I'm Tired of Being Calm While Raising a Toddler

mom yellingIn the era of modern parenting we are no longer left to our own devices, when it comes to knowing -- and implementing -- the best possible parenting strategies. Sure, this is a good thing. After all, more people stopped spanking/smoking/feeding kids Twinkies for dinner. But as I read yet another study that focuses on teaching our kids to tell the truth, I'm feeling like maybe I've got enough information and should just close my ears and sing, "Lalalala, I can't hear you!" from here on out.

In addition to this advice on disciplining children, which boils down to, "Stay calm, talk in a low, authoritative voice and don't be extreme with punishment," we chose a pre-school and grade school that also embrace this controlled method of parenting/teaching. Which means, any school conferences end in me feeling like I've so been doing it wrong.

After all, I get stressed, and it can show sometimes. Like when I screamed in the general direction of my daughter in the back seat of the car that she was never going to get to go over to any friend's house ever again. Not my proudest parenting moment, and most likely the end result will be a kid who acts out and lies all the time. Or, perhaps, a kid who will never throw a rock at an adult in his own backyard ever again. We'll see.

I kind of think that makes me normal, rather than not. However, I know I should take a deep breath and speak in a low voice without screaming. I know it's more effective in disciplining my kids, and they listen when I speak to them in this manner. But after I do parenting "right" I'm freaking exhausted. It takes a lot more energy to stop, get it under control, focus on the right thing to say and execute "the talk" in the best possible way. It's so much easier -- and let's face it, more satisfying -- to let out a yell that includes the words "NEVER" and "AGAIN."

I know. Bad mom, but seriously, how much do we have to get right in a day in order to have happy, sort of normal, kids? Because I just don't think I'm up to the task of raising perfectly behaved, 100% of the time, children. No matter how hard her teachers push.

Is this how you parent your kids?

 

Image via fotogail/Flickr

child care, discipline, learning

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nonmember avatar Susan

Sweetie, every parent teacher meeting is designed to make you feel that way.

Bodda... Boddah266

My calm approach no longer worked when my daughter started testing the limits of how far she could go. I started getting a big grin when I gave a serious and firm "no", "don't touch that" "the dog's butthole is not a toy" etc. that is when my voice started to rise...

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I believe children should be taught to be as calm and thoughtful about stressful situations as possible..however..when something extreme or even something thats just down right nasty happens, kids need to know that sometimes people freak out...and thats ok. Not everyone in their world is going to be level ALL the time. They have to learn to handle that too.

Littl... LittleManMama

You are human. None of us are perfect. Do the best you can and relax.

Megan Downey

agreed! I try really hard, but sometimes I yell. Okay, almost every day I raise my voice at least once. But I love them and I try my best. I have to believe they'll be okay.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I've seen the calmest parent I've ever met even lose it a few times. This woman could calmly try and talk her son through a massive temper tantrums in the middle of a store and share her feelings with him when he asked her why she was so stupid... But even she had her moments when she lost it, screamed at him and all but threw him into a timeout.



It's a strange concept nowadays but I'm pretty sure mothers are still human.

PonyC... PonyChaser

You have to stop the 'fatalist' thinking... occasionally yelling at your child is not going to turn her into a pathological liar. If you did it constantly, and there was no other parenting going on? Ok, I'd say maybe. But the overall message to your daughter is that you are not a robot. You are human, and you are going to react differently to different situations.


I think, honestly, it's most important - vitally important - to teach her to stay calm in truly stressful situations. Situations where lives or health are in danger. That's the time to really suck it up and stay calm, even though your brain is screaming and you want to run or hit or rage.


The rest of it? Yeah, you're going to yell when you're frustrated that you've told her 8267 times to NOT drop her FREAKING COAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING FLOOR!!! Sometimes Crazy Mommy needs to show up to get the point across.


I do agree with the punishment thing, though. Always saying that "your favorite toy is gone for a month" every time she screws up will never work. kids have short attention spans, and parents do, too. It's hard and usually pointless to enforce those long-term, ridiculously harsh punishments.

tiern... tierneylv

It's worth parenting the "hard way" sometimes because you are creating an entire future generation.  Would you want them treating your grandchild this way when they become mommies and daddies?


 

kalbe... kalbertelli

I only have my son so far & he's 13 months & the slight attitude & temper tantrums have begun when I take something away from him that he wants to play with & I dont sit down & try to discuss with him what the hell my feelings r & why he cant play w/it. I tell him he cant have it & take it away, if he complains, so b it. He'll get over it in the 5 seconds he realizes there r a million other toys on the floor. I dont believe in always having to stay calm when reprimanding ur kids or "discussing" the situation. u know what the discussion is: Im the parent, ur the kid & its my way buddy. U dont like it, too bad! As my little man gets older I dont plan to do time outs & all this other crazy parenting bs u all r feeding into. Im not perfect but Im not a bad mom if I dont follow what all these "experts" tell me Im supposed to do w/MY kids!!

the4m... the4mutts

I believe its important for children to see that we have emotions, and that they sometimes set those emotions off.

One of my daughters was prone to tantrums over the tiniest things. Talking, time outs, calm voices, none of it worked.

So at her next tantrum, I threw myself on the living room floor right next to her, kicked, screamed, and acted a fool.

She stopped and looked at me like I was crazy.

I told her that's what she looks like when she throws fits.

She still has them once in a while, but not 4-5 times a day, or even once a week.

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