Hitting Out of Fear

 Today is National Spank Out Day, I’m sad to say. In a society where we speak out against the hitting of women, against the hitting of racial minorities, against the hitting of animals, against the hitting and bullying of anyone, there are still a large number of people who think hitting children is perfectly acceptable or even necessary. It boggles my mind.

The thing is, parenting can be scary. We go through pregnancy with the child secure inside its mother’s womb, and then suddenly this little person is on the outside, completely dependent upon….us. Children depend on us for food, shelter, warmth, guidance, and love. It’s a lot to take on. The fact is that while some people who hit their kids really don’t care, most of the parents hitting their children actually love them and do so because they are afraid.

They are afraid….

  • that by not hitting their kids, society will deem them unfit parents.
  • that their children won’t respect them.
  • that their children will be hurt even worse.
  • of losing control.
  • of the pressures of life.
  • of not knowing what to do.
It’s a scary world out there, full of unknowns, but when it comes to parenting, you don’t have to be afraid! Your children come into this world knowing only you. You are everything to them. They look up to you. They love you. They just want to spend time with you and learn with and from you.
Forget about what other people might think. The only people who matter are your kids. Besides, haven’t you heard that you shouldn’t jump off a bridge just because your friends did?
You won’t gain respect by hitting someone. In fact, you will lose it. Hitting a person, especially a smaller person, in order to control them is called bullying.
Hurting your child will not protect them in the future. Helping them navigate life and giving them tools and techniques to deal with life’s situations will.
There are a lot of things in life you can’t control, and that includes other people. Accept it. Deal with it if you need to, and then help your children to learn to control themselves.
Life can be rough, but that idea that your kids are born loving you? Still there. Come home to your kids and remember that no matter how bad life gets, they love you.
If you don’t know what to do, don’t resort to violence. Learn a new way. Learn how to help your children navigate that allowing your hurt to rule your actions.
In the end, no matter why some parents hit, they still make that choice. With every day and every situation, you have the opportunity to choose not  to hit. Your children love you. Live up to that love. Be deserving of the respect they want to show you. Be deserving of the love they freely give.

 photo credit: dhammza via photopin cc

ultimate temper tantrums…

Yelling, hitting, threatening…..When our children do these things, parents refer to it as temper tantrums. When parents do these things, those same people refer to it as discipline. The fact of the matter is, they are both the same thing – a call for help. When a person feels overwhelmed or frustrated, they feel out of control. They have a need for some help but they don’t know how to deal with it or communicate it. Hence, the temper tantrum, whether by a child or adult, occurs.

When our children throw a temper tantrum, we generally have the maturity and coping skills to help them through it. We recognize what is happening and can work with them to find a solution to what the real problem is – whether they have a physical need which isn’t being met, such as hunger, fatigue, or something else, or an emotional need such as expressing their emotions or needing to feel connected in order to feel loved and cared for. We can help our children as they learn to communicate their thoughts and emotions.

Unfortunately, our children do not have the same maturity and coping skills. When we cry out for help, they aren’t capable of giving that to us and the frustration and disconnect we feel doesn’t get any better. We are at a loss and if we don’t change something, we continue down the same path.

It is impossible to control another person. The only person we can control is ourself. So, if the situation isn’t going well, then we need to change something about the situation in order to cut down on our frustration (or whatever else we are feeling) so that we can get control over ourselves again. Rather than thinking about how we can control someone else, we can focus on how to bring control for everyone back by bringing control to the situation. A really good way to break the cycle, give yourself a break, and get the situation going in a better direction is to do something to reconnect with your child – totally different than what you may feel like – but it’s really what everyone needs. When we are connected with our children, everyone is more willing to work with each other. When there is disconnect, everything gets out of whack.