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A combination of "unfortunate events" that you can't handle

  1. KatieBklyn

    cherry / 188 posts

    @irene: There have been studies on repressed anger and cancer. They're mostly inconclusive - some have suggested a link, others have found no correlation. But the repressed anger they're talking about is different from the kind of healthy emotional regulation you're employing when you take a deep breath and prevent yourself from yelling or otherwise venting. What you are doing is not repressing your anger, but learning to handle it and express it in away that's healthy for you and your son.

  2. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    I don't know anyhing about the link between repressed anger and cancer, but at the end of the day taking your anger out on your child and not controlling your emotions around him is not an appropriate outlet and probably far more damaging to him and your relationship with him, than the potential risk of cancer. You can exercise self control around him and have another outlet to express your emotions that don't involve him.

  3. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8483 posts

    I haven't read all the responses.

    I've been thinking about this a lot. And while kids are obviously soooo frustrating, I do think your expectations are too high.

    There is no way a three year old can know you took time and effort to make a day special. The main thing I keep thinking back to: when I was 15, my sister was 14 and my brother was 12 my mom took us to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Looking back it probably cost her close to $10,000. We were bratty and not super greatful.. We were in bad moods because we missed our friends and weren't getting along. We obviously did have fun and weren't horrible the entire time, but I'm sure those bad moments made my mom upset.

    I'm just realizing this now 12 years later that my mom probably felt so upset by our actions. I don't think your three year old has any where near the mental capacity to realize "my mom took time to plan this. I better behave for the rest of the day"

    I think lowering expectations is going to be your best bet.

  4. dagret

    grapefruit / 4235 posts

    If you reframe/lower your expectations, you *won't have any anger to suppress*. It's transformative, really.

    To give a much lower-stakes, simpler example, I used to get FURIOUS that DH wouldn't change the toilet paper roll. It would make me so angry and would affect my entire day. Then one day I realized that he wasn't going to change, that nothing I said or did would change it, and I was spending more time angry over the toilet paper roll than the 4 seconds it would take to change it myself. So I decided to not let it bother me anymore. And it was miraculous.

    Honestly - when I'm out with my kids, I put a miniseries of expectations in my head. Like - my first expectation is, yay, we all got out of the house! then my second one is, yay, DS didn't run away from me at the mall! Then my third is, yay, I managed to take them both to a restaurant and feed them on my own! Tops would be getting out of there with no tantrums. I missed that goal, but because I set other "hooray for me being a mom" points, it still feels good to hit some accomplishments.

  5. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @dagret: I could not agree more!

  6. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    This thread is so old that it feels stupid to even post anything. There's tons of good advice here but I think one key missing piece: always always always put yourself first. Always. Always practice self care. If you arent practicing self care then you can't weather the storms. You probably yell because you're overextended and maybe you learned to yell from your parents, who also were overextended. The solution is not to internalize shame about how much you suck as a mom and "do better" because that will not work. The solution is to put your own mental health and happiness first so that you don't need your child to act a certain way in order for you to be happy. I think you feel piled on here because you haven't been given this key bit of advice. Focus always on making yourself happy. Yesterday I had a big meltdown with my kid because he refused to put on his clothes and pick up his messes and as a result we didn't leave the house all day. I was really upset and I did stonewall him for a little while to try to get my emotions in check. Then I got on the treadmill in our living room while DS played legos. Took me 45 minutes to calm down but afterward not only was I happy mom again but my workout was done for the day. Win win. I didn't yell. I was happy with the progress I made. But I can still do more. The solution is to continue to invest in my own happiness outside of motherhood and correspondingly lower my expectations of motherhood.

  7. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @dagret: I wish there was a way to get DH to understand this concept. I feel lately like he gets so upset for me about little things (why didn't you turn the light back on after you got out of bed).

  8. Kimberlybee

    grapefruit / 4997 posts

    I saw this quote and wanted to share it too.

  9. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    @Kimberlybee: that also applies to parents! I don't have enough willpower to get through the tough times. I have to have support and I have to set boundaries around my own happiness. Actually when I was going through the worst of it I could not read janet Lansbury because at the time it was so shame inducing. Same with orange rhino. I prefer aha parenting as the first introduction to positive parenting because she seems to recognize that parents need to treat themselves with the same loving care that they put on their kids. Her website seems to be as much about parental self care as parenting.

  10. Kimberlybee

    grapefruit / 4997 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: Yes, I agree! It applies to everyone. I am a big fan of positive parenting too. We, the parents, need to take care of our emotional well being just as much as we do for our kids.

  11. rachiecakes

    coconut / 8279 posts

    @Mrs. Champagne: I think about this too! When I turned 18 I moved to California (fromMA) with a friend and we lived with relatives. We thought it was so cool but I never once considered - we didn't pay rent, we didn't buy groceries, we borrowed cars, ugh. I feel terrible about it now but my teenage self didn't understand.
    My husband gets really upset when my 4yo says, "I don't like you" or "I don't want to stay with daddy" ... like really upset. He'll plan fun outings and LO would rather watch TV or play with his toys and he doesn't understand.
    The 4yo brain just doesn't work the same way as a 36 (or 51, my DH!) brain does. The understanding just isn't there yet... and won't be for a looong time.

  12. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: Totally agree with this. I was visiting my doctor for general anxiety (not specifically related to my kiddo - just having a lot on my plate). Now, I work out every single day. It's 30 minutes ... sometimes just yoga ... sometimes hardcore cardio. But, taking that time for self-care is invaluable. I do think I'm a more patient parent because of it.

  13. JoyfulKiwi

    nectarine / 2667 posts

    @irene: so many people have listed so many great resources here! It's awesome that you're finding some ideas to try. I think it's not about repressing anger or bottling it up, but more about learning how to calm yourself & express feelings BEFORE the "boiling point". I was recently at a training about self-care & stress relief for professional caregivers. Our presenter mentioned that, with self-reflection and time, we can learn our triggers and identify when we're becoming stressed so we can use tools to de-stress before it becomes overwhelming.
    Parenting is hard, especially when you're trying to parent in a different way than you were raised. I have 2 degrees, a dozen years of experience, and tons of training involving how to teach & care for young children and I STILL struggle sometimes with losing my temper with my child. No one is perfect. If you slip every so often, it's okay as long as you are in control most of the time and doing your best to stay calm. Eventually, you will get to where you want to be.

  14. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4455 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: If JL is shame inducing, aha parenting is at least that much IMO... Also it may be that RIE didn't resonate with you as much as AP. While many people say they pick and choose from those toolboxes, there are some big differences between the two.

  15. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    @2littlepumpkins: I just didn't feel like JL has has much specific tips for managing adult emotions the way aha does. Dr. Laura does whole series on how to deal with your adult issues, family of origin issues, etc. She seems to see these issues as cyclical, meaning parents act out what they learned as children, a small scale version of the cycle of abuse. Perhaps because she is trained as a psychologist. I feel similarly about Alfie John
    Until you've done significant self help, it is pointless to read his books, they are too shame triggering. And all shame does is perpetuate the cycle.

    As far as AP vs. RIE I will admit I don't know a lot of the differences. I didn't start reading either blog until my LO was 2+. I sort of assumed the major differences were below 2 but I'm open to learning more!

  16. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    Haha phone changed Kohn to John,

  17. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    @2littlepumpkins: Ok so I decided to look at JL's blog to see if my former aversion was just distorted thinking. I feel like posts like this are what I'm talking about:


    I found the rhetoric in this post unsettling. It seems to support a notion that all parents can just push through on nothing but pure willpower and desire to change. I'm actually taking an ed psych class right now and we are studying motivation, and just last night I was reading about how interest/desire to achieve is less motivating than positive self-perception. I'm honestly wary of any parenting advice that leads with something like, "if you feel like a good parent, then why don't you just change already." Just as I would be wary of any teacher who would say to a kid, "if you want to be a better student, then just stop being a bad one." If only it were that simple!

  18. Happygal

    pomelo / 5000 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: AP and RIE differ in some major ways. Here's a blog post that explains those differences: http://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/03/bonding-with-babies-where-rie-and-attachment-parenting-differ/

    I'm really glad you brought up that point! I like a lot of the RIE stuff, but I'm definitely not sold 100%. When I read Lansbury's bio, I kept waiting for some kind of credentials to pop up. She shares about her modeling days and wild times in the 80s, but past working closely with the founder of RIE, I don't see enough there to consider her a true expert. Maybe that makes me a snob, wanting to see someone has studied child development or counseling or something, but I consider the source when taking advice to inform our parenting decisions.

  19. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4455 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: I read that post awhile ago when first starting to read JL and I actually felt less guilty after reading it, lol. I guess different strokes for different folks. I don't like that aha parenting does not seem very flexible. It's like you WILL breastfeed, you WILL do xyz, or your priorities are warped. Um, no.

    @Happygal: Fair enough. I do think she does a good job of taking RIE And she is linked on the rie.org website as well. But so are some other authors. I'm trying to get through Gerber's book but have relied on JL in the meantime.

  20. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4455 posts

    @irene: also sorry for the thread jack, I know my comments are a little off topic. Hope everything is going a little better, sorry I don't have any great advice though there is a lot of great advice here!

  21. Kemma

    grapefruit / 4291 posts

    @Happygal: @2littlepumpkins: @Mrs. Sketchbook: I think it's like any parenting theory / philosophy, you have to take what you find useful but don't get caught up in the dogma!


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