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I said a terrible thing to my son.

(40 Posts)
AnnBoleyn Thu 24-Jul-08 16:32:19

I am a regular and have namechanged, as I'm ashamed.

My DS1 is now 8yrs.

When he was about 5, he was going through an awful period for a couple of months of being nasty to his youger brother and generally rude and difficult to handle.

I told him, probably on 2 occasions, that if he didn't behave then there were poeple you could phone who would come and take him away, so he could live with a new family if if didn't like us (which he didn't seem to much at that time).

He beahaviour was resolved pretty quickly (in fact can't really remember the behaviour only the anger I felt).

He is now a lovely, happy 8yr old, we have a great relationship. We always have really, he's always been a lovely boy with just the odd behaviour blip, which I have handled very badly.

But am a haunted that I could say such a terrible thing.

I asked him if he remembered anything like that being said afew weeks ago and he said he couldn't.

I'm afriad that this will have left a long term effect on him and a belief that he's not really loved or wanted.

Why did I do such a terrible thing?

Doodle2U Thu 24-Jul-08 16:36:08

But he can't remember it?! I think you've got away with it. My parent's threatened me with the children's home on many occasions and both my brothers were waltzed off in the car to sit outside it and be threatened with it (was just a big eff off house that looked haunted but hey, we didn't know that).

All three of us loved our parents very much and have not been scarred from it.

slim22 Thu 24-Jul-08 16:38:23

good thing he does not remember, why remind him/tell him now? to make YOU feel better? hmm
move on

tigana Thu 24-Jul-08 16:38:59

Why did you do it? Beacuse he was running you ragged, you were at the end of your thether ( And other cliches!) because, no dount, you ahd been trying all the firm but fair, reasonable, calm(ish) tactics and none of the effing worked and he was driving you mad! Beacuse you are human.

itati Thu 24-Jul-08 16:39:25

Please give yourself a break. This happened 3 years ago and you have continued to look after him very well. Worrying about something that was said years ago can only cause you pain.

I do understand, I have said some awful things and when my son says "do you rememeber xyz?" and it was 2 years or more ago I wonder if he remembered what I said but he doesn't. As long as you say loving things 99.5% of the time, you and your child will have a loveloy strong relationship.

Janni Thu 24-Jul-08 16:51:29

I totally agree with what has been said. The more you torment yourself with this the less you will be able to focus on the lovely relationship you now have with your son. Not one of us has avoided doing or saying something with our children that we bitterly regret.

wotulookinat Thu 24-Jul-08 16:52:13

My mum used to threaten me with a fictional children's home run by 'Mr McDougal'. No harm done.

TheCrackFox Thu 24-Jul-08 16:54:06

He can't remember so there is no real harm done. So long as you generally a loving and thoughtful mum then I think that is enough.

moondog Thu 24-Jul-08 16:56:37

We've all said and done thin gs we regret. Most kids grow up fine even in horrid circumstances. They are born resilient. Forgive yourself and forget it.

windygalestoday Thu 24-Jul-08 16:57:19

my boys will tell you of a similar stuation where i threatened them with the boris home for badly behaved boys wink i was so fed up i actually hid in the airing cupboard and foned the house fone with my mobile and in a v miss hooley/balamorey voice said could they pass a wee message along that 2 beds were now available if your mammy still was finding you rotten boys hard work- the fone was put down with a wail and 2 boys rushed upstairs and began tidying their room all the while discussing if they should tell me about the call grin me?? th airing cupbord was in their room!! so i was stuck their for 10 mins til i foned the house again ......then as they rushed to nswer it i pretended i was in the bathroom blush-eldest is nearly 15 and he roars laughing recalling the call.

herbietea Thu 24-Jul-08 17:01:34

Message withdrawn

ilovemydog Thu 24-Jul-08 17:02:13

If he doesn't remember, then it's no big deal.

But if you're still haunted by it, why not just tell him you handled it badly, we all learn from our mistakes, even mummies!

AnnBoleyn Thu 24-Jul-08 17:16:48

I know that I would say all this to anyone who had done the same. I guess it's as much the guilt and shame about the level of anger you can feel towards your child, that really shocks and appalls me.

I love him so much, I put so much effort into being a good parent, and then in a mad angry moment I can say something so vicious and meant to hurt. To a little, beautiful darling boy. My boy.

I never experienced such anger till I had kids. I rarely experince it now, but it shocks me.

I know I shouldn't have asked him about it. I did it in a round about fashion, I guess I was just tormented and wanted to know if it haunts him too.

It doesn't seem too.

Seuss Thu 24-Jul-08 17:26:52

Really not worth worrying about. Stop beating yourself up.

windygales - that is wicked but very very funny.grin

AnnBoleyn Thu 24-Jul-08 17:44:03

Windygales, yours sounds funny. I was just nastysad

Actually just admitting to it, even on here, is making me feel a bit better.

helping me get perspctive, and let go...

and lots of other appropriate cliches.

Blu Thu 24-Jul-08 17:44:16

Actually, having raised it with him would explicitl tel him what you just wrote then about love and anger, et, and that once you remember being soangry that you said that, but you didn't mean it then and you don't mean it now, and whatever he had ever done, you would never thin of such a thing.

I am an oldest child (which may or may not be relevant) and y (very good ) mother occasionally threatened children's home, which i thought was a slight possibility as I knew she used to work in one. Also my g'mother once thretened to swap me for 'a nice little girl who does want her hair washed'- also a possiility in mind as hair washing seemed to be such a big deal to adults

I have always felt 'temporary' or dispensible - I think that people think I am good at my job' (usually they seem to) until they find out the real truth, which could happen at any moment', that relationships are not gurnteed etc. Maybe I was affected by the things I was told because I had that srt of personality anyway...of course I have known since I was a tiny bit older than when it was said that in no way would she have sent me away!

But I really don't think you should beat yourself up or be unduly anxious - the fact that you are sensitive to it kind of proves that you are not a parent who would make thier child feel insecure. We all (everyone i know, anyway) experience the anger - and the love - you so eloquently descibe.

But I think the premise of any relationshi, really is that if you feel you did or said something wrng, then SAY so..acknowldgement is a magic eraser.

AnnBoleyn Thu 24-Jul-08 18:20:23

That is one thing I do do Blu. I don't have any problems with apologising to my children or admitting when I'm wrong.

For instance, about an hour ago I was doing some reading with DS2 who is struggling with this, phone was ringing, I shouted to Ds1 to answer it, it rang and rang, I called again, it went to answer phone, I heard it was a friend with a message I needed to get, so left ds2 and ran into kitchen to find Ds1 just looking at the phone, I shouted in frustration 'why didn't you answer it?'.

After I finished the call I went and found DS1 upstairs and asked him calmly why he hadn't done what I'd asked, he said he felt shy answering the phone, I said I was sorry for shouting and that I know how horrible it is to feel shy sometimes, and we had a cuddle.

I am quite an emotional person, and freely express extremes of emotion, good and bad. But will talk about what goes wrong.

I guess I'm just so sad, and sorry I ever said that to him.

ilovemydog Thu 24-Jul-08 18:28:27

It really doesn't sound that bad. Really! Even in anger, at least you gave DS a choice - i.e. start behaving a bit better or....

I was convinced I was adopted when I was growing up. there was a photo of me in an orphanage, so I assumed I was adopted, although my parents never mentioned anything...

Turned out that the photo was taken for one of my dad's newspaper stories (he was a journalist) and it was illegal to take photos of orphans,so they used me.

Still not sure I believe that story smile

windygalestoday Thu 24-Jul-08 18:29:39

Ann can i ask without being to pokey nosey - has something happened thats made you very aware of the fragility of childhood? why i ask is because im quite a emotional person nd last year a lovely boy from my sons school was killed in a road accident and since then ive been very aware about getting het up about insignificant stuff and wsting thir childhood away this holiday i made myself cry thinking this might be the last time ds1 came on holiday with us hes nearly 15 and i really am like a lioness protecting her cubs.

Anna8888 Thu 24-Jul-08 18:31:54

Several times in my childhood I remember my mother, at the end of her tether, saying "Why have children?" in a totally exasperated way and going out for a drive, leaving me and my sister (still at primary school) alone in the house.

Do I (indeed, did I at the time) feel traumatised? No, because even then I could empathise with exasperation and knew myself that I said things in anger to my mother (I hate you etc) which I really didn't mean.

So don't worry. It's all part and parcel of family life (as long as that level of exasperation is only very occasional).

allgonebellyup Thu 24-Jul-08 18:31:55

i say this to my daughter all the time! sometimes she is so rude, vile/obnoxious and bullying to her younger brother that it is the only thing that makes her listen

Morloth Thu 24-Jul-08 19:10:46

This was a common threat for us growing up! We knew she didn't really mean it wink

Poppychick Thu 24-Jul-08 19:13:26

I think you're really giving yourself too much of a hard time over this. Okay so it wasn't a good thing to say but he doesn't remember and it was years ago, everything is fine now. Stop beating yourself up - you are a great mother!

bogie Thu 24-Jul-08 19:16:30

My mum always said things like this to me she used to put me in the car and say she was taking me to the orphanage, she also said the milkman was my real dad hmm She has a strange sense of humor

ElfOnTheTopShelf Thu 24-Jul-08 19:17:08

My dad threatened me with the naughty girls home all the time.
One time, he even packed some of my stuff in a black bag and dragged me out the car.
It sounds horrible and at the time I was hysterical, but I laugh about it now.

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