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Old 09-07-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
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We're "those" parents

DH and I were talking tonight and we feel like we're the parents everyone hates. Our two kids are monsters. All they do is fight, bite, hit, scream and cry. If it's any better they only do it to each other. We had an old friend over tonight and he brought his 10yr old dd. We are absolutely embarrassed about our childrens behavior. I feel like I spend all my time yelling (way too often) and just being mean mommy. I'm so tired of not wanting to be around my kids. Both are angels on their own but together they're unbearable. Please tell me it's just their ages, dd is 3 and ds is 18mos, and it will pass. What can we do to keep our sanity? DH is not near as patient as I am and really is having a tough time with this. Help us please

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Old 09-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: We're "those" parents

I read a great piece once about how it's not the children's behavior - it's how we deal with it. Kids are going to act up, do stupid things, and make as many mistakes as they can. But how we choose to handle it makes all the difference. Being 3yo and 18mo will pass, and so will the tantrums, biting, hitting, and hair pulling. They'll be replaced by other phases. Knowing they'll be stupid helps me keep my calm. It's like the difference between knowing I'll be 10 minutes late to a meeting and trying not to be but still being 10 minutes late. The stress level goes down when I'm prepared and I can handle things more appropriately.

When mine were little I used to keep a small notebook. In it I wrote down any skirmishes and how I handled it, and then later, when I was calmer, I wrote how I would have wanted to handle it - I wanted to be able to teach more, be kinder, be more empathetic..after a while the notebook's ideas started to take over more and more until they became the first tools I grabbed when faced with a situation. I made a list of ones that worked consistantly and posted them here in case others were stuck, too. I also used up a lot of post-it notes...all over my walls, bedroom door..just daily reminders of the parent I wanted to be. I had inspirational quotes, directions, and tips to get me through the day.

You'll fall into a method that works for you. It does get much better. I have to say I really like age 9. It's a vast improvement over the toddler years.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: We're "those" parents

Wow what great ideas! I'm definitely going to fwd your list to dh so he can read it too. Thank you for the encouragement.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: We're "those" parents

ohhhh those days!!!! Dont worry it will pass is a stage and age, dont feel embarrased and dont feel bad about your guests daughter...she is much much older than your kids.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Re: We're "those" parents

there is a parenting program called redirecting children's behavior. Its a great way to help kids interact more positively with each other and in the long run with the world. I'd google it and see if you can attend a workshop. They areall over the US
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:24 PM   #6
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Re: We're "those" parents

My daughters are like that too! Except they're GREAT with other kids and even their little brother who is almost 6 months old.

It's just they have to beat/scream at eachother all day long.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:48 PM   #7
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Re: We're "those" parents

So with you! My boys are 3 1/2 and 17 mos. I swear they hate each other. I'm hoping it will pass. I do yell a lot and never realized it until I was watching a friend's 2yo and I yelled at ds and that poor kid jumped sky high! My kids are used to it and ignore me anyway. I have really been trying to work on it. Also, my boys have a fair amount of "unsupervised" time. I am doing laundry or in the kitchen and can hear them but not see them (darn load bearing walls!) I try to go see what the problem is before I just start yelling now. I used to start screaming at the 3 yo and then get in the room and see that he has nothing to do with it and that the lo just wants a toy he can't reach or something. Also, not sure if you are religious so this may not apply but I heard a sermon on the radio a couple days ago with the theme "choose this day who you will serve" I need to choose each moment with these kids who I will honor and I hope to honor God. I have been taking a step back and saying "choose" before i just start yelling. I want to be fun mommy but I guess I am having a hard time keeping house and kids. Sorry so long, I am just feeling your pain!
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:59 AM   #8
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Re: We're "those" parents

Imo yelling is the quickest way to get your kids to not listen to you! I would just do one warning and then timeouts, and the more consistent you are with reliable, predictable consequences for bad behavior the better behaved your kids will become.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:46 AM   #9
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Re: We're "those" parents

Thank you ladies for all the kind words! I'm so glad to know I'm not alone! Is time-out even an option for the 18month old?
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: We're "those" parents

Yep!! You can do a one minute time out in a play yard or gated room if he/she won't stay in a corner or chair. Give a simple explanation of why and make them hug, kiss and say they love each other when they get out of a timeout for fighting.
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