you are feeling and ask her how she feels. A plan could be e.g. no tv until after homework, maybe she gets to pick what to have for dinner on set days and you get to pick on others. If it's something you both agree on, she may be more invested in it and it'll be seen as working together as opposed to you having the "control" in the relationship.
Write down your plan so you can both go back and see what you agreed.
Oh and the screaming? Just stop. You don't have to scream at her, control yourself. I'm sure you don't scream at your boss/ your clients even when they really annoy you. Use the same self control when interacting with your daughter.
I agree that an hour a day on the phone to your mum is excessive unless you can do it while doing something else, like commuting. Regular quick chats or less frequent long ones. Maybe use the last one to tell her you're changing your routine at home in the hope of improving your relationship with dd.
I also agree with picking your battles.
Do you scream and shout at colleagues/clients/your mum? I am guessing you don't. So it's not that you can't control your temper. It's that you have somehow reached a point where you control it all day around adults and then go home to vent all your irritation and stress on a powerless 8 year old. She understandably reacts by acting out and trying to exert some personal control and autonomy and so the whole sorry situation escalates.
I would urge you to get some counselling to help you understand how you reached this point and support you as you make some changes to your behaviour. It won't turn your daughter into an angel over night but it is not too late to repair your relationship and will make the home a happier place for both of you. If this carries on into her teens you will end up driving her away.
The trouble seems to be that you are asking and asking and asking until you lose your temper. Stop asking. Re the TV - tell her once, then switch it off and take the remote away. Re the eating - don't just serve pizza and pasta, serve normal food and just tell her 'if you don't like it fine, that's what there is though and there's nothing else', then ignore. Re the cat onesie - tell her once she will be uncomfortable, and then if she won't listen, let her be uncomfortable.
She's 8. It's normal for her to push the boundaries at this age, just don't engage with it, rather than escalate it.
I am like this many days too. My son is 4. He has to be asked at least two or three times to do something before he does something and often by the third time I am raising my voice. THe next time I am ignored I snap!
Yesterday, (after a bursting into tears in front of my son and explaining how much it hurt to be ignored and end up shouting constantly) I vowed to try harder not to shout. I was more proactive. "X please put your coat on!...Please put your coat on, if I have to ask you one more time X will happen".
If she won't turn off the TV do it for her. Do not let it escalate. Talk to your daughter.
I did not raise my voice once yesterday. It felt amazing! I felt much closer to my son and feel better about parenting my DD who has only just arrived.
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