- I get extremely angry with the kids when; I'm somehow already at a low ebb (tired, stressed out, sick, annoyed with someone else), or when I'm in a struggle of wills with them, and I feel powerless to effect the change I want to see (in them).
- When I'm feeling powerless the anger within me expands like gas igniting, it is sudden and forceful.
- When I lose my temper with the kids, I then feel angry at them for bringing out the worst in me, and I want them to disappear so I can pretend I never lost my temper.
- If they seem afraid of me, I feel angrier because they're showing me I'm being a monster.
- I resent them for hours afterwards because I feel sorry for myself always having to get really angry to get them to listen to me, or cooperate with me.
- I don't feel this way about Bryn at all. I don't expect him to do what I say, be quiet, listen to me (even though he does these things a lot of the time).
- My expectations and my inability to let go of my "goal" in the situation leads to my frustration when that goal isn't met.
I was investigating Unconditional Parenting again today, and now have it on order through the local bookshop.
Then I came across a reference to a book called "Connection Parenting" by Pam Leo, and found a site with a audio of an interview with the author and when I listened to the interview I wanted to cry. This woman was saying back to me what I used to believe about children and parenting, back when Erik was a baby. Somehow I'd lost touch with those beliefs, and gotten lost in my need to control my kids.
I just want to love being with my kids again.
I have moments of loving being with them, and I always love being with Bryn, but so much in recent weeks I've have my love of spending time with them overshadowed by this low grade resentment of their attitude toward me and Dave. I need to begin seeing them for the children they are and not the people I expect them to be.
I realise I'm a pathetic excuse for a parent, but oh well, I suppose at least I haven't given up completely.
Ok, will have more thoughts on this another time...