Friday, July 24, 2015

The Last Spanking

I've had this post in my head for about eight months now. I needed to know that I really was done spanking, before I could write about it. I've made efforts to rid my home of yelling. And now I know, for sure, that the spanking is gone, too.  The last one really was eight months ago.

First of all, I HATE nap time. I love when my son naps, but I hate the process. Case in point, today it took two potty breaks, one threat to take away the evening's fun activity, and one hour of rolling around before he finally fell asleep. Some might tell me that means my son needs to drop his nap, but I call shenanigans on that one. My son is a full on toddler terrorist for the rest of the day should he not nap; so, on we battle.

It's nap time that has spawned the most spank-worthy situations.  The boy hits a wall and straight up loses his mind.  There have been incidents of hitting, biting, jumping in his bed, giggle fits that won't stop (and not the cute ones that come from an adorable Saturday morning tickle session), and the occasional kicking of the bed so hard that it bounces off the wall. He's what's called "drunk on emotion." Or, you know, nuts.

I know, somewhere deep inside, that he can't be reasoned with at times like that, but, neither can I, because, folks Mama's tired!  He's giggly and bitey and weird, and I'm exhausted (more from the battle than from life with a toddler, honestly) - not a good place for either of us.

Long before we had kids and long before it was reasonable to even talk about kids, my husband and I talked about our views on spanking.  The discussion went like this: Our parents spanked us. We turned out okay. We would probably spank our kids. The end.

So,  the spankings came, and they did absolutely no good whatsoever.  Yet, onward I went, because I thought they would (yes, I know the definition of crazy, and yes, I realize now I was far down that path). Why wasn't this working?  Because my son DGAF.  Besides being drunk on emotion, it simply made no difference in his life.  The behaviors continued, and he either napped or he didn't, and on we went with our lives.

We were deep into a nap battle last Thanksgiving.  I'm talking sit on the floor rocking him while he wiggles and kicks and yells and laughs all at the same time battle (really, my son is a rather enjoyable tiny human most of the rest of the time, I swear). And so, I spanked him, one gentle tap to wake him up out of his crazy.

"You hit me," he said, all wide brown eyes and tousled hair, "You're not supposed to hit, Mommy."

And that was it.


And I won't do it again. I'll want to because it's quick - a spanking takes less time than a time out or, you know, a conversation, but I won't do it.  I'm trying to raise gentle, caring human beings, and that means I need to demonstrate that. I want to walk the talk.

I'm sure there are at least 100 other ways I'll screw up my son - all parents do something, right? But I can't spank him again.

I will face judgment - when he acts out in a restaurant, and I don't end it with quick swat on the rear. When he pushes another kid, and I don't end it right there with a spanking. 

That's okay. Judge away.  I can take it because my son is worthy of my respect, my time, and my patience.

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