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Today so far I have not

(48 Posts)
letstakeoneday Mon 18-Jun-18 14:07:00

smacked my DCs.

I have two DCs, one preschool one primary, both quite "explosive" and I am afraid that applies to both me and DH as well.
We are sadly quite a shouty household also but I have smacked DC1 quite a few times and I smacked DC2 as well and I do not want to.
I want to stop. I know this is wrong and I know it doesn't help.
I think it will help me to see this as a control thing and try and work on my anger.
I'm using mindfulness and this does help a bit.
The latest was DC1 kicking over the potty that was full (on purpose due to being cross at being told off) which was 2 or 3 days ago and DC2 weeing deliberately on the floor (not the same day - but just not bothering to take down pants/trousers despite being fairly well potty trained and being about 2 feet from the loo!)
DC2 I am more ashamed of as they are younger but this is either the only time ever or possibly the second time ever and I think I can knock that on the head more easily. It is not a habit if that makes sense.

DC1 I am getting into a really bad habit of reacting like this to things like throwing and spitting, and of course completely uselessly to hitting/biting/hair pulling me/DC2.

Can someone help me through this one day at a time?

letstakeoneday Mon 18-Jun-18 14:08:43

(By control, I mean that I am trying to be in control of my emotions/behaviour rather than DCs or DH are trying to control me - does that make sense?

Anyway my aims for today are

Not to smack the DCs
To do a mindfulness meditation)

iMatter Mon 18-Jun-18 19:34:13

How has it been today?

Are you getting outside help and support?

letstakeoneday Mon 18-Jun-18 20:42:55

We've been OK thanks. The only person who got hit was me and even that wasn't too hard. I got cross with DC1 who didn't want to stay in bed but did a fairly gentle escort back to bedroom and sat outside with a calming book.
I think I'm going to try and do my mindfulness in a minute if they are actually asleep rather than wait till I'm pretty much asleep like I normally do.
I have had some CBT for anxiety recently but it's not the whole of what's going on. It did help a bit but I think I also need to be honest about what's happening except it's not something I can talk about in real life.
Thank you so much for replying. I'm finding I'm shouting at DH too, it's all linked I think.

letstakeoneday Tue 19-Jun-18 20:56:37

Skin of my teeth today. Absolute skin. Lots of hitting and threats at bedtime (from DC1, thankfully DC2 was already asleep).
I am fairly sure if I hadn't decided I needed to check in on here, I'd have hit DC1.
I'm wiped, going to have tea and biscuits and head to bed. Might not manage the mindfulness today.

letstakeoneday Wed 20-Jun-18 21:56:08

Hope I'm not here alone, is anyone listening?
I've managed another day though we had another bad morning.
I am going to have a relaxing bath before bed I think.
I think if I try and get more rest it may help me to stay calm. Not rocket science but so much on my plate.

letstakeoneday Thu 21-Jun-18 16:57:34

Awful morning. I'm at work but getting DC1 ready for school we had a lot of hitting and I just couldn't stay calm and pulled DC's arm so hard to stop it. Wanted to smack too but held back.

greatbighillofhope Thu 21-Jun-18 22:31:22

You held back from smacking so it wasn’t such an awful morning, try being a bit kinder to yourself and focus on the things you are doing well (even if they are only tiny things). No one turns round a bad habit instantly, it takes a lot of baby steps and at times you’ll go backwards but don’t be discouraged and do know you can ask for help.

letstakeoneday Fri 22-Jun-18 21:15:53

Yesterday continued awful but no smacking. Today I coped better though DC1 was struggling as was DH - he took them both to the park and was letting me know he needed help as it was all going pear shaped when some busybody started telling him he was doing it all wrong and what our DC were doing (that, erm, he had noticed). He's had an awful week himself anyway.

We had a much better bedtime though I need a rest and weekends are always much harder.

letstakeoneday Sat 23-Jun-18 11:15:40

Oh no, you know what I was saying about weekends, DC1 was just supposed to be going out to an activity with DH, but instead ran into the garden and threw a plastic (thankfully) object at my head. Good aim too sadly. And I snapped and smacked.
I have to say this, I can't pretend it didn't happen.
Not an excuse, but weekends, and holidays, are often much worse. Especially holidays when we are just at home.

Verbena87 Sat 23-Jun-18 11:23:47

Please ignore if this isn’t helpful but have you tried running? Mindfulness is great but (in my experience) if your head’s a bit wrecked it takes bloody ages to get you calm and stable enough to help - still worth persisting with, but it’s a long term thing rather than a quick fix.

Going for a run (alone and outdoors if possible) is such a quick fix for instant perspective and calm. I did the NHS couch to 5k to deal with depression and anxiety a few years ago and I think it may have saved my life.

letstakeoneday Sat 23-Jun-18 11:36:45

Thank you for your suggestion - I do need to do more exercise but at the moment DH and I are so stuck in a cycle of not coping with the DCs that I feel bad if I leave them with him for anything non-essential and vice versa.
I did try a yoga class in a lunchtime at work but I was slightly put off by all the "here is your chakra" type stuff. Just silly to me and not helpful!

bobstersmum Sat 23-Jun-18 11:37:57

Haven't properly read your whole post op, but you are definitely not the only mummy at the end of their tether. Having little ones is stressful and they do test your patience. I don't like smacking because I don't think it makes any difference, but what I will say is don't be too hard on yourself, if you are simply smacking then once on the bottom etc they will survive! You are trying to break the habit anyway so do not worry. You are doing your best at least you have acknowledged that you want to stop. However if you are in danger of hurting your dc then please talk to someone in real life who can help you.

Verbena87 Sat 23-Jun-18 12:01:31

Yeah I’m not great with some more spiritual type yoga - great if it suits you, but not for everyone!

Sounds a bit wanky but it remains true: YOUR WELLBEING IS ESSENTIAL! The couch to 5k runs are 30 minutes 3 times a week and that is enough to make a difference. Could you maybe squeeze one in (instead of a chakra-heavy yoga class wink) in your lunch break, or agree with your partner that you each get 3x30 mins ‘me time’ a week for a run/swim/walk/cuppa with a friend? If you’re getting no time at all it’s no wonder everyone’s frazzled. Its good to show the kids good coping strategies for when they feel stressed as well, so you could try to see it as good parenting to take time to look after yourself.

Anyway, really hope things get easier soon.

PaddyF0dder Sat 23-Jun-18 12:06:20

Have you got a social worker?

letstakeoneday Sat 23-Jun-18 15:16:46

School is supposed to be getting someone to see us because DC1 is challenging at school too. (They haven't met DC2 yet, ha ha!). But I don't think I can admit this to them. They rang me to find a time for a meeting and mentioned "some parenting tips" which er... Yeah.. What like don't get wound up and use reward charts. Thanks...

Di11y Sat 23-Jun-18 15:33:43

I was struggling with smacking my DD a couple of months ago.

I found more me time - couple of hours in town etc helped. As did the book "How to talk so kids will listen"

Also writing down what was going on when I smacked to see the pattern - defiance/ aggression towards her baby sister / me tired or under time pressure.

Helped to anticipate when I might blow up and de-escalate or count to 10 etc

Di11y Sat 23-Jun-18 15:34:47

Well done for recognising it.

Geraniumsunset Sat 23-Jun-18 15:45:13

I have this problem and I am living with the consequences, my two are teenagers and my husband are now separated.

If I could go back and replay, I would reduce the demands on me - working full time, trying to get the children out of the house and myself to work, shoe horning a life, feeling touched out. Trust the children will learn to manage their feelings. I can do what I can not meeting the ‘shoukds’ All the time.

Be kind to yourself first. Be foregiving to yourself first and you will share that compassion with your children. flowers

PaddyF0dder Sat 23-Jun-18 16:31:33

Sorry but I feel the need to take the contrarian view here.

I’m kind of flabbergasted at the supportive tone all are taking. There is a fine line between support and collusion. But here are the facts:

- this is child abuse
- it is having an impact on the children
- it is having an impact on the family

I work in the field of child and mental health, and I see the consequences of this. Frankly the needs of the children supersede the needs of the parent. You need to do right by your kids.

Absolutely it is a good thing that at least one parent recognises it as a problem. Well done. That’s a start.

It’s also not enough.

Seek support for this NOW. You don’t have the right to hit your kids, and you are responsible for their welfare. Go to your GP and ask about parenting supports, or self-refer to social work. Social work won’t steal your kids (trust me, I work in this system, they won’t) and go along with all advice and support offered. Because if you don’t, and if your kids tell a teacher or whoever what you’re doing, you’ll be referred to social work and it could wind up being a child protection issue.

Also, consider seeking support for yourself and/or your husband. If you think that your mental health is impacting upon your ability to parent, then you owe it to your kids to get support for that.

pinkbobbles Sat 23-Jun-18 17:04:12

Well, I don’t agree with all the above post, but yes, I’m a bit perturbed by the supportive tone too.

letstakeoneday Sat 23-Jun-18 23:20:58

What would social services or the GP do Paddy?
The one that the school are supposed to be linking us up with said they'd offer "parenting ideas". Am I wrong that this means "don't smack your children, it's wrong, use sticker charts"?
The GP has told me there's no point in referring me through the NHS for CBT so I had it through my work. Will they have something else to offer me?
I would love it if they did but nothing gives me any confidence that they have any helpful tricks up their sleeve.

pinkbobbles Sat 23-Jun-18 23:28:18

You have to be the one to control it though, op.

Not anyone else, it has got to come from you.

PaddyF0dder Sun 24-Jun-18 07:20:24

Firstly you’re pretty dismissive of simple measures like sticker charts - that’s the second time you’ve written them off . Given they work, and tend to be better than hitting your kids, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss. But I digress.

I’m not a social worker, and services tend to differ from place to place. So I can but speculate.

- parenting advice and support. Parenting isn’t just about reward charts, although they can be very good. It’s about shaping positive behaviour as opposed to punishing negative. You’re probably going to say you’ve “tried it all”. But you need to stick to it long-term to bring about change
- support to parents eg respite or whatever
- social work often have access to therapy for couples who are experiencing difficulties. Varies from place to place.
- knowledge of other local agencies eg counselling services or charities that support families. Barnardos for example
- if the abuse were to continue long-term, they might eventually start to consider it a child safeguarding or child protection issue. But seriously, social work are not child catchers and they don’t have the resources to accommodate kids except in the most extreme situations. Their aim is to preserve the family, not tear it apart.

As for health services
- maybe a referral to mental health services for an adult, if there’s a need
- consideration of whether there are any developmental difficulties in the child that are contributing to challenging child behaviour. ASD or ADHD or whatever. My concern with that is that it locatesnthe problem in the child. It sounds like the kids are learning aggression and behavioural disturbance from the parents.

Education are probably involving an educational psychologist. That’s good. But it doesn’t sound like it would be enough from what you’re saying.

letstakeoneday Sun 24-Jun-18 07:35:44

OK I'm not arguing about this because you don't know our situation and I'm not prepared to go into details but yes, pretty much everything you've said is either in process (have you got any idea of how long it takes to get a SEN diagnosis? Clearly not. We can't wait two years to get help) or has been tried and/or we do it all the time.

Sticker charts do not work for a child who hits everyone in the family multiple times a day, or one with zero attention span. They work for remembering to brush your teeth.

And no, school have asked a social worker to speak to us. Yes they have brought in an ed psych but this is a social worker and she used the term "parenting tips".

If you are just going to tell me "don't do that" then please just leave me alone. It doesn't help for anxiety or depression and it's not helping for my angry reactions either. Just like my anxiety and depression, I don't want it. I am not going to bother to ask for help if all people are going to give back is telling me not to have the feelings I'm having.

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