This Mothering Stuff is Tough

I have something to tell you; please don’t spread it around, as it’s somewhat of a secret.  I screamed “shut up” at my son today. “SHUT UP!” not “shush” or “sshhhhh” or even “ferme la bouche.”  No, “Shut Up.” I didn’t say it in a whisper, or even hiss it through clenched teeth.  I yelled it in a vein popping tone, and it felt sort of good, aside from the fear of having an aneurism.  I hate to admit it, but in the moment I actually enjoyed the shock value.

In my house, “shut up” is still the “S” word.  That and “stupid”…fine, it’s “shit” also (look, we’re not Amish).  “Shut up” is a phrase that I – a person who has managed to use“Shniekees” and “Gaylord Focker” in place of harsher expletives for the last 7 years – have never uttered to my children.

Had I witnessed you on the street saying – no, screaming – that to your child, I would have judged you with disdain.   I may have even considered calling child services on you.  Now, I’m the one with the scarlet letter.  I’m just a few more outbursts from a knock at the door.

I’m not going to tell you what my son did, but just know, he started it!  Fine, I’ll tell you.  He was yelling at me, telling me “No,” contradicting me, and being incredibly obnoxious all at once, and all at warp speed.  He never took a breath.  I didn’t know whether to punish or have him try out for the swim team.

The funny thing is, I just finished writing an article about the Spanking / IQ study, and here I am doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do… “ensuring my child will need hours of therapy.”  Way to go Jenny. Though I don’t believe in it, I would have been better off calmly putting him over my knee; at least I would have had more self-control.

The worst part of this whole confession inducing incident was the look on his face.  It was somewhere between “Uh-oh, you said a bad word!” and a lip biting, “Sniff, sniff.  You said that bad word to ME?”  As I’ve said before, I subscribe to the book of damage control parenting.  Doing as little damage as possible, and controlling the damage you’ve done.  This was one of those times I had to control the damage.   Somewhat in shock myself, I had to regroup and think of my options:   Apologize, use candy or some other bribe to gloss over it, or explain my actions.  I went the obvious route, and when he finished licking the Kit Kat residue off his fingers, I said I was sorry.

I’ll tell you, when my kids were little, I would have sworn this day would never come.  How could you look at those sweet chubby cheeks and imagine they could ever frustrate you so much?  Conversely, when I told a few of my friends the story, they were shocked at how long I’d held out.

Wait a minute, I think there’s some praise in there.  I amazed people with my nearly infinite patience.  I deserve a medal, not a scornful eye.  I take it all back… I am the best mom; it took me almost 8 years to tell my child to “shut up.” Wahoo!  See, if you practice patience (but not too much), and bottle up frustration like seltzer (that your kids can agitate until it pops), you too can astound people.   Then you can start a blog, and when you do terrible horrible things, you can seek contrition by telling hundreds, dare I say thousands, of people about them.

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51 thoughts on “This Mothering Stuff is Tough

  1. Maniacal Mom

    I remember how horrible I felt the first time I yelled at my daughter. I learned that I do hve a breaking point and I have a much longer fuse than I ever had pre mommyhood. I took have soothed with sweets and it’s no wonder my children can now recognize the 7-11 logo!

    Reply
  2. cherie

    Well, it took you longer than it took me, but my boiling point is a lot lower than yours. I will say you didn’t turn out bad, at least from my perspective. This brought back memories, some delightful and some not so. It’s only just begun, you’ll have to try and keep that pressure cooker tighter and the cap on. I remember when my mother used to make split pea soup in the pressure cooker, sometimes it ended up on the ceiling…sometimes our emotions can end up on the ceiling too from too much frustration. Keep up the good work, you’re doing a great job.

    Reply
  3. Luc Brooks

    The reality is being a parent is a hard job and some days are harder than others. We lose it and we hope that tomorrow we will do better. Our children need to see that we make mistakes too. The mistakes we make as parents are important in teaching our children life lessons.

    Reply
  4. Terrena

    Sometimes a kid just needs to be shocked into silence. I use “Shut it” and I’m not sure if that’s better but so far none of my kids (aged 23, 19, 18) have needed psychotherapy simply from being told to put a cork in it.

    Reply
  5. Barry

    I see you posted this article at 5:32 a m. Maybe a little more sleep would put you in a calmer place. Many years ago many, if not most, parents lived by the addage, “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”. Interpretation, if you don’t dole out corporate punishment you’ll end up with a not so terrific child. Pretty much discountin the ROD, we do the best we can. You didn’t commit a Cardinal Sin, still it doesn’t feel so good. The only potential winner in this situation could be your kids Dentist.

    Reply
  6. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    LOVE your seltzer analogy ~ very true. Makes me smile when you talk about when your kids WERE little. Wouldn’t worry about this incident causing the need for therapy… but it might add a few hours. You rock.

    Reply
  7. Alison

    LOL Jenny!!! I love it, and please shut-up is nothing!!! When we were kids shut up was an article in a sentence and now that we are older shut-up is still an article with the added BITCH to end our sentence properly!!! I mean no self-respecting adult would end their sentence in a preposition!

    No worries, I think that this is a great lesson to us all, that we all have our limits we just need to learn to recognize the warning signs and try and deal with them before it gets to an uncontrollable moment!

    Keep up the great work, you are an amazing mother, daughter, wife, friend, and SISTA!!!!! Love ya babe!!!!

    Reply
  8. Susan Morgan

    Parenting IS hard… and like you I try to control my temper… but as they get older, it gets harder… especially when you KNOW they KNOW how to push your buttons.

    There’s no honest parent who won’t admit to being where you’ve been, and a good number of us did just what you did. I too, practice damage control… only in our house it’s M&Ms!

    Part of the trouble we have as parents (good ones, anyway) is that we are SO hard on ourselves. We’re human, not perfect. Do your very best, as much as you can, and all will work out in the end… without the need for therapy.

    Take good care and thanks for sharing,
    Sue

    Reply
  9. Bari

    Thank G-d for parents being people and loosing it occasionally. Parents becomming overwhelmed keeps me in the shrink business and your kids in candy!

    Reply
  10. rachy

    at some point, every parent can become frustrated — that’s just the human condition. maybe it was time he wouldn’t get on the school bus for kindergarten and one of us had to stay home from work. but removed from the situation, i know it wasn’t worth it being so frustrated. still, when it’s happening, and you’re under stress from other aspects of life (like work or finances or other family issues), you just want the child to behave and behave right now!

    i think it’s great that you writing about it, both as a catharsis for yourself, and so other parents don’t feel they are alone in their frustration. and to share tips on how to vent frustration without the kids getting the brunt of it.

    (but i have this nagging suspicion that you may unconsciously wish to be a catholic — you know, when they make a mistake, “miss the mark” as my pastor says, they go to confession, say it out loud, get it off their chest, get forgiven, and then everything’s cool again and you don’t have to hang onto any guilt over a one-time shortcoming. it can be a nice process.)

    Reply
  11. Saundra

    Don’t fret. Don’t recall using “shut up”. But I did the clenched teeth threat many times. My Mother used to say, “I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out.” I thought that was so mean – until I had my own children. I had my own variation of that saying. “I will repent in jail but you will be looking in the Master’s face!” I’m sure some will be appalled with that statement but my son is 39 and my daughter is 32 and both are successful. We have a fabulous relationship. Are there regrets? I’m sure but life goes on. We love each other. Mothering is touch but rewarding. You and your son will be fine. (Bet he will be more embarrassed to know you wrote about him in your blog when he gets older.)
    Great writing.

    Reply
  12. Traci

    Yep, you held out far longer than I did. I have screamed more times than I would like to remember. I’m sure my girls will remind me though when they grow up. Just like I seem to remember things my mother did to me that she doesn’t. All I can hope for is to do just a little bit better than my mother did, then hopefully my girls will do better than me, etc.

    Reply
  13. Pamela DeLoatch

    I realized that I was a very good mother to my child. I was patient, fun loving, energetic and creative. Only thing: I had 4 kids. Turns out, when you quadruple that activity, I was stressed, rattled, and worn out. But, when I got just one alone, I was perfect.

    Reply
  14. Maggie

    I don’t like it much, but I’m not afraid to lose my cool. It doesn’t feel right to shield them from what’s real. Sometimes I try to contain it, but when I can’t keep it in, I simply don’t. I’ve stormed into their room in a rage, their little faces shocked and their little bodies recoiling from the force of my angry words. I’ve backed up against the wall and let my body slide down it until I’m sitting with my forehead against my knees, heaving tears.

    About these outbursts I do not apologize; I explain. Later, when the feeling has ebbed, we sit on the stairs and I say something like “Mama was pretty angry, I wish I hadn’t been so loud that I frightened you,” or “Mama was pretty sad, wasn’t I?”

    We’re supposed to feel. And I think we teach them how to deal with unruly anger when they see us struggle, but ultimately come to terms with, our own: http://maternal-dementia.com/2009/02/24/youre-supposed-to-feel/

    Reply
  15. Michelle Grenier-Crawford

    I have 3 beautiful children, 11, 10 from my first marriage and age 1 from my second marriage. I have had my moments of frustration adn got madder adn louder than I wished and said things I should not have. Unfortunately my ex-husband had on one occasion recorded me getting angry with him like this in the midst of our divorce and brought it to court years later. My current husband took note and realizing marriage, responsibility, step-children was all too much but wanted to keep our daughter did the same thign adn recorded me yelling at my 10 year old daughter (I cussed and everything) he brought it to DHR’s attention adn since after us patching things up and him deciding again to get out presented a message I left him on his cell phone where I yelled adn swore at him to DHR so that when he tried to make away with our baby girl he would have leg to stand on when trying to obtain custody. I am a great Mom, coached soccer, children make great grades often all A’s, I am lovong and affectionate and my children can talk to me about anything but I am at risk for losing precious tiem with my children becasue my ex and current husband have even collaborated against me for thier own agendas to take my children away. I don’t judge either but today you just never know so I caution you especially if you are in an uncertain relationship with your spouse to be careful because we love our children more than life itself but I do not want to see anyone go through what I am going through but more importantly what my children will go through if I can’t hold on to them.

    Reply
  16. Lisa

    Jenny, you always make me laugh. I know how you feel and I’m just an aunt. We all have these moments and that’s what makes me empathize with you. Just take a deep breath and count to 10. It usually works for me. God bless you.

    Reply
  17. Michelle

    Published one book on the subject and second one coming out next year (Adventures of a Mainstream Metaphysical Mom). The parents and outside forces are as tough as our children.

    Posted by Michelle A. Payton, Ph.D., D.C.H.

    Reply
  18. judy

    Teachable moment! I am renowned for my patience, but every once in a blue moon I lose control and let rip. It happened more often when my son was little. I always saw it as an opportunity for him to learn that EVERYONE has a tipping point and that there is nothing wrong with anger itself, just in the way you express it. Whenever I did yell at him I would usually get myself quickly under control (easy once all that steam has been released), apologise for shouting/swearing while calmly explaining why I was angry (ie doing it the right way). Moms are only human after all! 🙂

    Reply
  19. jenna mccarthy

    My friend Robyn and I were–just this week–patting ourselves on the back for not (yet) having told our kids to shut up–as much as we constantly want to! She swears “shut it” is as close as she’s come; I tend to use “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR” for its striking resemblance to my all-time favorite expression. Thanks for making me feel less monstrous.

    Reply
  20. Gift for mom

    Ladies,

    I loved it! Thank God you are parents. This is what kids need today some discipline. You brought me memories. You reminded me when I said “I am going to kill you.” Don’t worry they are twenty-five and twenty-one now. They survived, but I barely made it.

    Reply
  21. Patricia

    Hi Jenny,

    I too have been guilty of the scarlet scream.

    The first 35 years of my life I never raised my voice. THEN I HAD KIDS!

    I hear that nasty loud person, but I refuse to believe is she is ME.

    What I recognize now is that I was really not that passionate about what was going on with others around me to want to raise my voice. I notice that I still don’t raise my voice with others. I don’t own them. They are not mine. Only my children get to hear that crazy women’s voice!

    P

    Reply
  22. Kevin

    I’ve gotten upset at my son several times over the years but only really “lost my cool” once when he was a little kid. I screamed at him for breaking something by accident. Then he looked up at me with confusion and tears in his eyes and said, “But, dad, remember all those good times we’ve had?”.

    That one comment stopped me in my tracks. He was right. Why make such a big deal over a simple (or even not so simple) mistake. Instead, you should be remembering all the great things and memories about your kids.

    I gave him a huge hug and apologized. My son is 17 now and to this day, I have never truly lost my temper with him or his younger sister. Thankfully, they’ve rarely given me reason to. They’re both great kids and I thank God for them. I also spend as much time as possible “remembering all the good times” we’ve had.

    Reply
  23. kathy

    I’m ashamed to say it now, but there had been a time or two (ok, maybe three or four…) when I had scared my kids with my temper. Yes, it was a long time ago, and no permanent damage was done, but still…

    Reply
  24. RObbie

    LinkedIn Groups
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    Subject: New comment (1) on “New Article- “This Mothering Stuff is Tough.” Have you ever totally lost your cool with your kids?”
    Great article!

    Reply
  25. Judy R.

    LinkedIn Groups
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    Subject: New comment (2) on “New Article- “This Parenting Stuff is Tough.” Have you ever totally lost your cool with your kids?”
    Teachable moment! I am renowned for my patience, but every once in a blue moon I lose control and let rip. It happened more often when my son was little. I always saw it as an opportunity for him to learn that EVERYONE has a tipping point and that there is nothing wrong with anger itself, just in the way you express it. Whenever I did yell at him I would usually get myself quickly under control (easy once all that steam has been released), apologise for shouting/swearing while calmly explaining why I was angry (ie doing it the right way). Moms are only human after all! 🙂

    Reply
  26. Lisa

    LinkedIn Groups
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    Subject: New comment (1) on “New Article- “This Parenting Stuff is Tough.” Have you ever totally lost your cool with your kids?”
    Jenny, you always make me laugh. I know how you feel and I’m just an aunt. We all have these moments and that’s what makes me empathize with you. Just take a deep breath and count to 10. It usually works for me. God bless you.

    Reply
  27. Dale

    No one said parenting would be easy, kids don’t come an owner’s manual or “return to sender” policy. It’s a journey, enjoy. Yes! I did lose my control with my children, all three at varying degrees and ages and times. We can’t help being people. However, that said, send the little guys to his/her room. close the door and you sit down for a breather. I think six to twelve deep breaths help to put things back into perspective. Once you’ve got yourself under control, then you can plan the next step. At least that is what I found myself doing.
    I have three children: a daughter, a son and a son. There are four years between the first and second and four years between the second and third.
    I had five goals I kept in mind of what I wanted to have around me when they eventually became adults. When I felt some behavior would deviate from one of those goals, the behavior was addressed. Having goals helps a MOM keep her cool. It also allows kids to be kids. The unimportant can slide right on by and the important get noticed.

    Reply
  28. Carley Knobloch

    Thanks for bringing this subject to light with such humor. None of us feel comfortable exposing this part of motherhood, but it’s so unrealistic to assume that every moment is met with love and an even temper– where else are you expected to react that way? I like to think of motherhood as a “relationship”, not a “job”: This way, losing your cool is not considered “failure to do your job well,” but rather one of a range of emotions felt within the confines of a loving relationship.

    And, of course, it helps to know that he started it. 🙂

    Reply
  29. David

    I loved your story Jenny, but I have a different problem. When I yell at my Grandchildren, they just laugh. They see me losing it as a game (it is a game, by the way). However, the adults are the real problem. Shout at the adults and it’s a different matter altogether. Give me kids any day. They know what’s happening and, when you had stopped screaming at your son, he probably went off and had a good laugh at you. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  30. MotherCraftCoaching

    Thanks for bringing this subject to light with such humor. None of us feel comfortable exposing this part of motherhood, but it’s so unrealistic to assume that every moment is met with love and an even temper– where else are you expected to react that way? I like to think of motherhood as a “relationship”, not a “job”: This way, losing your cool is not considered “failure to do your job well,” but rather one of a range of emotions felt within the confines of a loving relationship.

    And, of course, it helps to know that he started it. 🙂

    Carley Knobloch
    http://www.mothercraftcoaching.com

    Reply
  31. Nikki

    I agree it does happen. The exciting thing is that we can avoid it. Learning how to empty your “anger tank” and drain the excess build of anger, aggression, frustration away is such a fantastic tool and one that really helps us mothers. I’ve lost my cool – it’s only natural. The thing to spot is if you’re consistently loosing your cool then you can empty that tank so that it stops overflowing!

    Reply
  32. The Mojo Coach

    Loved your post…and your honesty! I’m thinking that any mom who says they’ve never lost their cool with their kids either has a memory issue or has a case of “supermom sydrome.” It’s ok for your kids to see you falter every now and then-as long as you take responsibility for it. Let’s them know you’re human and mistakes happen. Being a working mom with 4 kids…and 4 dogs, I’ve learned to never judge another…especially a mom. Thanks for the morning chuckle!

    Posted by Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC “The Mojo Coach”

    Reply
  33. Jody T

    I applaud your courage. Thank you for sharing such a honest story. Please do not be discouraged…there is no perfect parent. I don’t care who they are at some point in the parenting process we break…we are human. Your child will not be scarred for life.
    Blessings!

    Reply
  34. Salina

    I have to agree with the others. When he is a teen that will be the nicest thing you will say. No parent is perfect but at the same time it can be hard to get stuff through kids head. They can be stubborn which can be a pain in the butt. Just remember to take a break and cool off and go back later and let them know why you said it. Tell them you needed mom time and they need to calm down. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  35. Leslie

    I completely understand, tonight I flew off the handle and I’m not sure why. My son has the worst thing with vegetables and I’m am so sick of him thinking he can do whatever he wants. It could have been a combination of me going back to work and being stressed out from my husband starting his own business, but I flew off the handle it started with me sitting with him at the table telling him we weren’t leaving until he ate the three green beans to an hour later me screaming at the top of my lungs because he had only eaten one of them. I threw the plate into the sink (breaking it) and sent him to his room…After yelling at him. It felt good but after I realized what I did to him I started to cry, I have NEVER gone off on him like I did tonight and finally after him and I had both calmed down I went in and talked to him. I’m not sure what came over me though….I wish it hadn’t happened but it did. I felt so bad after words, its just so hard to have that balance between discipline and fun mom….so I totally understand where you are coming from.

    Reply
  36. Chele

    Our children our not perfect-even though we like to believe they are, are neither are we. I had another round with my 9 1/2 yr old daughter tonight. She is 9 going on 18. My husband and I wanted to go out tonight and it was a spur of the moment decision. He found a friend of his to watch our daughter for the night. My daughter look me right in the face and yelled “YOU DIDNT TELL ME! I DONT WANT HER TO BABYSIT! I WANT __’S MOM TO DO IT!! and it went on and on. My child yelled, cried, ranted and raved all at once and at the top of her lungs saying it was not fair, I didn’t ask her, and she is mad at me. The mad at me turned into “I hate you!” I lost my cool. I yelled right back at her in the same volume and tone she had to shut up, stop crying and she was grounded. I hate yelling at her and being the mean mom, but she has the personality where she will push and push trying to get us to give in. I honestly do not know how parents can make “Love and Logic” work.
    Needless to say we did not go out tonight. Because we were all too upset for anyone to enjoy a night out.
    I remind myself it is not physical or emotional abuse. When I tucked her into bed tonight we shared our hugs, said “I love you.” and talked about what had happened earlier.
    Our kids did not come with instruction manuals nor with one that included the chapter on how to not say the “s” words to our kids. They will be ok and so will we.

    Reply
  37. Holly

    so, i have experienced so much of this myself, from the point of view of a parent (of an only chlild, and this is some of the reason why he is one) and as a teacher. Why must we feel so shamed at an outburst? Do we have to feel guilt when every other day we hold it in and do the right thing? So many parents are “afraid” of their children, tip-toeing around them, giving them unrealistic choices in order to teach them fairness and other behavior. Well, you know what, sometimes if a child is being completley out of control, obnoxious and pushing the limeits, maybe a “shut up” puts a dose of reality to the situation.
    Please, as mothers, we need to step out of our bubbles and realize if we are not going to teach our children social manners and acceptable standards to live by..WHO THE
    H *LL is?!?!
    I appreciate all the honest, forthwright and unacceptable moments of motherhood and frankly makes it easier to be a better mommy for my child when I know I am not alone!

    Reply
  38. Theresa

    I can completely relate with what had happened. My girls are 1 year 18 days apart. They are 2 1/2 and 1 1/2. I NEVER thought even when my first was born that I would yell or spank. Wow have things changed!!! I am full time student and full time mother. I am trying to work on this whole juggling life thing. I get stressed,tired,migraines and at times have break downs!! I have found myslef yelling at my 2 1/3 year old for things like begging me for a crakcer then crumbling it up on my bed. SHe would beg for milk in her crib then not take a nap and I come in to find that she spit the milk all over.. Ther are many more instances I wont get into, with her issues with her diaper, yet she wont go on the potty. To make matters worse her 18 month old sister is following after her (both get out of their cribs!! It is comforting to know that I am not alone! Time out dont ever work for me. Some times it take a good yell to get there attention. I hope that having some connections on here we can all support each other!! Oh BTW the guilt I feel when I yell and spank at times is unbearable. When she cries for me and says I love you mommy/I need you mommy it just breaks my heart :(((

    Reply
  39. jamile Nogueira

    usmusicmakers

    I am a mother of a 4 and a 7 years-old boys and guess what? What you did happens with everyone, specially if you are a working mom.
    That is ok! You really reflected in every little aspect of yours and your child’s reaction to the incident, of course bad words are not allowed in good parenting, but sometimes it is not so bad to make your kid wake up and think:…”- Oh, well! my mom is human, she is just like my school teacher, my baby sitter, my next door neighbor, the mom I saw at Publix reprehending her child.. and so on.”
    At certain point of my life I had one hr. to commute my son from school to after school care, so I would get done with another four hours of work, and my six years old knew that. One day, when I picked him up at his school, he started giving me orders during the stressful commuting, he said: “-Today I want to stay with mommy, I am not going to stay on my booster sit, you re going to stop to buy me a gift and a snack, I am hungry, don’t you see…” Not only that, he had a lot more repertoire, let us put some more gas on a bottle of seltzer…He started screaming and kicking inside the car, went to the back sit and started trowing all beach toys at me, I stopped the car, breathed deeply and thought in what I should do… and in a flash I thought so much…I was already spending lots of money with counseling for him, which I though was helpful with children’s school anxiety issues and what was happening to my son on that moment was a case for angry management… I guessed! At that point, I already had reduced my work hours to half and I could not had this situation tear me apart. The first time my son had a mild rehearsal on this same bad behavior, I cried, I called my students, rescheduled all my classes and obviously came home with him for a typical mommy and me day.. But, a second time was too much, my soon was then becoming an expert in driving me crazy…I also thought in how unhappy his future wife would be if marring this little angry monster that he was playing to be… oh yep! I thought on that too…
    Anyways, we always have water in the car to easy our days….I stepped out of the car, opened the back door from where he was trowing all the toys at me and gave him a water bottle shower right there at Whole food’s market parking lot, then I picked him up, sat him back on his booster sit without a single word ( I didn’t know what to say) and drove him to a friend to change and baby sit him for me.
    Ok, after this, my soon respects me a whole lot more… There is famous American/Indian writer, nobel prize that in one of her interviews for the Time magazine she said:”- I don’t want my children to like me, I want them to respect me and at some extend fear me.” Well, at first I red her statement and it didn’t make sense at all, now it falls into place.
    I am very much related to child psychology and think it makes sense to understand and raise healthy and happy children and, this mine whole episode was very out of the normal. I never had gone off boundaries before, my students respect me and all people wander how can a most hyperactive child can be cooperative around me … All children, except my 6 years old son at the time…. Then, I learned from my sons therapist that on that situation I would be better off getting a baby sitter to commute my son after school and that too much giving represents weakness at all men kind’s vocabulary.
    Never feel guilty, you worked around the situation with love and a bad word as long as it is not something you can’t say in public, doesn’t hurt a child… You knew that and didn’t combine it with any “f” words or something else… Sometimes we hear many horrible parenting at the beach on a typical family day and to cover it up, I immediately talk to my children about it, so they understand there are people that are more patient then others and appreciate me.
    Trust me, what you did it is normal, but don’t get use to it, just in case your children start using same words against you. I never repeated the water bottle shower again, we are smarter then we think and so are our children.

    Warm regards,

    Jamile Nogueira

    Reply
  40. admin Post author

    I think the comments have become way more interesting than the article. I can say that, I wrote it! You guys are amazing, your insights, and your ability to create an atmosphere where parents feel comfortable discussing their major moments. Thanks!

    J from the B

    ps- Jamile- nice to see you here.

    Reply
  41. Patricia

    Hi Jenny,

    I too have been guilty of the scarlet scream.

    The first 35 years of my life I never raised my voice. THEN I HAD KIDS!

    I hear that nasty loud person, but I refuse to believe is she is ME.

    What I recognize now is that I was really not that passionate about what was going on with others around me to want to raise my voice. I notice that I still don’t raise my voice with others. I don’t own them. They are not mine. Only my children get to hear that crazy women’s voice!

    Reply
  42. Kevin

    I’ve gotten upset at my son several times over the years but only really “lost my cool” once when he was a little kid. I screamed at him for breaking something by accident. Then he looked up at me with confusion and tears in his eyes and said, “But, dad, remember all those good times we’ve had?”.

    That one comment stopped me in my tracks. He was right. Why make such a big deal over a simple (or even not so simple) mistake. Instead, you should be remembering all the great things and memories about your kids.

    I gave him a huge hug and apologized. My son is 17 now and to this day, I have never truly lost my temper with him or his younger sister. Thankfully, they’ve rarely given me reason to. They’re both great kids and I thank God for them. I also spend as much time as possible “remembering all the good times” we’ve had.

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  43. Lynne

    Wow, thanks everyone for admitting those human frailties! Reading your stories takes away a bit of the guilt I’ve carried around for the past 19 years for having yelled at my little girl when she was about a year and a half old. I was going through a divorce, working fulltime, had money issues and lord knows what else, and she stepped hard on my last nerve. I was shocked at my outburst, which seemed cruel when I looked at those big blue eyes filling with tears. I never did that again, but I felt unbelievably crappy for having such a weak moment. In fact, I still do.

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  44. Donna

    OMG, Jenny you didn’t say the ‘S’ word. Well now you have officially made the naughty list 🙂 I think we mothers all have our breaking point and exhibit our frustration in variety of ways. I have three children and they are doing just fine. I do try to practice what I preach, but if “shut up” comes out of my mouth then watch out…you know mommy is frazzled to the nth degree.

    The brain coach
    http://braincoachforkids.blogspot.com/

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