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Parenting after being parented by a passive aggressive mother

(5 Posts)
Chickenpie1 Tue 16-Feb-16 20:19:41

I wasn't sure whether to put this in relationships or parenting. I have been trying to work out why some of my DDs behaviour makes me so mad and other behaviour I am able to deal with like a competent adult! I have come to the conclusion that some of my DDs behaviour reminds me of responses I got from my DM as a child and still do.

My DM is very good at manipulating other people's feelings to get her own way and being very passive aggressive. For example whenever I did anything she didn't like, she would say it must be her fault for being a bad mother. It was do it her way or you didn't love her. She would sulk and throw tantrums!

I am now a parent and find that when my DDs behaviour is reminiscent of my DMs it triggers me to feel really angry and I end up shouting or ranting in a way that is disproportionate from the actual problem. For example my DD will say we don't love her if we don't let her have her own way. Over react to being told what to do and play one parent off against the other.

I am concerned that ranting and raving at my DD will make her feel the way I did as a child. I was wondering if anyone else feels like this and how others have managed their own feelings to be a more patient and objective parent.

Mamaka Tue 16-Feb-16 21:25:56

Hi chickenpie,
I am dealing with this struggle! V difficult relationship with my dad and now trying to work through managing those feelings while parenting - and like you I think it's similar behaviour that triggers me.
I am trying to see myself through her eyes and watch my reactions to her as if I were detached from the situation. Every time I'm triggered I tell myself I'm being triggered and that's all that's happening. It's helped me get a grip and keep myself calm and aware. If I need to I send myself for a time out! Something must be working as yesterday she said "mummy you're not grumpy any more" smile

Mamaka Tue 16-Feb-16 21:27:37

Well done for making the effort to break the cycle by the way! It is truly the hardest thing I've ever done to try and parent well after being parented really shittily.

Chickenpie1 Tue 16-Feb-16 22:04:06

Thanks Mamaka, i have got to try and notice that this is triggering me as it happens, it's so hard in the moment. Am definitely going to try though. I feel really bad as I must seem so inconsistent to her when I suddenly get really mad and she's just acting like a child! Congrats on being less grumpy, I think I would like to aim for that! Well done

Mamaka Tue 16-Feb-16 22:17:19

Thanks and you too, even for posting about it, it means you're aware of what's happening. I found once I was aware and worried about it, it was easier then to remind myself in the moment that all that's happening is I am being triggered. I am not a bad mum or a crazy person, I'm just reacting to my own childhood. Lots of deep breathing, counting to 10 and visualising the numbers in my head, moving away a bit and doing something silly or mundane like putting the kettle on, repeating something to myself over and over eg "she's only 3"

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