I am so angry I can hardly see! (long)

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Registered: 02-12-1998
I am so angry I can hardly see! (long)
19
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 8:05am
My 10 year old son is showing major signs of a pre-teen and this morning we all just had one major meltdown. He's been saying lately, "I know Mom" whenever I tell him something or remind him to do something. It's an annoying response, like he's annoyed with me.

He's been slacking in his homework, etc. Last night I told him to get the garbage ready to take out this morning and he didn't. I noticed his homework wasn't completed. This morning I reminded him of the garbage and got the usual response. He was downstairs eating breakfast and reading the sports page for 20 minutes and we had only 20 minutes left until we had to leave. He had to collect and take out the garbage, finish his homework, finish breakfast, brush his teeth, etc.

I was so aggravated I told him he could finish his breakfast after all this stuff was done. He started on his homework and I said, "no way" you had all last night, get your chores done first this morning. He sat in the family room, clenching his face red and his fist with a grunting noise. Basically a temper tantrum. It made me so mad I told him that he could just forget the homework, he can turn his paper in wrong. That made him so mad he started yelling/crying/throwing a fit. I yelled at him to take out the garbage and he started taking little baby steps. He wouldn't stop so I smacked him on the behind. He still wouldn't move, I smacked him on the behind again. I haven't spanked him in 3 years. He sat on the ground to put on his shoes and was screaming/yelling (nothing in particular, but it was towards me). He threw his shoes. I was a raving maniac by then. I went over and smacked him twice on his forearm and he continued even louder. I shook him by the shoulders yelling at him to stop it. It just escalated for a minute and he was sobbing, I'm hyperventilating.

I have never had a morning like this before.

I told him that he's grounded for a week. I was NOT having him behave that way towards me...ever again. No TV, nintendo, friends over and bedtime 30 minutes early for one week. After that week he can gain one privilege back for respectful, good behavior each week. I just can't ever have another morning like this one.

Please, someone tell me I'm not going crazy. I know I didn't handle this well this morning. I don't like to smack or spank my kids and I usually don't. It's been years since I've spanked him. But I have a temper too, was never verbally disrespectful to my parents and his disrespect just throws me over the edge. I know I need to learn to deal with this before the teen years, especially.

HELP!!!!

conmama

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 9:08am

First, some major, major ((((((((((HUGS))))))))))!!

Sherrie Rainbow

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 10:17am
Thank you. I've been on the verge of tears all morning for losing it with him. I just feel like such a failure as a mom and what a horrible example I set for him this morning. Thank goodness these things are few and far between, but it still doesn't make it right. I don't know where that incredible anger and frustration comes from in him. I suppose I set it off by not allowing him to do his homework and he needed to vent. He has a right to get angry...he just needs to learn if he has to clinch his teeth and fists he needs to do it away from us in private. I don't know what to do with the out and out disrespect. Talking, literally one inch baby steps when we tell him to go do something. Stomping up the stairs, etc. That just puts me over the edge faster than you could know.

I will take some of your suggestions, especially the "everything has to be done by 7:00". It's just sometimes we don't walk thru the door until 5:00 and it's hard to get everything done. I don't know. I'm just feeling really lousy right now. I'll work it out. I just don't know how to help him when I can't seem to control my temper.

conmama

Avatar for cl_janetlh
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 12:30pm

Sending more hugs your way! I know that horrible feeling when I melt down along with my child.


We're going through that "I know" thing right now, too. (I'm glad to hear it's not just Sam!) Just this morning, I was brainstorming with him on a small issue (my perspective), with him telling me "I know". I explained that we sometimes need to talk things through even when "he knows" because (a) I need to confirm that "he knows" in the way I expect him to "know", and (b) I might actually think of something he didn't think of. Still, I find it VERY frustrating.


As an aside, Rachel is handling the "I know" thing a bit differently (of course ;-). She says it with the tone of voice that we're on the same team. What a difference! Instead of a "you're annoying me" tone, it's "Sure, mom; got it!"


As far as the chores and homework go, in our house they can't be left for the morning, period. (Other than obvious morning chores, of course!) The TV doesn't go on after dinner until everything for the evening is done. Like Sherrie said, you need to find something that works with your son.


It's hard that each time our kids enter a new phase, we have to find a new strategy that works. At this age, I sometimes ask for their input into a new process to solve a problem we're having. Perhaps you can apologize to your son for losing it, while still emphasizing that his behavior was totally unacceptable. Ask him how it was he left everything for the morning, and what does he think a good plan would be for the future? If it's reasonable, accept his input, and as he follows it, restore his priveleges. Just a suggestion, of course!


Hope your evening goes well, and you and your son are able to talk things through.

Janet


Jewish Family Life

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 12:46pm

More ((((((hugs))))))!!

Sherrie Rainbow

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 1:50pm
Oh, thank you , too. Also, thank you for letting me know you have melted down with your kids, too. I have never had one with my youngest son, who is 7. He just never brings me to the same place as my oldest. I hate labels, but my oldest is "spirited". I found that board when he was 4.5 and at my wits end. Things seemed to get better with him, but as he's aged things just got better anyway, so I pretty much forgot about the spiritedness aspect of it all. He's always pushed our buttons, and I think when he was younger he didn't know he was doing it. I know this is part of his personality, plus his age. I feel so much better that everyone else is going thru the "I know" stage! LOL. It makes it easier if you realize it is the age and not just out and out defiance.

He is 10 now and I know that my angry responses and outbursts are so horrible. He will remember this and I know it! And I also know I will beat myself for awhile. YOu are right that every stage of their development puts us thru hoops as how to react to and with them.

I plan on talking about it tonight with him. I also have a temper, and when I need to physically let it out, (which isn't often) I go to my room and usually do a little "mad" dance. Cursing to dh quietly and in private. I collect myself and go about my business and nobody is the wiser that I had my little quiet temper tantrum. I suppose he must get it from me. I need to help him find a way to vent his anger. What do you think?

Oh well, I'm rambling now. I bought a book last year called, "She's gonna blow" that seemed to help. Time to get it out and read it again.

conmama

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 2:05pm
Just to make you feel better, my ds11 doesn't do the 'I know', he does the, "DUH!", which drives me more nuts! I've told him I find that VERY disrespectful and mean; he's slowed down. If that's what kids are doing, they can do it at school, not at me.

One of the things I've found that works at times too (because he really loves my parents) is to throw in his face the idea of, "Should I say/do that to Gram/Grandpa?" And it really puts things in perspective and he calms down a bit. Usually, anyway!

I lost it this morning too; told him to 'use half a brain cell'. He then threw it in my face, knowing it was hurtful on my part to have said that to him. I immediately apologized, admitting it was mean, but said to PLEASE use common sense at times. (We were on our way out and he'd changed jackets 4 times and was then going out without one; it was 43 (admittedly going to 64, but not at 7:30am yet!) - I said NO WAY was he going without a coat, and on and on)

DH is not a yeller. He doesn't fly off the handle. Ever. Drives me nuts! He does 'gunnysack', though, so when he does let loose, there's a ton flowing out, even from years before (argh). DS and I are much more the same; vent and move on. I've tried to be careful, but some times he pushes my buttons (intentionally), and I regret some of what I say. But we talk about it and work it through, and are very close because of it I think. Soulmates in a way. But we definitely have our rocky times!

Sue

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Registered: 02-12-1998
Thu, 02-19-2004 - 2:22pm
Thanks, Sue. I know what you mean about he "no coat" issue. There was even an article about it in our paper how youth aren't wearing their winter clothing like they should anymore. It drives me crazy. It's 45 out and they swear it's not cold!

I agree about the talking out thing. I think that's what I'm going to do tonight because I have to do something constructive after this morning. My reaction was so destructive that I can hardly stand it today. I think I'll start and talk about the "I know" issue. I'm going to try to get him to tell me why he says that. Maybe he will tell me what I do that makes him want to say that. Everything I read says they are trying to establish some independence from us at this age and that's one way that they begin.

I also had a talk with a friend today and I'm going to try some John Rosemond techniques. The problem is is that I'm a control freak who likes things done in a certain order when I want them done. I've never been good at consequences and then following thru. I nag until I get the things done that I want and that is probably building resentment in him rather than cooperation/consequences. I need to change the way I parent with this pre-teen I obviously have.

Her suggestion (John's suggestion) will be to just tell him the garbage has to be out at the curb every Thursday by 7:10. When he gets it there is up to him. Then back OFF! If he doesn't do it, then I get it out there and he proceeds to lose privileges that weekend. TV, nintendo, friends over, whatever. After a couple of times getting him where it really hurts (he's a social butterfly), he'll start being responsible. It all sounds so good in theory, doesn't it? But I think at this point, I don't have a choice but to give it a really good try.

Progress...not perfection. I think we also need a weekly calendar with chores and times and have it in his room. That way, there won't be an "I forgot's" when he has the opportunity to look. This may even help him. It's my job to help him grow up and today I failed. I showed him the way to act that is unacceptable and disgusting. I am so ashamed?

Thank you all for your suggestions and stories. This is such a difficult day.

conmama

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Registered: 08-20-2003
Fri, 02-20-2004 - 12:00pm

OMG...after reading your post I have to admit I almost feel relieved.


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Registered: 02-12-1998
Fri, 02-20-2004 - 1:51pm
I know the feeling of relief that it isn't just our son, has to be the age. He has always been a good strong student, but the irresponsibility of forgetting his homework, etc. has been driving us nuts.

Last night when I picked him up after work, he says so sweetly, "sorry about this morning, Mom". Well, yesterday morning was miserable on both of our parts and his wanting to just sweep it under the rug was sweet and forgiving, but I can't just let it go, for both of our sakes. I put my arm around his shoulder and said, "I'm sorry our morning went that way also, but we have to talk later". It was an extremely busy evening and we didn't have time to talk. As he was going to bed he came down and saw that DH and I were watching Survivor (we let him watch just every so often, not much because it's kind of racy I think). He said, 'alright, Survivor'. I had to remind him about his grounding and he seemed surprised I was going thru with it. He asked what was he supposed to do Saturday morning when he got up and couldn't watch cartoons or play nintendo. I told him that today was library day, so he better pick out a good book. That the morning was so awful, and he had remember it, so as not to repeat it. Honestly, this turn the TV punishment might be good in that he'll have to figure other things out to entertain himself in the morning.

Anyway, I don't want him to grow up fast...I really do like this age. We're still not totally stupid adults and he likes hanging out with us. But, the mouth....the mouth....

conmama

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 02-22-2004 - 7:21pm
Hi, first let me say my ds and I had a similar meltdown this past week. Only ours was at night and ours was over studying and him not wanting to. Oh and the attitude thing, If my ds says "I KNOW" with that snide little accent to it one more time I am going to scream.

Leesa

I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on t

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