I want to stop yelling at my children(9 Posts)
I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and all of the shouting is really getting me down.
My 5 year old is constantly winding up my 2 year old and it nearly always ends up with one hitting the other, usually with the youngest coming off worse. This kind of situation sends my temper from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds. I can't help but feel protective of the youngest as he's only 2 and don't want him to be bullied by his brother. It makes me feel so crazy as it's constant and so pointless. They are both quite well behaved separately but together it's a nightmare.
The other thing that makes me feel angry is my eldest behaviour outside of the house - kicking bins, anything that looks slightly broken he breaks a bit more, touching all of the cars... Everything the 5yo does the youngest follows which makes me anxious especially if it's unsafe, antisocial or near the roads. This is when I end up really shouting. When I loose it they both respond by smiling or ignoring me. It's pure frustration that causes me to lose my temper and the feeling of not being listened to.
I'm worried that after 5 years of challenging behaviour and arguements with my eldest, that I've learnt some equally awful behaviour. For a long time he was a serial biter, hair puller, always running away and often angry and we've got stuck in this rut. I feel I sometimes loose it when what he has done isn't that bad, but it's the final straw for me. He's actually a lovely boy and his behaviour is a million times better that it used to be, so why does he wind me up so much?
We do use time out which never helped with behaviour, but gave us both time to cool down. I'm unable to lift though and for the past few months they are both refusing to do time out and even if I say no ipad, telly, pudding etc they still don't go to time out and don't really care about the consequences. I used to carry them to their rooms if they said no.
Btw they both eat and sleep well so this isn't affecting behaviour.
I can't seem to get them to listen when they are together, but i hope that I can stop screaming and control my temper, so that I don't feel so down all of the time. This is one thing I should have control over. Before children I was so chilled out and never felt angry, it such an ugly thing.
Any constructive advice would be really appreciated.
The best thing I ever did was buy the orange rhino book about a woman's journey to stop yelling after a workman overheard her. It's got fantastic advice and practical tips to stop. It really changed my way of interacting with my kids.
I know the horrible guilt after, it's horrible.
Please don't beat yourself up - parenting can be bloody hard work. You'll get there.
Firstly - something I read on MN years ago which really helped me was the "imagine there's a TV crew in the room filming you for a documentary" trick. It sounds silly, but it works - you step back a bit, and you're conscious of what you'd look/sound like to an objective observer so you calm down. And the alternative to shouting is a very low, quiet voice (with a hint of menace, obviously!) - they have to stop yelling or doing whatever to hear you, and there can be a shock value to it.
Time out didn't work with any of my DCs - it was pointless. What I did instead was a system whereby they got say £1 a week pocket money, and then I deducted 10p or 20p per misdemeanour (some weeks they'd end up owing me money!). I'd say your 5 year old is old enough to get on board with that - especially if you can explain that £1 = this magazine or £4 = this toy.
You say they're better behaved separately - really try hard to find those times. If you can have a couple of hours of enjoyment and fun with a DC, it makes the times they're being horrific much more copeable with because you at least have those good memories and know that they're good kids really.
I'm with you on this mkkl, well done for tackling it. I bought the 123 magic book last year but it's actually very basic- it is just examples of using the 123 strategy which I do and it does work as I follow the consequences out. But I yell too and wish I was as calm as I was when the first 2 dcs were just 2 & 5 because now we have a dc3 so they're 11, 8 and 4 and the eldest is surely the worst- winds up the two younger ones but knows when to step back, therefore appears less in trouble than the two wee ones because they are now sky high!! Anyway, my sympathies, and good luck. I might buy the book too.
p.s. I also bought the "listen so kids will talk and talk so kids will listen" book and found this quite good, it calms you down and makes you re-think the strategies which used to work. I liked it.
Great advice, I am in the same boat. I hate shouting. I used to be so laid back and easy going before I had my kids. Will look at that book but will defo be pretending I'm in a documentary this afternoon! Might even tempt me to make an effort and put some make up on
The TV crew idea is a good one. Another one that worked for me was trying to assume a different persona, imagining myself as a somewhat elderly and very, very experienced head teacher: you know the kind in sensible shoes and a twinset who never loses her cool but doesn't take any backchat either. I found when I was thinking of myself in that way, I would automatically lower my voice rather than raising it, and project more authority. It also helped me to plan ahead and avoid triggers, as that is what I imagined my sensible and twin-setted HT would do. So if I knew dd would kick off during a bus journey, I would try to distract her just before the bus arrived, by starting a story or something.
Thanks so much everyone for your kind and supportive words. I don't usually use these forums, but you've given really good advice.
I will buy the orange rhino book - the reviews look good.
I would like to try the £1 pocket money system, the only problem is i might need to do the same with the 2 year old, otherwise he'll feel left out or is that silly?
Camera crew is a good one too!
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