Yesterday, Anya threw one of those “slap Mumma in the face” fits because I wouldn’t let her run out into the street. We were outside the allergist’s office at the time, so I had an audience for this one. I’m sure at least one person was wondering why I didn’t spank her.
Because I don’t spank, that’s why. Instead, I sat down on the curb with her and spoke softly, trying to calm her. Assuring her that I love her, that I’m not trying to be mean – I just don’t want to see her hurt.
Fat lot of good that did. She hit me again. And then ran to my mom.
I refuse to hit her, because that’s not the message I want to send – that when someone does something she doesn’t like, she should hit them. Yes, that’s what she does to me. But she’s 2…I’m 39. I’m the adult here. And I’m trying to lead by example.
Some days, I think it’s working. Others…well, I get slapped in the face.
After dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble, where Anya played with the Thomas train set. Another little girl, maybe 4 or so, was there, and they played together. This little girl was so sweet, so gracious. She and Anya had a ball together. It was hard to get Anya to leave.
At one point, this child noticed that Anya has ink marks all over her leg.
“Did she write on herself?” she asked.
“Yes – she wrote on me, too,” I replied, showing her the marks on my arm.
“Did you whoop her?”
My heart sank. “No, I didn’t. It’s no big deal – it’ll wash off. A little ink never hurt anyone.”
She looked confused, but didn’t push the issue further. Her parents paused in their conversation to stare at me, then went on ignoring us.
I’m not judging; every person is different, and every parenting experience is different. But it breaks my heart to think of this sweet little girl getting spanked for something so harmless.
Obviously I don’t have all the answers. I don’t think there is a definitive answer; it’s trial and error. And I have one headstrong kid to test my trials and errors upon. But I admire that about her. I encourage it in her. I think it’s a great personality trait if wielded for good.
So part of the message I’m trying to get across is not to be mean to people. Which starts with not hitting them. 5 months ago