Before I had my son, I read everything I could find about having and caring for babies. I can admit now that it was motivated by the fear of doing something wrong. In my search, I found this course on Udemy called “Neuroscience for parents.” That was the first time I heard anything about how the brain develops. I also took mental notes of those formative years before the human starts to get stuck in ways.
He says that from 3 months, the baby, this little human, has started learning about life and living. By the toddler years, the little human has started forming beliefs, identity, etc
Earlier today I was thinking about the idea behind spanking kids. Someone told me that I was spoiling my child by not spanking him. I cannot imagine what I will teach a 2-year old by spanking him. But more than that, I wondered about why I spank.
I can admit now that the spanking was about me and not to teach Boobman (my son) anything. When I am saying “no, no, stop, sit down, stop shouting” and the likes and it seems he is not listening, or he responds negatively to my command and I spank, I am in that moment being intolerant. He is probably already irritating me by not listening and I calm that irritation down by expending some of the worked up energy on his little butt.
This is how the process happens. Let’s say he is holding a bottle of water, drinking it perhaps, and I say, “let me have the bottle so you don’t spill the water,” he responds NO. I’m already thinking, “how dare him to tell me no. Now, I demand louder, with a serious face to show I’m not playing. “Give mummy the bottle, now.” His response is louder. “No mummy,” he says as he runs away. Then he spills the water and I think, “I said it.” I go to him, turn his bum, and spank it once or twice. He calms down or is crying. Now I feel calm. After a few minutes of crying, I call him for a hug and we hug it out. (Bless their forgiving hearts)
The question I want you to think about is, “why do you spank your kids?” It’s not a debate about whether that’s right or wrong. You get to decide how to parent your child. But the times you beat your child, were you intentional, or was it to quench an irritation and massage your parent ego? Some have killed their children from beating them. I watched an Oprah show where she went to prison to interview some women who had killed their kids. When I looked at those women talk about killing their kids, they didn’t look like people who will kill children. It was the anger, in that moment that the child is doing the most.
If you can relate with any of this, I’m sure you are wondering how you can control that urge to hit your child. I deliberately used the word “hit” because sometimes spank sounds like a nice thing. So, what to do?
It sounds simple enough but a lot of people don’t breathe right. I am still learning to stop holding my breath. I do it subconsciously for no reason. If your child is irritating you, like they would at some point before you reach for your cane, breathe. Take a really deep breath and count to five if you like. After that, you can do what your “church mind” tells you to do. If you do the breathing right, whatever you do after that will be intentional at least.
My fear is teaching my child to be afraid. I don’t want him to think that the same place he has security and love is the same place that can produce fear his little mind cannot comprehend. I don’t want to create trauma for his young mind. We hear a lot of sorry tales of people’s childhood, and we wonder what kind of monsters they had as parents. Will your children see you as a monster when they think back to their own childhood, 20 years from today? If you were a child again, will you want you as a mummy?
Don’t answer that, just think about it. For yourself.