I feel like a bad mom

Nichole - posted on 07/20/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am home alone all day every day with my son and sometimes I get really frustrated and angry with him. He never listens to me. One of the woman on my Facebook told me that I don't deserve to be a mother because I get frustrated so easily. Especially when I am trying to do my online school work. She also told me that my son doesn't listen to me because I don't smack him hard enough. I would like some opinions about this. I feel like a horrible mother when I get mad at my son because I feel like I'm always complaining about being mad. I want him to listen but I don't know how to get him to listen and I don't want to hit him. I smack his hands every once in a while and I spank him very rarely, only when he does something really bad. I need help.

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Shari - posted on 07/21/2012

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I think your expecting too much out of a 15 month old give him a break i have a 17 month old and he plays and is really clingy but its what i expect im also a student and i know that it can be hard but you have to have more patience

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Sharon - posted on 07/23/2012

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Sorry, but someone needs to give that woman a good smack for even suggesting something like that. All people, especially mothers get frustrated and obviously that woman did to or she wouldn't be suggesting such a harsh punishment. The other suggestions were very good. When you feel mad, take a break. When you want to talk to him, get down on his level, make him look at you and tell him briefly what your want him to do or not do. But consistency is the key. Maybe giving him something like a book or an activity to sit down beside you while you are doing your work so he thinks he is doing "school' work too. The timer is a great idea, maybe you can find a mother's helper that can come in a couple of hours a day while you do school work or barter with another mom for time. Anyway, I hope it works out for you and don't let anyone tell you you are a bad mom! It is a hard job and we all try our best.

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Read the book "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen.



At 15 months, he is not going to listen, whether you slap him or not. Slapping him might make him stop for the moment, but it won't teach him squat. If you choose to use slapping as discipline, you have to slap him for everything because it only teaches him not to do things because he'll get slapped if he does. If you slap for some things and not for others, he will think the things he didn't get slapped for are okay. Personally, I don't think it's a good method, but to each their own.



ETA: make sure your home is safe for him to play and explore without you constantly having to tell him not to do this and not to do that. Also, put big baskets of toys on the floor and change out the toys everyday to minimize his need to look around the home for something new and interesting.



One thing I did when I had to work at home with J when he was little was to use a timer. I would set the timer for 10 minutes, and spend the whole 10 minutes playing with him. When the bell rang, I would set it again and let J play on his own until it rang again. Then repeat, play with him, let him play on his own. At this age, you will want to start by playing 10 minutes, then going away for one minute for about 4 hours. During the next 4 hours, play for 10 minutes, go away for 2 minutes, and gradually extend the time up to 5 minutes away. The following week, you can gradually extend to 10 minutes away (just make sure he's somewhere you can see him!). At this age, that's probably the most you can do, but once he is 3 or so, you can up it to 15, and so on until you are playing for 10 minutes and being away for up to 50.



This works because they know you will come if they wait, and they don't have to call you. Also, they learn that you are happy when you come on your own, and annoyed when you come if they bother you.



Also, you do need time for yourself. Consider a mom's group where you can socialize while he plays, a book club that coincides with toddler time, or a mommy and me class with a brunch afterwards. Or set up a weekly swap with another mom--she watches your kid for 3 hours on Monday, you watch hers for 3 hours on Wednesday. This works really well once they are a little older because not only do you get the time he's away to yourself, but when the other kid is with you, they entertain each other (might be a while for that to kick in though).

Nichole - posted on 07/23/2012

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I try to be patient but when I am the only one taking care of him every single day it gets hard. I am never away from him and it gets stressful. I think if I could have a little time away from him then I could be more patient and less stressed but that's not possible since I live so far from my friends and family. My fiance works 12-16 hour days 6 days a week so he is no help at all since all he wants to do is sleep and rest on his one day off.

Nichole - posted on 07/20/2012

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It's not like I beat my son. But if spanking him once in a blue moon is gonna get him to listen then I'm gonna do it. I was spanked as a kid and I never went around hitting people. I respected my grandma when she spanked me. I am trying reinforcement and redirection. It doesn't always work. I don't get frustrated with him all the time, just mainly when I am trying to do something and he wants to constantly scream. Like when I am doing the dishes and he is in the living room or I'm trying to do my school work.

Amy - posted on 07/20/2012

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Sorry I did the math wrong, if you're getting frustrated than stepping outside and leaving him in a safe place is the best decision. At 15 months old I would continue using redirection, you may have to redirect him multiple times. Also you can try using positive reinforcement. Your son may just be wanting attention and has discovered he only gets it if he's really bad. If you gave him just as much attention when he's doing what you ask you may find you get that behavior more often.

I also would stop hitting or else you're going to have a 2 year old on your hands who thinks that it's ok to hit when he doesn't get what he wants. It doesn't matter if it's just a tap, he's going to do it back at you one day.

Nichole - posted on 07/20/2012

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I don't really know how to entertain him. I can only do so much with him. I have way too much stuff to do everyday so I can't spend every minute with him. And we don't live in the best neighborhood so I can't take him for walks and the park is to far away. I usually don't spank him unless he does something really bad. I have only spanked him like 2 times. And I do watch Dr. Phil but honestly some of his opinions are not ones I would take.

Anitra - posted on 07/20/2012

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Hello, I'm not sure how old your son is But maybe he is bored. You should try to do some fun things with him instead of always focusing on how he doesn't listen. Spanking doesn't work. You should watch dr. phil

Nichole - posted on 07/20/2012

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He is 15 months old. I'm not sure why it says 13. I don't have anything to put him anymore. We got rid of his playpen because all he did was scream in it and the same goes for his bouncer we had. I have always kind of had sort of anger problems but they aren't as bad as when I was younger. But when I get frustrated I usually just walk outside for a minute and leave him in the living room. He can't go anywhere other than the living room because I have baby gates blocking him from the stairs and the kitchen.

Amy - posted on 07/20/2012

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On your profile it says your son is 13 months old, is that right? If that's the case than I think you have to re-evaluate your expectations, at that age redirection works best. If you find yourself getting frustrated with him put him in an exersaucer or a pack 'n play and give yourself a time out to compose yourself.

Pamela - posted on 07/20/2012

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I completely understand your frustration. I have a 3 yr old, verbally delayed boy. He is very aggressive and stubborn. I think mine does well with absolutely nothing in the room he is in except toys and a TV and sofa. No extra stimuli. And as Stay at home Moms, we have to remember they are all alone without us. We are their playmates. I have to remind myself often all of this too. It does help. I think daycare costs keep us caught in between getting our education to make their life better and staying frustrated because they are bored. I do wish you luck and pray someone does start helping you. I use nap time as my relax time.

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