Allowing your children to see your temper

@shaggin (37745)
United States
February 28, 2012 8:49am CST
Since my husband died almost a year ago now I am depressed all the time. My daughter is VERY defiant. I will tell her when I am giving her a bath to tip her head back and she will put it forward and struggle with me when I try to tip her head back to rinse her hair. She laughs about it knowing shes irritating me. It really bothers me. This was the case the other night. So I was having a really rough day and after the struggle in the bath tub I put the kids to bed. She called me back up for something and I took care of whatever she needed a drink I think it was. Then she called me back up to shut her closet door. The door has a spot that the board and screws came loose so it wouldnt shut. I tried hammering it back into place with my hands but I just couldnt. She is scared if her closet is open so I had to try to get it closed so she could sleep. Instead of just moving a chair in front of it to get it closed (I didnt think about it until later) I slammed it shut really hard and it broke it worse. I felt so bad for losing my temper in front of her. I went up a few hours later to check on her and she said she was sleeping but having trouble staying asleep because she was still scared. I felt bad so I told her she could sleep in my bed. How do you feel about people losing their temper in front of kids? How do you feel when you loose your temper in front of your kids? It makes me feel horrible it threw me into an even worse depression the next day.
3 people like this
17 responses
@peavey (16866)
• United States
28 Feb 12
Situations like that are tough. Kids know more than we think, though, and I think it's good to level with them. There's nothing wrong with telling her that you haven't been in the best of moods; that you miss your husband - her dad - and that makes it hard to deal with things sometimes. And it's always good to say "I'm sorry." I think all of us become angry with ourselves when we lose it in front of our kids, but they're people, too, and we need to open ourselves to them. Maybe part of her defiance is feeling left out of your pain and having to deal with hers on her own? I don't know, since I don't know the situation well enough.
2 people like this
@peavey (16866)
• United States
7 Mar 12
That can be a tough situation and I'm sorry there's no one around to help with the children. I know it's not easy, but the more we try to count our blessings, the easier life seems to be, at least at times. I wish you the best.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
28 Feb 12
how old is your daughter? it sounds like your daughter is playing into your depression (taking advantage of it to get her own way). as for your question. everyone gets angry some times and i think it is ok to show your temper to children because it shows them that you are human, as long as you apologize after wards, you can use these situations as teachable moments.
2 people like this
@shaggin (37745)
• United States
2 Mar 12
My daughter is 7. She is very defiant. Everything I tell her to do she does the exact opposite and then smirks or laughs about it. It really bothers me. She knows she gets under my skin when she does this on purpose and she does it anyway. Then I loose my patience. I dont usually let it erupt so badly though but when I do like this time I feel so horrible. I did make sure to apologize afterwards.
• United States
28 Feb 12
LIfe happens and there is nothing we can do about it. If there is a way to control the anger and not let the child see it great. There are people who will lose it in front of the child and not harm the child. there is nothing they can do about it. hiding everything from kids is not good. I would have taken her to my bed as well. Your did not hit your daughter in anger so I think you should not beat yourself up.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 12
I agree. Children do need to see us vent our frustrations, this is how they learn. Otherwise the child will think they're never allowed to be angry or lose patience, and instead they'll bottle their emotions which will cause further damage. My husband is currently in therapy now because this is how he's been, bottling all his frustrations instead of venting them.
2 people like this
• Philippines
28 Feb 12
I'm guilty of doing this kind of stuff. I'm a teenage mom. I didn't know that to be a mom is requires a skill. I became a mom in an unexpected way. I didn't know that having a son requires a bit sense of a maternal instinct. I made me cry that I failed as mother to control my temper. I'm trying my best to be a better mom for my son.
2 people like this
@GemmaR (8526)
28 Feb 12
I don't think that you should ever let your child see your temper. I remember being really scared of my Mum when I was younger because she had a bad temper and you could never tell when it was going to be aimed at you. I was scared to tell her things that I was struggling with incase she shouted at me, and when my younger brother was born I was scared of him doing anything wrong in case she shouted at him as it made me feel uncomfortable. It might be hard for you to keep your emotions away from your children, but you should do your very best to be calm around her.
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
28 Feb 12
I have had these types of moments, I think all mommies have! Where we were living stressed me out so bad that I lost my cool with my kids. It upset me afterward so bad. We left my families house because it was unhealthy for our children being in such a negative environment. Our kids sensed it too because they were so unhappy. Our son especially. He is such a happy kid all the time but when we lived there he was crying all the time! It broke my heart. Now that were out of there I have explained to them that it was not them that made me angry and I was sorry for being mad. It did make me feel terrible and like I was a bad mom...
2 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 12
I am bad in this situation because I loose my temper alot with my kids. They know how to push all the right buttons to get me mad. I dont know why but my kids do not respect me. Every thing I ask them to do or tell them to do its always a struggle. They also argue with one another and that gets me mad and I loose my temper. I never really loose it when I am out in public just at home. I feel sorry for the kids that are getting in trouble when I see it happen but then I also see that my kids are not the only ones that are being bad. I am sorry for your loss.
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
2 Mar 12
I have done things like that a few times. But I always talk to them afterwards. Well, that is after I calm down. I remember when I would come home from work and the evil ex was screaming and yelling at the kids, especially my son. I also remember her holding him and sitting in a chair to calm him down. I looked at her like, you're crazy. That only makes him more irritated. That was because a doctor recommended it. Stupid. But it seems to me that everything she yelled and punished, only my son, i would go to his room and sit with him. One time he was hysterical crying and shaking. He was 3 years old. The evil ex put him in his room with no lights. He was freaking out. So I told her, she said t me, don't you go there. I did anyway. And I sat with him. He begged me not to leave. I explained to him that he cannot do certain things. And I told him that mommy loves him. She should be locked up in a room. And thats not all, she even locked in in the bathroom without the light on when he was very small. That is horrifying to a child. She is a bit@h. So, don't worry about slamming a door, thats small potatoes.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
15 Mar 12
I agree, going to their rooms to calm down is punishment enough for a child. But I used to get yelled at when I went to talk to my son and calm him down from his hysteria. The evil ex used to say that I was undermining her. I think thats bull. The kid was traumatized. He needed reassurance. I know my kids remember those times. And I also know that they will hold that against her no matter what. I know I would have. I also remember when I was young, I was always in trouble. I was punished, but never locked in a room. I was also hit with my fathers belt when I was bad. But we do grow up and learn.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 12
I think that all parents allow their children to see their tempers from time to time and I really don't think that there is anything that is wrong with that because it does allow the children to see that their parents are people too, just like they are. With that said, it does make you feel bad when you do lose your temper because of the kids, but it is something that you should realize is going to happen and allowing it to happen does not make you a bad parent.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37745)
• United States
7 Mar 12
I'm happy I kept my cool today. I havent let my daughter see my temper since this episode I wrote the discussion about. My daughter came home from school in a terrible mood being so mean to her brother. Then she wanted to go to the school playground since it was 60 out I was all for it. She wanted to wear sandles though and since we were going to be walking there I told her she had to wear her sneakers. She started crying saying I was a horrible mom. She ran outside in the yard and came back in and I said she needed to at least wear a light jacket again she started freaking out and telling me what a horrible mother I was. She did something else and it just pushed the wrong button and so I told her we werent going at all after that. I was calm but I wasnt going to let her get away with being so rude and defiant. She cried for 45 minutes until my parents happened to call and wanted to take both my kids to the park down the road with my neice and nephew. I told her she could go since I didnt have to go with her but she had to wear her sneakers. She continued crying but went with them. Since they've been gone for about 40 minutes I'm guessing she calmed down.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Mar 12
I struggle with this all the time! There are just days when my patience runs short. And then I get irritated with the kids when they try to be difficult. Admittedly, I can't hold it all the time. I lose my temper, and be angry with them. And then when everybody's all calmed down, that's when I get it. A blast of guilt for losing my temper.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Feb 12
I feel terrible when I lose my temper with anyone, but if you can keep your temper in check every minute of every day that you are with your children - you are a saint! Kids can try you at the best of times; often on purpose. Letting them know you are human, yes, you have a temper, and yes, you can say or do things you wish you hadn't, makes you Mom. Hugs, Maggie
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 12
Parents sometimes lose their tempers. Don't get too upset with yourself about it. What matters is how often you lose your temper, how you behave when you do and what you do afterwards. Hopefully, you have a good counselor with whom you are working to address your issues. You're dealing with a lot, and you need someone with whom you can discuss things. If you haven't already, you may wish to seek out a support group in your area--for depression, bereavement and/or being a parent without a partner.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 12
You are in a difficult situation. A single mom. I don't think your daughter is doing this because she knows it's irritating you. If you are helping her wash her hair, she is probably young. My kids did that too. I don't know what it's like to lose a husband or lose a dad at such a young age. But I can imagine the stress you have being a single mom. We don't want to show our temper in front of out kids, but it happens. When they see this, they are learning how to react when they have a temper. Apologizing, giving her a hug and a very short explanation for why you got upset is good. Since she is so young, people are making decisions for her all the time. She wants to make some decisions for herself but she doesn't always make them at the most convenient times for you! Maybe you do this already, but at times when my granddaughter is making a decision about what kind of ice cream she wants, or game she wants to play, I say "Good decision! That was a decision that you can make. And then there are decisions that I have to make for you, right?" Then I talk to her about a couple decisions, that as a parent, I have to make for her. Then I get back to the game or whatever. I really have compassion for you. I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job raising your kids. I wish we were close so I could watch them and you could have a break once in awhile.
1 person likes this
@luisaR (452)
• Philippines
28 Feb 12
condolence shaggin. It's alright to lose your temper in front of the kids, that way they can adapt with your moods. When it subside,give them the right explanation in a nice comforting way.
1 person likes this
@asliah (11148)
• Philippines
22 Mar 13
sometimes a when a parent didn't control their temper they usually punish their kids with physical and emotional hurting,especially words that come out to our mouth,it is the most painful that kids never forget because it grave to their heart and mind.
@fantabulus (4005)
• India
22 Aug 12
Some time it is very difficult to hide our temper from our child. But we should take care no effect on child. My husband mostly annoy on me before my daughter and then daughter said behind him ohhhhhh why papa always annoyed and I dont like his nature.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Losing your temper in front of your daughter was not the right thing to do, but it's a human thing to do. You need to apologize to your daughter and get that closet door fixed. Stop beating yourself up.