My mom was a screamer. She'd let her frustrations and anger and resentment simmer until she exploded. It made me insecure and scared. I eventually learned that it wasn't me, but the way she handled things and if we got out of the way and let it blow over we'd be back to normal in no time.
I, of course, have continued this pattern. It doesn't bother me when it entails banged pots, slammed cupboards, and mutterings under my breath about people who can't through the junk mail in the garbage or who don't know that bussing the table means moving all of the dishes from the table. But, when I find I'm verbally exploding all over my two-year-old sweet B it's a problem.
We've been developing some frustrations chez Netter over the bedtime of the B. He wants to put it off as long as possible, I want him in bed by eight and quiet by 8:30 so it's not a problem when I have to wake him up at 6:30 so we can be out the door by 7 so I'm on time for work and able to leave by 4:30 to pick him up before daycare closes at 6. Not to mention Mommy sometimes wants to sit down and knit infront of the TV.
Granted the blow-ups show some effectiveness. He didn't fuss or carry on last night after mommy did her impersonation of Mount Vesuvius. But I don't want him to be afraid of me and I don't want my inability to manage frustration to lead him back to biting and hitting and tantrums.
I need to find a way to keep calm and to always, always, always treat my son with the love and respect he deserves. If I want him to grow up to be a loving, compassionate person, I need to model that behavior.
I also need to find an approach to bedtime and to and stick with it (whether it's Ferber or someone else) and we need to keep reinforcing that bedtime is bedtime and not extended playtime in crib with every toy he owns. That way neither of us gets riled up.