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I hurt my child today

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 



I am feeling sooo bad! I hurt my daughter (6) today. and she wasn't even doing anything "bad". She was playing with water at the sink and I wanted her to stop (she was bickering with little brother) seh didn't listen.


I yanked her arm to make her stop and she fell off her stepstool. onto her back and her head. and started screaming.


I was ... I don't know. I couldn't believe what I had done. When she fell I tried to stop the falling, and with this I scratched her arm pretty badly, too.


I took her and hold her and apologized and calmed her and she didn't take it to bad.


I feel so horrible. I feel like the worst mother ever. Unfit for children. And I have three.


I cannot control this flashes of anger, it's like a flash of light and then I just do something like yanking or pushing - never hitting (yet).


I am a regular user of mothering, but not brave enough to write with my "real" id...


Please help

post #2 of 6

{{{hugs}}}  You're human!  We are all prone to anger.  It's one thing when you intentionally hurt your child.  You didn't grab her and make her fall on purpose.  You were trying to remove her from the situation and it got away from you.  It happens to the best of us.


If you feel your anger is coming up too much and it is concerning you then you should reach out for help.  A parenting coach or therapist can help you learn your warning signs and teach you to head off your anger in a more effective way.


I typically tell my son that I'm giving myself a time out.  I sit on the time out step and all.  It works as well for me as it does him because it (a) removes me from a potentially voletile situation, (b) gives me a few minutes to get myself together, (c) lets me think about my next course of action and, most importantly, (d) it freaks my son out enough to stop what he's doing that's aggravating me enough to give myself a time out.  Typically he'll tell me "Mommy, I come get you in 6 minutes" (his time limit).  

post #3 of 6

I agree, it happens to the best of us. It just so happened in this situation that she fell and got hurt. Imo, the best you can do is apologize (which you did), and vow to yourself not to do it again. And stop feeling so guilty about it...imo, that just hinders the whole process, kwim?

post #4 of 6
It sounds more like an accident than like you intentionally hurt her. Try not to feel too guilty because parents can get into trouble with inconsistency when they feel guilty - like they feel bad so they don't hold the same expectations during that time.

If you feel like your anger is getting the better of you, I think the thing to remember is what we tell our kids. "It's OK to get angry, it's just not OK to hurt anyone." You need to accept that you will get angry and be OK with it first, I think. Once you know that it's OK to be angry and not a sign of being a bad parent, it might be easier to work with that anger and not let it control you.

If you can take your anger, express it in a more positive way ("I'm angry and I need to be alone for a minute") and move on and get over it without falling apart, they will learn to do the same. It will be a great gift to them. Just keep reminding yourself that it is OK to get angry.

post #5 of 6

Oh, hon, thanks for reaching out. We are all hard-wired from our own childhoods to do what was done to us. It's supposed to be for the good, but sometimes it's for the bad. You must have been treated like this as a child, I would think, when it's so automatic. 


The other posters have great suggestions. I agree with reaching out for help with your anger yourself, without blaming yourself too much. You are what you learned and you can change that, set down new neuro-pathways in your brain.


It's a process to stop hitting our children. It can take time. I wanted to stop hitting my children, but was waiting to figure out what else to do. Then I saw a sign that said, "People are not for hitting and children are people too." I realized that I just had to stop, not wait for another answer. And, what I found was that when I stopped hitting I intervened in situations sooner, didn't wait any longer until I was so far gone to as to lose my temper. And, I found other "dramatic" ways to get my point across. 


Here are some alternatives to punishment that might help as you find your way. And, I got a lot of help from the book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. Good luck to you. Reaching out is the first step and your'e doing great bringing consciousness to your actions. I'm proud of you. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your support, it is really appreciated. Sorry that I cannot write more at the moment, I live in total chaos here and am trying to keep everything together.


I am reading though, (can read with baby on arms, writing is difficult)


It is so good the mothering is here to meet likeminded people.


Thanks to all!

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