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Want to stop being angry & frustrated with DS

(21 Posts)
searching4serenity Tue 16-Oct-12 16:08:55

Our 3.5 yr old is quite a handful & recently I've found myself getting really annoyed when he is being naughty, to the extent that I start shouting instructions to him so we can just leave the house or whatever it is we're trying to do.

He looked scared & really upset when I shouted at him today & now I feel awful. I grew up in an unhappy house & don't want to repeat this for my DC.

Basically I need to control my temper but I don't know how. I've tried walking away to let off steam but this also upsets DS! Does anyone have any suggestions or insight as I feel trapped with anger that has nowhere to go...

bacon Tue 16-Oct-12 16:27:19

I know what you mean DS2 is same age and very challenging. I see nothing wrong with occassional rant and shouting, surely if it shocks them then it shows it works.

DS2 is extremely naughty at bedtime. DS1 is nearly 7 and very cheeky and can be horrible. We have tried all different variations of parenting.

I dont think your going to leave him miserable, good strong disciple is needed at this age. I see nothing wrong in a smacked bum either. I feel PC parenting has done nothing good over the past decades.

I loose it now and again and in the past I've been shaking and in tears. But speaking to the mums at school its nothing new.

Dont worry too much. However, if you have no escape and feel trapped then you need to work on what makes you happy and get hobbies and def time to yourself. Can you get out? Use nursery, creche, family?

searching4serenity Tue 16-Oct-12 16:56:43

Thanks for your response - good to hear I'm not alone. I'm working on the hobbies angle, slowly...

I don't fancy smacking as having been smacked myself
I'm not sure it's effective. Just made me hide issues from my parents because I was scared of what they'd do to me. But that was extreme I guess. And what do you do when they get to be a teenager anyway? What if they hit you back...?

Anyway... I'm wondering if anyone has conquered anger somehow?

I've tried counting to 10... I just get angry 15 mins later when the next issue arises...

CailinDana Tue 16-Oct-12 17:20:30

The anger comes from a sense that your DS is doing this on purpose. He isn't. You have to approach it from the point of view that he is not capable yet of behaving the way you want him to - the same way a newborn isn't capable of sitting up - and you have to plan for things with that in mind. Expecting something from him and not getting it is what's making you angry. Rather than seeing his inability to get ready to leave the house as wilful misbehaviour just remind yourself that he's still young and will eventually do this, just like he eventually walked, talked and did everything else in his own time.

In the meantime you have to teach him very slowly how to behave. Teach only one thing at a time and insist on it. It could be very very simple, such as walking to the door once he has his coat on, and waiting there, then praise him for it. It's important to reduce the anxiety and angst surrounding different things like going out or bedtime because the more stress a child is under the more likely they are to behave badly. Give him every chance to behave well, ignore bad behaviour as much as possible, and praise everything that he does right.

How does that sound?

Misty9 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:55:30

My ds is only 13months so I'm def a work in progress with controlling my anger, often not very successfully.
But I can give you a professional pov as this is my bread and butter (when I'm earning it that is)

Anger is VERY linked to stress - so it sounds like your stress levels are generally running quite high? Def work on getting time for yourself - the chores can wait for a while - and creative hobbies are especially good at relieving stress, as are pampering yourself and anything that gives you a sense of achievement (as in learning, not getting the washing up done!).

Once the stress levels have been addressed you can tackle the anger more easily as recognition of early warning signs is the key. If you're too stressed then the tipping point into losing your temper is too short really to give you enough time to find an alternative way of letting off steam. That is then the key - giving yourself time. Anything like counting to ten, going sormewhere else in your head (if you can't walk away) or for a real distraction try counting backwards in 7s!

Finally, is it possible do you think to actually talk to your ds about this? Explain that sometimes mummy needs a minute to herself (in advance, not when you're about to lose it) but you still love him and he's safe (or something like that). I think it's good for children to realise we're not robots and have emotions too smile

Hope that just to practise what I preach! :lol:

crackcrackcrak Tue 16-Oct-12 23:25:33

Hi op - I do empathise. I felt like this with dd1 a few months back to the point where id lie in bed lecturing myself about how I had to calm down and be nicer to dd the next day.
The poster who linked anger to stress is spot on. I have started mat leave since then and my god I've calmed down with dd. obviously that's unique to my situation but I have been thinking how to manage when I go to work with the two if them without yelling at dd all the time because I'm so stressed.
Having a fixed routine helps and I did get a bit fanatical about doing everything the night before too as like you, getting out of the house seemed so challenging. It wax anything really that made me feel more in control.
The other thing I used to struggle with was that it took so long to get dd to sleep every night I never had time to do anything etc etc vicious circle.....getting that under control made a huge difference.
Maybe think about what's the hardest challenge at present and think about how you can conquer it?

searching4serenity Wed 17-Oct-12 08:37:15

There are times when he is definitely doing things on purpose... He will tell me he has done x & then looks at me for a reaction. I find it easier not to get annoyed in these cases as I can see the ruse for what it is...

I totally see that's not the situation in every case though...  I think moving my expectations may help quite a lot. And yes - Using baby steps to encourage him to do small tasks for himself. 

I definitely do the lying in bed & promise  myself I will be better tomorrow!

Stress - yes - I think getting things ready the night before would help us to get out of the house without me trying & failing to do lots of things at once & getting frustrated. Easier said than done but at least it gives me somewhere to start!!

I've tried explaining to him that mummy needs a minute but he just screams louder!  Maybe when he's more mature that might work better. 

I'm selective about praising / ignoring behaviours as you mention Cailin but again - so bloody hard!

Thank you so much for the insights.

I will try & let you know how I'm getting on! 

CailinDana Wed 17-Oct-12 09:26:39

He will get better. The main thing is that you keep your relationship intact. Try to let the bad times go and not let one tantrum ruin the whole day - deal with it and move on as though it hasn't happened. If you need to do something and he starts screaming, try to ignore it as best you can. You might say "I know you're frustrated but I do need to do this" and get on with what you're doing.

The things he does on purpose are for attention - don't give it to him. If he comes and tells you he's done something don't respond, just deal with it silently. He'll eventually get the message that playing up and telling you about it won't get him anywhere.

crackcrackcrak Wed 17-Oct-12 09:37:55

Whether its correct or not I try not to indulge dd objections too much. For example in the morning after breakfast she watches tv for half an hour while I get ready. She is in ear shot and I chat to her but I refuse to come down unless its an emergency. I find that not completing tasks sends the stress off the scale. She can ask me questions etc but I will always refuse to fetch something/change the channel etc until I have finished. I will only respond once 'yes we can get the Lego out, mummy will help when I come down' if she whines then I ignore her - she hears me the first time. This disnt work initially and she come stomping up the states to annoy me but over time it's sunk in that I won't be summoned.
I am also finding v small rewards quite helpful just now (dd is just 3). I bought the smallest plastic storage tubs which are about 2.5 inches deep and I put a few jelly babies or whatever in them and take them out some days but not routinely so dd doesn't expect me to have them. The pots only hold about 6 anyway. We use them to practise sitting still and waiting, letting mummy get her dressed after swimming without leaping off the bench etc, walking nicely and holding mummy's hand and so on....
What I have to remind myself is that you have to do these exercises a lot before they work as the dc just forget at that age.

Doing stuff the night before really helps I promise. I do packed lunch and equipment (swimming bag or whatever) plus if its an early start or a nursery day I do laying clothes out and filling the nappy bag too. This was a hard lesson as I'm not a naturally organised person......friends were astonished I can manage packed liches for the next day! These tiny tasks became so hard though while managing dd as well!

searching4serenity Wed 17-Oct-12 12:40:42

Cailin - are you a professional because you sound like you are!

Wow thank you so much I am so grateful for the realistic advice & anecdotes - we were going down an unhappy route and I needed to take control and get a better vibe going again.

So - this morning was much better for the baby steps involved in getting himself dressed, me being prepared from the night before & just a sense that it was not going to be crap again! If I can get it all done before 9.30pm again then I'll be wanting a medal!!

searching4serenity Wed 17-Oct-12 12:43:18

Will definitely practice saying - just once - i'll come & get the toy out or whatever... & then ignore.

Any advice for when he's deliberately hurting his 8 no sibling??! Obviously I can't ignore that.

CailinDana Wed 17-Oct-12 12:47:51

I suppose I am really - former developmental psychologist and primary teacher smile

Thing is I know from experience that it's all very well to know the theory but when it comes to it and a totally unreasonable little person is pushing all your buttons it is such a struggle to stay calm.

I'm glad to hear the morning went more smoothly. Just having a more positive atmosphere will help - it'll reduce your stress and distract your DS so he's no so inclined to stir things up.

IMO with hurting anyone the only answer is time out. It needs very swift and strong punishment, because it is totally unacceptable in all circumstances (no grey area). Have you used time out before?

LapinDeBois Wed 17-Oct-12 13:27:24

Hi there,
No time to chat ATM, but wanted to point you in the direction of this thread which I was on a while back. The premise is slightly different, but there was lots of good advice that might be relevant to you.
Good luck! smile

searching4serenity Thu 18-Oct-12 18:50:15

All going well with new tactics. Used time out on both occasions of hitting. Time will tell whether or not it's effective!

Lapin - thank you I will look at the thread

AngelDog Sat 20-Oct-12 21:43:20

I found these links interesting: here and here.

crackcrackcrak Sat 20-Oct-12 21:55:52

That's great searching - been wondering how you're getting on grin

searching4serenity Thu 08-Nov-12 23:36:38

Time to check back in... Thanks crack...I can honestly say the general feeling around the house is a lot better... DS & I are more loving.. .

But I'm still finding myself losing it almost every day. It's like an addiction. I was parented in a very controlling way and scarily I hear DM's strident, demanding voice and I actually find myself empathising with her, & wanting to use the same phrases... Shocking.

Being this angry all the time is wearing me out.

DS deliberately does the opposite of what I ask when I'm angry which completely winds me up. Though I'm also proud that he's not a sheep... I am starting to hate myself for not having more patience. I don't want him to grow up as an obedient little mouse like I was... I can hear in his role-playing him being very domineering and I cringe.

Just feeling very overwhelmed with not liking myself, guilt at what I might be doing to DS, and shame of losing control. I just wish I could get a grip.

Sorry if this is all confusing to read... Just need a non-judgemental outlet...

OstensiblyMe Fri 09-Nov-12 04:29:15

I don't know whether you like reading parenting books but they really helped me by giving me lots of strategies to use to get compliance from a child. Just having some strategies up my sleeve helps me to stay calmer because I get stressed/angry when I feel at a loss for how to get the child to do what I need them to do! Maybe some people are born with an instinct for this but I don't think I was! However a lot comes with experience - I would feel much more confident going back to toddler days now (won't be testing that theory though....)

I found 123 Magic very good, particularly the "no talking, no emotion" part. The idea is that when you have to stop your child doing something (a naughty behaviour or just undesirable behaviour like whinging over and over when you've already said no), you give them a short explanation why, then you count 1, if they don't stop you count 2, and if you get to 3 there is a consequence - time out or removal of privelege or whatever. But apart from the short explanation, no talking or emotion is allowed while you are disciplining! It has reduced the amount of shouting I do a lot, as I have a strategy to use instead. 2 of my dcs usually comply when I say "1", the other (trickier) one likes to wait until "2". grin

amarylisnightandday Fri 09-Nov-12 05:25:25

Hey searching - think you have to sigh and laugh at ds and just think to yourself - this is what they do - little buggers!

amarylisnightandday Fri 09-Nov-12 05:51:09

Also maybe a routine change might help? Dd1 seems to have two definite need areas depending on what we've done a lot of lately. If she's been at home with me whilst I do housework she starts to tantrum by about lunch time - she wants to go out and let off steam/see other kids. Park/soft play seems to meet this need. If we have done a lot and been really busy she seems to need to stay at home and have one to one time with me or dm. I find this much harder to provide because if we are in the house I want to prat around with laundry/cooking etc and I think dd picks up on this and makes even more demands in my attention. I've got better at managing it though as she's hot older. If I need to do things in the kitchen I invite her to sit in there with me and get out play dough or similar which keeps her still and happy because she can chat to me and I half play with her too,
I also attach ceremony to mundane tasks - dd seems to be much more compliant if I do. For example if I need to supermarket shop after nursery this can be a bit challenging because she's already tired and she doesn't like sitting in the trolley anyway. I factor in a small treat -in this case it's going in the cafe and having a pink princess cupcake like a big girl first. Then we sing to each other while I'm doing the shopping and as long as I'm fairly swift she's ok.
I'm finding reward led stuff quite helpful lately. The rewards I use are v small but I big them up to dd and she seems to enjoy and respond to that as much as the item! She had kinder eggs for the first time lately - rapturous! So I said to her at breakfast time the other day that there was one in the cupboard for after dinner but that she has to be good all day and eat all her dinner before she could have it. She takes it so seriously! I have to be sparing though and not give things routinely but small rewards seem to help her focus on a goal and calm her down a bit. Also seeing her enjoy the reward is so v charming it has a huge effect on me not getting angry grin

lolalotta Fri 09-Nov-12 07:09:15

Really good advice Cailin!!!

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