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Feel like an awful parent

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marianne13
LIF Adolescent

Member since 6/10

887 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

Just need to vent or hear some advice.

I have a 4 year old DD (just turned 4). I honestly can't believe her behavior lately. She's throwing more tantrums than ever, wants constant attention and purposely interrupts conversations I may have with DH , at bathtimes is extremely stubborn etc. The "terrible 2s" were nothing compared to this.

Today started off on a bad foot. She wanted to eat breakfast on my lap and when I checked something on my phone she tried to grab my phone from me. I then got a phone call from someone. She started making mouth clicking sounds (something she recently picked up which she knows annoys me) really loud and in my face. She had never done that before. DH immediately picked her up and took her to another room which made her cry. Then my mom calls me and asks if I can order her an uber from her doctor to home. My mom knows how to use uber but isn't too confident with it. I say fine. I have to order the uber, and then give my mom the info on how far away it is, type of car. My daughter immediately says "I want to do the uber for grandma! I want to help!" I say no! And she starts clinging onto my robe screaming "I want to help." While I am trying to order it by keeping my phone up high, I yell at her to "get away from me!" and I yank my robe from her. She fell on her butt and started crying. My DH took her and talked to her. When this was over I was in tears. I told her I am sorry she fell and asked if she is ok. She said "you pushed me." I told her that I didn't push her but pulled my robe away and that I needed to do something for grandma.

I just feel so awful. I am going through a rough time with anxiety and stress but I keep thinking of how I caused her to fall and cry. DH is adamant that she cried not from the fall but because she couldn't grab my phone.

Thanks for reading. Any advice is appreciated.

Message edited 5/6/2021 6:25:59 PM.

Posted 5/6/21 5:49 PM
 
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SnickNNick
In our new house!!

Member since 8/08

2119 total posts

Name:
Nicole

Re: Feel like an awful parent

These days happen to all of us!! My DD just turned 5. Going through quarantine etc. really helped me put a fine point on those situations. I realized for her, split attention is the absolute worst. On days when I would try to do it all, be half paying attention to her and half doing something else (checking work email, taking a quick phone call, etc.) she would act out for more attention, leading to both of us feeling completely awful, just as it sounds like happens to you. While we are absolutely working with her on playing independently and all that jazz, sometimes she just wants undivided attention. I have found that if I put boundaries around the things I need to do (which you can't always do! Your situation was unexpected and had to be handled right then!) it helps us all. Like if I say, I need to focus on work for one hour, but then after that, I'll be available to do something with you. What would you like to do while I am working, so I can help you get set up with that? And then when I'm working I'm working, but in that time after, I'm doing my absolute best to be fully present. Doing this sort of thing has really helped all of us, the expectation setting. I also realized that saying "one second" or "one minute" is really not helpful, as things always take longer than one second or one minute, she knows that, and it's not realistic. So I guess my advice is setting the most realistic expectations you can, and trying to fully BE THERE when you're there with her instead of splitting your focus. Even if what I have to say is that I need to focus on something but I can sit here in the room with her and do it while she does whatever she's doing (building magnatiles or coloring or whatever) that is better than trying to do both without acknowledging it.

That said, sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes things happen and we have to give ourselves slack!!!! You are human and you are doing your best with competing needs! It's normal!!

Posted 5/6/21 6:04 PM
 

FirstMate
My lil cowboy

Member since 10/10

7790 total posts

Name:

Re: Feel like an awful parent

Without knowing you at all or even being there, I 100% agree with your DH. My son is 4 and I have two older sons. I found 4 to be the hardest of all the toddler ages. They want to be independent, they start to be more demanding, become more involved...they don't want to be seen as a "baby" anymore. They become very attention seeking and difficult. My 4 year old can really take me from 0-100 in no time. It's not easy.

Don't feel bad. You were trying to get something done that was time sensitive and you inadvertently knocked her on her butt. I'm sure she is totally over it so don't beat yourself up.

Chat Icon

Posted 5/6/21 6:06 PM
 

ali120206
2 Boys

Member since 7/06

17790 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

The terrible twos are a definite misnomer - 3 and 4 are worse. My mom always told me that 4 was the worst so you didn't feel sad about sending kids to kindergarten.

It's frustrating but you didn't do anything wrong. It will get better!

Posted 5/6/21 6:11 PM
 

seaside
LIF Adult

Member since 6/08

3101 total posts

Name:

Re: Feel like an awful parent

You are most certainly not alone. This is so much more common than any of us realizes. Chat Icon

Posted 5/6/21 6:56 PM
 

GoldenRod
10 years on LIF!

Member since 11/06

26792 total posts

Name:
Shawn

Re: Feel like an awful parent

I used to call them
Terrible 2s
Even worse 3s
Unbearable 4s!

Chat Icon Chat Icon All I can do is commiserate, and tell you that it happens to most parents. You're doing a great job, and they will push every button you have, and create new buttons that you never knew you had, just to push those, too!

Posted 5/6/21 7:15 PM
 

NervousNell
Just another chapter in life..

Member since 11/09

54919 total posts

Name:
..being a mommy and being a wife!

Re: Feel like an awful parent

4 was a terrible age for my DD too.
Actually 0-5 was awful.
Just awful.
It's very common. After 5 she just like turned a corner and she became and still is, a great kid.
Hang in there ,it gets better.
It doesn't seem like it now though, I know.

And what happened today happens to everyone. It feels awful, I know, but you aren't a bad parent at all.
We're human. We get frustrated. It's ok

Posted 5/6/21 7:27 PM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19455 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Feel like an awful parent

4 is much harder than 2. I would start giving her ways to "help" where you are intentionally give her 2 choices and let her do things. Give her choose like putting the silverware away. She needs directions, and explained that there is specific her time, and specific mommy time. She needs clear instructions and face to face no phone in hand time with you.

Posted 5/6/21 7:27 PM
 

PitterPatter11
Baby Boy is Here!

Member since 5/11

7615 total posts

Name:
Momma <3

Re: Feel like an awful parent

The summer my DS was 4 was the WORST. He tested every limit. I remember dragging him out of a bounce place with no shoes on while he was kicking and screaming. Once we got to the car, I yelled at him. I am not a yeller.

Then at the very end of the summer, my DS apologized that he had been such a bad listener for the whole summer and that he was going to try better. I have no idea where this apology came from, but it was much appreciated. Things turned around after that. THANK GOD!!!

Posted 5/6/21 7:29 PM
 

TwinMommyToBoys
LIF Adult

Member since 12/16

2346 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

I have 4 year old twin boys. So far 2 was my favorite age. I’d give anything to go back to 2. I HATED 3 and 4 I pretty much hate as well. So much more demanding. I just try and be understanding but it’s not so easy

Posted 5/6/21 8:32 PM
 

MarathonKnitter
HAPPY

Member since 2/07

17374 total posts

Name:
EMBRACING CHANGE

Re: Feel like an awful parent

you are not an awful parent.

i agree with your husband. she cried because she wasn't getting her way, not because she felt physical pain.

it does get better, i promise. i'm over here with a 26-year old son and he's the most amazing young man i know.

there will be a day when you will look back and laugh.

Posted 5/6/21 8:40 PM
 

mxoxom2004
LIF Infant

Member since 1/21

119 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

Don't feel bad.

You will feel like an awful parent every year of their life!

Is she safe? Is she happy? Is she healthy? Is she loved? If yes, you are doing great.

Just wait until she's a teenager! I would give anything to go back to the screaming, no sleep infant stage!

-Mom of a 15 year old who is tearing her hair out

Posted 5/6/21 9:01 PM
 

KarenK122
The Journey is the Destination

Member since 5/05

4431 total posts

Name:
Karen

Feel like an awful parent

I think every mom and dad here have been in your shoes. 4 is a rough age and put the pandemic on top of that, everyone isn't their best selves lately.

I am a firm believer in behavior charts. Positive ones. Set one up and have her earn a prize after exhibiting good behaviors (letting mommy talk on the phone, letting mommy talking to daddy, waiting her turn etc.)

Posted 5/6/21 9:16 PM
 

Adri
Joy!

Member since 5/05

3116 total posts

Name:
A

Re: Feel like an awful parent

I remember going to my DS's pre-K director and asking what was happening to my 4 y/o son. She explained it was pretty common at 4 to have those tantrums. They want to be independent, but at the same time they want their moms and are still little kids.

You were not an awful mom today. Please don't beat yourself over what happened. We all have been in your shoes. You apologized and she was probably crying because she couldn't get her way. If something, you are an amazing mom that feel this way over a stressful situation. Tomorrow it'll be better Chat Icon

Posted 5/7/21 1:00 PM
 

marianne13
LIF Adolescent

Member since 6/10

887 total posts

Name:

Re: Feel like an awful parent

Posted by Adri

I remember going to my DS's pre-K director and asking what was happening to my 4 y/o son. She explained it was pretty common at 4 to have those tantrums. They want to be independent, but at the same time they want their moms and are still little kids.

You were not an awful mom today. Please don't beat yourself over what happened. We all have been in your shoes. You apologized and she was probably crying because she couldn't get her way. If something, you are an amazing mom that feel this way over a stressful situation. Tomorrow it'll be better Chat Icon



Thank you!Chat Icon

Posted 5/7/21 3:06 AM
 

marianne13
LIF Adolescent

Member since 6/10

887 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

Thank you for all your replies (and for reading my post in the first place). Your words of encouragement and empathy made me feel so much better.

Posted 5/7/21 3:08 AM
 

Mrs213
????????

Member since 2/09

18986 total posts

Name:

Feel like an awful parent

Do not feel bad. My son is dramatic. If I take my hand on his shoulder to guide him in the other direction he will I pushed him. Theres people out there who are actually abusive and mistreating their children. This was just an accident and your child will never remember it later in life...

Posted 5/7/21 3:38 PM
 

RainyDay
LIF Adult

Member since 6/15

3987 total posts

Name:

Re: Feel like an awful parent

Posted by Mrs213

Do not feel bad. My son is dramatic. If I take my hand on his shoulder to guide him in the other direction he will I pushed him. Theres people out there who are actually abusive and mistreating their children. This was just an accident and your child will never remember it later in life...



Glad to know it's not just my DD who is overly dramatic. She had her feet in my face last night and I just moved them out of the way and she bursted out crying.

Message edited 5/8/2021 7:08:42 PM.

Posted 5/8/21 7:08 PM
 

Momma2015
Mommax2

Member since 12/12

6655 total posts

Name:

Re: Feel like an awful parent

I wish I had advice but I don't really. I work from home full time with my 5 year old and 2 year old and it's HELL. They are both out of school/daycare until September and I am counting the seconds until they go back. I think a lot of it is just isolation, being stir crazy, picking up on our stress. It's SO hard right now. Just know you're NOT alone and you're NOT a bad mom. Chat Icon

Posted 5/9/21 4:08 PM
 
 

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