Fly on the Wall


#1

Yesterday I was a bystander while my mother & her 6 siblings spoke. My Mom said how she hated her mother & was glad she was dead. This was the first I’d ever heard of this. It was a shock. Apparently my Mom had a defiant temperament w/ a very bad temper and was disciplined frequently & much more often than the rest of the siblings.

My heart burst into tears because I have a daughter who is similar in temperament. She has loud disrespectful outbursts that require discipline some times several times during one day. I have to be extremely firm with her. She’s 9 and has already said she hates me several times. It just breaks my heart to think that she may hate me even when she is an adult. Nevertheless, I have to continue as I have been with her so that she can learn to control these behaviors; I pray that God help me never to break her spirit. And after all is said and done if she hates me because I was tough on her so be it.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.


#2

First of all, I think you are a good Mom. Why? Because you are asking questions and seeking guidance. For that reason alone, I think you are a good Mom.

Have you thought about getting Dr. Ray Guerendi’s book about raising kids? I think it’s titled something like “You’re a Better Parent than you think you are” or something like that…

Also, you didn’t say how you are disciplining your child…if you are utilizing prayer, the Sacraments that are appropriate to her age, and gentle guidance or if you are beating her about the head with a frying pan then, heck that is going to make a difference (obviously, I am exagerating to make a point…).

I once heard a good mother (mine) say that all parents must be willing to hear “I hate you” once in awhile. Examine your conscience. Look at your methods. Ask yourself if you are utilizing all the wonderful tools available as a Catholic Christian that you have to guide and discipline your child. But I think the fact that you are worried enough to even ask the question shows how much you care.

But then, I’m a big softie so …and a great big MOTHER fan…


#3

About several of my chilidren I used to say they were “strong willed.” Now I say that they have a “strong sense of self.” Rethinking their character traits helps me navigate around their personalities with much more love and respect. I often think of what St. Paul says, that we must be all things to all people in order to teach them about God. Not that we have to wrap ourselves around our children in such a way that puts our dignity on the back burner, but love that shows how we will extend ourselves completely for them. I often think about what length I would go to in order to help a disabled child and remind myself that I need to work like that for all of my children, especially the ones with a “strong sense of self” because I want a lifelong bond of love and trust with them, in spite of the annoying attitudes and qualities that are so difficult to bear at times.


#4

I’ll bet your mom and grandmother must have fought to the end! Hate is such a strong word to use if it is otherwise.

I have a strong willed child. I learned early to pick and choose worthy battles. If she didn’t want to put a jacket on in the winter after a short discussion about why she should…I relinquished control and let her go out in the cold…she’d come back later (much later to prove her hard headedness) and put the jacket on. I only put my foot down on really important issues…homework…and keep your room clean being two. If she didn’t do her homework after I told her to she lived with the consequences (angry teacher) If she didn’t clean her room she knew I would and I might throw away stuff that she didn’t want thrown…consequences are the key.

Now…talking back and being rude. I do not allow it. If it happens I say calmly…Kate…you are not allowed to talk to me in that manner. Leave the room now. If she won’t then I say…allright. I am too angry to talk to you I am leaving. The key is staying calm…you win if you can!

Hope this helped…
Teresa


#5

[quote=Quaere Verum]Yesterday I was a bystander while my mother & her 6 siblings spoke. My Mom said how she hated her mother & was glad she was dead. This was the first I’d ever heard of this. It was a shock. Apparently my Mom had a defiant temperament w/ a very bad temper and was disciplined frequently & much more often than the rest of the siblings.

My heart burst into tears because I have a daughter who is similar in temperament. She has loud disrespectful outbursts that require discipline some times several times during one day. I have to be extremely firm with her. She’s 9 and has already said she hates me several times. It just breaks my heart to think that she may hate me even when she is an adult. Nevertheless, I have to continue as I have been with her so that she can learn to control these behaviors; I pray that God help me never to break her spirit. And after all is said and done if she hates me because I was tough on her so be it.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
[/quote]

If she has to be disciplined several times a day, you might have a physical problem rather than a disciplinary one here. You say your mother declared that she hated her mother. It sounds like there may be some chemical problem in the brain that runs in your family. I’m not a doctor or even a nurse, but serious behavioral difficulties may have another cause besides merely going through phase. It couldn’t hurt to take her in for a check up to see what your doctor would say. Just a thought.


#6

drlaura.com/reading/index.html?mode=view&id=3

This book may be able to help.

Malia


#7

[quote=Della]If she has to be disciplined several times a day, you might have a physical problem rather than a disciplinary one here. You say your mother declared that she hated her mother. It sounds like there may be some chemical problem in the brain that runs in your family. I’m not a doctor or even a nurse, but serious behavioral difficulties may have another cause besides merely going through phase. It couldn’t hurt to take her in for a check up to see what your doctor would say. Just a thought.
[/quote]

Good point, Della! Thank you for bringing in the physical aspect…combine that with the spiritual and you have a recipe for success!


#8

:frowning: ** Yes, I think every family has a child like this at some point. I was one and I also have a child this way. The old term would probably be “black sheep” not because they are cast out, but because they never feel “with” the family.**


For my son, I focus on teaching him to focus his behavior better. He’s allowed to express an opinion (rude or unkind though it may be), but he is not allowed to shout at me for example.


It may help to note that these children have a tendency to be much more sensitive than most think. They pick up on others emotions and thoughts faster and things that most dc just let go - these dc may feel very deeply - even if they never say it.


Make sure you take time to notice the positive of this child at least as much as the negative, if not more. They will hate you most when they feel they can do nothing to make you love them.


[quote=Quaere Verum]Yesterday I was a bystander while my mother & her 6 siblings spoke. My Mom said how she hated her mother & was glad she was dead. This was the first I’d ever heard of this. It was a shock. Apparently my Mom had a defiant temperament w/ a very bad temper and was disciplined frequently & much more often than the rest of the siblings.

My heart burst into tears because I have a daughter who is similar in temperament. She has loud disrespectful outbursts that require discipline some times several times during one day. I have to be extremely firm with her. She’s 9 and has already said she hates me several times. It just breaks my heart to think that she may hate me even when she is an adult. Nevertheless, I have to continue as I have been with her so that she can learn to control these behaviors; I pray that God help me never to break her spirit. And after all is said and done if she hates me because I was tough on her so be it.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
[/quote]


#9

[quote=Rob’s Wife]:frowning: ** Yes, I think every family has a child like this at some point. I was one and I also have a child this way. The old term would probably be “black sheep” not because they are cast out, but because they never feel “with” the family.**


For my son, I focus on teaching him to focus his behavior better. He’s allowed to express an opinion (rude or unkind though it may be), but he is not allowed to shout at me for example.


It may help to note that these children have a tendency to be much more sensitive than most think. They pick up on others emotions and thoughts faster and things that most dc just let go - these dc may feel very deeply - even if they never say it.


Make sure you take time to notice the positive of this child at least as much as the negative, if not more. They will hate you most when they feel they can do nothing to make you love them.


[/quote]

Thanks to all who have responded. You have been most helpful.

Rob’s wife,

I agree with you here. My daughter is so affectionate and really needs lots of physical contact. After all is said and done re: an outburst and subsequent discipline, I hold her and tell her I love her and that I want what is best for her.


#10

OV–

This is a suggestion for use when she is really frustrated and getting to the point when she might drop the “I hate you.” (I hope you recognize that “I hate yous” are rarely sincere and usually just ill-communicated anger or frustration. She does not really hate you. Therefore, she shouldn’t be using that language.)

Are you familiar with “I feel_______ when you . I want____.” statements? Sometimes it’s helpful for a child to even write this down, but for others it’s best left to asserting verbally. It can be as simple or detailed as they make it. It’s also helpful when you “actively listen” by reflecting back to them what you’ve heard them say.

For example:

Your daughter: “I feel sooooooooooo mad when you tell me to get off the phone to my friend. I want you to understand that I was not done talking and that I wanted to finish the conversation.”

You: “I hear that I really angered you by asking that you cut the phone conversation short. It makes sense to me that you wanted to finish talking, but I needed you to come to the dinner table and join us for supper. I appreciate that even though it made you angry, you obeyed me anyway and spoke to me about how you felt.”

She then has an opportunity to respond if she feels like you missed something she said, but honestly I have seen the anger drain right out of a child who feels heard. Other children need this moment to make a request, such as, “When will I be able to finish the conversation?” And you can answer with whatever is reasonable to you: “After dinner, after homework, tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night, etc.” If she accepts this, you praise her again. Some children need to go off by themselves and let the anger fade that way. If she still wants to play verbal gymnastics with you, the rule needs to be that she speak in “I feel______ when you____. I want____.” (So that it’s not just, “Okay, we’ll follow the tool but then I want to scream “I hate yous” until I feel better!”)

Even saying, “I FEEL like I hate you when you do…blah blah” is much less brutal then a definitive and untrue “I HATE YOU!” The idea is that she begin to distinguish between her “feelings” and what reality is. We may think we feel something but that doesn’t make it true. Hopefully the “I feel like I hate yous” will fade, and they usually do when other emotions bubble up and are more easily defined as she gets practice in using it.

Anyway, introducing this can be as simple as saying, “Okay, Jenny. I love you very much and I think we have to do a better job at showing it to one another. I know that you love me, too, and it hurts when you use the word “hate” in anger. Instead of using that word, I would like to use this tool to help us better communicate when either one of us is really frustrated.”

This does not change overnight, but if you get into the habit of accepting no less than her communicating her feelings–and not just emotional outburts that are hurtful and untrue–you will make headway and she will get a handle on her frustration.

Also–could she be ready for an early period??? She is young but nine is not unheard of be developing early at and therefore also having the attitude outbursts.


#11

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