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I still have problems with spanking!

867 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mum2sarah
I am doing a lot better but I still have days like today where I swat him. Today he threw a baby rattle right at my head and it hit me in the forehead and I swatted him with my magazine before I even thought about it. And now I have spent the rest of the day feeling like sh*t! I was doing so well, no spanking, trying to be calm. But then boom I screw it all over with one dumb move. I seriously think I am going to totally screw my kid up. And I keep having problems with yelling too. Some days I spend the whole day yelling. Does anyone else ever have those days or am I just royally screwed up? Help!
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You're not the only one, I have those days too. Sometimes it's weeks. It does get better as the two get a little older. Your reactions are in your head first. I have moments where I have to stop thinking bad things, like this kid is driving me crazy, I've had it with him, he's gonna get it... And just force myself to think I need to help him, I have patience, I can take anything he throws my way, I can do it.. Sometimes I feel like I'm actually psyching myself up to parent.
And when I screw up and yell I always apologize and talk about what I should do next time. Sometimes I think that part sounds like a broken record to him though and he's thinking 'sure Mom whatever, you already said sorry for yelling three times today'
I think the trick is not to try stay calm all the time or expect yourself to be patient when something comes flying at your head, but instead to figure out what to do when you are angry.

What are the ways you can express your self and your anger without hurting your child? Also, really paying attention to your own feelings when you are irritated about something can help. Should you have blown off that little bit of anger about the dumped out laundry basket or 19th nursing or loud noises instead ignoring yourself and trying to be calm until one little thing causes you to explode?

I think that the way we protect our children from our anger is by getting in touch with it, really paying attention to ourselves, NOT by focusing on being calm.

And I also think that there are plenty of things you can yell that won't hurt your children. Imagine how you feel as a child if your mom yelled--DON'T DUMP THAT ON THE FLOOR, CAN'T YOU STOP MAKING A MESS FOR TWO MINUTES? STOP THROWING THINGS AT MY HEAD, DO YOU WANT ME TO BE HURT? (I'll admit I am the screamer of the unhelpful question) or if she yelled--I HATE SCRUBBING THE CARPET!! WHEN THINGS ARE THROWN AT MY HEAD, I FEEL ANGRY AND SCARED THAT I MIGHT GET HURT!! The second way I don't feel attacked even if it is loud, and I even feel like helping her. So I don't think expressing strong feeling loudly is a problem, and I also think that if you let yourself have these feelings (and even express them through screaming) you really will be calmer and more paitient.
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ITA with Mallory. Its okay to react strongly! Its not okay to attack your child either verbally or physically.

The trick is learning to express your feelings without instulting our child. For those of us raised in spanking families, expressing feelings was not always encouraged, and to be honest I'm still not really great at it. Bursting out with how I feel about something does not come really easily to me --- but lashing out does, because that was what was modelled to me.

If you were my son, and my other son threw a toy and hit you in the head, and you reacted by hitting back -- this is what I would say to you, "I hear that you are hurt and angry. Its okay to tell your brother that you feel hurt and angry. You may even shout at him that you feel hurt and angry, and you may tell him not to do that to you ever again!!! BUT, in our family we don't hit each to express our feelings. We use WORDS."

Teaching our children to do this is great. But its a bit harder to teach ourselves! Don't you think? We have set patterns already. But with practise and with effort, it does become more natural. Next time, its okay to shout. Its okay to shout, "HEY! That hurt me! "Please don't throw things at me!" Much better than smacking, and also modells a valuable skill to your kiddo.
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Mallory and mamaduck, you are two wise women. I think that cultivating ways to express anger honestly (and not always calmly) is key to making gentle discipline a reality. In gentle discipline there is space for strong emotions and strong expressions, for each person to be fully themselves in the moment, that's what's so human and compassionate about it. The only thing you have to give up is the toxic stuff, the verbal or physical attacks, that hurt the sender and the receiver. I love this board!

Heavenly, I hope you find gentle discipline as healing, freeing and humanizing as I have. It's just as important to use gentle discipline with yourself. Seize your mistakes as an opening up of better opportunities, not failures, just as you would support your child. You are a committed and wonderful mom.
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Thank you so much for this tread! I always feel guilty for my anger, and I always thought the solution was to stop letting anger happen. I never really considered that anger is a valid emotion, just like all other emotions, and it's how you *deal* with it that matters. Sometimes I've found myself yelling mean things to my daughter when I become angry, because I am trying so hard to be calm and stifle the urge to physically lash out. But if I could use that anger in a constructive way by explaining (even if I am still yelling) *why* I am angry, then maybe I would feel relief instead of guilt, and I wouldn't worry that my words are damaging my dd. Those are great suggestions, ladies! Thank you for your words of wisdom!
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