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Oh, wait til they're teenagers! Seriously, I love the advise that therapist gave you. I really draw on that when I interact with my girls. Especially when we're shopping! No kid likes what mom picks out...I remember doing the same thing to my mom.
It's interesting that out of my 3 girls the one that I find myself not liking the most is my youngest. And, like your oldest, she is very strong willed & outspoken. She will blurt things out of her mouth without thinking. I've heard it said that when we find things that bug us in other people, that's because we have those same traits/qualities. So I've always thought that I'm most like my youngest and that's why she gets on my nerves the most. Who knows!
It's proof once again that God has a sense of humor!

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom

I don't even wanna think about them as teens!!!! I, too, found the advice to not take things personally VERY helpful. Especially when our son started using the "I hate you" card. It sure hurt me the first time I heard it and I responded as such. He knew he had me then! When I depersonalized it and responded with a "I love you," he gave it up :)

really fed up

boy am I struggling. Lately my 4 kids are just irritating the heck out of me. The minute I wake up and they are around me. crying, fighting, demanding, and just destroying my house. I have been the maniac mother the last few days just screaming telling them to get away from me. The guilt is obvious which is how I found your site by typing in when you can't stand your children. I try to remind myself of how great they are and 2 seconds later I slip again and react. Tonight I am just numb and wish when I woke up I could just be by myself. After reading don't take what your kids do personally I laugh because just tonight I was asking them why they get so much pleasure in upsetting me and not listening, etc. I actually asked if they sit and decide to purposly upset me. If I told you their ages 8 and under you would laugh at my immaturity. I know I know. I just want to not have kids today or this week. I want to get up when I want, eat what I want and do my own laundry and not repeat myself 10 times. What I really don't want is to be the screaming crazy mother like mine was and enjoy my children but I just can't enjoy them. I don't even know how to play with them because I am with them so much I just don't want to do anything with them . Depressed, probably. I know I will feel better soon but this week I feel like I want to runaway. Help

The Mentor Mom

Oh hon! I can soooo identify with you as I'm sure many other parents do! As I said in the post, many of us feel this way at one point in time. My question for you would be what kind of support network do you have? Do you have a a friend, husband, or parent that can give you a break? Maybe just an afternoon where you can do something just for you? It sounds like your well is running dry, which means you MUST make some time to nurture yourself. We cannot nurture our children unless we nurture ourselves. I am hoping that if you have a spouse, he understands that he needs to support you in this? The old saying "If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is soooo true! Hang in there and be sure to let me know if you were able to get some "me" time :)


my son 21\2 is driving my nuts he wants all the attention of the world what to do????

The Mentor Mom

Oh, Olga! Two year olds can be frustrating, can't they?! They are too young to be left on their own to play like a five year old and they desire lots of mental stimulation. The key to remember is that all that activity is helping them learn. If you need to shed energy, get him outside. Go to the park or go for walks daily. Fresh air is great for them (and for us!). Hang in there! This too shall pass :)


I have three children, twin boys 12 and a daughter 11, they are about to drive me crazy. seriously, i have to see a shrink today, im so unyhappy. I never thought of being a parent could spin my life so out of control. Today, im looking for ways to handle them. The twins are rough, tough, typical boys, with a forked tongue that is sharp as a razor, they tell me they hate me. wish i would die, give me ugly looks and all sorts of things, i don't think that i can handle them any longer. what do i do. how do i handle them when they are talking back and hating me. I have seem to lost myself down the years and now i feel ive lost them too. They do not respect me, i tried the punishing, the telling i love you's when they say that they hate me, nothing is working, they fight all the time and specially with their sister, which has a different father and when she goes with him they give me hell!!!! They are so jealous of the things that she does that they automatically think that i sould do something for them, money!!!!! money!!!! money!!! i need help!

The Mentor Mom

Hang in there, Laura! I'll drop you a private e-mail to discuss your concerns further. All is not lost :)


Wow, I guess I'm not the only one that is about to go over the edge! Good to know. My son, who is 10, is like the perfect child. Intelligent, sweet, funny, cute, you know, all the good stuff.....problem is he is driving me nuts. Today after school he asked if he could eat a hamburger, I told him it was in the fridge in a bowl with a blue lid. This Tupperware was right in front of his face in a fridge that had hardly anything in it. He couldn't find it. He can never find anything. This is the 3rd time today he couldn't do what needed to be done because he couldn't find what he needed. His eyes are fine. It's like he is either trying to piss me off or his head just isn't right. :( This may seem insignificant but when absolutely everything he does turns into a big ordeal it gets unbearable. I'm so frustrated, mad and tired of finding everything for him. I need help. I feel like I can't take much more. I find myself trying to do things to stay away from him because I know what it's going to be like together....Don't get me wrong. We do a lot together. Lot's of fun things, family things and necessary things. I just want to get a handle on this before I completely snap and lose my relationship with him. PLEASE HELP!

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom

There's something comforting about being in the presence of others, isn't there Kimmie?! I think your son is displaying a little known disorder specific only to the male gender called "icantfindititis." I'm afraid there are no known cures at this point, although I am working on that. Sadly, both males in our household are afflicted with this same condition. I think I might have to write a post on ths one! Hang in there Kimmie!!!


I have just had a horrible melt down in front of my 6 year old son. He was in my jewelry box AGAIN! I know it sounds so trivial but it is an example of him not following the rules. He has the same trouble in school...not following instructions. So, I'm at my wits end and lost it! I actually had an adult temper tantrum.

A little background...my husband works on the weekends and I work during the week. Neither of our parents live close by so support for either of us is minimal. I am the primary bread winner in the family but on the weekends I feel like I have to be June Cleaver. I am finding it difficult to maintain after 6 years.

Back to the tantrum...I physically felt ill after the rant and rave fest and wondered what my moment of anger said to my son (by the way, I have had other moments like these). My son is a bright, strong willed boy. He is so much like me. The parts of him that are like me, well, I don't like very much.

I appreciated your thoughts on not liking your kids from time to time. I wonder if the real issue is that fact that we may not like the part of ourselves that we see in our kids..maybe it is me I don't like???


All of us need to give ourselves a gigantic break. And right away, too. Given the circumstances in which we all find ourselves (fretting over the health and future of ourselves, our children and our planet)it's no wonder we're all so maxed out. Our kids are presumably spared the madness that we feel very viscerally living in this mess. But they are our mirrors, and they do a frighteninly good job reflecting our own stressed out and terrified selves back to us in sharp relief.

Perhaps we react so disproportionately to our children when they don't listen because we are full up with being ignored. By our government, namely, who has made it our burden entirely to safeguard our families. There is not a single community net in place to help catch us when we fall-- no health care, no reliable pensions, no tax relief for people in the middle who are working their asses off just to pay for heat in their homes, gas in their cars, or decent non-toxic food to feed our children.

Maybe, just maybe, if we take back some of our power as people participating in a representative democracy, some peace may return to our home lives.

I have three young sons whose futures are grim. I watch my oldest do his chores dutifully-- putting away clean dishes and cleaning the ones in the sink. My fear is that no matter how bright or talented he is, he will be doomed to a life of labor/service just to pay off the corrupt war for oil that we and future generations are already shackled to.

Please stand up now, sisters... for ourselves and for our children. Check out on You Tube Naomi Wolf speaking at the University of Washington.


I feel like I am done, I have two kids and one on the way. My 11 year old son is a sweet boy, he is mature for his age and the apple of my eye. My daughter is 8 and says NO to everything I ask her. She fights to go to bed, she fights to get up, she fights to have a shower, she fights when I ask her to do her hair...everything is a fight. I am very close to my son and we can spend time talking, laughing and having fun. I feel like I have no relationship with my daughter and the more difficult she is the less I want to be around her. I am sick to my stomach. We have a family counciling session coming up because I feel like I can't continue to live like this. We are a loving family, and she makes our home abusive. HELP!


I can relate to so many of you. I'm glad to have found this blog and also found it by typeing in "I can't stand my four year old." I love my sons, 2 and 4. I have litterally melted down in front of them, and say the most regretable things (I don't want you to live here, I hate you, yeah, pretty bad). My 2 year old is sweet, never a problem, but my four year old drives me crazy. He doesn't listen. He cries at the drop of a hat. He whines incesently. He knows what buttons to push and eggs me on almost daily. The angrier I get the less he listens and the more he whines and cries. What scares me the most is that he looks terrified when I get angry, but doesn't change his behavior. I don't want him to remmember me as what I call "momster".
He does not act like this at the pre-school he attends twice weekly. There he is an angel. He's an angel for my sister, my parents, my in-laws, play dates, everyone except me. So clearly the problem must be mine right? I make every effort to make thier lives special. I plan interesting projects and outings, I will finger paint any time of day, I prepare thier most favorite foods, they help cook, we take gymnastics class, swimming, skiing classes, I'm mommy popins for gods sake!! I am always praising them and building self esteem. And the thing is, I do take time for me; I go to the gym, run six miles a day, attend interesting classes, go on dates with my husband, etc. I have a great support system, my sister, parents, and in-laws live close by and I have lots of mommy friends.
Why does my four year old do this to me? I have used every stress management technique
known to man, I am not depressed. I am at the end of my rope with him. He makes me not want to be a mother at all.


OMG, I have EXACTLY the same problems! My 4 year old son drives me crazy...he is stubborn, strong-willed, and EVERYTHING is a fight with him. I just don't even want to deal with it. Sometimes I think I just want to call his father up and tell him to take him for good because I can't take it anymore. Then I feel horrible and guilty because I do love my son, I just don't know how I can handle him! To make matters worse, I have a 2 year old daughter who is just sooo sweet and I have no problems with her. I worry also that I will show favoritism...and I worry about what my son will be like when he starts school, and when he's an adult...I'm so afraid he is going to have problems in the future. Many nights after I get them to bed, I just cry. I'm sooo relieved that I'm not the only one...I see mothers all the time who's kids behave so well and the mother is so patient...I can't even take my son out because he will dash off in the parking lot(we both almost got hit once) or he will take off in the store or he just acts plain crazy and I start yelling and people are staring at me like I'm a monster.
The tips you gave sound like they are good ideas...but I just feel like I am so worn down I couldn't do it...of course, I've just had one of those nights!

The Mentor Mom

Hang in there ladies! You will make it through this! Just know that there is an understanding ear here if you need to vent :)


I cant stand my 4 year old almost 5....He hits,pinches,crys,screams,name calls,breaks stuff,runs from me in stores,makes people look and shake there heads,curses,yells,is mean to his little sibling.....I yell scream tell him I hate him..I have to tell him 20 times to stop doing something.Everything is a struggle and game..I cant stand the sound of his laugh(how mean huh =(...)..Other kids dont want to play with him they ask there parents whats wrong with that little boy.I have premature ageing lines all over my forehead from always being pissy and stressed......I want to run away!I hope the 5 year old stage is better...I love him so much and feel bad writeing this =(and feeling this way


First, I would like to say I was embarrassed even to admit that I googled I cant stand my child. So thank goodness Im not the only one. I have a 4 year old (#3 child of 4) the last two years have been one thing after another. She completely melts down all the time and for simple things. So I wonder is she always going to be this way and I cant deal with it at all I have to just walk away from her an ignore it..me and my husband fight about it , my 2 older children have to always listen to her crying and freaking out nothing is enjoyable when she is around because we have to walk on eggshells. I wont take her anywhere if at all possible. We did just start preschool, I had hoped that time away for her would make things different when she came home. But still as soon as she gets in the car MELTDOWN!!! What do I do, I love her but I do not ever want to deal with her. I keep distancing myself so that I dont get angry as that too seems to do no good. So what I never have a relationship with my daughter. Please help!

Robbi Lehman

Hi. I'm pasted most of your stages of parenthood with my oldest 2. I am a mother of four. Two girls, 17 & 15. And two boys, 8 & 3. I'm at a loss with my daughters. Kids become teenagers and become different creatures. I've always had problems with my 15 year old.. She has ADHD and BI POLAR. So we have been in counseling and on meds since she was 9. I deal with her problems as I can with the help from the therapist. But my 17 year and her fight constantly. The lie, and steal from each other. If they aren't sleeping they are fighting, and even in their sleep they fight sometimes. It's endless. And I now feel like I'm to blame. I raised them to be respectful, not lie or steal........where did I go wrong?? My 17 year old knows she will be 18 in 7 months and the chip on her shoulder...........ugggggg. I so want to knock it off.
What do I do to put my family back together.
Stressed mom


Today is the day I walk away.....take me 2 youngest children and leave my oldest child with her father. I felt horrible when i googled " i cant stand my child" but sadly its try. When she was born I knew my life as a mother was going to be wonderful. A perfect baby grew into a wonderful toddler and then to a school age wonder...All perfect grades, honors and awards...teachers love her. Never acts up..Teachers would say Shes such a joy. I was her girl scout leader and part of the PTO. Wanted to be in every part of her life..The problem is at home it was a living hell. She is rude and sassy, demanding and hateful. She has never been abused but shes so full of anger and aggression towards everyone in the house. So we as parents after trying to do this alone tried to get help. WOW what a mistake! Made her worse. Her counselor blamed us and taught her its was OK she felt this way and maybe if we rewarded her more she would change. So my thinking is OK I'm going to pay her to be a normal human being....ummm no I'm not. Her younger sister who is 7 is starting to act just like her, thank goodness the baby who is 4 shows not signs yet, I feel like the only way to save them is to leave. I'm at my wits end..crying and nervous.. I'm starting to respond in a hateful and mean way. Not wanting to be with her or even in the same room as her. I know this is all very bad on my part but I don't know what more to do. Just ready to act like a four year old and run away..............


my break own rant. My son is ten hes lovely hes smart hes emotional and hes off the walls at school he wont work wont do as told wont anything memory is awful attitude is HELLISH I know in part from me and other just who he is but I really feel awful a failure not him. The school have tried everything I cant get a job hes being flung out all the time I cant afford specialist schools i cant afford assesments I cant get any one who SHOULD be helping to bloody help I cant win and as a result i take it out on him yelling at the mess hes making of his life that hell go no where. The police have been envolved He doesnt care. NOTHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE Im resenting him. I made the choice to have a child and now look I cant even help him
Honestly the sooner hes out my home the better because staying is only going to do more harm than good.
Im not explaining any of this very well sorry but im just lost I cant stand the damage and hurt I must be causing him by getting so cross now. But the damage is done and I cant move on. Im waiting for him to be perm excluded. Its going to happen we all know it. So anyone know what I do. I cant get the motivation to write to MP etc asking for help Im really burnt out now


you cannot understand how happy I am to know others out there are feeling the same way about their kids. I know you posted this a while ago, but i just stumbled upon it and was quite grateful. My son is 8, almost 9, and has always been a model kid until about a year ago. He suddenly decided to be attracted to the kids with behaviour problems. He sees them as the cool kids and want to be like them, dress like them etc. We thought is was a faze and hope it would go away soon. It is getting worst. Usually he would just say he do things but he never would because I thought, he knew it was wrong and just didn't do it. Two days ago he called a little girl (10 years old) fat. He go in trouble for that. Today he instructed a seven year old boy to write the "f" word on a wall at his matial arts school. I was a stay at home mom for his 8 years and last summer I was becoming so resentful about doing so much for an ungrateful child that i decided to go back to work part time. I enjoy my job. Oh! About a year ago, my husband and I decided to home school our son. He still goes to school one day a week, sometimes two days. We feel like we try our best with him and try to do the best things for him. We feel like we a losing control and don't really know what to do. I swear he does things to tick us off and he has a way of bringing out the worst in me. Even I am surprised that I feel the way I feel. Never thought I could react that way. Anyway, thanks for saying "don't take things personally." I know it won't be easy, but we'll try.


My son just turned 10, and I can track the problems I have with him today all the way back to the time he was 4 months old. He refused certain bottles, certain nipples, certain milk temperatures... I tried like hell to breasfeed him but he didn't like something about it after a couple of months and would shriek, so I started putting my breastmilk in bottles for him (an extra hour of pumping) just to trick him into getting what he needed. It's been like that ever since - me working 3 times as hard to trick him into doing what other kids do normally. At 10 he still fights me over any dinner that isn't chicken nuggets. Dinner in our house is the worst time of the day, revolving around an argument with him over what we're having, and ending with him in trouble and me in a black mood or worse. I'm sure I'm perpetuating it somehow, but after countless parenting books and frank discussions with friends and family members, I haven't found a remedy. And he's winning, to his detriment.
He can't lose at anything, miss a catch in baseball, strike out, stub his toe, scratch his leg, or get hurt in a game with friends, without having a mini tantrum. He holds us all captive with his emotional, hateful outbursts, and his father and I have no idea how to handle him. Both of us are the easy going ones in our own large families, with great capacity to go with the flow. I fear we're losing him, and what will become of him. How will he make friends when his own mother can barely stand him? How will he pick himself up when something bad really does happen to him, as it surely will? How will he find happiness? These are questions I obsess about daily, and I hate how powerful his negativity is in our house. If it was good for him, I'd suffer the negativity. But he's destroying himself and us in the process. I can't stop this powerful tide. I know you said not to take it personally, but I'm not sure what that means exactly. He came at me and pushed me last night when I was trying to cajole him out of an angry outburst. The outburst was brought on by frustration with not getting to the next level on a silly computer game we were all taking turns playing. How can I not take that personally?


i have three kids 3.3, 2. and 4 months - i am going to loose it. thank you for writing this. i swear i want to just drive away sometimes. if god would come down and tell me my kids and husband would in the long run be better off without me - or at least ok - i would hit the road. the oldest one - my daughter - is acting just like my mother-in-law (she's a very mature and intelligent woman - obviously - ha. not!) and i'm about ready to just lock her in her room for the day. thank you for letting me vent. i can't believe i'm saying this stuff and it better get better as alot of people say. i really just can't believe it can get any worse. guess i'll try to focus on that for now and take it a day at a time. i swear they need a 12 step program to keep parents from abandoning their family or going absolutely insane - of couse, we'd never have time to get to the meetings....


It's always good to hear that I'm not alone here. There are days that I think I just can't get up and go through another day of the same thing. I have a 4 year old son, and a 2 year old daughter. I also have an 11 year old son, but he's the only child that isn't an issue. I think I do take my situation too seriously. I'm constantly berating myself for being a bad mom, questioning everything I do or have done. It's a horrible way to live. Maybe I just need to let go a little. It's worth a try.

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