Am I a bad mother?

April - posted on 05/23/2012 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Is shouting and having a bad temper makes me a bad mother?

I love my 4 year old son so much that if i could give him the world, i would! I always make him milk every morning and night because it's good for him. I always say i love you and i always give him hugs and kisses. I always find myself worrying about his future and talking to his dad about his education and about which private school he is going to attend to after preschool, high-school and college. I always give him the things that he needs and the things that he wants that i can afford. I love him so much with all my heart but is taking good care of him enough for me to be called a good mother?

My child is very hyperactive, he doesn't really listen when i say or ask him something, he just doesn't pay attention and MOST of the time i find myself shouting and raising my voice at him whenever he does something that i do not like or agree.

I have a bad temper and most of the time i cannot really control it and i always feel guilty whenever i shout at him which sometimes keeps me awake at night. I always think that I am a BAD mother because i lack patience and i often shout.

Please Help! I just need honest answers. I'm just worried that my shouting will have a very bad effect on my son. I just do not want him to say someday that I am a bad mom. I'm scared that he will only see my negative side.

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Rachel - posted on 05/28/2012

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Oh honey! No, you are not a bad mother. It's quite a shock to you though, isn't it? I bet you very rarely lose your temper with extended family, friends or co-workers. To discover that you aren't as even keeled as we all imagine ourselves BEFORE kids is always a blow.

The truth is that the state of what is called "maternal aggression" is not well documented in humans, but even a lay wildlife enthusiast will tell you that a mother is the most dangerous, irritable, short tempered beast you can come across. The little accepted fact is that humans are not an exception. The bonding hormone that actually helps you love your child is inflammatory, and keeps you ready to fight off enemies. An anti-inflammatory diet like the obe recommended to you already is your best bet. Vitamin D and Omega 3's are also anti-inflammatory.

Just know you are not the only one. My good friend calls it the "Mommy Monster". And it is lurking in all our closets. Of course you are correct that exerting our excess adrenaline on our offspring instead of the enemies it is designed to fend off it very hard on the little guys, but we are all struggling. Hang in there.

Minnie - posted on 05/23/2012

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Hi April,



You sound like any other normal mother at her wits end with an active child. However, I think here what's working against you is your lack of experience at motherhood (at least it seems to be so) and you seem to be judging yourself through other people's eyes.Raising children can never be an exact science, and we don't take classes to be Moms. Second guessing yourself will only undermine your confidence. Just be yourself, and try to connect with a more calmer side.



In my experience,hyper kids never respond to raised voice, especially if they know your barks are only that, barks. He is just 4, and typically, that's a tough age. They are too young to comprehend most of the things you want to make them understand, but old enough to know that they can get away with many things. Also, they tend to be rebellious too, as they are in that age where they are discovering their identity, and forming opinions (I don't LIKE carrorts or I WANT a puppy).



What I did with my very temperamental kid at 4 was to give out very precise and controlled punishment. Children listen when they think you are in control. When you show them you have lost control, they get scared momentarily, but often disregard it because it is 'flash in the pan' with no long term challenge to whatever bad behaviour they are indulging in.



Counting worked big time for me. It started slow, but I had very specific punishments. I would first describe the punishment in detail in a very precise voice - like say, I will shower you with very cold water, or put you in a dark closet or I will put your red toy car in the trash - something which he would definitely not like. You don't need to ever carry out all of them, but choose one or two that you would carry out. Of course, don't shut your child off in a dark closet and walk away. Just a minute is enough, and take him out right away. Next time, when you start counting, he will listen. Repeat if he does not. By third time, he will start getting the idea.



Precise and controlled voice work the best - I DO NOT want you to climb that ladder; or I DO NOT want you to ....



Also, try distracting him by playing something with him. Say poems, or do an impromptu story session. Watch a movie, or just take him out for an ice cream just for being nice.

Reward his good behaviour. Keep special treats or prizes handy. My older son loved cars, so I would stock up tiny hotwheels cars by the dozens and give them out whenever he was a Mom helper, or did something really nice.



http://thelady8home.com

[deleted account]

You are not alone. To recognize the issue is a big step. Keep working on yourself. There are many paths to take. I became more focused on my spirituality. I work everyday to improve myself and walk closer to God. I know that Christ has sacrificed to save me. I have better days than other, but my children not only have noticed my efforts, they are learning to control their own behavior better.
Your child will see that you are not a bad person, but a human with flaws. We all have our flaws to overcome or work around. It is easier to accept the problems in life when we know they are there, rather than hid away.
I will pray for your success and contentment. God bless!

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2013

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Try not to shout, the kids often will just shut down and not hear you. They will tune you out. Tyr whispering. They will be so shocked, they will listen. I know it is really hard ot keep it together, esp if you are being faced with a child who is always on the move and has different ideas in mind. But in reality, we want our children to learn good communication skills and to effectively relay their ideas to us and their peers, but first we as parents must learn how to that, if we are going to teach our children to.. You are not a bad mom. And it is okay and is needed to take breaks when you are overwhelmed.

Melissa - posted on 08/13/2012

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I was in the same boat. There were times where I would be depressed, emotional, irratated, and evn angry. So irratated tha I felt like 'i wanted to jump out of my own skin' or so angry that 'my blood boiled' or I thought i was pure evil. LOL

Then.....I went to see my spychiatrist. I tried a couple different anti deppressants. Ultimately in the end what worked was Prozac and anti anxiaty (sp?) Klonopin. It did the trick.

That was about a year or so ago. Now, I am off of both medicines. Re evaluate

yourself. I renewed my faith and trust with jesus, I asked for peace with in myself. I go to church. Best of all, my husband and 3 kids are my cheerleaders.

I still struggle from time to time but things have gotten a lot better from how it was before.



Hang in there, I know you can do it!

Best of luck

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Thomas - posted on 12/13/2013

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If you shout at a child, I guarantee they will grow up to be spiteful angry adults. Shouting is not an effective way to convey your feelings, and the child will respond in an undesirable way because he/she is being treated undesirably.

Qui - posted on 10/30/2013

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I feel the exact same way. I wish I could offer you advice...but right now, I am searching for the same answers. I am lost.

Laura - posted on 08/12/2013

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I too worry that I shout at my children but I have noticed a pattern of when they dont listen and misbehave, it's very much related to their diet, the doctors believe my son may be on The autistic spectrum to a degree, we follow the fail safe diet, all is very well in our house when we stick to it, I find myself less frustrated with the children and the kids listen and just get on well. We do slip up and we sure know about it when we do! Fedup.com.au if anyone wants to find out about it, I highly recommend!

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2013

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Since, childhood I have had severe depression and anxiety. All I ever wanted in life is children I ADORE my little boy and girl but fear I am ruining their life. I do take medication that helps some but never is the 100% answer. I am lost and scared. Last night my older sister called to tell me she had a "psychic" reading and the spirits insisted I get Rob therapy. I have been vomiting and taking my anxiety med since. I am petriied he will live the hell I did. He is 6...I don't know....feeling very lost and like a loser!

Theresa - posted on 08/14/2012

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I have a 9 yr old...with Adhd and aspergers syndrome...if shouting makes one a bad mom then i am the queen of bad mothers...hyper kids are enough to try the patience of a saint....when he appears not to be listening to you or doing as you asked...get on his level and make sure that he heard what you said...

Melissa - posted on 08/13/2012

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Get yourself an ipod or mp3 player, some headphones, crank up the music and clean house or exercise! It helps me zone out when I need to.

Ashley - posted on 08/11/2012

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You are NOT a bad mother. The fact that you worry about it speaks volumes about your character. There are some great articles on this site that you may want to check out. There are better ways than yelling to get him to understand and listen. At his age some of the tactics won't work, but many will. Take the times that he is doing something he shouldn't, talk to him about why he shouldn't do that and talk to him about what he should do instead. This way you teach them what bad behaviors are as well as what behaviors he should do instead. In this case with you knowing you have temper issues, you may want to try meditation techniques like yoga to help you center yourself, you may also want to try anger management classes. Every parent raises their child differently and it takes a lot of patience, and every child is different and needs different methods. There are many methods out there that can help you with remaining calm and using these as teaching opportunities. It will help you and your child build a closer relationship and help him to respect you more. The difficulty with yelling is that the child doesn't learn what they did wrong, they just learn to tune out the yelling in most cases. As long as you do not discipline your child because you are angry, you are doing fine. If you find yourself yelling out of anger or choosing a discipline based on how angry you are about the issue, take a few minutes to think about it, calm down and then go from there. Also, check out the articles on this site related to child discipline, there are some great links and books as well as free articles you can read that will help you with your concerns. Best of luck and don't worry, your attention and love will outweigh the yelling as long as it isn't an all day thing...

Chaya - posted on 07/03/2012

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As long as the child isn't terrified of you, you're doing fine. Your kid doesn't need everything he wants. I would tell my daughter she could have a toy below xx price range. She didn't go to private school except pre school, and that's only because all pre schools are private in Oregon, where we lived at the time. Still, she's going to university for free because she's an honors student and got stellar grades.
Sometimes it's appropriate to shout at a child, not ususlly, but if you need to take a break, go to your room for a few minutes. If you need more time than that, hand him off to a relative or friend for a few hours, particularly if he likes the person

Sonya - posted on 06/06/2012

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Your General Practitioner should be able to help you...mine did...she knows me more than any other! I was first on Paxil and it worked wonders, but I am overweight and it made losing weight impossible. Now I am on Welbutrin (generics of both)...it works just as well but I am now able to lose weight too! Added bonus!
Good luck!

April - posted on 05/30/2012

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thank you for sharing this. i think i need that but do i have to see a doctor for me to get the medicine? and what kind of doctor should i go to? sorry for asking but all i can think is a psychiatrist. thank you.

Halloween1369 - posted on 05/30/2012

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What anti anxiety med is it? Cause I'm on 4 different meds and nothing seems to work here

Sonya - posted on 05/30/2012

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I have 3 kids and felt horrible with the first 2 because of the same thing. It was so hard to control my temper I found myself yelling at them for little to no reason. I talked to my doctor about it and she suggested trying a mild dose of anti-anxiety medication. It has changed my life. I am a better mom now...I can still get angry and have an all out scream fest, but I am able to control when it happens. All of the little things that used to make me scream like a crazy woman don't make it happen any more. My kids have noticed a difference (the older two are 10 and 12)...they have made a point of telling me several times! I started taking the medication just after I stopped breastfeeding the little one (4yrs old). He has definitely had a better Mom than the other two. Wish I had done it years ago. It gives me control over my emotions and really makes you not sweat the small stuff. Good luck...

Monica - posted on 05/29/2012

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Dear "concerned,"

There is not one perfect mother in the world. If you are awake at night with this worry, it may be a good idea to find some other way to deal with your child. The fact that you are asking thsi question makes you a better mother than you think you are because you WANT to handle things differently.

Try giving a timeout or using a star chart when he does something positive. These two ideas helped me when my children were getting out of hand.

Try exercising to relieve stress or making some time for yourself. This will give you more patience.

Hang in there,

A fellow mom.

Monica - posted on 05/29/2012

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Dear "concerned,"

There is not one perfect mother in the world. If you are awake at night with this worry, it may be a good idea to find some other way to deal with your child. The fact that you are asking thsi question makes you a better mother than you think you are because you WANT to handle things differently.

Try giving a timeout or using a star chart when he does something positive. These two ideas helped me when my children were getting out of hand.

Try exercising to relieve stress or making some time for yourself. This will give you more patience.

Hang in there,

A fellow mom.

Jenny - posted on 05/28/2012

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"Counting worked big time for me. It started slow, but I had very specific punishments. I would first describe the punishment in detail in a very precise voice - like say, I will shower you with very cold water, or put you in a dark closet or I will put your red toy car in the trash - something which he would definitely not like. You don't need to ever carry out all of them, but choose one or two that you would carry out. Of course, don't shut your child off in a dark closet and walk away. Just a minute is enough, and take him out right away. Next time, when you start counting, he will listen. Repeat if he does not. By third time, he will start getting the idea." WOW and WOW!!! I'm sorry but that is horrible advice! Cheese and rice!! Are we training pets or guiding and teaching humans? Give a kid a cold shower? Put in a dark closet? Holy crap, what century are we in here? Boy it would be nice to do that to my husband and friends every time they did something I didn't like. Cripes! Not real life though is it? Yet let's do that to our kids to teach. New children on the planet who are still learning and their brains are forming. My god.

Melissa - posted on 05/28/2012

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hi,
i am a working mother of 2 hyper children also! I am very short on patience and find myself yelling at them alot too, but that does not make us bad mothers,we just need to step back and try to find a way to get threw to them with out stressing ourselves out.Being a parent isnt written in stone and no one has all the answers, just approach each day with the goal of patience and understanding and if things go wrong and you yell forgive yourself and move on...Your kids know you love them and believe me when we were kids our parents never put up with anything and we all turned out fine

Pamela - posted on 05/26/2012

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First of all you need to look at what causes you to have a 'bad temper'. Obviously because you EXPLODE at him, he has LEARNED your behavior. Children IMITATE....that's how they FIRST learn. So he is giving back to you what you have TAUGHT him to do.



Second, LOOK AT YOUR DIET for the hyperactive stuff. How much sugar, corn syrup, etc. is he getting in his diet? Do you feed him and yourself PROCESSED FOOD? Diet is a MAJOR reason for some of the negative behavior that abounds in our society.



Do you feed him fast foods? McDonald's? Burger King? Taco Bell? etc.? Are your foods at home mostly 'ready to eat" or packaged stuff like mac 'n cheese? Hmburger helper? These kinds of packaged foods are PROCESSED and have little or no nutritional value. The chemical additives that they contain put poisons in the body.



Learning to cook HOMEMADE, not 'box ready' foods is a big difference in a healthy body. A healthy body doesn't have a lot of room for hyperactivity, etc. You would be surprised what a change in diet can do for emotional health and general well being.



There are so many self-help groups available to get you going on a path to end your own emotional 'garbage'. Check out http://www.selfworthsummit.com ; http://www.femininepower.com; http://www.academyofawareness.com; there are countless sources out here to help you change and thereby help your son to do the same.



The highest and best to you!

Jakki - posted on 05/25/2012

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Good ideas there Summer!

Can you give me a suggestion about how to get my son to eat more cleanly. No matter how many times I mention it (ie yell at him), he sits far from the table and food spills off his fork down his front or on the floor. It drives me insane - he's 9 for crissakes!

I guess I could make him hand wash his clothes after every meal!

Summer - posted on 05/25/2012

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You really have to stick to your guns when following through on a punishment, several times I have had to take away all electronics (tv, computer, ds, play station), 4 or 5 times for a week and twice for a month, and lots of times for a day or two. By the end of the longer periods I was tearing my hair out cos he was driving me crazy! But by the end his behaviour was markedly improved, and he learned that I meant what I said! In the last 2 years I have been getting him to tidy his room by giving him 10 minutes to get as much tidied as he can, then repeated after an hour or so if things are still messy, if he doesn't tidy his room, or the things in the sitting room then all his stuff that is on the floor gets packed away untill he can prove he can keep it tidy.

Summer - posted on 05/25/2012

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I also have a child that just doesn't listen. He can be perfectly sweet, listens, does stuff like sweeping up at home without being asked (he is now 10), but when his mood is bad a little switch inside his head gets flicked and his ears get turned off. I have tried talking quietly and calmly, but it just doesn't seem to work with him, the only thing that does is when my voice gets louder. Unfortunately this has done bad things for my own patience and temper. What I have to do is lay down clear choices for him and consequences, if he makes a bad choice then he gets the consequence (eg. if he leaves the tv on 3 times then he doesn't get any tv for 24 hours, or if he is repeatedly naughty in the supermarket then he doesnt get to come with me the next few times and does without the kinder egg I often get him if he behaves while in there, simple things).

To get my son to listen I have to make sure he is looking at me, not the bird flying around past my shoulder, or the car driving past, or the dog being walked down the street, but AT my face, then I get him to repeat what I said to make sure it sank into his head. At that age you need to be very clear, you can't say 'don't be naughty' cos that doesn't tell his what you see as being naughty, if going into a shop you would have to say 'stay beside me and do not touch anything', you need to be very specific. At the same time you can't constantly be battling on all fronts, you need to pick one aspect of behaviour, or two, to work on at a time, and pick a couple of rewards for him to choose from when things improve, they don't have to be big or expensive, things like a trip to the park, or swimming, or picking a board game to play with you.

The really important things to remember are that you need to be specific with him, you cannot generalise! And NEVER threaten or promise something you will not follow through on! If you threaten a punishment that you don't later carry out he will learn that you won't carry them out and will listen even less. Good luck!

Molly - posted on 05/25/2012

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Wow, I have a four year old son too, and I can totally relate! I have finally realized that yelling at my son just plain does not work, so, if I feel upset with him and like I want to yell, I just walk away. He doesn't listen very well either, I think it has something to do with his age, and I try to keep reminding myself he will grow out of this phase. Man, I hope I'm right =)

Hang in there, you are not a bad Mom.

Kristin - posted on 05/24/2012

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I think every mother has yelled at their children at one time or another it is just a part of parenting. My son is also active and is ADHD and it is very frustrating, i spoke with teachers and doctors and other professionals to see the best ways to positively handle his bad behavior and what works for me is consistency, not yelling, time outs and letting him have choices. My son thinks it is great that he can have choices (he is 6) and we used to have the bath time teeth brush battle once i started asking him which he would like to do first have a bath or brush his teeth there are no more battles. When he doesnt listen i start counting to 3 and he knows when i hit 3 it is time out time and in his room he goes. Also i take things away from him, ie if he misbehaves we wont go to the park or he wont get a treat, but you have to be consistent and firm all the time. As for worrying about what school and colleges he will attend i wouldnt, if I were you just worry about the here and now and all the other stuff falls into place. Our children grow up with their own minds and do not neccessarily always do what we would like them to do and you can not worry about those kinds of things. Yes plan a college fund for their future but enjoy the young years and the everyday things now. Children grow faster that we want them to and before we know it they are all grown up. Another thing i have found with active children is to be active with them, or put them in team sports this will help their listening skills as well as tech them temwork. If he still doesnt listen and you cant control your temper i would suggest taking some parenting courses or getting your child assesed to see if they possibly have ADHD or need some kind of behavior class. Also, do not be scared of what your childs opinion is of you; you are his mother and no matter what that child will always love you. But you have to be the parent and quit feeling guilty, if you feel guilty all the time they will see this and use it to their advantage as a lot of mothers with overcompensate losiung their temper by giving in to the childs demands so the child will purposely do things to anger you so that you feel bad and give in. I am not saying you do this but i have seen friends of mine do this with their children. Like I said parenting classes are awesome and this may help you with your guilt and temper and teach you better more positive ways to parent.

Jakki - posted on 05/23/2012

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I yell at my kids a lot too, so I know how you feel. I have become very aware that if I am stressed and tired, I'll get worse with them, and it's really nothing to do with their behaviour. It's all about me!

We're moving house at the moment, and I'm stressed to the max.

I always try to find time to have a nice quiet moment with the kids a couple of times during the week, to make up for the nasty yelling times. The kids are very forgiving - they still love me hugely. If I've been out of order, I do apologise to them.

But anyway - can you find a parenting course that's run near you. These are great to get some techniques for controlling your son without the yelling.

Good luck!

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