Sometimes I Feel Like the Worst Mom…

So, today I spent about an hour during my kids’ nap time looking up different ways to effectively discipline…does that sound stupid (because I certainly feel stupid admitting it)? I mean, my first-born is now 4 years old; seems I’ve had plenty of time already to figure it out…But apparently I haven’t because my techniques don’t work. When I first became pregnant, I told myself that one thing I would do differently than my own mother (a single mom from the time I was 2 to 15) was spanking. I remember spankings being very painful (my mother used a leather belt–OUCH) and very, VERY, ineffective. Once the spanking was over I forgot about my misbehavior and, if anything, it taught me how to get better at concealing my misdeeds to avoid being caught the next time. My husband, however, has a completely different view of spanking. He thinks it’s practically a Godsend. According to him, spanking works wonderfully and we (he & I) shouldn’t hesitate to use it as a form of punishment. Needless to say, I wanted to prove him wrong and show that we could get our kids to behave by using time-outs…and hey, (for a short while) it was working! And let me just throw in that until age 2.5 our child was a sweet, well-mannered, and loving kid and there was never a need to scold in the first place! Then…I gave birth to number 2 and all that went out the window. I’m sure it has something (a lot) to do with jealousy or feeling attention-starved, but how can I fix that? My second-born was an infant (now 20 months) and required–requires–a lot more attention than an older sibling simply because they are less independent. It’s not that I want to ignore either of my children, they both mean the world to me, but it’s just impossible to divide my time equally at this point. Ok–back to the original topic: now that my 4-year-old has made it clear that time-outs no longer work, I have (eek!) resorted to spanking. Not as frequently as my husband, (I really don’t like doing it) but I have done it (and to clarify, I only use my hand…no leather belts like my mom). Unfortunately, that doesn’t work well either, and has taught my child that if someone misbehaves they deserve to be hit…not the message I want to convey. Sending them to their respective bedroom also doesn’t work! It’s like playtime up there!! So now I am stuck feeling like the World’s Worst (most-frustrated) Mom & I still have no viable solution to my discipline problem. I just want my child to LISTEN; to OBEY. Why is that so hard?? I don’t even want to have to discipline at all (this is a total pipe-dream, I know)…and although the youngest is still too little to understand good from bad right now, I know the time is coming in just another year or two and I’m dreading it. Maybe if I just close my eyes long enough I’ll wake up and my children will be in their mid-twenties: grown-up, responsible, mature adults…but then I’d miss out on all the fun times (sigh)…I’ll be praying about this a lot.

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