Today I spanked Emily.
I've credited myself as a non-spanker. I find it hard to reconcile teaching my child not to hit others with hitting her myself in the form of spanking. And yet today, I was so pushed to the limit by her that I spanked her. The worst of it is, I did it because I was angry, not because she did something so much worse than anything she has done before. Yes, she was behaving very badly. She was screaming intermittently, she was taking swings at me, she was disobeying me at every turn, she was up from her nap and refusing to return to her room. But, she's done that before and I kept it reasonably together. But today, after a full morning of this (since about 7:00 actually), I lost it. I lost control and crossed a line I never wanted to cross.
I didn't hurt her. She had a pull-up on and probably didn't even realize what I'd done. But I know what I did. No, it's not the end of the world. Lots of parents out there choose to spank their children. However, I chose not to and I didn't stick by my convictions.
Clearly, it has upset me. But, you know what? Having been through some similar situations before, I also realize that now I start fresh. We start fresh. We hug, we kiss, we love each other and we start again. I start again. With my convictions, with my choices, with rebuilding my control and acting like the adult again. I start again with no shouting, with no spanking, with no losing my cool. I start again.
I'll lose it again too, but I doubt I'll spank her again. Having done it once, you know what? It didn't make me feel better and it didn't make her stop what she was doing. Having learned that, I know I won't go there again. And I also know that I'll watch for the signs in myself that things are headed in a bad direction. And I'll give myself a time out.
And if I don't stay in my time out, no crafts or t.v. for me.
I'm sorry Emily. I love you. You know it.