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I yelled at my 2 1/2 year old - how can I keep my cool?

About once per week we just have a lot of trouble getting J down for her afternoon nap. She yells and screams and then the baby gets upset so I have two crying. Today I kept putting J back into bed, trying to get her to stay there, but she wouldn't. She was screaming and crying so loudly that I shouted "SHUT UP!" at her and immediately felt like a horrible ogre of a mother. She just kept on going, so it did no good except to make me feel guilty, scare the baby, and possibly make J feel horrible as well. My own mother shouted at me a lot, though I don't remember it until I was about 6 or so. I just don't want to make my own daughter feel like she is a bad kid. Please, if you have any suggestions for me to try and keep my cool better, help a mama out! Thanks!
I should add that we co-sleep, I stay-at-home, and I nap with both of them every day, so it's not like the routine is ever any different.

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:48 PM on Mar. 12, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (3)
  • This happens to everyone at some point (even if you don't want to admit it!!) THe other day I was so exhausted and at the end of the rope that I actually told the baby to shut up. Clearly not a great day in mothering. With my oldest- I try my best to take a deep breath and calm down. Not always easy- but I try. I also find that when I say her name and I am going to yell- I try to just say her name- stop for a second and tell her I love her instead of whatever else was coming out of my big mouth. THe best thing I do- is when I am having one of those weeks- I try to find some time to myself. If you can't have some me time to relax, I find I have a shorter fuse. So maybe my hubby takes the girls for a while. But a little time for me helps me stay patient longer. But don't worry- you aren't alone. We've all had that moment. The fact that we know it and try to be better is the best we can ask of ourselves!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • We all do this. It's okay. The walking away and counting to ten really helps a little. Not as satisfying as screaming at them but it gives you a break between freak out mode and handling it a little better. I learned to acknowledge their anger from The Happiest Toddler on the Block and yes, I chanted, "I GET IT, you're MAD, MAD, MAD." complete with a scowl on my face. Sometimes it's frustration on their part because they cannot express themselves. I taught my sons to hit a pillow while mad. If she's acting out just to act out, you have to give her a time out and tend to the baby. Ignore, ignore, ignore as long as you know she is SAFE and not sick.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 4:02 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Aw man, I did this the other day too. I didn't yell shut up, but I said it and felt just as guilty. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I think about how I am the mother and I already HAVE the control and upper hand. I don't have to fight for it, I just own it. It's mine. Once I realize that, I feel better knowing that I don't have to let my child get the best of me no matter how badly she is acting. Also thinking about phases helps. It is so annoying when my daughter throws a fit on the floor, but I know that if I am calm and consistent for long enough it is a phase that too will pass. Then I also think about how at this age she isn't ABLE to control her emotions--I can't really fault her for having a fit because it is currently her only form of expression. When she is able, I will help her express herself in better ways. Just look at the big picture and everything will be fine.

    Answer by laadeedah at 4:19 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

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