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How to handle anger at your kids?

(20 Posts)
grumpyzebra Wed 21-Apr-04 14:36:00

Maybe should change my name for this, but then again, probably too obvious who I am!

I know this is partly because I'm pregnant (see "Pregnant and Angry" thread) but my kids are REALLY WINDING ME UP, today, and excessively in recent months. We had 2 good weeks and then DS stropped today and wouldn't cooperate... I retaliated by not speaking to him for most of the next hour. Which upset him a fair bit but now he says "Let's be friends", and I'm STILL PISSED OFF at him.

I'm not overly enchanted with DD, either, although if I had only had one child on my hands today I don't think I'd be anywhere as foul-tempered, it's dealing with nags from her and strops from him and whines from her and constant "I want some ---!" requests from him that has worn me out.

Rather than put into pregnancy forum I thought maybe better to see if there are general parenting tricks on "How not to throttle your children when they REALLY REALLY REALLY deserve it?"

Other than a large bottle of wine, which is my usual recourse, when not pregnant.

Stargazer Wed 21-Apr-04 14:51:38

Well I know what you mean. My DS (aged 8) has ADHD and emotional difficulties and there are times when I'd cheerfully kill him I love him to pieces (lots of small ones) but it's hard when you've reached your limit. I find that the best thing to do is let him watch some TV while I have a coffee and read the paper, play on mumsnet, just give myself some distance from him and his sister (2½ and she's mostly okay). I have my DS at home full-time at the moment - out of school because of his behaviour, so it can be very hard. But I've learnt, over the last couple of years, that the best thing is for me not to get so wound up. I have to walk away (unless it's something dangerous) and mostly Toon Disney is great for calming him down. I realise that too much TV is not good for kids, but it helps to keep us both sane.

Can you take the children to a playcentre where they can run around and burn off excess energy? This works for us sometimes, but it's not great when it's wet. Do you have someone who can look after the children for an hour or two so that you can have a break?

I hope this helps a bit - I do know how you feel. Hope things improve soon.

grumpyzebra Thu 22-Apr-04 04:17:17

Oh poo, come one, surely I'm not the only one who gets wound up?
I had parked them in front of videos yesterday but was still very very annoyed with DS, and then by extension DD (although she wasn't really any trouble yesterday, but being furious with DS took what little emotional energy I had).
Later took them to the playground (for 2 hours, stayed even when it started raining heavily and I was freezing cold because it was less stress than dealing with them at home), but just the short walk there and back is fraught with opportunities for DS to be a right pain.
No childcare at the moment which admittedly is a big problem but not one I can resolve easily (I have tried, believe me). Tried but couldn't find someone suitable, and justifying the expense is even more difficult.

Skara Thu 22-Apr-04 06:34:18

no you're not the only one! DD decided that 4am would be a good time to get up today and I could scream cos I'm so tired. It's only 6.30am, I've already been up for 2 and a half hours, have another 13 hours till bedtime in front of me and I feel grumpy, petty, snarling and rude. Can't be bothered being nice cos I have had enough of the fact that the one week that dh goes away she decides to get up either 1.5 or 2.5 hours earlier than usual, making my life impossible :-( Am pregnant too, birth looming ominously, haven't had a break in months, dh is working hideous hours and I am just soooo tired and miserable. Chances of PND recurring for the third time must be seriously high. Oops, I think you wanted tips on how NOT to throttle them Haven't a clue! Rant rant rant...

emmatmg Thu 22-Apr-04 07:33:32

Good lord, no you are absolutley not the only one. The easter holidays have been an utter nightmare and I have shouted and screamed every day. Towards to end of the hols I shouted screamed and cried every day I just can't get through to them without maximum volume coming from me and that in itself drives me mad.
I've gone down every route to avoid shouting, and now I'm beaten on this one. I am now quite sure I'm making thing 100 times worse as if they ask for something and get a 'No' they will go on and on so I just give in as I just can't take the agruments, whinging, moaning, stress any more. They talk to me like sh*t and they're on 4 (very nearly 5 though) and 2.10 yrs, I've given up trying to gain some respect from them and now just walk away. I know respect is a 2 way thing but no matter how or what I do it's never returned. God only knows where I went so wrong with them.

Blimey, sorry for sounding so pathetic and self-pitying. But I think you can see you're definatley not the only one who has feelings of 'throttling them'

Skara Thu 22-Apr-04 11:06:56

Emmatmg, sorry you sound so miserable In one of my more lucid, non-crap-parent moments I'd say have you read 'how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk' by thingie and doodah cos it can really help. However in my current state I'm in no position to talk, having been up now for 7 hours at 11am and feeling like death. They are both currently outside in the garden and I'm hiding in here avoiding them cos I can't bear the whining of dd1, who funnily enough after a week of getting up at 4/5am is totally exhausted and miserable (but does she sleep? of course she bloody doesn't )

miracleabie Thu 22-Apr-04 11:16:04

God I thought I was the only one going crazy at my kid! i am so glad I found this thread what a relief. I did'nt sleep at all last night as I threw acomplete wobbler yesterday at dd who abandoned her trainers, coat and bag in hall and I went flying over them.Felt so guilty afterwards.I have just been thru a very trying 2 month of IVF and am awaiting pg test result so I am so stressed and trying not to be. Our dd is adopted and it wouldn't matter what she did it would just wind me up. DH the same. The guilt is huge, but like you grumpyzebra i can't reach for the vino. Just feel explosive!! so completely understand ...

carlyb Thu 22-Apr-04 11:23:46

grumpy zebra - at least you have pregnancy on your side. I get annoyed with my ds and wound up but have no excuses at all! What I would give to able to say that my hormones are all over the place, but I have to admit that I find motherhood a strain and have no biological recourse!
You are only human and I cant believe that there are any mothers who can say that they never get wound up. My ds has discovered the word "no" and he is not afraid to use it and has taken to chucking things at me. All a phase and so on - but I still get hacked off about it.
Give yourself a break - you are pregnant (which as I remember was HELL!) Is there anybody you can off load them onto for a couple of hours?
take care x

dinosaur Thu 22-Apr-04 11:27:31

Zeb, you are not alone, I am very grumpy with mine and have posted not so long ago about what a bad mother I felt when I lost my temper with DS2 and pushed him down on the floor bumping his head in the process - carpeted floor but I still felt terrible. I blame PG hormones...have no tips for how to keep temper except walk away, go to fridge, extract chocolate, eat chocolate, take deep breath and then return to the fray. And I'm not even at home with mine every day - I get to come to work for a break!

expatkat Thu 22-Apr-04 17:39:32

zebra, I don't know how far along you are or how sicky you're feeling, but in your position I'd take the kids out of the house. I find my kids get bored & whingey after long periods at home, so--if I'm on my own with them--I just take them somewhere. It's easier for *me* to be out of a house that is getting increasingly trashed and untidy. . .PLUS I'm less likely to fly off the handle in public. And the change of scene makes the kids temporarily more bearable.

Skara Thu 22-Apr-04 20:31:21

agree with expatkat, a change of scene is often the perfect solution for us - in fact earlier on in this pg the children were eating baked potatoes in tesco cafe so often that whenever we go shopping now ds (2) says 'lunch! lunch!) as soon as we hit the car park!

Am feeling dreadful cos my day which started so early - 4am - got better, then ds wouldn't go to sleep but was taking the pee and I ended up doing horrible shouting at him, followed by guilty cuddling and have just sneaked upstairs and given his sleeping self a big cuddle and apology for being so shouty and cross Poor little ds, I feel dreadful

Eowyn Thu 22-Apr-04 20:54:17

my dd recently had a cough which seems to result in her being sick easily, so of course the last 2 times we have fallen out & I have shouted at her she has responded by being sick on the carpet.
How bad do I feel about that, mostly I don;t let things escalate, try to act calm whether i feel like it or not, but occasionally I fail big time...
No excuses, she's an only child, I'm not cut out for motherhood(could those 2 be related...).
Funnily enough I'm missing her terribly now she's started pre-school 5 mornings....

Don't think there are any answers, sure we all know how to act in theory but I figure cos we love them so much they have super-ability to wind us up too.

grumpyzebra Thu 22-Apr-04 21:48:23

Thanks, you guys. Esp. Skara made me laugh. I have also hidden from my 2 before (usually I'm the one hiding in the garden). You have cheered me up. I just wish I wasn't so hot-tempered. DS only badly annoyed me for about 60 seconds today, which seems quite good, really. Am trying to get DD into play-group (if she'll settle, cross fingers), which may give me some much needed space.

I wish I couldn't honestly say that I now understand child abusers much better than I ever could before

suzywong Thu 22-Apr-04 21:56:14

God what hell, no escape to a glass of wine, you poor old thing

When I know I am in a murderous mood, and this wisdom only came to me last week after I had been foul to poor old DS1 who only wanted the Lion King on for the fifth time in a row, and innocent ds2 who wiped mashed potato and broccoli in my hair and eye, - I start by saying ' do you want me to shout?', 'do you want me to shout?' 'I'll count to three then I may have to shout..' and the five sentences before shouting really reign me in and give the child some time to back down.

(probably get told by other MNers this is doing lasting psychological damage)

Skara Thu 22-Apr-04 22:35:05

Suzywong, I'm going to try that tomorrow - maybe we could add it to the 'how to spot a mumsnetter' thread! If I hear anyone else saying 'do you want me to shoult...?' I'll be looking at them suspiciously

And Grumpyzebra, glad I managed to cheer you up whilst in the middle of the most horrendous day - I feel much better for knowing I'm not the only hot tempered rantmother around, and I know JUST what you mean about child abusers. My mother says that rage and guilt are the two identifying characteristics of parenthood (she's v good at diffusing situations and brilliant with my fiery dd, ironic as she was a ranting fiendmother herself )

Skara Thu 22-Apr-04 22:35:48

espcially if they say shoult and not shout

harman Thu 22-Apr-04 22:46:28

Message withdrawn

sorrymum Thu 22-Apr-04 23:15:16

No, you are not alone, I posted this thread the other day. Felt like I was bitch mother from hell, shouting all the time. Funny, bet none of us were ever the shouting type before we had kids. I did find the advice from the other MNetters most helpful, if you get a mo to read thru.

Earlybird Fri 23-Apr-04 04:59:59

Things can really escalate when you're at home alone with a little one. It's as if you're in your own warped little world. I find myself getting wound up, snappy and impatient - and then stop and think "does it really matter if she doesn't want to wash her hair or eat her tea?" Everyone says to pick your battles - well, some are obvious, like not running into the road. But I get tripped up by the battles of the will. It's hard for me to tell when she's simply being 3 and testing the boundaries, and when she's being a little madam. I can be more relaxed if I think it's just normal childhood testing, but have a tough time when I think she's being stubborn and impossible!

roisin Fri 23-Apr-04 09:10:29

Hiya Zebra ... Hope you have a much better day today. Your post brought back some memories for me of when my boys were small. (I have a 22 month age gap, but never had the additional pressure of a third pregnancy). I used to have a hot temper as a child, but couldn't remember even getting cross with anyone for nearly 20 years ... and it used to scare me how it was possible that such small children could make me SO angry.

I'm not sure I can post anything particularly helpful, and I don't know if it's reassuring or not to hear, but just wanted to say we have been through that and come out the other side (with no blood spilt!) and it DOES get easier. <HUGS>

Suzywong's "Do you want me to shout?" approach is used in this house too, and I think is generally helpful. I always have, and continue to, find them easier out of the house or on planned, structured activities. It feels like a big effort when you're sorting it out (especially when you're pregnant), but for me it makes the days pass quicker, and usually more calmly.

Do hope your dd settles at playgroup - is she starting very soon? I guess everything else hangs around enough sleep for them, enough rest for you ... (I'm always grumpy and bad tempered if I'm tired, irrespective of how the kids are behaving) ... and demanding some breaks for you. I don't know what support you have around?

Sorry this is SO long - Your thread hit a chord with me yesterday, and I wanted to post something but couldn't think of what to say ... so I've been stewing over it! If nothing else helps, I do understand, and am thinking of you.

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