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My ds's behaviour has turned me into an ogre!

(28 Posts)
ogre Wed 09-Feb-05 13:04:08

Forgive me for changing my name but I am so ashamed of myself.

My ds, who is nearly 5, has always been stroppy but this morning I went mad at him. He is always screaming and at 7 o'clock this morning I couldn't deal with it. I actually wanted to thump him, I even had my hand clenched in a fist and told him I felt like punching him.

I feel like I really need to turn this around but I just don't want to do. I would never have thumped him but I'm so ashamed that I threatened to, it has been on my mind all morning.

I find his behaviour so difficult and tiring I snapped. I know that is not an excuse but it is what happened.

I have got a lot on my plate but as soon as I give myself a pat on the back for coping, something like this happens and I realise what a miserable excuse I am for a mother.

I feel very sad about this and I really want some help.

blueteddy Wed 09-Feb-05 13:12:13

I can fully sympathise because I am going through the same.
Mornings are particulary bad, as ds(5) is starting to really, really play me up & I end up losing it.
I always feel guilty afterwards & as if I am not cut out for motherhood.
I don't know if you saw my "I am a bad,bad mother & MIL agrees" thread the other week?
I cannot give any great coping stratagies, as I don't know them myself yet!
But I just wanted you to know that you are not alone & 5 year olds seem to be able to push their mothers to insanity!

WideWebWitch Wed 09-Feb-05 13:15:34

Five can be a difficult age. I know the feeling, I wanted to smack my ds at that age sometimes too. What has he been doing that's awful? What have you tried? Can you tell us a bit more? We all lose it sometimes (well, I have and do), it doesn't make you a terrible mother. And you DIDN'T thump him, so that's good, as is the fact that you want some help with this.

puddle Wed 09-Feb-05 13:19:41

My ds is also nearly 5 and I know how infuriating he can be. The good thing is that he's old enouigh to sit down with and talk about what happened. I think it's imporatnat that you talk to him about why you got so upset and ctross and how you should not have said you'd hit him - you would never ever do that.

On his behaviour - give me some more information and I'll try and help. What is he doing that winds you up. Is it related getting up and out for school? Is he horrid because he's hungry - my ds can be a pain before breakfast, similarly if he's tired - has your ds just started school?

puddle Wed 09-Feb-05 13:22:28

and Ogre - we've all lost it sometimes. I think it's good sometimes for children to realise that their parents do have a breaking point.

flippedmylid Wed 09-Feb-05 13:23:42

Ive got the same problem too Ogre - Im not dealing with my ds at all well ATM - Often i think to myself - If you would only be sensible and quiet for just a few mins life would be so much easier - Ds is 3 and is almost permanently in a state of hyperactivity - it drives me and dh nuts - I often feel like doing him real harm - havent ever and wouldnt ever - but i have to admit the thought often crosses my mind

Gumdrop Wed 09-Feb-05 13:23:52

I don't think it's a bad thing to have told him that you feel like punching him because you didn't. You've given him a lesson in how we can control our anger.

You could try making statements like "When you do X, I feel very angry/stressed/like crying". I think it's supposed to make the link between their behaviour and your reaction without blaming them, as opposed to "You make me feel so angry".

And yes, I have yet to acheive this in 100% of the situations I end up in, but I do try.

Easy Wed 09-Feb-05 13:35:04

Ogre My ds is 5 and I know just what you mean. I have just started working 3 days per week so we have to be out of the house for 8 a.m. and he seems just to be as obstructive as possible. In the last 2 weeks ds has taken his brweakfast to the childminders twice, actually had a smacked bottom once (the morning I lost it completely) and on Monday, was taken to the childminders in his Jamas cos he wouldn't get dressed (he took his clothes stuffed in a carrier bag, she made him stand in the hall until he was dressed).

I sometimes just have to leave him alone for a few minutes, or I really would throttle him. I walk out of the room, or ask him (well, tell him) to go and leave me alone, cos I don't want any more to do with him until he's calmed down/stopped shouting/got dressed/whatever else.

Try to get an hour to yourself whenever you can. Learn some relaxation technique. I have found that I cope better since I started to take evening primrose oil (but I am an older mother).

Do remember, we nearly all go thru it at some time.

ogre Wed 09-Feb-05 13:38:25

Thanks for being understanding but i don't feel that i deserve it. He saw that I was tempted to thump him and I must have been scary. He did get a small smack though.

He has always been hard work, I have posted about it on several occasions in the past few years. The slightest thing will start him off and he just won't be reasoned with. He is so loud and will just yell and yell for ages. If he doesn't get a drink in the right cup or on the right colour plate he goes mad. His eating is terrible and he refuses to eat most of the food I cook.

He is fine at school. Getting him there is another story though, I feel like I am constantly shouting at him to get ready but he doesn't seem to have any urgency about him. Getting ready for bed is difficult as well.

I did try and explain to him this morning why I was so upset and we had a kiss and cuddle before school but I know that tomorrow morning it will happen again.

Please ask anything else you want to know. I just feel like I am failing him and the others.

Easy Wed 09-Feb-05 13:42:02

The urgency thing uis a problem. The more you say 'hurry up' the more they dawdle, until you feel like you'll burst.

I wish I could find a way round that. If anyone has any tips I'm sure we'd both be grateful.

puddle Wed 09-Feb-05 13:49:36

Ogre I'm sorry but I did laugh when I read 'he just doesn't seem to have any urgency about him'. I'll bet you're descibing most 5 yera olds. My son will sometimes drift off in the middle of putting his shoes on. I assume he's ready and he's out of the door with the other one still on the stairs....

It's so hard in the mornings isn't it? I think it helps if I am ultra organised with everything ready to go, bags packed etc the night before. This helps my stress levels - just have to get get self and kids dressed and breakfasted. Have you tried rewards for getting himself ready with no fuss - you probably have. We are using the pasta jar and it's working. We're lucky that breakfast is ds's favourite meal.

I think the food thing is a tricky one. I know my son's mood is dreadful if he's hungry - it is one factor that causes a guaranteed meltdown every time more or less I can trace it back to food.

I'll ponder a bit more about what has worked for us.

Flip Wed 09-Feb-05 13:56:19

Lot's of people feel like you and five is a very difficult age. I haven't been on mumsnet for several months and I don't know why I picked today to return or this thread to post on. But I really feel for you having been there so many times. I've come a long way in coping and you will to. I still take each day at a time. I'm feeling low at the moment waiting for the results of ds1's ADOS assement. Feeling like an awful mother for hoping that it reveals something. But I know I'm not an awful mother and that I only feel the way I do because I love him so much.

You say you want some help. I've got help. Lots of it. Despite my ds1 being almost six, his health visitor is still in touch. I also have a family worker come in every Friday to just sound off at and she's great. I've also got ds1 into a free after school's program every Thursday to help him and me. Of course he has a physcologist to. But my best source of support are his school. Every half term we have a meeting about his progress and coping strategies for all. If you ask for help and you push for help, you'll get it.

I really hope you feel better soon ogre.

puddle Wed 09-Feb-05 13:59:56

it helps my ds sometimes if he has a visual sense of what he has to do - for example we have drawn a plan of the week (we have complicated arrangments, sometimes he's with childminder, sometimes dp and sometimes me) which helps him work out what will happen next. Wonder if that would work for you? Does your ds have any ideas for how it could be better in the mornings and at bedtimes? Maybe you could work out some routines together, draw a plan and time it - make it into a game/race to stick to the timings and get a prize if you are out of the door/ into bed on time. We have always had an absolute no-tv-or-playing-before-breakfast-and-getting-dressed-in-the-week rule (relaxed at weekends!)

bellababe Wed 09-Feb-05 14:01:53

Why do they do this to us? I am sitting here crying as I read, as the things you write remind me of so many of my own situations. My ds1 is now 6 and I think he might be improving a bit. It has been a gradual improvement, and we are by no means there, but I don't think I have that clenched fist thing quite as often. But I do have to shout at him before he'll get dressed in the morning. I could ask him nicely once, twice or twenty times first, but if I don't shout he doesn't do it. This week I have said to him that I am not asking him at all, it's up to him - as I have to dress ds2, the timings are clear so there's no ambiguity as to when it's to be done. It's actually been better as he's so desperate not to be left behind when we go downstairs that he does hurry a bit. Ds2, however, is almost three and - boy, if you feel guilty, have my shoes for a while. My urge is to push him hard into a corner of the room and leave him there. He drives me absolutely nuts. From about 6am 'til about 7pm. Runs away when it's time to get dressed. When I get hold of him he either goes dwon on all fours with his bum in the air or clims on to my lap which is both painful and completely impossible to deal with. All mealtimes he spends jumping up and down from his chair. To get him to sit up I physically have to lift him back - and he's a big boy. Getting into or out of the car (3 school runs a day) he wants to do it himself - but I absolutely can't let him as all he really wants to do is bounce around the car, thus becoming impossible to catch. He does a poo on the loo, you wipe him, then he says he wants more. If you want him to do a poo, you have to pin him on, so he does all my zips and buttons and fiddles with my specs. Even if you're just doing the willy thing for a wee (standing up wees just result in spillages). Etc etc. Literally everything is a battle. By 8 o'clock this morning I already felt as if I'd done a bout in the boxing ring.

I did come on to post my own thread, ogre, but saw yours and thought, I'm really not the only one. I don't think that anyone can really advise in these situations, but I do think that knowing that other mums have the same feelings of utter despair does help. The little blighter is in his room at the moment. He's messing around. He won't settle down for his nap, then we'll have to got to do the pickup, so he won't sleep and he'll be knackered and REALLY horrible and eventually I'll shut him in his room so I can get their tea ready because otherwise he wrecks the house. Then he'll fall asleep and I'll have to wake him and he'll cry for an hour. I know exactly the pattern it's going to take, but I still relish these minutes wtihout him because I think I am heading for a nervous breakdown when I'm anywhere near him.

Flip Wed 09-Feb-05 14:02:21

Getting dressed is an issue in our house. He wakes up every morning and insists that it isn't a school day. I was dressing ds1 for most of his first year at school just so I could get him there. But after speaking with his head master, he suggested that if ds1 didn't want to get dressed that I should send him in his pj's. I've never had to do that but have threatend on several occasions. So now in a morning he is given a strick time in which to get dressed. ie, if you're not dressed in 2 minutes then I'm switching the TV off until you are. OR, if the TV has already gone off, he loses something else. Bedtime TV, his playstation 30 minutes etc.

bellababe Wed 09-Feb-05 14:07:11

I have nothing left to take away!!
TV has always been really limited in our house becasue ds1 goes ballistic when it's switched off. Same reason for never going on the computer and I wouldn't even entertain the idea of playstation or x-box. Can't take the trauma.

karenanne Wed 09-Feb-05 14:11:00

another mum feeling and experiencing the same.my dd is 5 next month and is going through the same thing.
i also get the 'bad/useless' mum feelings but its good to come on here and know we're not alone.
ive just had dds parents evening and although i knew she was bright was astounded as her teachers consider her to be a gifted and talented child,shes far ahead the other pupils in her year at all subjects.
i asked about her behaviour at school and they said she was really wll behaved so ive decided to get her into some out of school activities and to keep her busy.shes a whirlwind lol when shes at home but i think shes not stimulated enough as ive a 1 year old and a newish lone parent.

hopefully i'll be able to keep her occupied and then her behaviour might improve too.

WideWebWitch Wed 09-Feb-05 14:11:02

Hi again ogre, you might have already seen this but I posted all the advice I've got plus links to other threads with useful advice plus anything that worked for me on this thread . Ignore anything irrelevant but maybe there's sometihng in there that'll help.

Hausfrau Wed 09-Feb-05 14:38:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blueteddy Wed 09-Feb-05 14:53:07

We have that book!
Mornings are my worst time because I am in a hurry to get him to school & myself to work!
My ds will not get himself dressed without a fight or even get his shoes on!
I have him at home today, as he has had this cold virus for a few days & it has driven me mad!
He is sooooo back at school tomorrow!!!

ogre Wed 09-Feb-05 14:57:13

Thanks for all your advice so far. I haven't got time to type a full reply now as i'm looking after my friends little girl for a bit, but I will be back later.

I am also a newish lone parent, I've got 4 kids and you probably all know who I am now. Sometimes I think that it is my fault that he is like this, as we have had such a difficult year with so many changes. If I think about it though, he has been like this for the last 3 years so it can't just be down to me.

WideWebWitch Wed 09-Feb-05 15:23:53

That book looks fab! Ogre, I have no idea who you are but I don't think it matters if people do, really.

ogre Wed 09-Feb-05 21:32:44

I've seen that book on the Tweenies, I'll have to try and get hold of a copy.

I think the main problem has is how I am handling his tantrums. I need to find a better way of dealing things so that I don't lose my cool.

I have read your threads www, thank you for posting them.

I think I'm going to try and time him to do things, make him race against his sister to get ready and see if that helps.

No idea how I'm going to cope with the screaming though.

I think part of the problem is that I find it difficult to get the kids to go to bed in the evening. I end up staying up late so that I get some time on my own and then I am bad tempered and tired in the morning. I am not a morning person.

I need to be able to relax somehow but opportunities for 5 minutes on my own are few and far between.

I do feel a bit relieved that I'm not the only one that has felt like thumping their kids. I'm the only one that has been a coward and changed my name though (apart from flippedmylid).

Marina Thu 10-Feb-05 12:35:52

Message withdrawn

tigermoth Fri 11-Feb-05 07:16:25

I read this thread yesterday (ogre I don't know you either), and can relate to lots of it, especially when I had my first son who, as 5 year old, exhibited an extremely irritating combination of procrastinating and attention demanding behavaviour.

My second son, now 5, had a different personality and gets much more hurt if shouts are directed at him. I find mornings can be really horrible, still. I just want to pick up on the messages here about getting 5 year olds to dress themselves. I just cannot bear the stress of making my 5 year old get dressed by himself. I know he could do most of it, if I really had a go at him, but I'm opting for an easy life and dressing him myself for now. He has to wear a shirt and tie, so it's not as if he can easily pull on his stuff. He might be a bit behind his classmates, but at least we are saving on one type of argument this way. Similarly feeding - if my son starts saying he won't finish his meal, I spoon feed him myself rather than making a big fight out of it. He still likes being babied in these ways, luckily, and the end result is that he is dressed and fed and my stress levels are managable.

I realise if you have other younger children you might need to make your 5 year old to be as self sufficient as possible, so this is not a solution for everyone.

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