Wednesday, 10 October 2012
- You are out of shape (when I complained of being out of breath, but I was diagnosed with asthma a few years later). Stop being lazy.
- What? You think I wanted all you kids?
- You kids drive me crazy.
- You are fat.
- What is wrong with you?
- You have got to be kidding me?
- What happened to the 2 extra points? (referring to getting a 98 on a test in a grade ahead of mine instead of a 100)
- etc etc etc
In contrast, my husband grew up in a somewhat physically rough home. I was spanked out of discipline, and so was my husband; but his mother and father tell me to pop the babies for squirming with diaper changes (um - they have an ulcerative diaper rash that makes me squirm! Why would I punish them for being in pain?). They tell me to pop their hands when they reach for my food. My MIL grabbed my oldest daughter a few years ago by the feet when she was climbing on the coffee table (she was no older than 18 months old) and dragged her off the table. My husband says this was the way he was raised and that he is fine. I am NOT against spanking, but I reserve spanking for when the action has to be immediately stopped, i.e. putting herself or one of her sisters in danger.
So my question is: How do you break the cycle?
I try to be aware of what I am saying to my children, the feelings it conveys, and the feelings that they may feel because of it. I tell them absolutely every day that they are loved.
I am not perfect. There are some days when I am absolutely exhausted and drained. Then something slips. Something mean. Like "why would you do that?" when they put their hands in dip and smear it on the wall. Or "what is wrong with you?" (in a mean tone) when the whining has hit an all time high.
I think that knowing what triggers the response in myself is the key to breaking that cycle. Trying to get a full nights sleep or trying to do something for myself whether it be the gym or a pedicure, really does help. But sometimes I just don't get that break that I desperately need. And getting a full nights sleep is rare with teething twins.
I almost hate to type this out...today is my wonderful husband's birthday. He is an awesome husband, and a good daddy. And I almost hate to type this on this day, but I have to while it's on my mind. Yesterday, my oldest was not listening and kept taking her fruit off the table and dragging it into the living room. We asked her twice to return to the table. The third time, my husband lost it. He picked her up and forcefully sat her in her chair and told her to listen. Two weeks ago, we returned from the park, and my oldest was crying horribly - she acted out because she didn't want to leave the park and she was overly hungry and tired and couldn't control it. After about 20 minutes of this complete tantrum, my husband spanked her three times in a row. I was horrified.
I have approached it by saying things like, "I didn't like it when (MIL) grabbed Isabel by the feet and dragged her across the table. That was dangerous and could have hurt her."
He says, "I was raised like that. She was just trying to get her to stop climbing. I am fine."
When I told him that it really hurt my heart to see him spank her because she was overly tired and overly hungry and couldn't control it, he told me he was sorry but he had hit his limit.
He is really good about letting me get out every so often when he is off work to do something small by myself even if it just run an errand, because he knows that I need it. But he is burning out, too.
We do have a mother's helper. But it really isn't helping. We have four kids. Even with our helper around, we split them up to go to gymnastics or dance. But even split up there's still two kids that need constant attention.
When my husband is well rested, he is much more patient and not at all quick to be rough with the children.
When I am well rested, I am much more patient and not at all quick to say mean things.
So, back to my original question: How do you break the cycle?
And in addition: How do you teach patience? How do you obtain it?