I'm looking for suggestions from parents of young children on how you control your temper when they are driving you crazy.
I've got a 3 year old and a newborn. My 3 year old is so difficult, everything is an argument, every time I ask her to do something I cop attitude or just blatant refusal. I've tried positive reinforcement, rewarding good behavior, time out, confiscating toys etc. Sometimes these things work sometimes they don't.
I'm not really looking for strategies to deal with her behavior, more so strategies for me to calm down before I explode. Sometimes I can't help it. Today we've just come off a week of all of us having gastro. I'm exhausted, my house is a mess and I'm facing a weekend of cleaning and sterilizing everything.
I just bathed my 3 year old and changed her clothes and while bathing the newborn 3yo DD goes back into the shower with clothes on and gets all wet despite me telling her not to do that; so now I have to change her again and wash more clothes. I just exploded. I really lost it to the point she was cowering on the floor because I knew she was scared and a part of me didn't even feel bad because I'm so sick of asking her nicely to stop doing stupid things and just getting ignored.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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10-06-2016 14:41 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
Controlling your temper
10-06-2016 14:59 #2
Am running out the door but couldn't not post. You are not alone. Toddlers are sometimes really HARD. My nearly 3 year old is currently completely naked despite the fact we need to leave in 30 seconds to starts the school run.
I've learned the hard way that shouting and yelling achieve nothing. They just make everyone including me miserable. So now I just walk away, or bribe for what I want (if I know she wants to do something so I tell no until she does X y or z).
But I'm human and I get cross and shout. I hate it but I apologise, give them a cuddle and explain later why mummy got angry. I find it helps.
As my eldest got older I've been able to negotiate with her. She hates me getting cross so now I give her 3 warnings that she's making me cross and if she still hasn't done what I ask then I get cross. Eg she never puts her shoes on in the morning. If I have to ask 3 times she knows I'm going to not ask using my nice voice.
She's older so that works.
It's such a hard road to negotiate. A millions hugs.
10-06-2016 15:35 #3
It's hard isn't it. My Dd is 6 and stubborn. I am stubborn. When we are both stubborn about the same thing - boom. Counting to 3 helps. Bribing also if it a small thing. I also take away things she like. Eg, if she doesn't do what I ask her to do she get 10 mins less on her iPad etc. oh and 🍾🍸🍷🍻🍺 lots and lots of it!
10-06-2016 17:43 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2016
Look up gentle parenting.
10-06-2016 18:29 #5
I just bought a book called mindfulness for mothers. It gives strategies (meditation techniques, etc) to help with the difficulties of parenting, help you to stay calm in difficult situations etc. I have only just started reading but so far so good, worth looking into for some practical suggestions.
10-06-2016 19:45 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
Controlling your temper
I've found where possible walking away and taking a quick breather helps me control my anger with my DSS. I explain that I need some alone time and I will come back in a minute. Gives me a chance to recollect and then tell them what I expect behaviour wise and the consequences but in a much calmer voice. Gives them a chance to calm down. My DSS has had whopper tantrums for years and this is the only thing that works for him. He used to follow me and I just told him that I wasn't speaking to him until I had some alone time.
Mind you that alone time has been in the bedroom leaning against the door so he can't open it!
Edit: I can imagine this is hard to do though with a newborn...!
10-06-2016 20:29 #7
Being tired makes everything worse. Just remember her whole world has been turned upside down. She now has to share mummy. And it's not a fair division either, the new baby gets all your time.
Maybe if you spend some more one on one time with her she won't do naughty things to get some attention? I don't know where you can magically pull this time from . The theory is great.
My DD1 has always been the best behaved girl ever. But when her sister was born she would kick her in the head. Of course I would lose it. But when I could give her more time she didn't act out like that.
Just remember even though she seems older compared to the new baby, she's only 3. Still a baby herself. When your youngest is 3 you will think back to what you expected of your oldest at that age. I look back and feel bad I expected too much. As I said my eldest DD is the most amazingly behaved child. She would watch the baby while I went and hung out the washing. She would come and tell me when she cried and remove anything she deemed a choking hazard. She was two when I did this. TWO! My youngest is now two. I wouldn't trust her with a cabbage patch doll.
So just remember although she's not the youngest she is still so very very young.
10-06-2016 20:37 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I can't totally relate. Both of my kids are going through different independence/utter and complete defiance stages and it's really hard. I am not maternal by any stretch, and I feel ashamed when I lose it.
10-06-2016 20:40 #9
I try and think "respond don't react"
So I make a conscious choice to stop and respond to her behaviour rather than have a reaction to her behaviour.
Easier said than done but I find if I stop and wait a moment when faced with difficult behaviour then I am able to stay calm.
I have a 3 yo and a newborn too so I really understand how challenging it is. DD1 is barely listening and engaging in lots of destructive behaviour.
I find trying to have empathy helps too. Such a huge life change for them. Try and look at the behaviour as communication. Even though it's frustrating as hell they don't have the capacity to fully articulate or understand their feelings so it comes out in "naughty" behaviour.
I'm taking magnesium which seems to help. I am by nature quiet a calm person but get irritable when tired, I think the magnesium helps my mood.
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10-06-2016 20:49 #10
Controlling your temper
Hugs. Ashamed to admit I've been there quite a few times since dd2 was born.
One thing that has helped is actually talking to dd1 about my behaviour and asking her to call me out on it. I tell her if I'm being cranky/angry/naughty she can let me know and give me a cuddle. So there's been times when she's acting up and I'm starting to lose it and she'll be crying and say mummy please be good, calm down and give me a hug. We both apologise to each other then (me first, then I ask her to say sorry). It does help!
Help her to recognise your behaviour/overreaction and to speak up.
Hugs. You are not alone. You are not a bad mum. She will not remember. Hang in there, those moments are less frequent now dd2 is 7 months xxx
Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 10-06-2016 at 20:51.
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