Parenting Between the Extremes
I hate even writing this, but I can’t imagine there aren’t a few moms out there in the same boat and I need some help. And really, if you’re sitting here reading while smirking and thinking, “I knew she would one day,” please leave.
Friday I smacked Bella across her bare bottom.
She was on the changing table throwing another tantrum, I was exhausted, trying to get her ready for a nap, her foot kicked me in the face, and I just whacked her one. I never even thought about it, I just reacted in a split second to the pain of her kick.
It didn’t leave a mark, but the look of shock and then sobs in surprise made my heart break. I felt SO BAD. I went to take a shower after she went to sleep and bawled. It might seem like overreacting to something many parents do, but I had made a promise to myself never to spank her.
So that night, I realized I have to figure out a different way to handle situations that tip me over. I can’t parent like this ever, I refuse to parent in anger. You may not understand or like how I define myself as an attached parent, but I use that label for a reason -
I have a terrible temper.
And I think without some sort of a direction in parenting and discipline, I might just continually lose it and let that be how her and I interact. I don’t want to. I do not want her to grow up and remember me angry or mean. So if it takes a label to help me, so be it. Attachment parenting doesn’t mean I’m better or that my parent style is perfect. ::snort:: Obviously. It doesn’t mean I’m the type of parent that lets my kid do whatever they want. It just means I need guidelines for situations I don’t have the best grasp on.
I searched online for a book that would help me to understand how to discipline, not punish, Bella. Something rational that encouraged a healthy, realistic approach.
In between, “I know you’re only two, but hard labor and a whipping with the birch branch never hurt anyone. Now scrub Mommy’s coffee cup till it sparkles.”
“Mommy wishes you hadn’t smeared poop on the wall but YAY! It’s beautiful anyway – oh! Is that a kitty you drew? You are my special sunshine.” (((hugs)))
I ended up choosing Positive Discipline: The First Three Years: From Infant to Toddler–Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child. I’ve been reading a chapter or two each night, then discussing it with Sam as we try to figure out how to handle her behavior now and in the years to come.
I like Positive Discipline. I like how realistic and non judgmental it is, that it’s geared for the age range Bella is in. I started crying the first night I read it because it was such a relief to read honest stories that all parents can relate to:
- everyone loses their temper
- everyone is unsure in parenting at times
- everyone needs new tools for handling things
I’ve already seen a difference this weekend when I practice parts of the book, including times where I make Bella stop and use her words, or I get down on her level to talk to her. But there are points Sam and I have looked at each other and said, “Now what do we do?” We often don’t know. It’s frustrating, I’ve never had this lack of knowledge on something that I’m helping to shape. This isn’t a kitty that barfed (yet again) on the carpet out of anger that I gave him the wrong food, this is a human being.
I feel for all the parents I’ve seen with a naughty 2 year old and I judged them. Sorry for that. :/ Because it’s not easy to figure out how to get a child to stop behaving in an embarrassing way. In public. With everyone looking at you.
So, I’m asking you to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I learn different methods and as I control my temper and frustration. Sam and I want to be the best parents we can, and we can’t do it on our own. I need the wisdom and knowledge to be able to handle days when it just all rains down.