Great. I spanked my daughter this morning. It was as hard as when I hit her butt for fun when she’s running around the house with no pants, which happens more often than you’d think. She didn’t even notice or react, but it really stunned me. I hadn’t planned on doing it. Here’s the scenario:
She was finishing breakfast and got in the swingy flailing mood. She was swinging her water bottle around and watching my reaction. “Don’t drop that on the ground, I’ve already picked it up twice,” I told her in my stern voice. [drop]. So I pick it up and tell her breakfast is over. I clear her dirty dishes and come back to find her picking up pieces of bread she crumbled, then delicately dropping them on the floor. “Stop making a mess!” She looks at me then swings her arms in wide sweeps, brushing her placemat, food, and everything else onto the floor.
Fine. Time out. I set the microwave timer for one minute and tell her to stay in her high chair. This happens maybe once every week or two, so she understands she’s to sit quietly. This time she climbs down. I sit her back up and tell her time out isn’t over. She gets down again. And laughs. Now I’m forcefully planting her in her chair and telling her to sit still and wait for time out to be over. More squirming, more liquid bones slumping.
So I pick her up, swat her butt, and tell her she’s on her own, I’m leaving. I figured this would have more of an effect, since she wanted attention and was willing to be naughty to get it. Or maybe she doesn’t know what naughty is. She didn’t seem bothered at all.
But not me. Now I’ve spanked her, and I realize spanking isn’t for the kid, it’s for the parent. I was at my wit’s end and totally frustrated. Which is exactly why you should never hit. It was a good lesson for me, since I felt guilty as hell. Toddler Harbat was unfazed by the whole affair, though she continued to be fussy all morning. Here’s what I learned:
Attention is the key issue. She know how to get it, and is willing to pay a price.
Time out should be for me too.
Hitting is never okay.
Kids can forgive and forget. You should too.