I feel like the world's worst mom...

Jessica - posted on 08/17/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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First and foremost, I do not want ANYONE passing judgement or insulting me, as this is already extremely difficult to deal with and I am using CoM as a way to reach out and see if anyone else feels like this, or knows someone who does, or if I'm just messed up and really am the world's worst mom.
I have 3 children, 2 very active boys and a gorgeous little baby girl. My oldest, who is 6, is where my concern lies. I feel like I'm the worst mother to him. Why? So many reasons, but I'll list the ones that bother me most.
I yell at him, a lot. For almost everything. He's always doing something he's not supposed to be doing(either hitting his brother, teaching him swear words or inappropriate behaviour like grabbing or exposing his penis for all to see, etc), we can tell him not to do something, he'll be standing right in front of us, staring blankly, then turn around and do the same darn thing he just did to get in shit. I know I should talk normally, and at eye level, so he understands what Im saying to him. But if I don't yell, he doesn't pay attention.
He's got the worst attitude problem I've ever seen a 6 year old have, he talks back like he's 25 and has every right to do so.
When it comes to discipline, Im at a complete loss. We've tried time outs, taking toys away, early bedtimes, taken dessert/treats away, even denied him camping trips and fun activities because of something he's done. Absolutely NOTHING gets thru that kid's head. Time outs don't faze him, he just stands there and screams bloody murder until he's let out, which could be 10-15 mins if its what he's worked up to. We've started the timer after he stops crying, which has reached 35 minutes before, and about 30 seconds after, he comes out and asks if he can come out of the corner. And keep asking every 30 seconds or so, even if we tell him theres a timer going and he doesn't get out til it goes off. Toys are no big deal, he gets one taken away well he has 5 more in his playroom just like it, or 'better' so he couldn't give less of a shit that one toy is gone. We've tried denying him access to the playroom, thinking maybe if he had no toys to play with, he'd be bored and put 2 and 2 together. Nope.
When he really gets going, he makes my blood boil. I get so angry and fed up with him, i just want to call CAS and BEG them to take him away from me. What parent WANTS their child to be taken away? :(
I spank him. As much as I hate it, I still do it. I grew up with a mom who hit me when she was upset with me, and I always told myself 'Do NOT turn out like her! Look how much you hate your mom because she makes you feel like she hates you'. And look at me now; Im her splitting image. He tells me he wants to live with his dad cause there's no rules there, and instead of being the smart parent I should be, I retaliate with a comment about how he cant live with his dad because of this, or because of that. I sound like a child myself.
But I think my biggest problem is I don't feel like I love him. I don't even feel like I like him. Is that even right for a parent?? I can't stand spending a full day with my own kid without losing my mind. How can a parent feel like they don't love their child? I thought that was a given??? I gave life to this boy, he is my flesh and blood, and yet I feel like this.
But when it comes down to it, at the end of the day, after all the yelling I do, the tears he(and I) shed, he can still come up to me, give me a great big hug, and tell me Im the best mom ever.... That alone makes me want to die! I feel like such a horrible mother, treating my kid like this and yet he can still say what he does. The wonder of children; how they can drive you up the wall one moment but yet be so sweet the next. What the hell do I do? I can't stand crying so much about this, I think about it every damn day, its kinda hard not to. I want the very best for all of my kids, I know kids are supposed to be trying and test your patience and every other virtue we have, but holy shit is it seriously supposed to be this bad?? Then I start wondering if I have post partum depression. I had it slightly after my first was born, and never really felt 'normal' after that, in terms of emotions. But can you get it after 8 months from delivery? Ugh Im so confused, and I feel so helpless. I don't open up easily to family or friends (a trait I can thank my mother for) so I can't just flat out say all this to anyone. I felt like I could possibly come here and reach out, hoping that someone maybe felt like this and found out why.
Thanks for listening to my rant or whatever you want to call this, and I appreciate the help anyone gives.

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Ariana - posted on 01/06/2013

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There's a lot of things that could help but is it possible for you to get into some family councelling? It's really hard to get out of a cycle of yelling/spanking especially with a defiant child. Having someone else to talk to on a consistant basis can help you keep on track of how to act differently.

My first advice is to cut yourself off. NO more spanking NO more yelling. If you find yourself yelling stop, if you yelled at him earlier and realize what you did, apologize. Don't apologize for telling him off, since he was doing the wrong thing, but just tell him that you are sorry you yelled and you're trying to work on ways to not yell any longer. I'm sure eventually he will say 'mom you're yelling at me' and that will be your signal to go, ok, I've lost my cool.

If you feel this happening, where you're losing your cool, give yourself a break. It's ok to walk out of the room for a minute to take some breaths and calm down. If you do that you'd actually be showing him that it's alright to take a break sometimes. Of course then you have to go deal with the issue afterward but it can give you some time to clear your head.

Start doing 'special time' with him. 20 minutes a day you'll do something that he wants (not tv/computer stuff). If he does something to get in trouble tell him special time is over until later, but after a bit he'll probably try not to get in trouble during his 'special time'. During this time you'll sit with him and only focus on him, no phone, no other kids, just him. If that means the other two have to play on their own for 20 minutes find a way to make it work.

Instead of a time-out could you send him to his room?

I would try to connect the behavior to the consequence as much as possible. So if he hits his brother he needs to apologize and make restitution, try to do something nice for his brother. Once he's calm you can ask him,what can we do to make it up to your brother? If he teaches his brother to do something he shouldn't you should have him go to his brother and tell him how he shouldn't have done that and he's sorry he tried to teach him the wrong thing. If he talks back have him get sent to his room. Tell him he can come back out of the room once he's calmed down and apologizes for what he's said. I would also have him tell you what it is he should have said instead of _______.

I would continue giving him consequences when he doesn't do what he should, but if you see him doing something wrong consistantly try to ask him how you could solve the problem. So if he's always hitting his brother ask him, I've noticed we've been having issues with you hitting your brother, why is that? He might not have a good reason, or he might say something like, 'he's always bugging me' or w/e, whatever it is try to figure it out. If there's no reason keep going and ask him how he thinks you both can solve this problem. Sometimes if you involve kids in the solution to something they actually come up with pretty innovative ideas. It's not foolproof but it shows him that you're willing to talk to him about things and get his input in how to solve this, since conventional discipline isn't working.

On top of the consequences I would try to have a system where he can 'earn' things by being good. Maybe have it so he earns a token, or sticker (or w/e) for every section of time he's behaving properly. I say section of time because at first he might not get through a whole day without an incident. You can either 'section' it off through activities (acted nice when he got home, during dinner, before bed) or just hours, depends on your schedule. Have it so at w/e time if he's made it without an incident he gets a token. He'll have a certain amount of tokens needed to get a 'prize'. The prize could be a special activity with you, trip to the park, a dollar store toy, extra tv, you could either choose it or have a list and he gets to choose what he wants. Obviously don't say he only needs 2 tokens but has the opportunity to get 5 in the day or else he'll just get 2 and won't listen the rest of the time, make it so he has to work on being good to get the next thing (but work for a day or so, not that he has to be good the whole week before getting it). If he acts out a token gets taken away as well as a consequence happens.

Once he's starting to act better you can ween this 'token' system away by having nice things happening when he's being good and consequences happen when he isn't.

Like I said though, I would still try to get some family councelling. This is all a lot of stress on you and it's hard to stay with a system when you're getting so frustrated. A councellor can help guide you in how to get out of this negative cycle and start having a more positive relationship with your son.

Good luck to you!

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Crystal - posted on 01/15/2013

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Like Ariana said it seems like u have tried everything.. I think ur best bet is to do the family counselling. Wish u the best of luck!!

Ariana - posted on 01/15/2013

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Have you tried going into some family councelling? Maybe there's some sort of underlying issue going on? Even if not they'll be able to help you figure out what will make the situation work out better.

If you've tried multiple things already then having someone who can see what's going on on a weekly basis might be able to clear out all the issues, since typical consequences aren't working.

Jessica - posted on 01/15/2013

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Ariana, we currently have a reward chart system in place for the boys, thinking that if we made him focus on helping around the house and getting a surprise for doing so would help in the attitude department. And it hasnt, one bit. He expects to be rewarded for everything, and becomes very greedy when its time to get rewarded. We have a set amount we allow them to spend, and he stomps his feet and starts crying because its not enough to him. Or when it comes to the amount of 'stars' he gets for each task. Simple ones get one star, more difficult or time consuming get 2 or more. But THAT'S not good enough either. Once he gets rewarded once for something, the next time he does it he automatically deserves more. And if he doesnt get it, temper tantrum. He's like a 2 yr old, but 6. Hes very smart, and I dont get comments from his teachers saying hes disrespectful or rude, and he loves the reward system at school(which from what hes said is the same as what we have at home), but hes so different at home. Even my mom says he acts more like a pain in the arse when we come get him, than when we arent around.

Jessica - posted on 01/15/2013

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@Scott the father and I were never married. He got me pregnant at 18, and turned into a total lazy ass. He made me struggle to work 12 hour days so we could keep our place, while he stayed home smoked pot and played playstation. Just before my son turned 1 I had enough and left him and moved back with my mom. So I don't think hes acting out in resentment. He used to be such a sweetheart, when he was about 2ish. Perfect little gentleman, excellent manners, so polite, and very social. Now, he demands stuff, rolls his eyes at us when we ask him to do a chore, like make his bed or clean his room. He has started throwing hissy fits over the fact our 1 yr old daughter is still up when he has to go to bed. Before he would kind of contain his outbursts when we had people over, now he'll scream as loud and high as he can like someone's dragging him or beating the crap out of him if he gets sent to his room or a time out. Its embarassing, even in front of family.

Scott - posted on 01/06/2013

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wow-I read your post and I would really like to help.
So it seems like yuou and the husband are separated or divorced. I can't help but wonder how long it has been, I bet it is a resentment thing and he blames you and it is his way of getting even or retaliating.You might try sitting down with him and asking him how he feels about the separation thing. He might just surprise you. with his answer. I would doi it in a way where you take hm out somewhere where the discussion is not a real serious one but to the point. Once you figure out what is driving him you can address it. Br gently persistent about digging out what is going on. I would be anything he is pretty angry with you and blames you.

Lauren - posted on 08/17/2012

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I have a family member in the same situation. It's hard when you only want to do right by your babies and when they do opposite of that it's frusterating. Their behavior reflects you. He's 6 now so that means he is used to being the way he is. Do you think maybe he is jealouse of the other kids? I am just trying to see of a reason he doesn't want to listen to you. You seem to have tried everything. Maybe you can see a family doctor and they could help you and your son figure out a 'plan' to get along and help eachother find what you and him expect of eachother. You're right, no mom wants to feel like they are helpless and feel like they don't like their own child. And yes it is stressful. But through it all we just need to keep our temper and lock ourselves in a room to take a breath then go back out to face them again. Have you tried that? Just going to have a little mommy quite time then going back out to try and resolve the problem? Maybe after that your son will be calm also and it will be easier to sit down and explaien to him why the things he does is wrong. I really wish I could be of more help to you.

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