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tapped my 13 month's hand in frustration... feeling incredibly guilty

(11 Posts)
bail Fri 09-Sep-11 09:03:26

My DS is going through such a difficult phase. So grumpy, kicks up a fuss about almost everything, it feels relentless atm.

However I am aware that it is only a phase (fingers crossed anyway!) so i really try to bite my lower lip and refrain from any shouting (i admit to muttered swear words though!) and just softly 'come on darling' 'good boy my love' 'please don't do that sweetie'.

At dinner time night, at the end of a particularly difficult day, he threw food and i just felt something bubble up and without thinking i tapped his hand and loudly 'No!'. DS looked so shocked and then started screaming. I kissed and cuddled, and all was well.

However i really feel disturbed about it. Does anyone have any thoughts? I really don't mind how brutal, i would just appreciate honest thoughts as to my behaviour and what i can do going forward to ensure doesn't happen again


HollyFP Fri 09-Sep-11 09:11:19

I was where you are a few months ago with my now 14month old DD. Don't feel bad, it happens to more people than you think and is a completely understandable reaction to a difficult phase.
I think the key is to bear in mind your DS is not intending to be difficult, and he will also pick up on any bad vibes you give out. Try to count to three in your head, smile then say something unrelated to take the focus off the 'problem'. Eg 'ooh look at that bird outside!'
At this young age children are incapable of dealing with their growing set of emotions, so use diversion tactics to diffuse the situation for both of you.
If it all gets too much, put him down in a safe place and go get a cup of tea/ ask a friend to come over to help. You're not alone smile

mymumdom Fri 09-Sep-11 09:11:39

I think most people these days try not to smack but am willing to bet that most people have at some time done what you did ( or worse blush).
We are all human, there is no point in beating yourself up over it (no pun intended). And you've discovered what your breaking point is. This is valuable knowledge. It is worth thinking back to the feelings you experienced before you slapped your son's hand and make a mental note to walk away next time you feel that way. Because if your son is only 13 months old, you will fiond yourself at that point again.
It sounds like you are trying to parent positively but positive parenting is not the same as permissive parenting. It sounds like you could do with some advice on how to set firmer boundaries?
Have a look at this site.

franke Fri 09-Sep-11 09:17:02

Don't be too hard on yourself. If it was just a tap, it was more likely the loud No! and angry looking mummy that made him cry (I'm not trying to make you feel worse, just putting myself in the mind of a 1yo).

It is relentless and you wouldn't be human if at some point in a difficult day you just couldn't muster another "Please don't do that sweetie". You didn't "snap" you just had a momentary loss of patience and made everything right again afterwards.

Be kind to yourself smile

hankins Fri 09-Sep-11 09:17:30

Hello - I think you should be easy on yourself. It is so hard to keep your cool when your child is continually grumpy/miserable. You know that tapping his hand is not the ideal way to deal with the situation, but neither is it horrific. If you kissed and cuddled, you should let it go and perhaps just walk away when you start to feel exasperated. I have days where I know I haven't handled the challenges of having a 19MO DS well, but I know I am a good enough parent, and I'm sure you are too. Can you take some time out for yourself? Is there anyone who can look after your DS for a couple of hours? Please don't be too hard on yourself smile

Woodlands Fri 09-Sep-11 09:50:29

Oh I know the feeling. Yesterday morning I SCREAMED at my 13 month old. I cuddled him straight away afterwards and he didn't seem bothered, but I have felt guilty ever since. We are only human.

bail Fri 09-Sep-11 12:08:52

Thanks so so muich for your messages. I half expected (and hoped if I am honest) to receive a few strongly worded message along the lines that I am terrible and way out of line. I wanted the punishment I guess.

Going to use every single bit of strength I have to never do it again. The poor love deserves so much better

tootiredtomakeupagoodname Fri 09-Sep-11 17:18:51

Are you receiving support in RL OP? You sound a bit down if you don't mind me saying so. Don't be too hard on yourself, your baby will have forgotten already. Mabye you need a bit of time to yourself, its easy to get caught up 'just being a mum'. I say this from experience as we live 400 miles from friends and family and sometimes I just want to scream and the relentlessness of it all, but I know like yourself that my DS's deserve better and sometimes to give them 'me at my best', I need a bit of time out smile

bail Fri 09-Sep-11 19:06:33

Very kind msg tootiredtomakeupagoodname.

No support, parents passed away and lovely friends but all childless and at work. Good NCT network, but this is most definitely not something I would raise with them.

You are right, I did seem down. But it was after a very difficult day and of course I just felt so terrible about the incident.

Lovely day today with DS, and DH back from work and a relaxed evening planned & as I write this enjoying a nice glass of wine... so i feel very happy.

I need to work on not getting so drawn into the difficult days. I really do, as I tend to forget about all the good stuff when in the middle of a difficult day.

Thanks for all your support.

plinkplonk Fri 09-Sep-11 19:11:43

OP, I just want you to know that my two most lovely, most gentle friends have both done this. I am more volatile, but managed to avoid - but shouted lots! My kids are older now - 5 and 7 - and ALL of my mum friends have had to accept that their parenting has been way below the standards we set ourselves when our kids were the ages of yours.

It's hard having toddlers - but it's how you are the majority of the time that seems to have the most impact, not the lapses. That's how it seems to me anyway.

And as a friend once said to me 'If you never lose your rag, your kids won't know how to deal with angry people in RL.'

TheSkiingGardener Fri 09-Sep-11 19:19:46

He needs to learn No and it was probably your tone that shocked him more than the tap.

I don't believe in physical punishment either. However, once I leaned down to cover up a plug at the same time as he lunged for it. The combination meant I delivered a backhand swipe that knocked him off his feet. Now THAT needed cuddles, for both of us.

Oh yes, and the time I tried to pull his head off, that wasn't a good night either

Things happen, forgive yourself!

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