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  • Failing as a parent

    I have never felt angrier at myself than now. I am sick to my teeth of my DD 17 mo. She has always been challenging, i dont believe there is anything wrong with her behaviourly but she is very strong minded and i cant reason with her. We have a DS aged 3 mo, whilst her behaviour has become worse since he came along its not that much worse.

    I have always felt she is "hard work" it makes me feel like crap to label her but in comparison to other children from my mothers group her age she has always been way more active. She walked at 8 months old and really life became so much harder then.

    Atm we have removed all the dining chairs as she climbed on the table then onto the kitchen bench top 1000 times a day, i tried everything ( distraction, getting cross, reasoning) to stop her but she didnt stop.

    She tries to bounce her brother out of his bouncer, she does it smiling even though he screams and im usually telling her to stop.

    We play and she gets bored very easily. She has been on and off her food the past few weeks. She isnt allowed crap food and i cook everything from scratch for her - it usually ends up on the floor .

    I feel like a total and utter failure. I hate feeling like this. But im sick of her!

  • #2
    Crunchie, I know what you mean.

    This is how I feel about my two year old daughter a lot, too. And then I feel guilty for feeling this way, of course.

    I'll respond more later, but I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone, and also give you one of these ones ------>

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    • #3
      I have no words of wisdom for you - sorry - but I do wish you all the best & hope everything gets better somehow. I reckon this parenting gig is pretty much the hardest thing most people ever encounter in their lives, & it sounds like you've got it worse than a lot of people. I am sending you many , cups of tea & ferrero rochers. Don't beat yourself up about feeling this way though - I'm certain all parents experience extreme frustration at some point. Kids are good at pushing buttons after all. xx

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      • #4
        You're absolutely, 100% NOT a failure. You are a loving parent who is frustrated. That's not failing.

        But I think it's possible that you do have some unrealistic expectations for your daughter. She's *only* 17 months old - she doesn't have the ability to reason yet. She doesn't have the ability to delay gratification...and she doesn't understand consequences for actions yet. she has no idea that bouncing her baby brother out of the bouncer might cause him serious injury - she just knows it gets a rise out both you and him.



        You sound really stressed...do you have any IRL supports that you can call on to come and even just...be with you during the day? I find that when my kids are frustrating the hell out of me, even just going over to a mate's house with them for the day, or having a mate come over to mine, takes the pressure off.

        The first couple of years are SO intense (well, realistically, I think all parenting is - but that the kind of intensity changes as they get older) and you're right in the thick of having kids totally reliant on you. 17 months old is still a baby herself...it's just that she seems so much bigger and more independent because you have a near-newbie, too.

        Do you think reading some books with practical suggestions about how to manage difficult behaviour would help? Or would that just be adding to much to your already over-full plate?

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        • #5
          My DD1 has been spirited since day 1. I dont think I actually realised quite how much so, until DD2 came along.

          Spirited children are hard work for their parents! The difficulty for me is guiding and discipling her, without 'squashing' her so to speak.

          DD1 is now 3.5 and she is such an empathetic, imaginative, well behaved child (just as active though lol). Don't despair, you are not failing. Just keep on keeping on, it truly does get easier.

          It is SO important that you have support though. I have totally burnt out, and I really should have been less proud, and asked for support earlier.

          Sorry this is disjointed, busy with children, but I just had to reply, because I've been where you are!!!

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          • #6
            Subscribing!! My DD is 16.5mths old and a P.I.T.A. To me ATM. I'm also preg with Bub no.2 and have less energy. She's driving me insane with the throwing food, not eating, running away, not listening to me, pulling the dogs ears, deciding 5am is a great time to wake up SCREAMING the house down (she used to sleep til 7 and wake up happy).... Ugh. Glad I'm not the only one. She has no understanding of 'no' and everything is funny to her. I've given up but worried sick she's just going to get worse.

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            • #7
              Thanks all , i have read lots if books, Science of Parenting and Toddler years but i guess nothing that deals with a more difficult child.

              We have no family here so no one to offload her to on the tough days. I do believe she understands things and of course im not expecting to reason with her, just redirect her but thats the struggle. She is beautiful and funny and is a happy child, very intelligent, (DH is Dutch and only speaks to her in Dutch) she will respond to either language. She is just determined to do things her way or scream about it. Tantrums are bad and the whinging is piercing. Im terrified she will hurt her brother unintentionally, and herself. I swear this child would climb a tree if i let her.

              Im exhausted from her day in day out. I have managed to get her into family day care 1 day a week starting. Next Tuesday and im so worried that she will exhaust the carer.

              She is pretty good playing with other kids so that will be good.

              Im just so tired and i want these months to pass.

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              • #8
                VERY glad you have some respite!.. Don't feel guilty.. It's not guilt worthy, Your feelings are brutally honest.. Thank you for being brave enough to share..

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                • #9
                  Feel for you hun...they never tell you how hard this parenting gig is. You may want to look into triple P program (positive parenting I think),At first I thought no way Im doing this but got to the end where I was a crying mess and went to nurse. I did it with my first when I had had enough. It was really good, ok have forgotten stuff now ( 8 years ago now have another toddler) but it was really good. The strategies were really good, but the best part was meeting all the mums who were going through same and that kids aren't perfect and we were all in same boat. It was a life saver for me.

                  my daughter was 2 yrs 11 months at time from memory. But it was great ...and yes i didn't want to go but glad I did.

                  You are in no way a failure ,you are a mum and it is never ever as perfect as those silly nappy/toy/clothes ads on tv kids are a challenge.
                  Maybe ask out triple P...they do a creche to for kids as well xxxx

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                  • #10
                    Hi crunchie just wondering how you went. I read your post and it actually brought me to tears. I totally understand your frustration and despair and am in a very similar situation. I have a gorgeous 13 month old who is bright and fun loving and adorable but has been really hard work from the start. I notice it more when I'm around other mums and their angelic babies who are happy to sit and play without any fuss.
                    My daughter cries for me all the time if she isn't stimulated enough. I tried teaching her how to say up so she wouldn't cry so much but now she just says up every few minutes until I pick her up instead.
                    I also don't have family here and it's hard for the mums with 'good' babies to understand.
                    Please let me know how you went and what strategies might have worked. I love being a mum and my daughter is the joy of my life but to be honest I'm also a little burnt out and overwhelmed with the constant needs. She is not like this with anyone else. :/
                    i would really appreciate some advice.
                    Thanks

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                    • #11
                      Hi legsintheair,
                      We are going better than we were a few mths ago, of course with every month there seems to be a new challenge. I have started using the 123 Magic technique, I started it about 2 mths ago and she responds to it well enough given she is only 22 mths. Although there are days I still tear my hair out and she drives me insane still. A funny story though, I was counting as in 123 magic and it was for about the hundredth time in this particular day, I sternly said 1, she looked at me and gave a smile and said "two twee" I struggled to not laugh it was the cutest funniest thing! She knows it's cute and still tries to diffuse the counting by counting herself, little monkey! Family daycare has been great and I can say I am a better parent knowing I can get a break from her, there are 2 boys her age there and she loves it, her carer agrees she is the most active strong determined girl she has seen in a long time. she is now very gentle and protective of her brother. I pick my battles with her though, food time can be stressful, veggies are a no go but when she is old enough to understand reasoning then we will tackle that problem. When she gets something in her head she can be as stubborn as me and I don't always win. I have given her a smack or two - something im not proud of and know it doesn't achieve anything. Now I just take a time out, I literally scan the room to make sure all is safe and just go outside for 5 mins. So I guess I won't lie to you, it's no bed of roses, but it is better. I get her out and about to unleash as much energy as possible, she gets bored so easily and some days I just have to tell her go to her room and sort herself out ( if I'm dealing with my 8 mth old - a dream
                      Baby in comparison to DD) I yearn for sleep and a somewhat co-operative child, I'm sick of explaining to friends no we can't meet them
                      In a cafe or restaurant as DD wont sit for 2 minutes... Our friends all have kids but none like ours. I'm sick of people coming to my house and panicking when she climbs in something, she is a climber and I cant stop her all the time, I hate people coming to my house as she is like a bull in a china shop, it's my house and I don't want to be stopping her playing the way she does, I know I'm not a bad parent, I do my very best for her and when it's good it is awesome. I do look forward to easier more sociable times. I hope it gets easier for you, hang in there. Right now I'm lying down feeding DS, DD has taken all her clothes and nappy off, she is sitting on my hip playing horsey.. And I'm typing on the phone! How's that for multitasking!!!

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                      • #12
                        Oh I just saw this. Glad it's gotten a little easier for you. I have also had the pleasure of using the 1, 2, 3 technique and she responds quite well but like yours thinks its funny to count with me. Mine is a bit of a smarty pants showing off how far she can count to!
                        The tantrums are still coming although with extra language skills I feel like they are improving. I completely understand what it's like to cancel on friends because it's not a 'good day' or dip out of cafe catch ups. I am actually pregnant now with a baby due in less than 2 months. I can't wait to see how that all pans out 😏
                        My family are all interstate also but I've recently asked - for the first time ever, for my mum and sister to come an help out.
                        Let me know how it's all going. I believe deep down that our girls will be very bright, sensitive and assertive little girls which is what I ultimately hope for.

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