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How do you redeem a bad parenting day?


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#1 Procrastinator5000

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

So yesterday I was not a good Mum.

We were out all afternoon doing errands and I left the house feeling stressed and tired from the beginning. DS who is almost 8 was also tired and didn't want to be out - not a good combination.

I was picking at him about everything - 'hurry up', 'tie your shoelaces', 'stay with me', 'carry your bag properly', and then when things went wrong, it was all his fault, like when he trips on his shoelaces, I got cross, when I saw that his laces were tied wrongly, I got cross. You get the idea.

None of it was his 'fault', it was just him being vague and not very organised. Totally normal child behaviour and I hate getting mad at things that are just his weakness.

The final straw was when he was dawdling and almost missed getting on our train carriage. I had to jam myself into the doors to keep them from closing so that he could get in. I snapped at him for making that happen (it really wasn't his fault).

When we got on the train, his face crumpled and he started to sob and say, you're so angry at me today and I can't do anything right. I just hugged him for a while and said, I know it's a bad day, and we didn't talk much. He cried and was sad for quite a while.

I felt really terrible.. I know in the scheme of things, I didn't shout and swear, I didn't hit him, but I still hate how I made him feel yesterday, when he was just being a normal kid who was tired and wanted to be at home.

I've apologised a few times today. He didn't completely forgive me but is pretty much over it.

He's beyond that age where no matter what you do, you're perfect in their little eyes. These days now he knows I'm flawed and I don't like it!

I don't know what I expect by writing this out, just reflecting I suppose.. Tell me that it's normal? Or how to handle things better?

#2 More than a Mother

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

We all have them - we're not perfect. I'd have acknowledged that you were both stressed and tired, and would have preferred to be at home.

Surely it's good that he sees your flaws? He won't grow up with a skewed sense of motherhood.

#3 feralisles

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

I don't think any of us are perfect, and it doesn't hurt children to know that.  The important thing is that you acknowledged your mistakes and apologised for them.  In doing so, you have modelled to your son the appropriate way to deal with poor behaviour. I think you'll find he will forgive you OP!

You can reflect over what happened and why, and think about how you can handle things better next time.  You can even talk it over with your boy if you like - eg. "I've realised it's not a good idea trying to do a lot of jobs when we are both tired and pushed for time.  Next time we'll do them on a Saturday morning when we can take our time, and maybe have an ice cream afterwards. How does that sound?"

#4 premmie

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:25 PM

I'm with you! My oldest is only 2 and a half....some days I'm just not as good as other days, patience is a virtue that is in short spot at my house some days. Mostly it's just him being a 2 year old, in conjunction with an 11 month old life is constantly busy, and god awful noisy. I shout, I occasionally smack him for bad behaviour, mostly to do with aggression to his little brother. I know it's wrong, but sometimes it happens..despite my best intentions I lose my temper.

I guess I try to make sure we finish up after a incident as friends. Lots of cuddles and kisses. I also try to remember that I have two boys 17 months apart, and I'm human, the demands on me during the day are heavy...and most days we are all fed, clean and have had an outing to the park or similar. I've managed to make dinner and the house doesn't look like a bomb has hit it. I'm doing well...they are happy and healthy and they love their parents....if I raise my voice occasionally then so be it, others may have more patience, I don't...

#5 Jess1308

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

I hear you.

#6 amandamac

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

Hi. Couldn't read and not respond. You redeem a day like that by saying sorry, being aware for next time, and talking about it.

You've done some of those things so are doing great! Everyone has those days and it is shocking sometimes to realise the power we have to hurt their little hearts. But we also have the power to heal and to teach lessons about communication and forgiveness.

So perhaps after a few days talk to him again about how you feel; if you feel ashamed or guilty; about how you'll always try your best but may sometimes fail. Perhaps tell him that his feelings are important and you're sorry you hurt them. Perhaps agree on a way to safely communicate the next time one or both of you are feeling tired or stressed.

And chalk this experience up to yet another lesson about parenting. You're doing your best. Somedays this might not be quite up to the mark. But you're human and obviously a great mum because this experience is bothering you and you want to set it to rights.

Take care.

#7 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

I find wine helps.  biggrin.gif

I think we all have those days once in a while.

Some days I could win Mum Of The Year Awards, other days - not so much.

I think you did the right thing in apologising etc.

Next time just try to change your attitude. Acknowledge you have a lot to do, and go out with a sense of adventure maybe. If you miss the train? There's another one and you can find something to do in the interim. If you can't get to everything on the to do list? Get it done another day.

And drink wine....

#8 NunSoFeral

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Oh Ouch, OP.
I've been there and have felt sh*tty about being cranky at my children, for simply being children, too.

Feeling the way you do means that you have redeemed it.
Your actions and words to your boy after it all happened, have redeemed it.

You acknowledged it, apologised for it and are remorseful - your parent-o-meter is surely pointing at "great, totally human parent".

My oldest boy is organisationally challenged, and I find it stressful and teeth clenchingly frustrating at times.

My mantra is "he is eight, just eight, let it slide if you can"

That and that 80/20 rule

80% positive comments
20% not so positive comments (so choose 'em wisely!)

I fumbled my way through parenting with my oldest , so he he has heard a lot of apologies, and he knows adults stuff up all the time.

Of course that has bit me on the a*se many times-  nothing like being lectured to by an eight year old about bad language, running late and not stooping to a mean persons level.






#9 epl0822

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:46 PM

I have a dad who had his own share of issues; he was an awesome father 99% of the time but the 1% when he got angry, he was REALLY angry.

He also grew up in a culture where it just wasn't acceptable for fathers to apologise to their children. He did apologise to me a few years ago and I know it's been eating at him this whole time, the way he lashed out at me in the past.

Unless we're talking about extreme parental behaviour like serious violence, your human shortcomings don't negate the vast majority of the times when you are a good parent. When your child grows up and reflects on his childhood, if he even remembers this incident, he's going to also remember his mum was big enough to say sorry and hug him and feel bad for her mistakes. You just taught your child how to man up when he makes errors as an adult later on and how to be totally honest about his mistakes, too. If that's not good parenting then I don't know what is.

I don't think you need to dwell too much on what happened. Just keep loving your child and that's the best form of apology.

#10 TheGreenSheep

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

I dunno what to say to redeem yourself. I am having a week of it.  sad.gif  I'm tired and over a few ongoing things that are out of our control. And so it's not a great week in general. Poor kids. I'm trying to be as kind and loving whilst controlling how grouchy and cranky I feel. Lots of kisses and cuddles and love you kids.

#11 gabbigirl

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

I have lots of bad parenting moments, this read helps me a little

http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parentin...ith_Your_Child/

#12 elizabethany

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

I am having one of those days with my 2 year old today.  Though I cracked it and now we are not going out, and he wants to.  Maybe after we have both had some quiet time I can make it happen...

#13 Peppery

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

I have been having a few of those days lately. I apologise to DD and give her extra cuddles. Last night I heard her telling her dolly that mummy didn't love her anymore. Absolutely broke my heart. DD is 4.

We had cuddles in bed before she fell asleep.

#14 a letter to Elise.

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

I have those days sometimes. Sometimes I don't even realise I've been like that until ds tells me - normally by doing something nice and asking if I feel better yet sad.gif .
If I can, I try to redeem it by doing something fun and silly to take my mind off it. A trip to the park, some silly dancing in the lounge room, basically something with no pressure that will remind us both of how nice it can be to spend time together.


#15 Canberra Chick

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

OP,  I am so glad you posted this, as I do this with DS far too often and it's nice to know I'm not alone.

I am trying to take a deep breath before speaking  these days. I am also just talking it over with him later, telling him that while he was making mistakes, my reaction was because I had a bad day and I am sorry, I shouldn't have let that affect how I talk to him.
Then I try to do something with him, like look stuff up on the Internet, go for a walk, cook something together.

#16 Procrastinator5000

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:58 PM

Thanks for all the kind responses. It's good to know I'm not the only one and there were lots of helpful ideas - gabbigirl, that article you posted was great, thanks.

Today is a new day I guess!

#17 Procrastinator5000

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE (epl0822 @ 14/02/2013, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a dad who had his own share of issues; he was an awesome father 99% of the time but the 1% when he got angry, he was REALLY angry.

He also grew up in a culture where it just wasn't acceptable for fathers to apologise to their children. He did apologise to me a few years ago and I know it's been eating at him this whole time, the way he lashed out at me in the past.

Unless we're talking about extreme parental behaviour like serious violence, your human shortcomings don't negate the vast majority of the times when you are a good parent. When your child grows up and reflects on his childhood, if he even remembers this incident, he's going to also remember his mum was big enough to say sorry and hug him and feel bad for her mistakes. You just taught your child how to man up when he makes errors as an adult later on and how to be totally honest about his mistakes, too. If that's not good parenting then I don't know what is.

I don't think you need to dwell too much on what happened. Just keep loving your child and that's the best form of apology.


Thanks a lot for sharing that.


#18 Leggy

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:05 PM

Like PPs I think you've already done the right thing by apologising. Nobody's perfect and I think it's important for kids to see that, and also to see that it's okay to admit you were wrong.

#19 JJ

Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 15/02/2013, 09:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just apologise. Explain that we ALL have bad days and that is completely normal. Say how sorry you are and move on.
don't dwell over it.


This. (I am agreeing with Tamm - what's this world coming to!?  blink.gif tongue.gif)

Apologise, move on. There have been occasions where I found myself apologising over and over again because I still felt bad the next day, but the kids were ready to move on. Kids are pretty forgiving and they don't expect you to be perfect.

In some cases I also explain why I was feeling grouchy, though when doing that, you have to be careful not to make it too "heavy" (so the child doesn't end up worrying about you) or make it sound like you're trying to make excuses for your bad behaviour. But my kids seem to respond well to simple explanations as to why people sometimes have bad days.

But yes, it's normal. Nobody's perfect. bbighug.gif

#20 leisamd

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

I also try to intentionally spend some nice time. Today was one of those days, so we're watching a movie now (double help, relaxing & not speaking yet still together) , and later we'll make cupcakes. Rest, reset, fun. That's my formula for ' write off' days!

#21 mm1981

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

Apologise and move on.

So what, you were having a bad day. You explained it and apologised. Done.

No need to make it a bigger deal than what it is. Nor should your son.

Mark it up as life experience.

Apologise and move on.

So what, you were having a bad day. You explained it and apologised. Done.

No need to make it a bigger deal than what it is. Nor should your son.

Mark it up as life experience.

#22 Tigerdog

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

You don't - you just move on and try to do better the next day.  Children are forgiving and resilient, focusing on it serves no purpose.

Edited by Tigerdog, 15 February 2013 - 12:59 PM.





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