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-   -   Is age 5 and 1/2 too late to reverse bad parenting? (https://www.mothering.com/forum/16907-ask-experts/1526441-age-5-1-2-too-late-reverse-bad-parenting.html)

Serapa 08-20-2015 04:05 AM

Is age 5 and 1/2 too late to reverse bad parenting?
 
I am ashamed of myself. I have been a spanker and a yeller to my son. It has never gone beyond an open hand to a clothed bum, but I had been spanking him 2 or 3 times a week.

A bell went off in my head bc I have notice my son angry and defiant the last 3 months. I was escalating the spanking until recently, I realized that I am hurting him more and more.

I have just taken a parenting course in Positive Parenting and I am reading Peaceful Parent Happy Kid. Bells are going off everywhere. I want to cry all the time; I need to turn this around.

I am doing all the book is saying: hugging 5 min when I'm waking him up; spending at least 15 minutes a day of one on one time; 12 hugs a day; apologizing for my past behavior; parenting with empathy; etc. I have to admit, I've seen a lot of improvements and he's opening up to me about his friends, his day, etc. I feel more connected to him.

No more yelling or spanking or time outs. Empathy and limit setting going forward.

Before bed, he begins to hit me HARD. It's like he's making sure I've changed and he's safe. He becomes defiant at bed time as well. When I am on the brink of yelling, I have begun to dance and repeat a mantra, "I will not yell; I will not yell." until I'm under control. Then he hits me again and again and I keep doing the dance and it makes him squeal with laughter. He thinks it's hilarious.

Last night, I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and began saying a deep, "OOOMMMM" over and over while clapping my hands really hard. My son started laughing at me. I said to him, "I will not yell or hit you anymore sweetie." He said he thinks it's really funny and we began to laugh together.

He's a beautiful sweet boy. I must rewire his brain towards emotional intelligence. Is it too late??? He turns 6 in December.

I was badly abused as a child and while I wasn't abusing him, I wasn't giving him the love he deserves bc of my own issues. I was taught that emotions were dangerous and I'd tell my son to stop crying. We are very close, don't get me wrong...I breastfed him until he was 3.5 years old.

I have failed him by spanking and yelling. Is it too late to change? Can I turn this around???

ian'smommaya 08-27-2015 08:41 PM

This must be incredibly hard. Believe me every single parent, every single person, has made mistakes in parenting. No, it is never, ever, ever, too late. Never. Yes, you can absolutely turn things around. I am a book person, so I would look here for book suggestions (parenting the spirited child, for instance) and just work on it. <3

LTurtle 08-27-2015 09:35 PM

It's not too late! Changes take time though. Make sure you're setting boundaries around him hitting you, don't let it slide out of guilt or something. It sounds like you're making lots of steps in the right direction and I commend you. This kind of change can be really hard but it is so worth it. Good for you! :hug

Don't worry too much about rewiring his brain. Focus on dealing with your own emotional scars and bad habits, being consistent with your kid and setting a good example. He will follow your lead. Another way to foster empathy and emotional literacy is to read books with clear feelings in them and discuss those. My toddler's fave is Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton, but there are many others.

Supermommmmm 09-28-2018 07:43 AM

First of all, you haven't failed him by yelling or spanking. That's like saying every parent throughout the history of the human race has failed every human child ever born up until just recently when the anti-spanking anti-yelling movements started to take a foothold with mainstream parents due to mass adoption of internet parenting. So get that out of your mind.

It's never too late to change the way you parent.


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