Losing my cool


I promised that I would not yell, and it I try not to. However lately the kids have been doing the following:

  • Not listening
  • Looking at you and ignoring you when you speak, basically not listening
  • Dropping things and not picking them up when asked
  • When trying to get out of the house they are not letting me dress them, brush their hair and when it comes time for socks and shoes they play hide and seek
  • Crying and becoming hysterical when I put them down for a rest. If I put them down for a rest they are so tired and exhausted, but they never sleep. It ends up that each child hurts each other. Then mummy gets upset, no rest, and ends up having to go and sort it all out yet again.
  • Defiant
  • Stubborn
  • Negotiating to the point of being frustrating. “No mummy, 5 more minutes” or, “Mummy how about we do this and that… that’s the plan mummy”.
  • Doing things that I told them not to do, “I told you not to seat on top of the heater, it will burn you, get off it and stay away!”
  • Saying No like it is the only word in the English language; however no one listens to mummy so the kids just do it regardless. “I said NO! Stop doing that!”

Lately I have been getting so angry and upset about it all, trying to control two wilful kids is hard work. As you can imagine if I was a cartoon, I would have steam coming from my head, ears and maybe other places. The annoyance that happens is just amazing, deep breaths are needed and more. How do you cope with this type of behaviour? Does it make you turn to a gin and tonic? Well a relaxing drink might help a bit, but I do agree not the answer.

So what is the best way of coping and dealing with this? You cannot just leave kids with the family and take off for some much needed me time. Well you can, but it would have to be planned.  I have found that you need to nip some of this behaviour in the bud before it gets too out of control.

So here are some tips that might help:

  • When the child is good, praise that good behaviour
  • Listening to what your child has to say sometimes helps. I find that once I listen to the girl’s ideas and thoughts, they are happier. Sometimes the child is frustrated that you are not listening and taking them seriously.
  • Make sure when you say no you mean it. Don’t go back on your word
  • Choose your battles.  The girls have been selecting their clothes more and more, although it is not what I would have chosen, it is giving them a sense of independence. I only put my foot down to make sure that they wear a jumper if it is cold.
  • With choosing clothes and other things I only allow two choices of anything, this makes it easier and you are not deciding on things all day
  • My girls want to take toys with them everywhere, I say bring one toy and if it is too big to carry by themselves they must leave it in the car
  • If they are in trouble I put them in time out. I have started a time out in the corner of the room for a couple of minutes. This ends with the naughty child crying and trying to convince me to stop what I am doing, I ignore it all and talk to the other child and let the child have her time out. Once over, I then ask why they were in time out. The child normally says that I hurt sister or something like that. Then they apologise, and can re-join the fun and get to participate in the family activities again.
  • Deep breaths and counting to yourself to calm down a bit
  • A nice soothing cup of tea or coffee if that helps you
  • Putting blankets, pillows and other rugs down on the floor to lie down to watch some movies. After a big day out this calmed my energised little bunnies.  This will have a nice calming effect and make sure to turn off the light.
  • Change of scenery – going to the park, visit friends or just go for a walk. If you have to pop the kids in the pram and get walking.
  • Counting to 5. If you get to 5 you go get them and help them either, get in the car, putting on clothes, shoes or help with other things. It can also help when you want kids to come in and be in places that you need them to be. I find if I do this they are racing around to do it before I get to 5. I only do this after much time has passed and we need to hurry up and get moving.

I read an article that suggested we think about our death, I know morbid and sad. However it was a good way to think of things, how your kids will remember you after you were gone. Will they think mummy was angry and yelling all the time, or will they think of some nice things about you?  It got me thinking, that my pact to control the frustration needs to get better as I want good memories left for my girls. I want them to remember a loving mummy and not remember an angry mummy.

How has dealing with a wilful, determined and stubborn toddler affected you? Has it created a more tired mother? I know for me it has, and made me try and develop other ways of dealing with this situation finding creative solutions. Send in your tips and tricks for handling and coping with your toddler.


3 Responses
  • Mommy Adventures
    May 12, 2012

    Reading your list was reading my own list of things that Hannah does! Oh toddlers…. Never thought about the death thing, but it’s so true. Some days I’m just so cranky and short, and I know that’s not helpful. I’ll have to think about the death thing.

  • Nicole
    May 12, 2012

    I had one of THOSE days today, and I feel sick about how I dealt with it all – screaming and getting myself stressed. Parenting is hard work, but tonight I sit here and am grateful that I have been given a chance to experience it. Toddlers just struggle to get their message across at times, and definitely like to test the mummy boundary! Rest assured, you are doing a wonderful job for your beautiful twins xx

  • trish van baast
    May 26, 2012

    Your list is great. What a wonderful world it would be if all of us mothers had the capacity to follow it. My girls are all grown up but I still think I should have been a better Mum. A child does not realise the depth of love their parents have for them until they themselves are a parent.
    Even tho we remember being punished as we get older we understand that we deserved it and all of us have a little chuckle about all the things we think we got away with. But humans are wonderful creatures we block out the nasties and tend to remember the good times. The times when Mum or Dad just took us on their laps and gave us a cuddle and read us a story
    That doesn’t allow parents to not be parents and give their children discipline.We all need to know where the line is. Knowing where the line is, is a security in itself. Being able to do as you want is interpreted by children that Mum & Dad don’t care and that is so far from the truth.
    Good days and bad days – that’s life.

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