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Any one any goo at psychology? why oh why do i do this?

(42 Posts)
deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 09:22:24

It has dawned on me and i need it to stop.

This morning ds (5) was kicking up mud in the playground.
Lurvly polished shoes, people sitting in front of him...getting the mud on them.
SO i called him over, told him to stop,
he did it again twice so i told him that i would tell his pals mum that his pal could not come for tea next week if he did it again, he went over and started to snidely kick the mud again,

Ok, there is a feeling of gut wrenching blackness in my stomach that comes when he is disobedient.
This then turns into depression, that can stay with me for days and days.
Its so bizzare, i felt it come today and for the first time, it occurred to me that this happens allot.

It is disabling, negative and destructive.
Its the feeling of, well, that i have somehow "lost" my boy, that he is beyond me at times.

is this an issue of control, or what?

Its awful.

Why do i get like this and how can i stop it?

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 09:27:06

i know what you mean , i think, it can be a feeling of failure
my ds is very good most of the time, but if he does misbehave i get a bit down , and disappointed almost, perhaps i expect perfection, while knowing thats not realistic.

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 09:32:20

I dont though you see, i dont expect perfection. I expect decent behaviour. In the event of teaching and guiding him, i fall down into this pit and its horrid.
It is a feeling of failure isnt it mufti, and its so unreasonable, we are NOT failing so why are we so hard on ourselves do you think?

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 09:39:41

dont know im afraid , i am my own worst critic , though.
some would perhaps pin it down to our own chilhoods/upbringing, ?
it is complicated thats for sure

kayjayel Tue 23-Sep-08 09:39:54

I do know what you mean - my 3 yr old pushes me into such horrid feelings of guilt and failure. He's my first and I am fairly resigned to him always worrying me.

But in terms of behaviour management - losing a playtime with friends next week seemed too far away a threat for a 5 yr old, and too strong for just kicking mud. And would you go through with it? Could you plan in advance some little rewards and consequences for behaviour - i.e. if he had stopped would you have praised him for stopping and maybe given him a sticker/sweet? And then if he didn't maybe a consequence like being physically moved away from the mud in front of friends? With consequences I find i have huge tantrums with the first time or two, then he believes me and just reminding him that there will be consequences then works.

Having said that - as soon as I 'manage' one behaviour then the next appears (hitting stopped then spitting started), so it does feel constant, and its hard to forget the sucesses. This is why we feel like failures - after a day of a lovely behaved child, one tantrum in public reduces me to shouting and me wondering where it all went wrong.

I just think parenting is just the hardest thing in the world - if you care - so maybe feeling its hardness is a sign of how great you are as a mother?

fransmom Tue 23-Sep-08 09:42:32

i think it may because we are worried baout what other people may think of our children and ultimately what we are like as parents. i do think that we are too hard on ourselves and that sometimes we may need to remind ourselves that they are children and that all children will test their boundaries, sometimes just to see if theycan push their luck. the trick is that if we can stick to our boundaries and not let them push us over (which scares them deep down), they will try other boundaries or try again, again, again, etc etc. another trick to get round that one is to (when they aren't looking) tkae a deep steadying breath and imagine a strengthening light going through the top of your head.

hth xxx

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 09:42:38

i am a great believer in praise, even when sometimes you feel you cant find anything to praise for.
someone once said to me even if you have to say something like , "you are breathing really well!" , at difficult times.

fransmom Tue 23-Sep-08 09:45:34

the consequences of bad behaviour also need to be immediate, i find with dd that the 1-2-3 system works (most of the time) because she knows that once i get to 3, there will be consequences - for instance, if she is watching a favourite prog, if she talks nastily and rude and i don't get a sincere apology then it goes off. you do have to learn the difference between genuine apologies and an apology just to keep the telly on kind of thing

fransmom Tue 23-Sep-08 09:50:01

i knew there was something i had forgotten! thanks mufti for the reminder smile

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 09:50:42

Its not the consequences i am looking at.
Its this feeling inside me.
How do i stop it?
Agree with the points of other peoples opinions affecting me, this is HUGE for me.

Agree with turning negative into positive, but what goes through YOUR mind to lighten your burden?

fransmom Tue 23-Sep-08 09:54:28

that she is just being achild tho sometimes it does get on top of me xx

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 09:57:15

should that be a wink fm ?
deaney, its kind of , (not very good at expressing this so bear with me,) like looking at the bigger picture.
its not that he is trying to upset you, and we can work on how we react to things.

kayjayel Tue 23-Sep-08 09:58:05

Ok - for the feeling what helps me is:

- enough sleep (ha! as if!)
- talking openly about this with other mums
- knowing beforehand what I'm going to do about any behaviour before it happens (planning strategies)
- really reminding myself of the good stuff - about him and me
- thinking 'this will pass' and remembering MN
- feeling supported by others (friends/family etc).

The last is tough - when I'm on the street successfully and calming ignoring a tantrum I always think the old people think I should be slapping him and the young ones think he should be cuddled. Plus my mum doesn't entirely agree/support my strategies. This really doesn't help.

It might be more complicated, if feeling ignored or out of control sets things off from your past, and that's harder to deal with.

fortyplus Tue 23-Sep-08 09:58:34

You need to read 'Toddler Taming' by Christopher Green It's still relevant to school age children and will give you a great insight into the fact that you don't need to be a 'perfect parent'. Your control-freaky behaviour (sorry that sounds harsh but it's meant kindly, I promise) will lead to him attention seeking more and more. The worse the behaviour the more entertaining the reaction by the sound of it! You need to ignore the behaviour whenever possible and give yourself credit for being an ok parent. It's hard, I know, but if you can relax a little now then things will improve. If you blow every incident up into a major confrontation then you will be left with the blackness and your son will just rebel more and more. Hitting, spitting and scuffing your shoes are a nuisance, but need to be dealt with calmly. Your role is to guide your son's behaviour, not to place him in a strait-jacket and force him to conform. It will lead to far more trouble later.

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 09:59:15

thats it really , someone said well youve not been a parent before, theyve not been a baby/child before either
behaviour can be learned , and can also be unlearned, by us and them

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 09:59:36

i know, so true mufti.
must think bigger picture.

I think that if you have depressive tendancies, this is an issue isnt it. (well for me anyway) But having some insight helps allot.

fransmom Tue 23-Sep-08 09:59:48

lol mufti winkgrin

remembering that you're not alone and that there are people who are in the same boat as you and will understand especially on mn smile

i have to go now, will post more as soon as i can xxx

fortyplus Tue 23-Sep-08 10:00:27

xp with your strategies, kayjayel. They sound good but relax and talk and give yourself credit are the most important things smile

moyasmum Tue 23-Sep-08 10:02:24

Kids push buttons, without even knowing they are there.
Do you feel ignored by other people you value?
If those who are close to us (even kids,who dont know any better,then what does it say about us?).
Do you get out of your dark place when someone is nice to you?
If so, then,Suggest
that it is not the kid,
that you are not weird,
that you are not depressed,
BUT that you are isolated and need
a bit of tlc either by a friend or maybe a therapist.

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 10:05:25

ah fortyplus, i read that book, think it was toddler taming and it was brilliant,.
Me and ds are off to the library after school anyway so i think i will see if they have the one that you mention. Thanks,
My point here though isnt about controlling him or straight jacket tactics, he is now a lovely little chappy.
I have had awaful awful behaviour issues with him, wont bore you now, and intermingled with family who actively dislike him, i have been on mn in floods before now. We are ok now, and the mud thing was just an example really, not an issue.
The issue was that i noticed this feeling in my tummy and felt very deflated.

Him i have a good enough handle on, its me.
Want to turn negative into positive.
Im asking you all, how do you do this?

mufti Tue 23-Sep-08 10:07:53

you mean in your head ?, just talk to yourself, not out loud.
tell yourself you handled it , its ok etc
think about something else

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 10:08:38

mayosmum, SPOT ON, it defo isnt the kid, tis me. (am a tiny bit wierd have to confes grin)

fortyplus Tue 23-Sep-08 10:09:32

It's very hard. Start by keeping your lips sealed and not saying the things to him that you will know will lead to the black feeling. Then you can pat yourself on the back for not being negative with him. He's not a mind reader! Good luck smile

deanychip Tue 23-Sep-08 10:09:43

JEEZ, i would die a thousand deaths if some woman started to tell herself stuff in the playground next to me!!!
No i mean in my head!!!!

Umlellala Tue 23-Sep-08 10:14:27

Not going to go too deep here, but if it IS about control then an immediate consequence may make you feel like you are the boss - the consequence doesn't have to be massive/dire/severe eg if you draw on the walls again, I will take the pen away. or if you carry on screaming, I put you in/go to another room. if you carry on kicking, we will leave the playground AND DO IT... You can then be immediately happy and lightness, right, what shall we do now But your kid will see there are consequences and more importantly you will feel like you actually have some control back. You can't control their behaviour but you can control how you respond to it (wise fellow teacher words!!)

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