I'm feeling very bad about my parenting abilities(11 Posts)
Just that, really. This is the third time this week I've been in tears at the end of the evening and utterly desperate for my DS to go to bed. He is 3.3. Over the last 4 months I've just found him harder and harder to deal with. It probably serves me right for being smug about the ease with which we sailed through the "terrible twos". I have no ideas how much of this is normal but I feel as if he defies me at every turn. I feel as if I'm a terrible mum and don't even like him very much at times.
Absolutely everything is a struggle - mealtimes, bedtime, teeth brushing (a particular nightmare which now takes both of us to pretty much pin him down, I'm sure it's horrible for him), shopping (inevitable meltdowns, I'm doing online from now on) getting dressed... He has also developed a love for throwing things and clambering all over me, occasionally pulling my hair and I've been hurt on more than one occasion. I say, repeatedly, "no". I've shouted. He laughs and runs away. It's much worse when he he's tired at which point he goes into a frenzy of throwing everything he can get his hands on, sometimes at me.
I don't seem to have any "power" over him and I don't know how to get it! Time outs are hopeless, he just runs away. I've read so much about parenting and now I realise I've slipped into bad habits really easily. I think I'm allowing him to dominate but you have to pick your battles, right?
I don't know what I'm posting for, I just feel so down and like I'm just rubbing at being a mum. I've just signed up for the Triple P parenting course online so maybe that will help. I think I just dread that things are going to go from bad to worse. I feel very alone with this. My partner is enormously supportive but doesn't worry in the way i do.
I also absolutely adore him and he can be so funny and sweet and gentle but those moments are fewer and further between! Help...!
Well from what you've said you're doing pretty good. How many people actively sign up for a course to try and better/understand what they're doing?
All 3 yr olds are like Attila the Hun, they're all hard work and yes you sometimes you feel like you've lost control or losing the plot but I swear to god it ends. I've done 3 and each time I felt like I was tearing my hair out.
This is the hardest part until you get to the teens ime. Just hang in there
Parenting is a skill. You want to get better at it and that can only help you and your family.
In the meantime pick your battles. Be clear, calm and consistent and always have a consequence for behaviour. Always follow through. You want to do time out? He runs off? Don't let him. Put him back and start again.
I've got no suggestions or advice but wanted to say thank you for posting. My DD is 3.2 and 75% of the time (and always in nursery/school), she is adorable, well behaved, happy and a pleasure. BUT the rest of the time she is Soooo difficult. She never had a tantrum until she turned 3 and she gets so angry.
I work full time and am wrecked with guilt and constantly blame myself...
It's just nice to know I'm not the only one who struggles
I just wanted to say thanks for your answers and the support. You've all made me feel much less useless and alone. Just knowing others have been through this and that it's not just me is incredibly helpful.
There might be some helpful stuff on this podcast
If you were useless you wouldn't be asking for advice or trying so hard to get it right!
I feel your pain op - 2 was a doddle but 3? Awful. He's 4 now and better but still not great... well done you for asking for help, triple p is good. The book the incredible years is good too.
I doubt my parenting skills regularly and find ahaparenting.com and the book "how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" useful.
You are not alone!
I would try reading the 'how to talk so kids will listen' book - I only read a little bit but found it really useful to hit the re-start button on how I interacted with my little boy. That, in itself, really helps with choosing which battles to fight and helping to diffuse a lot of situations before they escalate.
This is a really hard age, it's absolutely relentless and you are doing the very best that you can.
When you decide to fight a battle then Consistency is vital - try to decide on a discipline system that you are happy with and set 'the rules' then stick to them. As soon as he starts something which you want to stop, go straight into 'the routine'. I sort of pinched Supernanny so 'please don't do that it's not nice / dangerous / hurts mummy' then 'stop it now, that's a warning. If you do it again, timeout' then if he continues we go straight to timeout, explain why, 3 mins in quiet time, explain why again, say sorry , cuddle, back to play.
Exact content isn't important but predictability and follow through is key. He must understand from experience that you will follow through with the consequence. So that as soon as you start 'the routine' he thinks, ooh hang on I know what happens here if I carry on.
It's fucking hard but this too will pass
How to.talk so kids will listen is an amazing book
Please don't be too hard on yourself everyone struggle s with some stage of parenting.
When toddlers are being frantic I think strategies for staying calm are helpful. Breathe in for seven and out for eleven. Remind yourself that everything is going to be ok. Draw the child into your peace, don't be drawn into their chaos.
Everyone knows about the terrible twos. Everyone with kids knows that they are followed by the fucking awful threes. It's not you.
Consistency is absolutely key, as is gin.
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