TO SPANK OR NOT TO SPANK!
* This post was written May 14, 2011*
To spank or not to spank, that is the question. Well, not really a question for me. I always assumed I would spank. I got spanked as kid, my husband, bless his soul got beat. We will not be beating our children, but spanking when deserved is a fair punishment, of course, with a conversation to follow as to why you got spanked.
Because right now the twins are newborns and my 2 year old is really just a good child. Time out has been enough of a punishment to get her to obey. It seemed to be working just fine...until recently when she told me she knew she wasn't supposed to do something and wanted me to put her in time out.
And when your kid is asking to go into time out maybe it is time for a new punishment!
But really, I had not given it much thought. I still put her in time out even though she sat there with a smile on her face and when I told her she could get off the chair or that she could stop starring at the wall, she would decide she wanted to stay in time out longer.
How could I complain with that tactic? She really could stay there as long as she wanted because it gave this momma a little longer of a break!
The thing is I've lately been trying to make an extra effort to spend time with my 2 year old. I want to play hands on with her while the babies are sleeping or keeping each other entertained.
Since the babies have been born she spends a lot of time sitting on the couch with me watching me feed babies, burp babies, change babies diapers and rock babies. She behaves well and usually nurses her babies next to me, keeps herself entertained with toys or my phone or she ends up helping me with the babies, like fetching a burp cloth, holding a bottle up or something that is about them and not her.
So in my extra efforts to try and do activities with her, focused around her, that are hands on, I thought it would be fun to make Easter cards for the grandparents.
We got out the paint and the paper and went to town. She giggled and laughed and it was great...it was great until she was done.
When a child is done, specifically a two year old it is easy to tell. Her concentration was completely lost from painting on the paper and had moved to painting her hands and her face. This is my grand old sign that she was now finished with our intentional hands on activity. She was now done and bored with my project.
So I let her get down while I finished cutting out some bunnies from her paintings.
I was very focused on what I was doing and understand, I had an agenda! I was trying to get this hands-on-intentional-project finished up before the babies woke up from their nap. Because once they were awake they would once again take all my attention and leave my two year old to entertain herself.
Each time I looked up from the task that I was doing she was pulling on the blinds to the window and shaking. She was thrilled with the loud noise they made each time the wood blind hit the windows. She was listening and fascinated.
But I was annoyed and immediately asked her to stop rattling the blinds. Didn't she know? She was going to wake up the babies with that noise and then this special time I had set aside to spend with her hands on was going to end sooner than we both wanted!
As she looked at me with those two year old eyes that said "yeah, what are you going to do if I rattle these blinds again? Put me in time out? hahahahaha", and with that look, she did it again.
And very calmly I tried to explain to her that I was going to finish cutting out the bunnies she painted for her grandparents and how this was our special time together and begged her ever so calmly to reason with me and not rattle the blinds again.
And I got the same look again. "whatcha gonna do about it" and again it happened, the blinds got rattled.
But they weren't the only thing that got rattled. Without even thinking I jumped up, grabbed her arm away from the blinds and smacked her right on the butt.
And I looked at her with those mommy eyes that say, "yeah take that!"
Oh no! Her poor little face looked right at me and got all crinkled up and tears started to come streaming down her face but no noises came out of her and it was TERRIBLE! Then... it came, that long soft little cry came oozing out straight from her little passionate and soft heart. OHHHH it was terrible. I had never ever smacked her on the bottom before. She didn't even see if coming.
She didn't even see it coming and honestly, neither did I! It is the first time I spanked my child and I did it as a total reaction without giving it any thought. OHHHH the guilt poured right over me.
I scooped her little shocked body up into my arms and sat her down in my lap on the rocking chair. She faced me and I looked at her dead in the eyes and said,
"I am so sorry I smacked your bottom without warning you, but you were not listening to me and I got angry. I should've warned you first that I was going to spank you and for that I am sorry. However, it does not get you off the hook, you owe me an apology as well for not listening to me after I gave you several warnings."
I hugged her sobbing little body until she calmed down enough to say "I sorry momma".
And while I really had not given a lot of thought to spanking or not I guess I am now a "spanker". I'm that mom who is going to spank. I've opened the door after a year of motherhood to a world of spanking. I hadn't planned it or given it a lot of thought.
But we are entering the terrible two's and the jealousy of twins is certainly a distraction from her good behavior I will have to be aware of.
I will have to learn my rookie mistakes of spanking out of emotion and reaction rather than being in control of myself and my child. It won't belong before I have two two year olds and a three year old.
Going forward time-outs will of course be our go-to punishment, but I am relieved in some strange way to have a new form of discipline that can be used when needed.
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I am a mother of 4 small children. I am happiest when I am busiest and if the kids don't keep me busy enough I need projects to fill my days. I love Jesus and I love my family and I love the chaos around me for it brings the calm.