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Angry with toddler

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  • Angry with toddler

    I am getting so angry with my 2.7 month old at the moment. Really I suppose since DS2 arrived.
    He has regressed in many ways, and finally I have accepted this regression after 11 weeks of fighting it, but still I get SOOOO mad when he hurts the baby. He just lashes out sometimes, today for instance I bent down to talk to him and he randomly punched DS2 (in sling) on back of his head, causing him to scream hysterically. All I want to do in this instance is to throw DS1 across the room and shout at him. I managed to restrain, but still I grabbed his arm (for the millionth time) and said gruffly 'no we don't hit', 'gentle with baby'.
    I'm making sure I have 'special time' with DS1, explaining as much as I can what's going on, talking his feelings back to him, letting him get involved with washing/changing baby etc and doing my best to be respectful given how knackered I am, but this is really really frustrating me, and every time I am getting angry. For a while after these incidents I feel so annoyed at DS2 and want to be mean to him, I hate feeling like that.
    I'm sure he is picking up on my agressive response in these situations and perhaps this is making him worse, but really the last thing I feel capable of doing is whispering in his ear and being calm, like I know I should.
    I recognise I have a lot of anger from the way I was raised and am trying to work through this, but I wonder, how can I teach my LO to be gentle and not hit/push etc?? Will it just come with time and repetiton of me and DH explaining? It feels like he has had the pushing thing (with other kids) for at least a year now, but it has escalated with arrival of DS2.
    The fire of protection inside is quite incredible when my darling baby is being hurt or made to cry with shouting by my other LO. I never knew I was capable of such negative feelings towards DS2 which makes me really sad. :O(
    Also I wonder if sling wearing is making him more jealous? I never considered this would be an issue before, but for DS2 if baby is constantly on me, then that is extra attention he is not getting? In tribes the sling wearing would be shared with other family members so I guess it wouldn't be an issue. I am starting to question sling wearing in a Western nuclear family setting, but I can't do it any other way, that's where my babies belong.

  • #2
    It sounds like such a tough situation for all of you. What jumps out at me in your post is that you say several times that you are unable to control your angry feelings and that you wish you would behave differently toward your oldest. This is juxtaposed next to your child who is having feelings that he can't control either. I highlight this as a way for you to possibly reflect empathy towards him b/c if you are a big grown-up and have such a hard time w/your feelings, imagine how he probably feels out of control with his big feelings and acts out. Perhaps acknowledging how you are both feeling and giving yourselves permission to have those feelings may not solve the issue, but may go a long way in easing the hurt everyone feels.

    Your point about the nuclear family is a good one. Isolated families have more of a load to bear in child-rearing. I think that you have to find a way that works with your family. If you know that your oldest is likely to act out if you talk to him while wearing your baby, try to recognize that as a trigger. If possible, lay your baby down for the few moments you need to respond to your oldest. Perhaps you could involve your oldest in the baby wearing. Could he "help" you put the baby in the sling? I have also made a baby sling that a toddler wears with a baby doll in it. This helps the toddler feel connected to mommy b/c he is mimicking her.

    These are just a couple ideas, but hang in there! Continue to find ways that can meet each of your needs in peaceful ways. Let us know how it goes!


    • #3
      Thanks PaxMamma. The sling wearing sharing is a good idea. He used to use the ring sling (way to bg) before DS2 born and loved it! I know I am re-acting like a child sometimes and yes I can't expect my child to act any better then that... I have consulted with Naturopath and using Louise Hays (You can heal your body) affirmations and am starting to see the light. I have a lot of anger from my childhood that I need to get out and I know once this is resolved then things will get better. I find it constantly amazing what our children show and teach us, and what I wouldn't heal if I hadn't had them!


      • #4
        I did not mean to imply that you are acting like a child! Your feelings are real and valid! I only meant to show the connection between the intensity of both of your feelings and how difficult it is for us as humans to harness that energy. We all struggle with it. You are so right that our children make us better humans.


        • #5
          Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
          I did not mean to imply that you are acting like a child! Your feelings are real and valid!
          I know you didn't, but I guess in part I feel like I am, in a very raw and reactive way. I was never taught to deal with anger healthily, so that part of me never matured right and that's what I'm needing to work on. Since starting to address this with positive affirmations, I have noticed a positive change in myself and automatically in DS1 which is great. I know we have a way to go, but at least I feel like I've turned a corner. I was feeding off his negativity to DS2 and he was then feeding back off my negativity towards him. Vicious cycle! It's still hard to deal with when he hurts DS2 but I feel more able to cope with it in a 'grown up' way and I feel like a cloud has lifted.