Remembering and Recharging

Welcome to the Spank Out Day 2012 Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Second Annual Spank Out Day Carnival hosted by Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Spank Out Day was created by The Center for Effective Discipline to give attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on April 30th each year, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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This guest post was written by Emily.

In a recent conversation with a relative I was told to hit my 18month old when she throws up and then she’d never do it again.  My parenting style is the opposite. If my baby is sick and throwing up on me, the last thing I think of is to hit her. Sure, I’d like health and sleep, but hitting her doesn’t cross my mind.

Skip forward to my 6 year old, who screamed at me that I didn’t love her, I didn’t understand her and all sorts of hurtful terrible things because, well, I don’t remember. Something set her off and despite my best efforts, it escalated to a full-blown tantrum. I lost my cool and then I screamed it: “I love you so much but you push me to my limit! Did you know that Grammy used to wash my mouth out with soap when I talked like that? And some people even hit their kids?!? What am I to do with you?”

Oh how I want her to be a baby again when my breast and snuggles would ease her stress.  Or when I could effectively use silliness to divert an escalating tantrum. I long for a time when we were dealing with basic boundaries not deception, or respect or complicated arenas of emotions.

I long to hug her when she is all wound up, but she won’t have it. My AP nature fails me and I lose it. I have two other little ones who need my attentions and she, the oldest, is not playing her part. Could I hit her? No. Have I wounded her with words? Yes. Do I regret it? Yes.

From these extreme emotional swings, I have learned that I need to be humble with her. I apologize for my actions in the same way I expect her to apologize for her words and actions.

As parents and as people, my husband and I don’t lash out verbally at anyone. We expect the same from our kids and yet, sometimes they hear and feel our stress. When I lose my temper, I immediately regret it and know in my gut that I blew it. All is not lost though. I go to my children, hug them and try to bring us back to those snuggly baby days.

I remember the joy and simplicity in life. I find the small person in my daughter who needs me to always love her and not lose my cool.

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Spank Out Day 2012 Carnival hosted by TouchstoneZ

On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #SpankOutCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Spank Out Day Carnival Twitter List and Spank Out Day Carnival Participant Feed.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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19 Comments

Filed under Guest Post

19 responses to “Remembering and Recharging

  1. Pingback: Redirecting the Impulse to Spank | Natural Parents Network

  2. Pingback: Discipline isn’t Something You Do: Discipline is Something You Have | living peacefully with children

  3. Emily, I can relate to this completely. Those moments of wounding with words when I wonder if it is any less severe than a physical wound. The feels after are overwhelming and long lasting for me.

    I too learned early on the importance of apologizing to my children after losing it. So that they know it is not acceptable, that I was wrong, and that they should not be treated that way.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly, that is brave in my opinion.

    • Emily

      It felt good to write it out. I’ve been struggling with my oldest and I want to support her not break her down. I constantly am asking my kids to apologize and own up to their actions (taking, sharing, waiting their turn..) and need to hold myself to the same standards. I’m not a blogger so, writing for public viewing and comments is new for me. :)

  4. Pingback: How To Talk To Parents About Gentle Alternatives To Spanking « TouchstoneZ

  5. Pingback: Does spanking work? | The Behavioral Child

  6. Apologizing is key. I was just talking to my own mother last night adn told her I do not remember her or my father apologizing. I knew they felt remorse, or guilt – likely they did, anyway – but the apology is a different matter. Like you I’ve learned to apologize and to have the will to change, and I’m grateful for this.

    Thanks for participating in the carnival! I’m hopping around and reading and commenting on others’ posts.

    • Emily

      The carnival is great – helps me to delve into the topic and sort my thoughts and feelings out. Change is a good thing sometimes and I’m so glad we have the ability to do it!

  7. I agree that AP with a school-age child takes on a whole new dimension. Some of the things I recommend are: allow your child to have plenty of unstructure, screen-free time; explore nature together; use a family slogan or buzz-words that your child will remember when she is not with you such as “We’re the kind of family who can figure this out” or “In this family, we look out for each other.”; show your child that you love yourself even when you make mistakes.

    Much joy to you in your parenting journey!

    • Emily

      Thanks Patti – I appreciate your recommendations. I find that after screen time the kids are much quicker to snap at each other or me and I try my best to limit it. I really like the family slogan idea. I know I say similar things but having one or two go to mantras might help make us all feel like more of a team in life.

  8. Mandy

    I think one of the greatest challenges in communicating with children is that society expects them to act like adults without granting them the rights and status of people. I think we, as a society, need to switch that. They are people who do not yet have the experience of adults. When we remember that, it makes it much easier to work with them.

  9. Oh boy are there some days when I look at my kids and long for the days when breastfeeding or babywearing could solve every upset. Those days were exhausting, but simpler.

    It is true that taking the time to calm down and then reconnect are important tools in parenting. And on the toughest days, they can mean the difference between lifting a hand or speaking a wounding word. We are all going to make mistakes and, as you say, apologizing is a big part of finding the love again.

    Thank you for sharing this post for The Spank Out Day Carnival.

  10. Pingback: love is all there is: a spank out day post | Mom Grooves

  11. I firmly believe that our children learn as much from how we handle our mistakes as from all our perfect parenting moments. Probably more, right?
    To have a parent say, I’m sorry for losing my temper… must be a revelation. I can’t remember any adult ever speaking to me with that kind of respect.
    And as much as I am and strive to be non-judgemental and loving toward others who do spank… I can’t imagine how I could have bitten my tongue if someone told me to hit my 18 month old for being sick! That was a new one for me.

  12. Pingback: » Spank Out Day: 3 Untruths and 11 Alternatives to Spanking Positive Parenting Connection

  13. Parenting from empathy is harder than letting our own negative emotions rule us and our behaviour but our children learn directly from us, how we choose to relate to them and the world, so being conscious of how we treat them is important. Sometimes others do not understand this and feel that using coercive ways to control children’s behavior is more effective but I know that personally it isn’t how I wish to treat my children and do differently.

  14. Pingback: Forgiveness is possible; loving others in a way that works for us | Kelly Hogaboom

  15. Pingback: A Living Family: Sheila Pai | No Spanking, No Yelling, No Time Outs…What’s Left?

  16. Pingback: Spanking: A Day To ConsiderIOur Muddy Boots

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