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Has anyone successfully completely changed their parenting style?(27 Posts)
And I mean completely!
We're in a rut, and it's a bad one.
Despite vowing to do things entirely different to how my parents did things, I am exactly the same. And it's having the same effect on my kids as it did on me.
I find myself talking in a slightly high pitched, stressy voice all the time which the kids just tune out and carry on regardless.
I feel crap and useless and end up screeching at them, they screech back, and that's our life.
But I can't stop. I need a different tack but my nerves are frazzled and I'm an anxious wreck.
I'm almost at the point where I feel I can't take them out anymore because they do whatever they like, I get stressed out and it's basically no fun at all.
How can I turn it round.
I know what I need to do but how to I do it - it's basically a whole personality change isn't it? Is that possible?
You can change it all.... just watch some of the Nanny programmes to see it can be done
Start with ONLY talking in a quiet LOW voice, with eye contact , and heaps of positive praise
Try it and be amazed !
We did. I was very stressy and controlling. I leaned about attachment parenting and being the grown up and it really helped. I see it as my job to get the outcome I want, and the DCs' job to try and buck the system. That way I don't get cross about it.
Lots of people seem to expect better behaviour from children than from adults. Better temper management, more diligence. That isn't reasonable.
Natural consequences really worked for me. So if I spend all afternoon tidying bedrooms, I won't have time to make cake for tea. If DCs argue about what to watch on TV, we'd better turn TV off. If it takes all morning to get dressed and find shoes, then there won't be time to go to park. Or, very memorably, if you absolutely refuse to wear wellies on a walk, then you will find cleaning the dog poo off your shoes very difficult.
Stay calm, don't react, don't add fuel to the fire. Decide what you want to happen and how to do it.
The "how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" series of books are good.
I don't think you can change overnight but keep at it and you'll get there. It is hard though, I know exactly the sort of parent I want to be but rarely achieve it! I can recommend 'kids don't come with a manual', it's helped me a lot.
Thank you everyone.
happydays That's a great idea - I am going to start with that today and take it from there.
It's good to hear a positive story pickleme
They are 6, 4 and 18 months.
Try concentrating on keeping things positive. I don't mean ignore bad behaviour, but plan your day around positive things, and work towards it. Notice positive behaviours in the DCs and comment on them.
So if a DC is kicking off about wanting to watch a Disney DVD when you have other plans, say 'ooh, that sounds lovely! We're doing X Y Z this morning though, so let's do it after tea/tomorrow and have some popcorn, too!'
None of it works instantly- a very wise person asked me why I assumed my DC was going to cooperate with my attempts at a fresh start every day! They carry with them all the learned behaviours you've been doing together for years!
Agree a bit with Hiw to talk. Also "Positive Parenting" and "Unconditional Parenting"
But the central plank in this is actually you and your behaviour.
Do you know what triggers you to sound like your parents? What do you want to do differently (words/tone wise)? How will you respond when the children ignore that too?
You have some great tips pickleme thank you.
The fresh start everyday thing sounds familiar too
maria my trigger is anxiety I think. As soon as they start not cooperating I get anxious. I'm losing control and it makes me feel a bit stupid and useless. That makes me stressed and it all goes down hill from there.
My mum had the same stressed tone. I can see the future!! I need to stop it now
Some peoples dcs are just easier and more compliant than others.
Parenting has very little effect.
Do you really believe that beebeeeight ?
I definitely agree that some are more compliant than others, of course. But I also think the way I speak to them isn't helping. And I know if I had a boss at work who used similar tactics they'd be unpopular and probably ineffective.
In the same boat, OP. Spend every day using exasperated tone more than normal, and wish I could figure out how to change without letting DD run wild or kill herself.
Don't be too hard on yourself if along the way you hear your parents' voice in you. You'll be super-sensitive to it. It doesn't mean you are them
herebefuckery It's hard, isn't it? I didn't know I was so impatient til I had children!
123 magic is a great book too if you want a simple but effective method to try.
Beebeeeight isn't completely wrong- some children are far less challenging than others. I've had both! Both easier children and 'spirited' children respond better to some techniques than others! I know because I've got it wrong and got it right! I've seen the difference in my children when I parent well. Keep working at it, OP, it's worth it!
Actually, I reckon the problems I had with DS1 when he was little worked for the best in the end. We had to learn damn good parenting and build excellent relationships, rather than relying on his temperament or just controlling/bullying him into obedience. That meant that when he hit his teens we had great strategies in place already. The teens have been the easiest age for us, because we did all the groundwork when they were little. It nearly killed me though! It didn't come naturally! My mum was a scream and shouter, with a slap and a three day silent treatment if you didn't toe the line.
Good to hear you managed it though *pickleme' even if it did nearly kill you! Gives me hope. Kudos to you - it's seems nearly impossible to me at the moment though. I have done a whole day with no shouting though, and only a couple of stressy sentences so there's hope yet
You are me and I hate myself for it
I know that the ages you have are particularly trying from a compliance perspective! I found parenting my oldest haaaaard until at 3 turned a corner
When had second dc promised myself that I would enjoy it
The biggest factor to my day is 2 fold, bring realistic with what I hope to achieve and not putting myself in stressful situations ie the house is a tip at 8am and is clearly not going to improve with a houseful in it, there biggest achievement will be s washing and dishwasher load, thats it
Stressful = anywhere I need kids to be compliant. Therefore anywhere they can run free is generally good ie beach park etc and only with people with similar kids, or older so they can help me catch mine, also reins, carrier, buggy whatever makes keeping them together in public places so no losing child stress and lots of good to keep mood better
Good luck, I'm not there but baby steps
No Drama Discipline is the book I would recommend. It's far more than just strategies, it's a real understanding of behaviour.
Yes you can change your approach, but only when you know a better way of doing it.
When my DD started school, a girl in her year had the shoutiest mum I'd ever heard. You could hear her across the school at drop off and pick up (often speaking to one of her other children). I was amazed when another mother said she was lovely really but just shouted at her kids a lot.
Then she stopped. It just completely stopped. I don't know why or how and I would love to! So it is possible but I suspect it takes a lot of effort!
I have that book on my kindle voice - I've just started it but I'm liking the approach so far.
newballs Baby steps is right, I think. Onwards and upwards!
cotswold How intriguing - I'd love to know her secret!
Thank you all for taking the time to respond - I really appreciate it's
It may have been something negative, rather than a positive experience. Maybe someone said something publically to her, or to the kids in front of her. Maybe the kids did.
I know my parents were horrified to start to hear what their peers/school friends were like as parents via the children when we got to about 11 or 12and older.
For me the key things were (a) give yourself enough time (b) remember this is a child (c) de-escalation (aka No Drama) is very important.
Good for you for looking to change things OP. I also found 'How to talk so kids will listen' very helpful & there are summaries in cartoon strip form which is great for a quick reminder. I found it good having a close friend who was using it too & we could support each other. With our DC late teens, we still occasionally say we could do with The Book (actually there's one for teens in same series, but it was the first one that was so very useful). Don't worry if it doesn't work every time. I had the odd fail, but much of it worked a lot of the time & I found it provided a good check on my own behaviour. Good luck.
Good to you too.
For posters (sorry, tired, shit with names) who've a) had 'spirited' children and b) learned to discipline without confronting, how do you do it? If I don't shout, she gets impossible in a matter of hours - pulling furniture over, throwing stuff, climbing up to get hidden chocolate, screaming in my face. If I yell, this stuff dies down, but she cries, and I feel awful.
If I don't yell, she would run across roads, in front of swings, wander off with strangers, climb onto the back of wobbly chairs, dive bomb the coffee table from the sofa...
She's 3, has a massive fuckload of stubborn, no common sense (yes, I know, she's 3), and no awareness of danger until something loud stops her.
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