CBT and I hate you's...

The other day, I was bitching about how hard 'three' is when a friend said 'I don't know why people talk shit about two, I liked two.' And looking back to when Lil was two, I agreed. Tantrums dominated that age for a long time but it was a great age in general. Three is just a piece of shit.

I've found three particularly hard these past few weeks, she tells me she hates me and I think it back. She's spiteful and enjoys pushing me to the point where I snap and scream at her and then she lashes out some more. It's really starting to worry me and I feel quite upset at the way we are both behaving.

I've started having CBT sessions once a fortnight and it's involved talking about my relationship with my Mum. From about the age of 12, my Mum and I clashed and it was only once Lil was born that we put our differences to one side and started again. But up until that point, it was a very fraught relationship. And speaking about it has brought up a lot of unwanted anger and anxiety. I'm anxious that Lil and I will have the same relationship that I had with my Mum and I think I'm directing my emotions at my daughter, unintentionally. Could there be a link between my emotions and her bad behaviour? Is she picking up on my anger and reacting to it by being naughty? Hitting me and telling me she hates me.

I don't want to fuck my child up, let alone fuck her up by the age of four. Just writing about this is making me angry, angry at my parents. Anxious that Lil's dad and I will make the same mistakes my parents did. Worried about her behaviour.

I dug out 'Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children' and searched through to see if I could find an answer to how to deal with this rebellion on Lil's part. I love that she is so headstrong and independent but she's constantly pushing my buttons and whether or not my emotions are to blame, I need help and quick. Sarah Napthali says 'We delude ourselves that we can think our way out of a problem or we see it as a matter of finding the right person to advise us. We become beggars for our problems, asking numerous people for an opinion. So often, we refuse to relax until a problem is fixed, only to discover that our inability to relax was most of the problem.' 

I think my problem is that I am so anxious for my relationship with Lil not to turn sour that I am constantly trying to control her behaviour. Control her feelings towards me. I don't like it when she's angry with me, I don't want her to hate me. Perhaps if I relaxed a bit, she would stop lashing out at me so much. I need to stop letting her behaviour bother me as much as it is and not analysing why she's naughty. She's allowed to be angry, just as I am. I'm always telling people not to bottle their emotions up, why should it be any different for her?

It seems I have a lot to work on. Parenting is hard at the best of times but when you're dealing with a lot of unwanted emotion it really does test you. And three, oh three, you bastard. I'd take two again any day.


  1. Sorry to be one of those 'yeah we have this issue too' women. But seriously you could be describing my daughter here. A lot of the anger (well I'm hoping anyway) comes from learning to find their own way in the world. Some of it is because they realise we aren't the perfect mothers they once thought we were but I think it's ok for her to test it out on me and figure it all out knowing I'll be there regardless. We all mess our kids up in our own way, often without trying, you won't avoid that. The main thing though is that we are aware, awareness is everything and time obvs...time for them to grow out of being little shits that is!!

  2. Two things I've read that resonate with me and seem relevant: 1 If you want to know how you were treated at a certain age look at how you're treating people of the same age; 2. Children are emotional echo chambers, they reflect what they experience (courtesy of Stephen King). Oliver James suggests seeing a professional who deals with exploring your relationship with your mother and not just CBT. It's good advice, in my opinion. x