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any advice very gratefully received

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  • any advice very gratefully received

    Hello, if anyone can help us, please, we would be grateful.
    I am a mature mum to a three and almost half year old girl. I tried my best to AP in the way I felt, BF, BW, Co-sleeping, and all.
    One issue is that since three, I have actually felt quite burned out. Don't have any family around, have money worries and my partner and have many tensions. I have found the slightly more challenging behaviour/just engaging as much quite challenging. Also feel bored fairly often, and feel very worried and ashamed. I don't think I have said or nothing anything particularly mean, but I know she will pick up on my feelings.

    But, we were muddling along without any major troubles. Until now. My partner stayed home for xmas, he doesn't like my family much and he has also just lost his job. I went with daughter to stay with family up north for a fortnight.
    There are some tricky issues with my family too. Fairly calm at my mum's, although her partner is someone I would not trust to be alone with my daughter. But my sister is severely stressed and has her own issues. Basically the communications there tend to be quite violent in tone and there is also some physical bullying between her sons.
    My daughter adores her older cousin, who always previously played beautifully with her, and they had great fun. This time, he was very nasty to her, and also bullying. I had to try not to get my sister defensive, but couldn't always say nothing. and he is not open to any kind or thoughtful dialogue - he would just tell me to eff off, (and he is only 6). I actually felt hatred for him and that was hard to take.
    Basically, since we came home a week ago, my daughter has been hitting me and her dad, shouting, slamming doors, is rude and demanding. i know she was hurt by how her cousin treated her, and also witnessed some apalling behaviour. i still feel shocked myself by it all.
    but i don't know how to help her. i tried just stepping away (not AP, I'm sure). i tried telling her no. i tried saying we don't hit each other here. i tried talking to her about what happened and saying i was upset too, although i don't even know how much or often it is appropriate to say.
    i know i'm not getting it right. i really need some help to get it better.
    Please, if anyone can help us.
    thanks so much for reading
    verytired

  • #2
    Sounds like a very stressful holiday encounter, and aftermath. When you talked with your daughter about the experience, did she tell you her reaction to all of it? It sounds like she's trying out some new behavior she saw, my daughter came home with all sorts of lovely (not really) new behaviors right after she started school, I ended up going into the director and asking her what was going on, because I felt like they had taken my very happy well behaved daughter and sent home a monster. We talked a little about how kids develop social skills. My daughter is a very rule abiding, by the book kind of kid. She's not very outgoing, and doesn't make friends very easily. She was trying on some of these out of bounds behaviors she was seeing other kids at school exhibiting. She was noticing that they were making friends easier than she could, so she was trying out their behaviors at home.

    When I realized this was her attempt to gain and learn social skills, and blossom and grow it was a lot easier to accept the out of bound behaviors. When she would hit, kick, yell at us, throw her dinner across the room because she didn't like it (seriously where did that come from???) I would just calmly respond with how we don't do XYZ, but she could do ABC. So when she threw her dinner I would say in our house we don't throw dinner because we don't like it, you may either 1. pick up your dinner and take it to the kitchen, or 2. you may excuse yourself from the table and go put on your pj's.

    I wasn't punishing the behavior, but being firm about what the expectations at our house are, and giving her some options for how she could contribute in our home. What would be a social win in our household. This seems to be working very well.

    The latest thing she's picked up is if you don't do what I want you to, give me that toy, a piece of candy etc. then I will lock you in your room. She has never been locked in her room, or even given a time out. She's picking it up from school. So we talked about that I just stopped her one day and said Woah! in our house we don't lock people in their room, we can ask for what we want but we have to accept the other person's answer. If you are so angry that you can't keep your hands to yourself then you need to take a break.

    Kids learn from one another, and I'm quickly realizing that they pick up behaviors from other kids, and they will try those behaviors on, accepting this as normal and part of the growing process I think helps us stay calm when responding.

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    • #3
      very tired/any advice

      What I am hearing from you is that you are not only distressed by the behaviors that your daughter learned and brought home from your holidays, but that you were already feeling a bit stretched and the holiday added to that feeling. Is there anyone that you can trust well enough to lean on for a mommy break of some sort? A few hours off to just BE and collect yourself? Short of that, you could rent a few attachment friendly kiddie movies or read a few books and relax with your daughter a few afternoons in a row. It might help your frame of mind to look in to the Four Agreements. 1. Be impeccable with your word - esp for your case, this means you must be honest about your needs with your partner. 2. Don't take anything personally - especially your daughter's acting out. 3. Don't Assume - this covers many things! and 4. Always do your best!

      http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=ut...8,18370,0,18,0

      Remember to respond to your own faults and failings with compassion!

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