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t-elaine 04-22-2003 02:59 AM's the thing...I know others have started similar threads, but I guess I need to start my own to unload a bit and hopefully get my own encouragements and advice. My mother was not abusive in a way that most of society would view abusive. She is a woman that believes very strongly that spanking is necessary in raising children. We were spanked quite frequently and in many different ways. In my memories she was always kindof annoyed with my sister and I (I think she really had/still has her own issues) She yelled a lot too. (We are actually pretty close now and she is very accepting of our choices, except in discipline)
The point is that I swore when our first dd was born to NEVER be like her, never spank, never yell, etc...
For the past couple of years I have been dealing with a VERY strong willed child, now 4. The older she gets, the harder it seems to be for me to be the mother I want to be, and there have been too many times for me that my mother starts to come out. I find myself yelling at times. Worst of all, yesterday I made the mistake of hugging her close during a major tantrum. She bit my on my cheekbone (small but painful). Without even thinking I pulled back and slapped her across the face. How humiliating for her!!! I am so ashamed of myself! That was my mom! Of course later that night when dd told her about it she was proud of me. That made me feel even worse.
I spend much of the day reminding myself what I want to be like. Yet, in the heat of things it often flies out to let my mom come in, I think that my husband and I (regardless of our positive efforts) have created what dd has become by the times when our mothers come out of us. But now it seems like it's all a vicious cycle spinning downwards!!!
I don't want my dd to look at me the way I looked at my mom and I definitely do not want to hurt her.

Hikaru 04-22-2003 05:10 AM

I know where you're coming from. And I'm proud of you too, for admitting your struggle, which is simialr to what I go through with my three year old son. It's very easy to say "I will never hit my child" but it is also extremely challenging to overcome our early training. Don't beat yourself up for losing it with your daughter, it was just a knee-jerk reaction and now you'll be more conscious of your behavior so you can be prepared next time you're in a similar situation. When you're both calm, try to talk to your daughter about why we shouldn't hit or bite people. Even if you "lose it " again, (we're all human) just keeping the lines of communication makes a huge difference.

t-elaine 04-22-2003 11:36 AM

Thankyou for your response. Yeah...when we got home we had a long talk (at least for a 4yo). She actually said she thought it would make her feel better to bite me. But she realized that it didn't work out that way. She was very sorry she hurt me just as I was for hitting her. we had lots of hugs and kisses.
I just really think I need to work harder on myself.

CollegeMama 04-22-2003 02:21 PM

Don't have advice to offer, but I do have a !

I also have to say that it is very brave of you to look at this issue so honestly. That alone is breaking the cycle that your mom set up with you. KWIM? Sounds like she never thought she was wrong to react that way, right?

bestjob 04-22-2003 06:23 PM

I have much of the same experience- I don't want to parent in hurtful ways, but they are often my first reaction. I found that choosing a good book and referring to it a lot, I can make a big difference. One I particularly like is "Positive Discipline" by Jane Nelson and I am also using "Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. They both demand a lot of self-reflection as you read them. By that, I mean that you have to decide what you will change about your actions, rather than just saying, "I want to be kind to my child." The latter book is particularly good about how to discipline when you're under stress and you are in danger of reacting in an angry way.

t-elaine 04-23-2003 12:20 AM

Thanks marcy74. My mother still thinks she was right in responding that way. She believes that you have to use the physical "rod" to keep children from bad behavior. She asked me once, when the topic came up between us, if I really remember lots of spankings from her...I couldn't tell her the truth for some reason, I just told her about certain ones that stood out the most.
Thanks to you too, bestjob, I will definitely look for these books. they sound good.
I appreciate the suggestions and s!
Thanks so much!

Hikaru 04-23-2003 05:01 AM

Thought of a few more things I wanted to say on this thread.
My parents don't use the expression, "Spare the rod" but on a recent visit Dad said something like.."You have to hit them sometimes to get their attention, sometimes that's all that works"
Like, umm...well, Dad, that is not the kind of attention I want to get from my son if I can help it! His usual reactionwhen I've hit him is to hit me back...a very bad thing, since one day he will be bigger than me.
Anyway, no wonder I struggle with this issue, if that attitude is what I was brought up with!
I don't really remember specific spankings from when I was a kid, but what I do remember is how extremely angry Mom or Dad was when they hit me. The times I have lost it and slapped my son, that's exactly how it was..just blind anger and loss of control.

One last resort strategy I've used when I know I'm going to lose control is to actually go into the bathroom and lock the door.
Usually the kid will be pounding on the door calling me. I don't stay in there too long, just long enough to take a few deep breaths and get a handle on the situation. Then when I come out we can talk about what happened.

Glad to hear you're feeling better!


j'smommy 04-23-2003 11:37 AM

I am going through a very similar situation - sounds like you were raised the exact same way I was. The other day my ds wanted something and I was very calmly explaining why he couldnt do this and he slapped me right across the face!!!!!!!!!!! I reacted the same way you did to your daughters bite! I slapped him back!! I dont want to be like this- I swore I would never spank my children. I basically went into another room sat down and cried and then told him lets make a deal ok, I wont hit you and you wont hit me, its not nice and it hurts and I love you I dont want to hurt you. Whether he understands or not yet I dont know- all I know is that like you I am dissapointed in myself and feel like I went wrong somewhere. I am also 8 months pregnant and very emotional- I dont want to let that effect my temper but I am sure it is. I want to find a gentile dicipline that works before I have this baby!
It is nice to know that we are not alone in these struggles. You are a great mom! Just remember that always- if you werent it wouldn't bother you so much!!
Keep in touch and feel free to email me if you like!

t-elaine 04-24-2003 07:40 PM

I agree, it does help so much to know that I am not alone in this. Thankyou all so very much. I appreciate all of the encouragement.


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