My behaviour as a parent of DS 3 and DD 7 months(7 Posts)
Today, after picking my DS up from preschool and him not getting into his car seat, but instead jumping into the front and bouncing around while I'm trying to get my DD into the back (she's crying because she's tired) we have a 'lovely' car journey home where they're both crying and screaming together, in unison. I lose it and start screaming back 'shut up!!!' ' both of you!!!' I think I'd been stressed because we're going through a house move and I'm trying to juggle that, plus planning a new build so I'm having to make lots of phone calls and waiting for responses to silly things. I'm a real tyrant at times. I definitely affect my DS because he eventually goes quiet and says 'mummy, I've stopped crying' in a little whisper. I feel awful because I can only imagine how horrible it must be to be on the end of that shouting. I can't imagine my own mum like that, so scary and threatening. I feel like I threaten and bully and shout at my DS a lot. I've developed a short, sharp tactic for misbehaviour rather than a slow, considered approach. I've got to the point where I don't believe he'll respond to slow talking. When I have to get him out the house, I have to get him out the house, end of story. And I hate to say this, but I kind of pride myself in not being one of these mums who's always pandering to their kids. I do spoil him with lots of kisses and we have a great relationship. it doesn't help when people like my MIL say that she thinks his behaviour's gone downhill and that if she had more time with him she'd get him sorted out. Since I'm on maternity I'm the main carer for him so I get the pressure put on when he's 'misbehaving'. There's a lot going on in our lives at the moment. We've relocated hundreds of miles from my MIL's area to my own mum's area and I can safely say I prefer the influence my own parents are having on my children than my inlaws. I always thought my inlaws were too strict, making him sit at restaurants when the places weren't suited for little ones and wondering why he'd start playing up and get bored. They're very old school and compare my DS to other children they know, which really annoys me. No child should be compared, they're all unique. So I think I have a lot of pressures at the mo but I also think my DS has too. I don't know why I'm posting this. I don't really expect anyone to want to respond. I just like to use MN as a place to vent and by posting maybe somebody else may be able to understand.
It sounds like you have an awful lot on your plate and could probably do with a bit more support. Maternity leave is NOT a reason for you to take on everything. Can your parents give you a break sometimes? Is your DH with you? Sorry, you don't mention him.
Start again tomorrow and don't be too hard on yourself.
I have dc similar ages and also doing various house improvements with a view to selling and moving soon.
I totally empathise with the shouting, feeling like a bully, feeling bad yet not wanting to pander to the dc. Being stressed about or distracted by other things like waiting for returned calls definitely makes me more likely to shout and bully.
Don't feel I'm well placed to offer advice but wanted to offer solidarity and
All of us have responded more harshly than we intended to bad behaviour when we've been under pressure. It won't have done you DS any harm to realise that his behaviour has an impact on you. He is clearly old enough to learn from the incident because he made sure you knew he had stopped crying and I don't think you're going to make a habit of it.
Your strategy of dealing with unacceptable behaviour swiftly is perfectly fine as long as it is consistent and your DS understands it. There is no need to drag things out. In fact I think swift response then move on and start again is a good way to go. Do you issue a warning and does your DS know what to expect if he ignores it? If so you're doing a great deal better than a lot of parents .
Ignore your MIL's comments about sorting him out. You're his parent. You know him best and you get to decide what is acceptable behaviour, not her. f she did get the chance she wants, she would just realise that he is different from her own children and it isn't as easy as she thought.
Go easy on yourself. You've got a lot on your plate and if the worst thing you do is shout when your DS is screaming you're doing fine.
My DDs are similar ages to yours and I totally hear you on the short sharp approach. I'm not sure I like it either but struggle to do/be anything else. My friends who take the softly softly approach with their dc don't seem to have much of a grip on their behaviour either.
Not much help, but you're not the only one!
Thanks sooo much for everyone's responses! Can't quite believe it, thought I was going to be shot down and told I'm doing everything wrong and shouting at your children can do a lot of damage. I think I realised, while writing the post, that it's not something I'm going to do again very soon, I think writing on here can help get things out and helps you to think things through. Sometimes I'm not even sure what's bothering me until I try writing it down here and it all pours out! Today's another day and we're all okay and I'm not going to shout again anytime soon! Love to all xxxxxx
I could have written your post
You are not alone - young children can drive anyone insane! I definitely shout too much and then feel awful. You are not alone and tomorrow is another day!
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