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miserable about shouting at the kids

(14 Posts)
asicsgirl Tue 31-May-11 20:13:55

Have 3 and 6 year old DSs. In many ways lovely boys but get completely uncontrollably silly. A lot of the time this is OK but I am worried about bathtime, swimming etc where there are dangers from them hurling themselves around/ running about/ not listening etc. Both DP and myself end up just shouting at them trying to get them to calm down and do what they are told. Have tried 1-2-3, stickers, reward charts etc - they both respond well to stickers but ignore negative sanctions esp DS2 (3 years) who seems to delight in doing exactly what he is told not to, and waiting for your reaction. We have had some success with games in the bathroom - being train drivers, getting ready to go up in the Space Shuttle etc - but this is inconsistent. Came to a head this evening when neighbour shouted up at me to calm down during particularly screamy bathtime and said they were worried about the kids etc etc. Feel completely mortified and can't stop crying about what a sh*t mother I am. What can I do?

vintageteacups Tue 31-May-11 20:56:55

I'm sure you're not a shit mother.

I remember someone on here saying a similar thing years ago and someone gave some advice I've never forgotten.....and in fact, I told my sister it today when she was stressing!

when they are being really tricky and you find yourself shouting at them constantly, take a deep breath and imagine that you are their nanny, employed to take care of them.

I know it sounds a bit daft but trust me, it really does work. We all get complacent about how we discipline our kids but it works magic on my two, and others I've told about it, when I'm really het up with them being naughty for hours on end.

Pretending that you are being paid to look after them actually makes you stand back for a bit and see things how others would see the situation and you kind of get a clearer picture of why they're behaving like it and then you seem moer able to cope with fixing it, whether it be time out, taking a toy away they were fighting over or simply going and making a cuppa and sticking them in front of the tele for half an hour.

Sometimes, to give yourself a break, let them skip a bath and give them a quick strip wash or a wipe around the bottom with baby wipes. It's not every day - but it'll give you a bit of extra 'me time' Then, instead of pulling your hair out, you can chill out with them in their bedroom for a bit. Or go down and watch tv for half an hour whilst letting them play for a bit longer - they'll think you're being supermum and giving them a bit of a treat whilst you get to relax and not miss east enders or whatever.

Try it and see smile.

MadamDeathstare Tue 31-May-11 20:57:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5318008 Tue 31-May-11 21:07:15

wrt running at swimming, talk to them and also a few whistles and glares from the lifeguards will reinforce; you could go hard-core and go home each time they run at the poolside

bathtime - do they bath together or separately? I would be thinking about moving the older one to showering (giving more autonomy, offering the opportunity to be a Big Boy and hopefully role modelling calmer behaviour)

also do they get enough exercise ? mine at that age needed at least two good runs a day/a decent session on the trampoline/long walks

5318008 Tue 31-May-11 21:07:41

and yes, dial down the shouting

greencolorpack Tue 31-May-11 21:19:41

Think from your neighbour's point of view. They are through a wall. They never hear you talking in a quiet voice, all the kind and good things you say to your children. They only hear the shouty times. So they think you are a shouty mother.

I learnt this from my open plan primary school. I thought the teacher of the class next to ours was a complete witch. I talked about this to a boy in her class and he expressed surprise and said she was a good fun teacher. It's then that I realised, because of what I could hear, I only heard the negative bits where she was shouting. I missed out on when that teacher was kind and nice.

So your neighbours should mind their own damn business!

When my nippers were doing my head in my favourite catchphase was "You're going in your cot!" Ds would bawl and scream at an empty room as I calmed down two rooms away. Have something like this. I know it's hard in bathrooms. I find bathrooms incredibly stressful because of the noises reverberating off the tiles. I remember a bad day in the British Museum toilets when dd was a toddler, screamed the place down, I remember literally tearing clumps of hair out of my head. My technique then was to cover my ears to try and lessen the stress of the noise. Not a good day, that.

Have a "who can have the quietest bath?" competition. Reward them for silence. Find a really diverting book you can read them, and say you will only read if they sit quietly in the bath.

Do what someone above said - just bath them less often. They don't need loads and loads of baths (unless you're a pig farmer or something and they help out).

MadamDeathstare Tue 31-May-11 21:36:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

asicsgirl Tue 31-May-11 21:59:38

What a lot of brilliant advice. Thank you - I knew I could rely on MN :-)

MadamDeathStare - yes, explaining on the way to the pool - I can see that might work. I am quite crap at following through on threats as DS2 just wants to test me the whole time but then SCREAMS the place down when you actually follow through. It honestly sounds like you are sawing off his leg. So I will do quite a lot to avoid having to actually do whatever it was I threatened. Which I know is the first rule... The bit about being selectively deaf is definitely true, haha! They only have eyes and ears for each other... Re. shortening requests - I don't even get to the point of making the request - it's just 'DS2. DS2? DS2! DS2!!!' etc. He literally doesn't hear me.

5318008 - I like the showering idea. Also lifeguards being disapproving - DS1 in particular is very in awe of Authority. Maybe I could tip them off... And yes re. exercise, tho' some of the worst behaviour is when they are really tired.

greencolorpack - good point re. neighbours only hearing the shouting. Do love the 'You're going in your cot!'. And 'who can have the quietest bath?' - that is Genius. Will try that tomorrow.

Thanks again :-)

skybluepearl Tue 31-May-11 22:16:45

You are a reflective parent - which is a great thing. You care deeply and want your boys to remain safe.

i find it helps a bit to have very very very close eye contact and be directly in his line of vision. use firm low voice. watch and wait for them to follow instruction, repeat instruction like a parrot every so often while maintaining eye contact. Stay calm and dead pan.

they do get calmer when they hit 7 or 8 honest.

asicsgirl Tue 31-May-11 22:54:29

thanks skybluepearl :-) you are abs right about the eye contact - I spend a lot of time going 'Look at mooooiii' in a bit of Kath 'n' Kim stylee... and thanks for saying they get calmer later on! I love them at this age, honestly - they are so funny and loving - but they have no self control...

Tryharder Wed 01-Jun-11 00:38:15

I had to laugh at your thread OP because I have a 6 year old boy and a nearly 3 year old boy and could have written your post pretty much (only that my neighbour hasn't actually told me to calm down). Sometimes I actually feel sorry for our neighbours with all the shouting, running around etc that goes on in our house.

They do get their revenge though when they come in drunk at 3am on Sunday morning and wake me up wink

asicsgirl Wed 01-Jun-11 08:21:27

Tryharder: haha! We have already moved weekend breakfasts from the kitchen (over their bedroom) to the front room (over our cellar) after they complained about the happy noise of diggers being SKREEEKED across the kitchen floor at 7am on Sundays... Whoops. Our other neighbours shout at each other all the time (and they are grown ups, so no excuse ;-) ) - as DP pointed out last night, downstairs neighbours probably think that is us, too... One of my FB friends (who has one quiet little girl) posts regularly about her "fishwife" neighbour and how they are desperate to move as neighbour is always screaming 'DON'T you DARE talk to me like that!' etc. I don't say anything... but every now and then I wish her twin boys... ;-)

jenmelbourne Mon 06-Jun-11 08:32:10

I HATE people that "mean well" but just make you feel like crap.
The neighbour should have knocked on the door, politely said that you sounded stressed and "would you like some help?"
If the neighbour ever yells at you again, say "Instead of criticizing my parenting skills, you can CLEARLY see that I'm having a bad day - get up here and help me!"

twooter Mon 06-Jun-11 08:44:06

I got 'how to talk so kids will listen' when I wad having a hard time with my dd when she was 6 . It made a dramatic improvement to our relationship, and I still refer back to it whenever I start to get a bit shouty. ( got it on amazon- it has great reviews)

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