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anger management and toddler battles (anger management for me, not her)

I've never been short-tempered... but my daughter who will be 3 in May really has been bringing it out of me lately. I'll go to fully calm to hot-blooded rage in like 10 seconds sometimes. The battle these days is over going to sleep (she intends to give it up); I guess we've never seen willpower like this from her before; but this is not about her -- it's about how I respond. I haven't hit her or hurt her or anything, but I've still been feeling out of control of my emotions -- I'll raise my voice or move her rather roughly back to the bed... Today we had been over it a thousand times and she was on her last chance to have a 30 minute quiet time in her room and she started shrieking... and she has a little sister who was already napping,.. so I carried her down the stairs angrily and covered her mouth so she wouldn't wake her sister. She looked up at me rather fearfully. I DON'T want to be this kind of parent. Please help

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:06 PM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • I think you should try anger management therapy or classes.

    Answer by danielp at 3:08 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • OP here -- related question -- has anyone else had these moments? I don't mean that this happens to me every day or that this is how I always respond to a tantrum... just that this part of me comes out that I didn't know was there...

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:12 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I react that way sometimes towards my 1 year old. You are right, it just comes out before you even know it...and it scares me to know that I can be like that. I have found that if my son is throwing a fit towards me especially during nap times I have his daddy put him down for his nap. My husband has his own business so I am blessed to be able to say, "hey can you help me get your son to sleep" You may not have anyone else in your house to help you, so my advice would be to just walk away from especially when she is shrieking. Don't pay her any attention when she does that b/c she may think its okay to shriek to get mommy's attention. When she is awake and happy spend quality time with her so she has your attention. You are not a bad momma and the ideas I gave you may already be doing but if not give it a try. I don't have a 3 year old, but I have worked daycare for over 5 years with all age groups

    Answer by leann74016 at 3:36 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • It doesn't sound like you suffer from general anger management issues. You just need to figure out how to deal with a strong-willed toddler who's developed some new quirks. The fact that you recognize you're doing this is the first step to figuring out how to deal with it. Now, instead of dealing with parent's remorse after the fact, you need to be aware of what you are doing it AS it is happening or better yet, as the feelings of frustration start to build. I can't tell you how to be a better parent. What I can do is tell you that you are not alone.
    It's not easy to step back from a stressful situation you are so close to in order to find a better solution. Make sure though, when you have finally succeeded in putting your little angel turned naptime tyrant to bed, that you take some time to yourself to recognize the things that you did right and the things you don't ever want to again.

    Answer by sillyt at 3:38 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • cont'd... Often times Mommy's Time Out is more necessary and more effective than Toddler's Time Out.

    Answer by sillyt at 3:38 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • It's not anger management - it's stress management. Is there more going on in life? Even if not, there is something that seems to happen at 3yo between moms and children....or whenever a mom expects a child to be more than a baby and a child expects to be able to do everything they see/feel in the moment.

    Also, at this time my girls were going from a nap every day to needing one just 2-3 times a week.

    It's about managing your expectations of her (she will vacillate between being big and needing to babied), allowing her to have a more (developmentally appropriate) power, and taking care of yourself so you can be fully you (and not compromised into letting the beast out) are at the same time teaching self-control by modeling it.

    Hang in there...sometimes we don't know our beast lies below the surface until a toddler draws it out!!

    Answer by Kid_Coach at 4:25 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

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