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I've a 5 year old bright girl and a 2.5 year old boy. I always find myself yelling when I'm with my daughter. She is always complaing and blaming others for any problems or mistakes. I've become a yeller. Is it really possible to calm down when my kids are driving me nuts?


Michelle P. Maidenberg Replied: First, it is important to acknowledge that just because you are yelling doesn't mean you're "losing it" or you are a "bad mother" even though it may feel this way. These are all very normal feelings and ones that most of us mothers unfortunately share. You mentioned yelling at your daughter and then followed it up by saying that she is always complaining or blaming others. There is something about her behaviors/reactions that are pushing certain buttons in you. I recommend that you understand why these behaviors induce these feelings in you and understand why they do. Having insight into this will allow you to gain perspective into your reaction to her and will hopefully help you to become more conscious/aware when these feelings are getting induced. You may also be able to predict when they will be induced. The goal is that you will inevitably be better able to control your acting out behavior you refer to as yelling. It is absolutely possible and essential for you to calm down. Role modeling is critical. In general, if we want our children to be controlled and behave in ways that we consider as socially appropriate, we need to model these behaviors. There are wonderful books that I highly recommend that will help you to reduce yelling and increase understanding with your little ones. This takes much effort, patience, and care. It is obvious by your question that you really want to change and care immensely about your children. You can change! The recommended books are: (1) 1, 2 ,3 Magic: Effective Discipline for children 2-12 By Thomas W. Phelan & (2) How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. They will most definitely help you with your journey. Best of luck!!
Posted On 2008-01-22 23:59:19
Dr. Vicki Panaccione Replied: Yes, absolutely. And here's a question for you… What are you doing for you? Is your daughter always on your last nerve? My guess is that you are not taking care of yourself, a very common problem among mothers of young kids. However, if you don't take time to recharge your batteries/refuel your tank, then there's nothing left when it comes time to dealing with the annoyances that a five year old is bound to exhibit. Yelling tends to be a signal that moms are on overload; you probably bypass all those good parenting ideas real quickly. So, first suggestion: Take time for you. It could be as simple as a soak in a bubble bath, or signing up for a yoga or pottery class. You might call a friend, or meet for lunch. What makes your heart sing? Add it into your life. Second piece of advice. You yell in frustration, and she whines and complains for the same reason! Is whining and complaining a new behavior? If so, what might be going on with your child? Is she tired by the time you see her? Stressed? Hungry? Or does she lack frustration tolerance? Kids at this age become accomplishment-oriented and develop the need to succeed. So, she may be having a difficult time from a developmental standpoint. Why is she complaining? Perhaps she needs you to teach her problem-solving skills, good decision-making or how to be a good sport. Take a deep breath before dealing with her. Your calm demeanor will not only help you help her more effectively, but also serve as a model for how she can deal with her own frustrations.
Posted On 2008-01-20 16:44:08
debbie mandel Replied: Dear Yeller, Your daughter is pushing your buttons as she wants your attention. Might she be reflecting some aspect(s) of yourself which you don't like? Because she is bright, tap into that delightful, intelligent girl and tease it out. Stimulate her with affirmative statements and redirect the whining and negative statements into positives - the way you would want her to respond. Because your children are young and you are a multi-tasking caregiver, you need to set some daily quiet time for yourself to calm down. I hope you are eating balanced meals and getting in 30 minutes of exercise -daily - to rid your body of stress hormones and release endorphins. This will help you put it all into persepctive. Stress is cumulative and you need to be constantly releasing it in a healthy way. Remember: Humor goes the distance in reinterpreting negatives into positives. Children are easy to laugh - laugh with them.
Posted On 2008-01-20 11:08:32
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