Help me keep my cool with my kid
January 6, 2010 5:33 PM Subscribe
Have you successfully stopped yelling at your children?
I hate myself for yelling. I am in therapy, and I'm a self-reflective person. I'm also very stressed at work, a single parent, and often overwhelmed, without a real support system. My ex-husband went back to his native Iran, re-married a local woman and does not contribute financially any more. That's another story, but the point is I don't have a lot of help. I am in therapy and work on my parenting and my deeper reasons for being frustrated, all the time. I vow to stop yelling. And then I yell again.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The thing is, I often feel as I'm a good parent. I'll handle the frustrating moments well all day -- I don't mean being a pushover, just being firm, kind, in control, having a sense of balance and humor -- in short, a grown-up. THen suddenly it's one thing too many and I just YELL at my ten-year-old. It shocks me as much as it does her when it comes, because it pops up after all my I-statements, consequences, rational approaches, etc. In short, I just lose my patience and out comes a yell. Yesterday I called her a "brat," and I've never called her a name before. Truly, this makes me despise myself.
Sometimes, I handle her more difficult behaviors very well. Then she'll do something silly (yesterday she put the hamster on the counter when I was cooking) and it's the last straw, and that's when I lose it. I think I'm actually making her behavior worse (talking back, refusing to do her chores, and procrastinating on her homework are what get to me -- though in my clear moments I know these are normal kid behaviors, and I consciously know how to handle them) -- I think I'm making them worse by unpredictably bouncing between good, calm parenting and yelling.
I want to crawl into a hole after a day like today, when I vowed not to yell and then did it anyway, several times. Again, I'm already talking about this in therapy, but I want to know if you have any quicker remedies. I feel so all alone in this -- it is not how I want to raise my wonderful kid.