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Scared I’m a toxic parent(5 Posts)
I grew up in what a lot of people refer to as a ‘toxic’ environment. Lots of criticism and negativity. Not much happiness. Never feeling I was good or good enough etc etc.
I want to be a good parent to my children and generally there is lots I do really well. I do lots of one to one time, an not harsh over mistakes they make, talk about feelings, etc.
However when I get stressed I get so grumpy and rant about things. Eg this week I got in a big grump about toys being everywhere and ranted on about not clearing up after themselves etc instead of just asking them calmly to tidy up.
I don’t like how I am when I’m stressed and I am worried I might be a toxic person.
What is a normal amount of parental grumpy ness/reasonable amount of grumpiness and when does it become toxic?
My daughter (4) was messing around constantly at bedtime tonight. After over an hour I told her I wasn’t going to stay in her room as she was Just playing and not settling. So I left. When I went in again to try settle her she was shouting singing and jumping about so I told her I was leaving again and she needed to go to sleep on her own and I was grumpy. After I left I heard her crying and saying “ why am I so stupid” now I feel like my being grumpy with her makes her feel like she is a bad person. I obviously went and spoke to her and helped her settle but I worry that my grumpiness makes my children feel like they are had people. Or maybe I’m being too harsh on myself and a certain amount of grumpiness is part of parenting and being a human?!
Ranting and losing it now and then is totally normal. I don't think you did anything wrong with DD either, it sounds like a perfectly measured response to tell her you felt grumpy and she needed to settle herself. It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself.
I think that as you're aware of it and you care about how you parent is important so a fab first step. I often worry about whether I am getting it right too as my upbringing was so different to my children's
I keep reminding myself though that I'm not perfect I'm only human and remember to give emotional support to my children talk about feelings etc. Thankfully it's all good about 95% percent of the time, and I'm trying my best with the other 5% because I'm aware of how I'm being and how I can try and respond better.
You could try the Philipa Berry book too the Book you wish your parents had read.
The Philippa Perry book is excellent. She talks about rupture and repair, so the mistakes aren't as important as how we deal with them. You went into your daughter and apologised, talked it through and helped her settle. Focus on that aspect of it, e.g. the repair.
As an aside, I also grew up in a very critical family environment. I notice a tendency to be critical of others, including myself. It sounds as though you are also being your own harsh critic. As pp said, your awareness is a good thing but don't be too hard on yourself.
Thank you everyone. I will look at that book. I’m sure I am being too harsh and I’m sure 4 months of balancing childcare and work hasn’t helped.
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