Need advice please! As a single mom of two, I really try my hardest to keep it together in front of my kids. Unfortunately, about four weeks ago, maybe five… My four-year-old daughter seen me lose it on her dad. She had never seen me and her dad fight before. Anyway long story short, I flipped out on him because when he tried picking her up and he was under the influence. (We met at a near by Walmart) I obviously didn’t let her go because he reeked of alcohol. And At first, it started off like are you serious? (No yelling) You would really try to pick up your kid under the influence? Like he should have known better. Anyway, I was hurt and mad, he of course tried to deny it which sent me over the edge because I was already stressed out from other things. I yelled at him and was crying. Again, she had never seen me that way. After all that happened of course, I apologized and tried to explain the situation the best way I could. We went home that was the end of the story. Fast-forward to now, anytime she hears me on the phone talking with a firm voice not yelling, she just follows me and then asks me if I am upset or mad. It truly hurts my heart that she feels that anxiety because I personally went through it growing up with my mom. The only difference is there were a lot of angry outburst in front of me. This literally only happened once, and I’m not downplaying her feelings at all. I just want to know what to do from here? It hurts my heart so much that she worries if I’m mad or upset just because I’m talking in a firm tone and it could be with anybody. Obviously that situation really traumatized her and I want to help her get past it and I don’t want her to feel scared or walk on eggshells. Any advice would be appreciated! And please no bashing, I’m pretty sure we all have lost it once or twice.
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. What can I do about this situation?
Are you sure it’s anxiety? Could she just be trying to sort out what different emotions look like? My son asks those questions sometimes but he certainly doesn’t walk on eggshells around me.
It was one time. She’s gonna have to learn that these things happen. You can’t shelter her forever.
You’re human. It’s fine.
All you can do is your best.
Just try not to have it happen again in front of her. But she’s got to learn that feelings like the one you had are normal. When she asks these questions try play therapy give her some crayons or markers and paper and have her draw out how she’s feeling about why she’s feeling you’re upset or angry and go from there. Have her explain the picture to you after it’s done. And like I said before try not to have it happen again in front of her
I would had called the cops on him. Just explain it to her the best you can even search for books or videos.
Don’t hide your emotions. If anything it’s healthy that they see that mommy gets upset too but also show her a healthy way to overcome the emotions. Hiding from her will only make it to where she may feel that negative emotions should be hidden and she may not learn to cope with them.
I have tried to be very transparent with my kids about different kind of emotions positive as well as negative.
The other day my son was having a really bad day and he was able to come to me and say. “Wow Mom that was a whole new emotion I just felt. It was a really strong one. I was really upset. I didn’t know that I could feel that but I practiced by breathing like you do and it really helped.”
Then we sat and he walked me through the situation and he was able to talk about what he felt why he felt it and how feeling that made him feel.
It’s good for kids to see all types of reactions, we’re only human! And everyone gets to high levels of frustration at times. The fact that you apologized and held yourself accountable for your outburst is a great teaching moment! We can’t always be perfect around our kids, as much as we beat ourselves up for reacting at times. Don’t be too hard on yourself! You were looking out for your baby and that sounds like a good mom to me!
Kids are very resilient. You haven’t done any permanent damage.
Continue to reassure her that everything is ok. This shall pass. She just seen something new.
I’m a firm believer in showing my kids all of my emotions. I do apologize if it is scary for them, but I will never apologize for having feelings and needing to get them out. She needs to understand that in that moment, Mommy lost it. But it’s ok now because Mommy has it back under control.
Just reassure her, it’s normal to get upset at times and apologize that she had to see it. I personally would call the cops on him if it happens again. Don’t even tell him what you are doing just get in your car like you are getting her and her things ready or something and call them and hopefully they will arrive quickly. That way it’s on record and they would do a sobriety test right there
Oh momma … The best way I can think of how to put this for your daughter, " daddy was going to put you in a dangerous situation, and I had to do what mommy’s do… I had to protect you… And yes I yelled and cried… Because I will not let ANYONE even your daddy hurt you or endanger you"… This shows your daughter, that first and foremost her safety is key and you will do what Good mommys do… And thats protect our children… I know this is hard to do… Sometimes telling them the truth in a way that is age appropriate is the only way for them to understand… Even if you tell her " daddy was making a poor choice and it would of hurt you." You are still shielding her from the bluntness of adult choices, but in a way that will help her understand why… Sometimes thats what they need, is to understand why…
I would have called the law on him!
Explain things to her. They understand alot more than you think they do. She also knows it hurt your feelings and she wants to make it better like you do for her.
Wow you let him drive drunk instead of calling the cops.
It sounds like she is learning about emotions. You can explain the different tones in your voice. No mummy wasn’t angry or upset, mummy was being serious.
Just remember, good mums worry about whether they are doing a good job with their kids. You are clearly worrying about this effect on your daughter which, to me, makes you a good mum. Dont be so hard on yourself, if you are worrying it only means you care! kids are alot more resilient than you think. You protected your daughter from a potentially dangerous situation. That’s what a good parent does! I would rather do that than let my kid go with their father who has been drinking and my kid end up in hospital xx
Anger isn’t a bad emotion, it’s how we handle it that matters no emotion is bad, it’s valid. Just teach her how to react to it. And i think 95% of people would have reacted in the same way you did with her father.
Im a yelly mom at times. I try not to be but i have a 2.5 year old and a two week old and im not getting sleep and postpartum and a husband who works nights. Im completely overwhelmed and exhausted. I apologize to them and tell them what im feeling and remind them i do love them and im sorry. Id like to walk away but they are so young so most of the time I can’t. As a result i ask my daughter if shes feeling sad or mad etc and she goes sad and i tell her mommy gets sad too. I was never taught to regulate my emotions, how to talk about feelings and every feeling was anger.
I dont think she was scared by how you described it pr anxious but curious. I think its a good way to talk about feelings as the world doesn’t teach us how. It also teaches her to advocate for herself and her safety. The world is still very dangerous for women and i teach my daughter that she her needs/ wants are to be respected as well. Example if she doesnt want to eat i dont force it. She want to snack all day i let her- shes an active 2 year old and no weight issues. Also she mostly eats berries gor snack. She also knows i will advocate when she tells people to put her down and i dont force her to kiss or hug anyone she doesnt want too.
Get her a few therapy sessions. You can’t be everything all the time for her. It’s OK to ask for help. I can’t count the times I blew up in front of the kids. You’re doing great.
It might not of necessarily traumatized her. It might of made her realize that having feelings is okay. That it’s okay to be mad, or upset, or anxious. She sounds old enough to understand these things. Try sitting her down and explaining feelings to her. Instead of hiding it, explain to her “yes mommy is okay. I’m just feeling a little frustrated right now” it will help her understand and express her own emotions.
Accidents happen just make sure you admit to her you were wrong and talk it out. You’re human! Shit happens, you can’t be perfect all the time.
Kids need to know that mommy’s have feelings too. Mommy’s get mad and yell just like her. Teach her how to calm herself. When she asks if you’re upset, be truthful. Tell her sometimes mommy’s get angry too. Then breath deeply and try to relax and show her how to do it too.
Once or twice oh honey your a saint, you’re Mary Poppins compared to me.
Just set her down and explain to her why you got upset that day,tell her you’re were being protective of her,and when it comes to your kids parents tend to lose control.
You shouldn’t hide your emotions from your kids. Then seeing you and how you react with yours teaches them/helps them regulate how they process theirs. She’s just Curious and asking questions. It’s ok to let her know you’re upset or mad or sad or overwhelmed.
Seems like you talk in “a firm tone” a lot!
Dear fan momma,
Getting upset is a natural human instinct, like being sad or happy, we show emotions for each instinct and situation. We do our best as loving parents to make sure our children only witness our cheerful moments, but the bruiser is, nobody can be cheerful 24-7.
We all endure stress, fatigue, surprises, bills, and headaches.
Surprisingly enough though, there are times, some more than others, when we least expect it, our children will raise the bar, and become upset also, and of course like always, we’ll want to protect them. Doing whatever it takes to make sure they don’t get upset again. Mothers are true gifts from God. Children are the gifts blessings. They are resilient.
A 4 year old bounces back fairly quick, yes they will remember awkward and uncomfortable moments but they don’t seem to hold on to them very long, as they resume daily life, they experience more encounters with mom being upset, this also gives an outlet for the 4 year old to discover his or her own emotions and provides a stable healthy oncoming of human instinct.
You are doing everything right!
Precious to see you place your daughters emotions above yours, but just remember, when she asks you again if you’re mad or upset, ask her if she’s mad or upset about anything, chances are she will tell you she was once over something. Explain to her that it’s perfectly ok to get mad or upset, sad or confused about things, but then tell her it’s not good to hang on to those feelings, we need to let them go.
She will get it, I promise. If you keep her from experiencing your emotions, it will hinder and postpone her from developing hers. Hope this helps:sunglasses:
Just do your best to explain that sometimes mommies get upset. Be honest. Better for her to see you upset than only see you happy and then she might think she shouldn’t get upset sad and or whatever…
That’s why you have to yell more often sorry I’m trying to make you laugh. I understand where you are coming from you seem like an amazing mom you love her so much and don’t want to see her hurt I would not worry so much about it cause you are stressing yourself out. We are only human good luck God bless
It might be she don’t want you upset or mad cause she seen her mommy mad and she don’t like or want her mommy to ever feel like that again and asking you cause she might wanna try to comfort you when you are. My daughter was about 2 years old and something serious was going on and well she seen me upset and crying and she walks up to me and I get down to her level to hug her and let her know everything is okay and before I could say anything she said mommy it’s okay and when she said that it helped me but also broke me cause she was comforting me before I could even get to comfort her.
Talk to her about being upset. If she goes to preschool or has friends, I’m sure they have little tiffs. Remind her how you can be have some anger and yet you get over it and can still be friends. Doesn’t have to apply to her dad literally. Tell her that you don’t like to be that upset and you’re sorry you upset her.i tried super hard not to have arguments or talk down my children’s dad. Very hard and I’m sure my attitude showed at times. Forgive yourself. Give her a snuggle when it comes up or find something to laugh about… Don’t over react to her question and she’ll let it go at some point. If you dwell, she will dwell.
Sounds like maybe you need to gentle your “firm” tone down a little?
She may just be wanting to be involved/informed because she’s beginning to understand that everyone has a variety of experiences and emotions. Sometimes a new curiosity is just a milestone in the growing up process
It’s good for kids to see this sometimes. It shows them that we are human. We all get upset, we all yell, scream, cry etc. Yes she’s concerned and that concerns you, but sit Her down and talk to her more about it. Don’t make her think being angry is bad. She’s going to he okay. Feeling any emotion is good, including angry.
You did the right thing. My brother got killed drinking and driving , my daughter was with him. She was very lucky she wasn’t killed too. ( She was at her dads at the time.). He knew better, but drunks just don’t care.
Reassure her that everything is ok, and contact court and let them know dad is coming under the influence to try to pick up the child (or call police at the next pick up that he shows up under the influence). He does not need to put her at risk.
My daughter never likes seeing me upset, even today and she’s 15. She also has some anxiety, which I’ve suffered from anxiety ever since I can remember. If I get upset like you did, even now, she’ll get upset. But saying that, I mean, I wasn’t there, but you definitely had a right to be upset with him. Really upset. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Your daughter is just showing her concern.
Tell her sometimes mommies get mad or sad and it’s ok. Just like it’s ok to be happy or silly. Emotions are fine to have and to show. I have to tell my son sometimes “I am mad right now. I am not mad at you, I’m mad at a situation.” Just reassure her that you’re not angry with her. Maybe get some books about emotions. My Many Colored Days is a great book for little ones to learn about emotions.
Awe it seems like she’s worried about her mommy! She doesn’t want to see you upset. To me it seems as she’s over protective because she doesnt want her mommy to feel that way! Shew that broke my heart!
Please dont hide your emotions from of your children.
You didn’t traumatized her. She’s confused and concerned because you’ve kept those kinds of emotions away from her up until this point.
Maybe it’s a good thing she was exposed a tiny bit so if there’s ever a scenario in the future where someone is upset or stern, she’s not completely terrified.
Especially considering the situation where her daddy did something very wrong and dangerous.
It probably doesn’t have anything to do with the situation that happened with her dad that affected her. It could of just been seeing her mom sad and hurting. And if it’s not a side that you let the kids see then it was new to her and she’s just concerned. I try not to ever let my kids see me hurt and crying. As mom you feel like you have to put on a brave face and be strong all the time. I know when my kids do see me crying they are instantly concerned and wanting to know what happened and I usually just tell them” mommy’s just have a rough day, and it’s nothing to worry about. Then I wipe my tears and get the biggest loves from them. We all go through it. We can’t always control our emotions no matter how hard we try. Just reassure her that your okay. That is probably what worries her the most, she just wants to know your okay.
First of all
You go MAMA BEAR
Wtf was he doing driving to pick her up in that
Sadly your daughter will be like this for a while
Just keep reassuring her
It’s ok and your not angry or upset
Explain (the best way for your little one)
That sometimes you have to raise your voice because the other person may have a lot of loud noise around them
Or the person had trouble hearing
That might be a way of helping her
I don’t have advice.
But what a good mama!
I don’t believe emotions should be hidden from children. They need to see us sad or mad and then after that they need to see us deal with those emotions in a healthy and safe way. They learn most from observation at a young age. They need to know that all emotions are valid but there are right and wrong ways of handling them. I know in the moment anger is harder to handle appropriately sometimes, so then just explain it to her in an age appropriate way. “Sometimes you get angry and yell right? So sometimes mommy does too. While I shouldn’t have -insert whatever behavior you don’t want mimicked- I know that you might have some questions about it. Do you want to talk about how me doing that made you feel?” Or something similar. Just keep an open dialogue about emotions and then a firm tone won’t be confused with the situation she witnessed.
Maybe smile at her while you are talking in a firm tone. That way she knows you are not upset or mad, especially at her. Explain to her that it is always better to remain calm, but some things need to be expressed in other ways. She’ll learn the difference when she’s older. You showed her you’ll fight for her safety. And she will appreciate that when she’s older.
Talk to her about why you were upset and that you feel bad she saw that but she doesn’t have to worry about you. She isn’t responsible for your emotions.
At 4 she is just learning about feeling Her “Feelings” and showing Emotions.
It’s OK to show emotions in front of our children that’s how they Learn empathy and sympathy… as well as all the other emotions and feelings…
Good for you for going off to protect your daughters well Being. Show her a reassuring smile and hug her let her know momma is good!..
It’s fine momma Your doing Amazing Don’t forget it!!
Just tell her emotions happened they’re all okay she might be mad at something one day it comes and goes happy, scared sad mad love all emotions they aren’t bad
I feel ya… My son lost his new glasses…3 different pairs in a weeks time…I could barely afford the first pair…I went nuts and this was years ago…I’m still ashamed of how I acted…I never hit him or nothing…but I made an complete ass of myself…and he still remembers it too this day…I don’t even know who that person ( me ) was…I was beside myself with anger…we never did find those three pair of glasses…and I have never acted like that…again…
Tell the truth… kids always know anyway.
I think there is a huge difference between a child seeing their mother having constant outbursts of anger and a child watching their mother express some anger in efforts to protect them. You were in momma bear mode because someone who should be protective of your child not only put themselves in danger but was also selfish enough to put your child’s life at risk. It is okay to be angry and it’s okay that your child knows that you fought for their safety. I’m sure looking back they will be proud to know that they have a momma that takes no BS when it comes to their safety. Let your baby know that it’s okay to express their feelings. How would you expect your baby to come and tell you their emotions if you don’t tell them yours? Well age appropriate information about your feelings.
I would just sit her down and explain that sometimes Mommy and daddies get mad and sometimes they don’t handle it well. Let her know that everything is fine, and she doesn’t have to be scared if Mommy raises her voice or has to use a strong tone. You are her rock so when she saw you at a point of weakness I believe it scared her. It is ok to let her know that at times it is ok to be mad or upset. I would also let her know if she is ever feeling this way that youa re there for her to talk to. As she gets older she will understand more, but for now I believe communication is the key to help her get past this
We can’t be monochrome for the sake of our children. Life happens! You should snap if someone tries to pick up your kid DRUNK! Explain to her that daddy did something very bad and it was your job to protect her.
I would hope that no one bashes you sounds like you r doing a great job and worrying about your child when she gets upset!
Explain that it was an adult situation & adults get mad sometimes. Let her know she will experience all emotions, detail them all to her & explain that it’s ok to feel them. That you probably shouldn’t have yelled in front of her & let her know above all that it is NOT her fault. Sadly our littles tend to assume that they are the reason we’re upset. Just be honest about the emotions-She’s to little to understand dad being under the influence.
you need to just tell your kids that sometimes mommy & daddy fight, But it doesn’t change how much they still love the kids. That you really don’t like to yell in front of your guys, but sometimes it happens, You need them to know this & see this, I have had a few grown up friends whom never saw their parents fight at all & when the last kid finish HS, they split up & this upset them all (the adult kids) because , again they never seen them fight, They also never saw them hug & kiss, but they were brought up with a delusion everything was fine , when in reality it wasn’t. Fighting is normal, as long as there is no hitting or pushing involved. And yes you were 100% right not to allow him to take your daughter. And you coudl have stated to ehr, that daddy wasn’t feeling good that day & unfortunately we got into a fight over it, but you love her & want her to be safe, the same with her daddy. She doesn’t need to know he was drink or high or both, she doesn’t’ need to know he is a prick, She will figure that out later on in her life,
Depending on how much he drank you probably have every right to be upset. Drinking and driving if drunk is no joke. To me if your picking up a kid even one beer isn’t good, but that isnt the law. I would start a journal with facts, times and dates in case it happens again.
We’re all human and showing how to deal with emotions is important. I’d have called the cops on dad showing up like that to be honest.
As others have said don’t hide your emotions, explain them.
My lil boy (4) will ask “why you look like that”. He tries so hard to be a good boy. I think he thinks he might get his dad’s attention. I don’t know. But it hurts my heart too. I know it’s not the same but I assume it’s a similar hurt
You are feeling so much guilt for not pretending a terrible situation was okay and that someone trying to do something unforgivable was fine. She might be really curious about your feelings. My 4year old saw me shriek at a roach and now he brings it up every day, talking about being scared. But you are not the one who created the bad situation. You didn’t try to risk your baby’s life. You protected her. You didn’t become someone who couldn’t be trusted. He did. You are being a good mom.
Her safety has to come first. Explain that to her, that it was not okay for him to do that and it would be the same if you did it too. Drinkung and driving is not okay and that needs to be the bigger lesson
Just answer her.are you upset or mad?yes because…no im not im sorry i gave you that impression.best to be honest over feelings they are learning to navigate theirs.
Explain to her that you are not mad. Also explain that it is ok to be mad, its how you handle the mad. Sometimes you dont handle the mad monster well and sometimes you do. The thing about the mad monster is that sometimes its a little monster but sometimes that monster gets big. When the monster gets big its harder to remember to handle it the right way and it takes practice. We have to learn to be monster trainers. Ask if she’s still worried about what happened with her dad. If she is then explain to her that even grown ups make mistakes and her dad made a mistake. It made you upset, and you’re sorry if it scared her but everything is OK. She needs to know that its ok to have these emotions, grown ups have these emotions and sometimes parents make mistakes. All of that is ok for a child to know.
(You dont have to use the mad monster, I just used that when my kids were little. Mad monster and mad Lion. We became mad monster and mad lion tamers)
Just explain as you don’t have… She will and has to learn… remember… Children learn what they live, NOT what we Tell them.
Some where in her life she’s going to deal with it weather from you or others It’s gonna happen as it’s part of life be thankful you can explain it to her and help her get past it I’m sure someone has yelled in anger around her at some point. Help her take it and understand it. If you can’t have her speak to a professional about it
Kids don’t need lollipops and ice cream. They need the real world. Seeing you get angry and how you handle the anger teaches them how to do the same.
A simple explanation about daddy being drunk and it’s dangerous. Would be a simple explanation.
Just sit her down and explain that mommy got upset. Kids are resilient. Sometimes as parents we loose it in front of kids. Do not beat yourself up. Khuddos fo not letting the idiot take her
You’ve already explained the situation and reassured her since. I’d continue reassuring her and maybe tell her you’re a fierce momma bear and sometimes momma bears get loud and growly protecting their cubs. You can also search online for age appropriate books about big feelings and how to handle them.
Explain to her that sometimes, as adults we have big emotions too, just like her and that sometimes we shout.
They learn from us, our coping mechanisms etc.
Mad is a normal emotion. Children will learn emotions and its best if you explain what mad means and show her a healthy way to communicate that you were mad. That way when she gets mad she understands how to communicate her mad emotion healthy. My son’s therapist has taught him how to express his emotions in a healthy manner. Good luck!
Good for protecting your daughter…and never hide your feelings from her …she will be alright
You were right. If pulled over, hecwould had been arrested and charged. CPS would had taken her away. ( She really would had high anxiety then! ). And not all foster care homes are safe or kind. Some have predators, while others have meaness. Teach your child coping skills. Life is far from perfect. Its normal for parents to ‘lose it’ on each other once in awhile. She needs to learn that anger, like other emotions is normal. You and him are resolving your differences and that in no way will change your love for her, nor her daddy’s love for her, either. She is seeing a big people world and needs to pray for happier days ahead.
We do try to protect ourchildren, but it’s good to express our self and let ur feeling fly our children need to see this so they no if there sad hurting mad to express that but that was unforgivable on what he done at the moment everything will turn out OK don’t be so hard on urself,
I explain my feelings. We all have them and sometimes its hard to control them. Seeing how you handle yourself and telling them its ok to get mad, cry, yell, scream etc is just a way to release how you feel. I tell my kids we all do it as we all have emotions that even i as a adult sometimes struggle to hold those big feelings in and it is perfectly fine and acceptable to show and vent those feelings its after you feel all these emotions and how you treat yourself and others is the issue we can get mad get angry at situations and people who have made you feel this way but we cannot beat ourselves up or take it out on innocent others that is going to make them hurt too. I also tell my kids just coz mummy feels this way at times dont you take on mummys feelings but doesnt matter what you feel come to mummy and mummy can help you when those feelings get too much tell mum and i will help i will empathise i will take your burdens and worries until you are big enough to understand these emotions more. So when this happens we talk and then play.
It’s okay to let your children see that you have emotions. Of course this situation is a little different you don’t want your child to see their parents fighting like that. However you still need to let your kids see your emotions and how you handle them and explain to them your emotions and how you’re feeling and how you’re dealing with it so that they can learn that it’s okay to have emotions and express them and you can teach them how to manage their own emotions.
How old is your daughter ?Children will learn that parents aren’t perfect,and they will see some of our emotions during their growing up yrs.I think she’s just trying to figure this out because it was new for her.Talk to her about feelings,ask her if she has ever gotten upset about something, explain it to her on her level.I have a friend that was married her parents NEVER had any arguments in front of the kids anyway.When my friend got married and her and her husband had any disagreements she assumed it was her marriage falling apart, when it really wasn’t!She thought that cause of her parents totally sheltered her from it growing up.!Children need to learn ppl have disagreements,but it’s how the adults handle those disagreements that teach our children right and wrong ways of communication.You apologized to him ,she also saw that,you were protecting her she learned that too.So even tho you may think it harmed her it had value within it…I think your daughter will be fine she’s just learning about emotions Mama.
We all loose our cool sometimes. The important thing to remember is that it’s a part of life and as long as you have explained things to her and shes not consistently around that she will be okay. You sound like an amazing mama. Don’t beat yourself up so much hun. Hugs and prayers.
I definitely think talk to her. Explain to her that its better to express ur emotions. But that does not mean we will stay angry nor do u love the person u are angry at any less. Its just so that u can feel better and you both can move forward
Don’t get too down on yourself or the situation. We’ve all been through things and unfortunately compared to other stories this may be considered small. Keep your head up your hearts in the right place and that’s what matters.