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Feeling guilty

(6 Posts)
Ahemily Tue 14-Jul-15 11:17:24

My DS is 3 and currently going through a difficult phase, as most of them do. He was brilliant aged 2, it's just started getting tricky now.

Sometimes he can be boisterous but generally he's a kind natured boy. However, on Sunday he hit me. I sent him to his room and (here comes the guilt) shut the door. He's too little to reach the handle.

While he was in there he absolutely trashed the place, tore pages out of books and drew all over the walls. When I opened the door five minutes later is was absolutely wrecked.

I was so angry with him I really, really shouted, like I never have before, and he was clearly shaken by it. I feel awful.

I should never have shut the door tight, it was thoughtless but probably frightening for him. I didn't comfort him, just yelled. I met anger with anger and now I feel like I'll have made everything worse.

holeinmyheart Tue 14-Jul-15 13:04:24

Ok, Ok, just calm down! Try not to be too upset. You are not the first Parent to have lost the plot and shouted. You won't have done any lasting damage.

A three year old is challenging because they haven't got the autonomy to do as they like, or the ability to understand why they can't do as they like.

They are also too young to plot, as in ' How can I make my mummy really upset today' ? So they suffer from frustration. They respond with raw emotion when they are thwarted.

As you know If you stop them doing something they just open their mouths and yell. They are angry and frustrated but it is temporary, as if you say to them in the middle of a yelling episode ' would you like a ice cream, the yelling can stop immediately.

However they are the three year old and you are the adult and they are wholly dependant on you for their emotional well being. You already recognised that the shouting episode was not a good response to his pushing the boundaries, and that is half the battle.

I think you are both sorry, but you are more sorry because you realise more than him. He will have been shaken but he will forget the episode very quickly.
Perhaps you could look at ways to manage this stage of his development. I always used diversion strategies. If mine were doing something I didn't like I just pointed out of the window and said ' wow what's that big bird doing in our garden ' etc
That sort of thing usually worked from one to Five years old as they are curious.
I am sure you are patient and loving, and his present behaviour is just a phase, and will pass.
Hitting you, comes from frustration, not from disliking you.

Ahemily Tue 14-Jul-15 15:07:42

I can't tell you how much this message means to me. Thank you so much for your kindness and your advice. I feel like I want to keep hugging him so he knows how sorry I am. Diversion tactics sound like the best option going forwards. I hate myself for being a shitty role model. Thank you for not judging. x

holeinmyheart Tue 14-Jul-15 18:14:50

You are not a shitty role model. You posted on MNet because you CARE and are tired.
It is tiring looking after an active bolshy whirlwind all day. I look after one of my GC of four and I am knackered. I remember being bored rigid when I looked after my own Dcs. I have more patience now and I also get a good nights sleep, which I think makes a big difference.

I have made many mistakes looking and bringing up my 5 Dcs to adulthood. I wish that I could go back and do it again as no one punishes me, like me. I can beat myself up better than anyone else.

I have also wept bitter bitter tears with worry, when they have been disappointed about not getting jobs, being dumped, or suffering in anyway. etc. the thought is always there , could I have done anything different or better?

But you only get ONE go at providing them with a happy stable childhood.

I think I am like most Parents, as we all suffer from guilt about what we did or didn't do.

I think MumNet is a wonderful resource to have. I wish it had been there when I was a young Mum.

Anyway, I am so glad you are feeling better. Children are so loving and forgiving ( thank goodness)

We all make mistakes, forgive yourself, and put it down to experience.

Ahemily Wed 15-Jul-15 09:20:11

You're right in that you're your own worst enemy sometimes. I've tormented myself with the ways in which I've failed or could have done better. You sound like a wonderful mother and grandmother.

I'm fairly new to MN and am so glad I reached out. It can feel like you're burdening people with this sort of stuff, but here you feel safe to ask for help.

Thank you again.

holeinmyheart Wed 15-Jul-15 17:55:20

Being thanked feels lovely.
No one on Mumsnet would think you were burdening them as they have the choice to answer or not. No one is forcing anyone to get involved with a thread.
Take care of yourself and your little boy. He is unbelievably precious but you are also unique and worthy of cherishing as well.

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