Um, yes. The dreaded topic of spanking. I guess I’m going there.
Full disclaimer – I was raised in a non-spanking household, and I always swore I would never spank my own children. We were raised with a lot of talks from parents who disciplined by telling us they were “disappointed in [us] for choosing to disrespect/hurt/lie/etc,” and I tell ya, it was soul-crushing. That was my worst fear (to disappoint my parents). We talked a lot about love & respect in my house as a child. Spankings and groundings were not needed in order to parent me. My sisters do remember my Dad spanking my brother once (he is 9 years younger than me) and THEY were all more traumatized by it than he was, but I honestly don’t remember it (nor does he), so I have no idea if I was around at that point or gone doing teenager things.
At any rate, spanking. To me, hitting begets hitting. How do you tell a child not to hit and then hit him/her for hitting? Doesn’t make sense to me.
And then you have a child like Harvey. And after the 8 millionth time out or cool down or reasoning or yelling, it escalates one day to Why did you bite/hit/pull hair/push your sister for the 8 millionth time?! And then you swat his naked butt (he is always naked from the waist down – the kid hates clothes!) and feel partly relieved to have DONE something to snap him out of it and partly horrified that you hit your child and he just ran away from you crying and what kind of mother am I? FUCK.
Honestly, I know you’re not supposed to spank in anger. But DAMN, I don’t know what else to do with this kid.
I get that he is learning to handle big emotions – BUT – I’m not okay with him getting physically violent with his big sister or with the 7 month old who spends 3 days a week here. I know our Nanny is getting really frustrated (she’s spoken to my husband about it but not me, probably because she knows he was raised in a spanking household and I was not), but I’m just at my wits end.
So please, send help. How did you handle a “strong-willed” child? Do you have any resources for how to handle discipline with a 2 year old without spanking or me losing my cool? Thoughts on how you handle spanking protocol in your own home if that’s the route you’ve chosen for your family?
I’m solo parenting for the next 4 days and I’m freaking out here.