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help me. I want to hurt ny child

(44 Posts)
ThroughTheRoundWindow Wed 05-Feb-14 09:44:27

DD1 is 3 and perfectly normal. Willful, contrary, stubborn, difficult. She has lots of good qualities too and I love her to bits but she winds me up and up and I always rise to it. The things she does are small but it is the same over and over everyday. The problem is my reaction.I loose my temper. I shout I scream I cry. Today I sat on her legs to put her socks on when she wouldn't let me do it nicely. I flung a coat at her when she wouldn't put it on. I wanted to slap her smug irritating face.

When does this become abuse? What damage am I already doing to her and her baby sister?

She's safe at preschool now. Just me and baby until collect her and it starts over again.

Can I get any support without SS getting involved? Don't want to lose childre, want to be kind loving mummy.

Please help. Thank you.

HellsGranny Wed 05-Feb-14 09:51:01

I know how you feel. I had to call my husband to come home once after DS1 pulled my hair one too many times. Do you have a good health visitor? They might be able to refer you to Homestart or similar.

I think the fact that you know how you're reacting is wrong shows you are a caring, loving mummy and you asking for help is a big step.

We've been doing a PPP course which helps me find other ways to deal with bad behaviour (DS1 is 4 today) again I accessed this through my HV. It doesn't always work but we're getting there slowly.

I think most parents of small children have been pushed to the brink at least once, but it's not something many people talk about.

How are you feeling generally? Maybe a chat with your GP might help.

middleclassdystopia Wed 05-Feb-14 10:11:51

When I had a newborn and my eldest was 3, I lost it a couple of times. It's a hard combination.

But it does get easier and I've forgiven myself now we're almost 5 years down the line. I'm not a monster or terrible mum, I was just shattered and didn't have muchsupport.

Be kind to yourself

Idespair Wed 05-Feb-14 10:18:23

But you didn't slap her.

Give yourself a break and get some cbeebies on for her when she gets home.

These are difficult ages, so this will pass.

hoppinghare Wed 05-Feb-14 10:26:48

I would speak to someone like your mum or your OH if you have one or someone who has your best interests and those of your children. It sounds like you really need a break or a bit of de-stressing. Try leaving the room for a minute if your DD is irritating you. She would be so hurt and shocked if you did hurt her. Try and remember that.

PirateJelly Wed 05-Feb-14 10:35:23

I also know how you feel. I try to block the years out between Ds being 1 and 3 because they were so awful. I hate myself for saying this but there were alot of times I really hated him and wished he'd just fuck off tbh. Although that maternal protective feeling and deep love was there it took until he started behaving better and communicating with me (around 3.5) for me to feel real obvious love for him and now at nearly 5 he is my world.

He was just so difficult, there would be days when he started the moment he got up and it would last until bedtime sad. I couldn't really leave the house as everything was a massive tantrum and he'd often hit and kick or even spit at me and then grin.

What made it worse was he was an angel for other people and I genuinely thought he hated me. There were times when I was perhaps a little too rough ( I'm with you with the sitting on legs to get socks and shoes on) I also probably hurt him trying to force him into his carseat and pushchair when he would go rigid and refuse to co-operate. I'm really ashamed to say it but I'd sometimes look at him and really want to hit him. I kept up the MN mantra 'this phase will pass' but it was literally one bloody stage after another.

I tried everything from naughty steps, time out, positive praise, distraction, nothing worked. Then we had a break through and while I don't advocate this for everybody it really worked with Ds. Basically I stood up to him, I'd always been worried he hated me so I probably in hindsight was being to soft on him and he was completely taking the piss. Id regularly be reduced to tears and he would just laugh at me. I honestly at times felt really bullied by my own 3 year old son sad.

So I decided things can't get any worse, I feel like he already hates me so what have I got to lose. I basically took a no nonsense approach, "don't do that or I'll give you a warning" then warning and then follow through, ALWAYS. I admit i did on a couple of occasions really shout at him and march him to his room but the strangest thing happened, rather than hating me he became incredibly affectionate, his behavior improved dramatically and he seemed far happier. I realized that's why Ds did so well at nursery or with other people he actually needed to know his boundaries and respected me alot more for it.

I rarely have to tell him off now and I always give him a chance to explain why he's angry (he's still a real hot head) and I emphathise with him alot more. I do think age has alot to do with it tbh.

Sorry for going on and I hope I don't get flamed for admitting how I was but I've been where you are and I know it can be a very lonely place. Talking it through reapply helps, good luck smile

MrsPixieMoo Wed 05-Feb-14 10:44:54

This is a really difficult age. My DD is 2 and a half and is mostly a sweet, caring, kind little girl but 'when she is bad she is horrid'. She was also refusing to put her coat on yesterday and then refused to leave nursery at home time, hitting me and telling me to go home and leave her there. Today she is an angel again, cuddly and kind and warm.

So I understand how you feel so desperate and angry. One thing I found works is to make things a game. 'See how fast you can put your coat on, I bet you can't do it very fast' often not always works. I also found this website really helpful:

I also suggest going to your GP and asking if you can be referred to an Incredible Years Parenting Group. You will learn a lot of techniques and skills for these difficult times.

If you feel as if you are going to hurt her, walk away and try to calm down. It's better that you are a few mins late than risk losing it and hurting her.

Is there is any way you can have a break from her for an afternoon a week just temporarily? Maybe someone could collect her from pre-school as a one off once a week so you don't have to feel you are on a treadmill.

Look after yourself x

ThroughTheRoundWindow Wed 05-Feb-14 11:01:26

Thank you all. My OH isn't much good as working 50-60 hour weeks (f-ing NQT year) and my mum isn't someone you can talk to about things. She wasn't a great mum TBH and part of this is that I'm scared I'm turning into her. Have thought if calling HV but once a professional is involved you can't necessarily get rid of them again. However, interested to know What PPP course is?

Thank you piratejelly for your very honest confession. I know that feeling of hating them and wanting them gone. No one else gets to treat you like this. If anyone else shouted and screamed because you gave them breakfast cereal they asked for you say fine, you don't need to have anything now leave my home. But your child? You have to quietly take it and hope they eat something so they arent a hungry screaming monster later.

I use the naughty step and give her warnings and sometimes it works to get her to do what I want. But the next thing I ask her to do usually ends in the same refusal, tantrum etc. Then the baby is being ignored and starts crying. Can't be angry with baby for crying so rage further at 3 yo. Prob is I can't calm down.

Why doesn't she see what shes doing?

PumpkinPie2013 Wed 05-Feb-14 11:02:11

It sounds like you're having a really hard time sad

A toddler and a baby is bloody hard work and everyone has bad times and does things they wish they hadn't.

The fact that you acknowledge the problem shows that you care and want to be a brilliant mummy.

Do you have anyone who you can talk to about things? Your partner, mum, friend, sister?

Can anyone look after your children for an hour or two so you can have a break? Go for a stroll, a nice coffee, read in the library - whatever you want.

Contact your hv/GP and ask for support.

This afternoon when you pick your dd up stick cbeebies on for a while and let them chill watching that to give you some space.

It's hard being a mum - be kind to yourself xx

You need a book called "When your kids push your buttons" - it helps you to manage your OWN behaviour in response to your children's challenging phases. I found it very very helpful (and still do).

I have huge sympathy. I really struggled when my son was 3. It's a really hard age - the terrible twos are nothing! It seems that they suddenly decide not just to misbehave or do annoying things because they're just being children or they don't understand, no, 3 is the age of "I know exactly what I'm supposed to do, and I'm going to do the opposite and then laugh in your face." or "I'm going to get undressed now, LOLZ"

Which is probably totally wrong, I mean, I'm sure they're NOT doing it just to get at us, but it feels like it sometimes. I was reduced to tears on several occasions by DS' total and utterly illogical behaviour. I felt like I was trapped in the house some days because when I managed to get his socks on, he'd take his t-shirt off (and vice versa.) In January, so I couldn't just take him out half dressed which is what always seems to be suggested. AAAAARRRGGH!!

It does pass. DS is 5 now and lovely and helpful most of the time, and I'm starting to get on with him better after finally finding the ways of dealing with things which work for him - unfortunately no magic answers here because all children are different. For us it's lots of pre-explanation and warning, trying to problem-solve rather than punish, praise/rewards, time out for ME rather than him when I'm getting to the point of exploding, logical consequences/getting them to think (e.g. with the sock thing I started to say "We're going out soon. I think your feet are going to be really cold without socks on. What can we do about that?") and picking battles/not getting drawn into battles e.g. if he wanted to wear the same stinking socks he's worn for three days, I don't care any more. Just wear some socks. And actually in a few weeks or months he was far more amenable to the idea of changing socks daily. And then we have minor, token, non-scary punishments for something really bad like spitting, hitting, name-calling etc - he gets a screen ban for 30 minutes.

I've found that with discipline it's not about trying every thing until you find something that works instantly, because nothing will do that. Instead it's about trying every thing until you find something that you're comfortable using, feel is fair/appropriate, and is practical and helpful, and then keep doing what you're doing. Give it a trial for, say, a month. If you're finding it's making certain situations worse then see if you can change that.

She may be reacting to the new baby as well, lots of children do, but it does sound like a typical "three" phase.

Sharaluck Wed 05-Feb-14 11:17:48

I sympathize op. It is hard, but things will get better.

My tips on stopping anger/frustration/stress build in you:
pretend you are on a tv show like super nanny, showcase your perfect parenting techniques wink

Break the tension/ battle by just walking away and totally ignoring for awhile-overly exaggerate being in your own little world/start singing silly song/throw your own pretend exaggerated tantrum

Grab your phone/camera and take some photos of yourself and your dd 'in the moment'. "Say cheese"

waterrat Wed 05-Feb-14 12:54:53

Do you visit any children's centres? I think if you speak to the staff there about parenting courses for people with toddlers they will be able to help - I've heard they are very helpful

It sounds like you are expecting your older daughter to respond perfectly because she is older - and you are holding her responsible for the baby crying/ you getting stressed - but at 3 she is still not a fully rational being herself.

You need to build in to your day an expectation of some annoying and unreasonable behaviour from her - he will be a pain, your job is not to completely control her behaviour - you can't do that - but to control your own response.

She is not going to turn into a perfect child whatever you do - so perhaps it's about having more realistic expectations.

If you are worried about becoming like your on mother perhaps you would benefit from counselling yourself?

AngryPrincess Wed 05-Feb-14 13:13:21

Sounds really tough. I don't know what the answer is. I used to give my son limited options, (do you want to wear the red socks or the blue ones?). He's 7 now and he uses them on me, (which I ignore).
Did once tell him his feet would fall off if he went out without shoes.
You could make up really bad songs about what you want them to do. I sometimes do this just to stop myself shouting. Doesn't always work, but worth a try.

Flowerpup Wed 05-Feb-14 13:30:06

Please don't feel bad as I'm sure everyone goes through feeling like this but not many people would admit it. My son between the ages of 2 - 3 was a nightmare and it used to so get to me. I found myself shouting at him and then sobbing as I felt so bad. It was a combination of feeling shattered and normally hungry and not getting the chance to sit in peace for 5 mins. He still throws tantrums but I just walk into another room if I'm getting angry and then go and hug him or sit on his floor and start playing with his toys and then he comes and joins in. It's hard work so don't beat yourself up! What did it for me was that nothing changed his behaviour if I did shout so just ignore if possible.

doodahwhatsit Wed 05-Feb-14 13:47:17

i´m in there too, my oldest can´t properly explain or understand being 2 1/2 but I forget how little she is as sometimes she gets things really well

I have turned into a horrible shouty parent, who is inconsistent as how I react depends on my tiredness.

She is lovely but strong willed and has already seen me crying too many times sad

We have no local support but my DP is very supportive but doesn´t understand how having no me time can get me down

I have decided to count to 10, walk away, decide some things which are important (teeth, hairbrushing, washing) and some that aren´t (eating salami every day) and be more consistent

HelenHen Wed 05-Feb-14 14:34:16

Oh op, that sounds horrible and it's good you've admitted it. I know you don't want professionals involved but you really need help with this before you DO turn into your mom. You haven't actually hurt her so. You don't have to worry about them being taken off you. Admitting you're struggling to cope is a good sign!

unlucky83 Wed 05-Feb-14 14:34:54

The best thing I ever read with my monster child from hell strong willed child was pick your battles.
Be prepared to compromise ...if you never can be persuaded to change your mind, you are teaching them never to compromise.
And try not to tell them what to do for the socks - ask her whether she wants to wear the pink ones or the white ones - then I bet you can't get those on before I do XYZ... or give them attention when they are playing up - ignore/walk away...
All much easier said than done - but it will get easier ....

YippeeKiYayMakkaPakka Wed 05-Feb-14 14:44:42

No advice but you're not alone. DD1 (almost 4yo) is exactly the same; defiant, difficult, stubborn. I have to tell/ask everything at least 3 times before she takes any notice, which gives me the rage. When I'm tired or stressed or we're running late (which we usually are) I could cheerfully throttle her sometimes. I want to be kind and patient but my default seems to be impatient and exasperated.

I think I need better coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and having my buttons pushed.

FlyAwayToMalibu Wed 05-Feb-14 15:14:11

Op do you think you suffer from anxiety problems? I had this terribly when dc2 was born. Do you suffer from panic attacks? I saw my GP and everyone was really supportive, no one judged. I received free CBT for my anxiety and feel 100% better now.

Alot of what you've said I was going through also. You're not a bad mum, you're a brilliant mum for recognising there's a problem.

AngryPrincess Wed 05-Feb-14 15:21:53

Just saw the buttons books on ebay for about £3.

It's definitely worth chucking £3 at! smile

tomverlaine Wed 05-Feb-14 15:27:24

You're not alone. DS (nearly 4) can push my buttons like no-one else. i have days where all the day is confrontation/conflict. Won't get dressed. Won't eat. Won't go out. Won't stop climbing on me. Won't get outdoor clothes on. Won't walk. Won't go to bed. won't do anything.
I do find myself locked in standoffs with him over ridiculous things. I'm not worried about hurting him physically but more emotionally as I get really close to losing it. The things that help me are- walking away from the situation- just to get a breather/perspective - and also I know that DP gets it- DS can do same to him (they just came home not speaking as DS had refused to do anything- DP was carrying two bikes in freezing rain and DS kept just stopping and refusing to move )-so we don't judge each other and try and help

ThroughTheRoundWindow Wed 05-Feb-14 19:00:30

Thanks again all for your support. It's good to know I'm not the only one to feel this way sometimes. I've read through the website and will look for the book. All the advice about positive parenting is wonderful but so hard in the heat of the unreasonable moment. Went to preschool determined to be kind and lost temper before getting off premises. Feel defeated so time for professional help. Will try to be brave and call HV tomorrow.

Willthisworknow Wed 05-Feb-14 20:47:13

Yes they are v challenging. My nearly 4 year old is upstairs sobbing because she wants more milk but she doesn't eat v well so giving her more makes her want to go to bed without dinner. Want to scream at her to shut up but leaving her to it. I've given her toast, sultanas and water so,it's not as if she's not got any food or drink. She's already had 8 oz milk!

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