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I lost my cool and now I feel guilty

(9 Posts)
sjess Mon 21-Dec-15 22:04:25

This morning I took my 2,5 yr for a walk to the park to pick up our car. We didn't have the stroller, so he had to walk by himself, which he isn't used to. He kept wanting me to carry him but he weighs a ton. When we finally got to the park he just stopped and had a strop. I picked him up and forced him into his jacket that he had previously refused to wear (it was cold). That's where it all went wrong. He wanted to go to the library, which is a bit further into the park, so I started walking. To make a very long story short, he refused to come with me so had to drag him and eventually he stopped walking so I kept walking thinking he would follow. Which he did for a bit but eventually he stopped and I waited for him, 15 metres away, for about 10 minutes. Some old ladies and various other people gave me some judgemental looks, which didn't help. It was very stressful and ended with me angrily carrying him under my arm. I should add that he cried all the way from the playground and that the library was closed, which caused more tears. When we got in the car I yelled at him and smacked him on his leg, not hard but it scared him. When we came home he was crying without any sound coming out, and he was shaking. He was almost completely rigid. By that point my anger and stress was fading and was replaced by huge feelings of guilt and sadness that I had done this to my own child. I feel horrible and I'm worried that he's going to be emotionally scarred. I have yelled very aggressively at him a few times in the last few months, although I have mostly got that under control. We just relocated, moved house, started nursery and changed jobs - it's been stressful. How do you mums control your tempers in stressful situations? I desperately don't want this to happen again. I love my little boy more that anything.

HumphreyCobblers Mon 21-Dec-15 22:17:12

I have lost it like that. It happened to me when I was seriously sleep deprived and my toddler was going through a phase of screaming every ten seconds, just for fun.

The key thing is that we both know it is not right and felt remorse. I never lost it that badly again, although I have shouted at my children since. Toddlers are uniquely frustrating, hard work and exhausting to deal with. No wonder you are stressed with everything you have had on lately too!

Just for future reference, I found 'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen' an absolute godsend for helping me deal with my children. Try not to beat yourself up, recognise when you are in danger of losing it, have some fun with your little one. One incident won't scar them for life.

jessplussomeonenew Tue 22-Dec-15 11:22:45

I thought this article had some good tips on managing your own emotions: www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/handling-anger ; particularly liked the bits on setting limits before you get angry and giving yourself a timeout to calm down.

imwithspud Tue 22-Dec-15 16:29:45

I feel your pain. I have never laid a finger on my 3yo, but my god I have felt like it at times - even though it goes against absolutely everything I believe in when it comes to discipline. I have yelled at her though - again going against all my principles, I'm not proud of it, I always apologise afterwards. But when you're tired (i have a nearly 7month old as well) and fed up, and they blatantly ignore what you say to them it really can push you to the absolute limit.

Just make sure that he knows you're sorry. Give him a big snuggle and a kiss and explain that sometimes mummy gets mad but she doesn't mean to. You are aware that it was wrong and now you can work on it and try and work out a better way of coping with frustrating behaviour.

Goingtobeawesome Tue 22-Dec-15 16:36:00

He won't be emotionally scarred from a slap but being aggressive when you shout at him won't help. It's so hard being a parent. We've all had moments where we've lost it. Cuddle him, have a fun splashy bath time and have a sensible think about what went wrong and how you can make sure it doesn't happen again.

Get the timetable for the library.
Take snacks and a drink to have at a break in the walk.
He won't melt if he gets a bit cool from refusing his coat.

A couple of times I put mine in their cot for a few moments and went and got a drink, had chocolate or had a pee in peace. Just to break the cycle before it got out of hand.

imwithspud Tue 22-Dec-15 17:23:11

He won't melt if he gets a bit cool from refusing his coat.
**
This x100, pick your battles. Often dd1 refuses to wear a coat, just for the sake of being contrary most of the time. I let her get on with it. Because I know that in 5minutes she will realise it's cold and will be asking for her coat/jacket on.

sjess Tue 22-Dec-15 21:06:50

Thank you, that looks like a really useful book. Hello Amazon!

sjess Tue 22-Dec-15 21:13:48

Thanks everyone 😊 Reading your comments makes me feel a little bit less awful about what happened. In some weird way it's comforting to know I'm not alone in occasionally loosing it. Not proud of myself though and will work on some strategies for how to deal with anger so it never happens Again. Thanks for your various useful tips!

We had a much better day today, my little boy seems to be back to be his usual happy self.

imwithspud Tue 22-Dec-15 23:59:50

I think most parents lose it at least once during parenthood, doesn't make you a bad parent at all. As long as you recognise when it happens and and figure out a better way of coping/dealing with difficult behaviour. I've had a particularly difficult afternoon with my 3yo today. There are times where she just. Won't. Listen! I'm looking forward to going out with the baby tomorrow and leaving dd1 with dp so I can get a break!

Take advantage of any breaks you can get, it really does help.

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