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my vicious tongue.........how can I regain control

(9 Posts)
tamariu Wed 13-Jul-05 12:22:27

Things are going totally t*ts up in my house and I really need them to change. We've had a very unsettled time recently, and both my daughters' behaviour has suffered massively as a result, so that at the moment we are fighting a miserable war of attrition. I know the holidays are coming up and I am looking forward to spending more time with the kids and regaining control over our lives, but I will be working for much of the time. I've never found a cogent parenting philosphy that I liked - I don't like the idea of material rewards for good behaviour,or the idea of "naughty" steps, but I don't really know what a viable alternative would be, despite drowning in parenting manuals - and I think it's time to change that, as I can be wildly inconsistent and also vicious in my put-downs. My daughters have been called stupid, pathetic, wimpy, mad, and other horrible, horrible names by me in the past few weeks, and as their self-esteem is already rocky, I'm really doing a grand job of helping them out, eh. I would really love to hear from people who have consistent and cogent parenting styles and also people who have vicious tongues which they at least sometimes manage to curb. I am very sad about my dds and want to repair the damage I have caused before it is too late. Please help me.

spacedonkey Wed 13-Jul-05 12:31:43

I'm sure we've all said things to our children (and other loved ones) that we regret tamariu - bravo to you for acknowledging the problem and looking for help, because it's not something most parents would like to admit.

It sounds like you're losing your temper because you feel you're not fully in control - my feeling is it would be worth investigating some parenting methods or even joining a parenting class which would give you lots of strategies for handling situations, as well as support from other parents in the same boat. I hope I don't sound patronising - god knows I've lost control plenty of times myself.

2GIRLS Wed 13-Jul-05 13:18:27

How old are your DD's?

hatstand Wed 13-Jul-05 13:39:17

I thought it might be worth posting a piece of advice I was once given that always sticks in my mind - which is that you have to make them want to do what you want them to do. Without the step or material incentives I can only suggest trying to make everything into a game (all very well but gets a bit waring) or non-material incentives. We do sticker charts and the treat for completing a row is often a trip to the cafe. Ok it's kind of material in that it means a piece of chocolate cake, but (and maybe I'm kidding myself) there is a non-material element of it being a treat because it's special 1-1 time (especially if daddy takes them)

spacedonkey Wed 13-Jul-05 13:41:45

I'm forever going on about this bloke, so sorry for the evangelism, but take a look at Warwick Dyer 's website. He is brilliant.

WigWamBam Wed 13-Jul-05 13:50:17

Something that works for me if I'm getting really stressed out and likely to snap is to pretend that my dd is someone else's child - I always seem to have more patience with, and lower expectations of, other people's children. It usually makes me see how unreasonable I'm being with my own dd.

Self-esteem is so easy to damage in young children - my mother called me names when I was a child and my self-esteem is still very low because of it. I know it's easy to say, but if you can't say anything nice to them, try saying nothing at all and walking out of the room for a few seconds to count to ten and calm down. Another thing to try and remember is to criticise the behaviour, not the child - telling them that the behaviour is stupid is a different thing to telling them that they are stupid.

I think the fact that you can acknowledge that this is inappropriate is a huge step towards improving things.

sheepgomeep Wed 13-Jul-05 23:39:54

Not got much to add really apart to say well done for admitting this. I sympathise a lot with you because I can be like this too. I have really bad days where I am awful to ds5 and my dd2. I've got an awful temper anyway and it seems to have got worse lately as I'm struggling a bit. I don't get a lot of time to myself now. Ive called my children names such of these and I hate myself doing it.

I like your advice wwb, about pretending that your child is someone elses. I'm going to give that one a shot tomorrow I think. My mother put me down like this a lot when I was growing up and I'll never forget it. Its scary how our own parents parenting styles can affect our own

sheepgomeep Wed 13-Jul-05 23:40:56

self esteem.. meant to put that on the last sentence oops

soapbox Wed 13-Jul-05 23:50:41

A very wise MNetter once posted on here that children are like a mirror to your own behaviour - they reflect it right back at you. If you call them stupid and thick then they act stupid and thick, if you scream and shout at them they scream and shout right back, if you smack them then they smack you (or each other) right back, if you don't listen to what they have to say, they don't listen to you!

To change their behaviour I think you first have to change yours - which is good because thats the easier option!

Good luck

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