Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Parenting Question (or few)

Do you ever have BAD Mommy Moments?
Do you ever act the opposite of how you want to be as a mommy?
Do you admit your mistake to the "victim"
Do you apologize?
Do you try to make it up to your child?
Do you worry that you're scarring them for life?
Do you worry that you aren't doing any better than your own mom?
Do you worry that your child will harbor the same bad memories from your parenting that you have from your own?

These are the questions I wrestle with every day.

And they become worse on days of MAJOR Bad mommying.

So often I try to tell myself that I am doing better than my own mom. But is that really good enough?

I work so hard to battle my demons. Why do they still slip out.

The scenario changes very rarely: Child does something inappropriate, mommy gets angry, mommy overreacts, child gets upset.

I have come a long way. I used to yell about everything...just like my mother did to me.
I have worked very hard to try to break this habit. Our children are only young once. I only have one shot at this thing called parenting. So I am trying to do my best.

But every so often, I slip. I get angry and yell and say things I don't want to say.

Then comes the BIG R


Then come the questions.

Did I overreact?
What would the appropriate response have been?
Why didn't I handle it that way?
Is an apology in order?
Or did the child in question really have it coming to them?

The last question is easy...probably not at this age.

Growing up, there were several punishments for my misbehavior.

One...sent to my room for an inordinate amount of time, only to be over when my mom either left for work or forgot about me long enough that I could sneak out. Either way, there was sometimes the question of "What did I do in the first place" lingering in my mind.

Two...THE WOODEN SPOON! Many wooden spoons were broken on my bottom. Before I was out of elementary school, I learned that if mom was chasing me to spank me, I could lie down on my back, kick my feet in the air like I was riding a bicycle, and my mom would have to give up, returning beck to Number One above.

Three...No matter which of the above two were chosen, it was always accompanied by a screaming lecture about how terrible of a child I was.

About a year after Steve and I were married, a pschychic told me to "Never have kids."
This prediction comes back to em each and every time I have a bad mommy moment. Am I really rearing another generation of children who will feel toward their upbringing as I feel about mine?

How am I attempting to break the cycle?

Here's the plan I follow:

Time outs are big...they DO work

Spankings are extremely rare

My children DO get sent to their room, but always with the time limit being told to them.

If my children or myself are yelling, I try to wait until all parties are calmed down and then we DO talk about the offenses, how they should be different next time, and if necessary, apologies by both parties if screaming was involved.

I can;t expect my child to show self control when angry if I can;t model it myself.

Long Story Short...I am a BIG work in progress.

I hope it's enough to allow my boys to know that they are loved so much and when mommy yells, I still love them with all of my heart.

P.S. I did apologize to my son this morning...


Jennifer said...

hey...I screw up DAILY and yes, I always confess to the kids and ask them to please forgive me. After reading THE SHACK I've really tried to make myself and my kids more aware that the Lord is right here with us seeing our every move and hearing every, I try to treat them like I know Jesus is sitting down at the school table with us. I wouldn't yell or be mean to my kids if my friends were over so why on Earth do I allow myself to be when the God of Creation sits by my side...just a thought!

bethn said...

Well, you know first hand that I can certainly yell at mine with the best of them. I try to take a deep breath before reacting to anything. Just in case you've forgotten. You are a great mom! You love your kids with all your heart and show them that in a million different ways. Lots of people yell and raise perfectly normal kids. And yours will continue to be great kids because you are a great mom! Do I need ot say that again. YOu are a great mom! said...

First, you are a wonderful mom! your kids and your blog show "us"- (the readers) that!
Second, I myself --do screw up daily- and I do ask for forgiveness from my kids, from the One above and also from my hubby. I say to my hubby,(in front of the kids) I screwed up today when I was --- with -- and I want you to know that I should of handled it another way.

You are a great mom!
By blogging about this,prayer, and by apoligizing-- you are being a great parent.
Parent's are NOT expected to be perfect, just willing to ask the LORD for help.--

Colleen said...

Oh... I question myself daily. I yell, and then wonder why. Zoe and I get all worked up over her doing thing by herself, when it would all go easier if I helped her when she asked... and didn't help her when she says she can do it herself. I could just go on and on.

I think we just all have those times. Times when we're too quick to yell. Times when we could just slow down.

My Wonderful Men said...

There is no perfect parent. And the parent that says "I'm perfect" is in denial and needs more help than you or I trust me.

We all have our moments with our kids that we wish we could take back. But, here is what I have learned over the years. Kids unlike adults let things go much faster than we do. You yelled and maybe it did upset them for a moment but 10 mins later they have moved on. Not us we are still thinking about it 10 years later wondering if we scared them for life.

We haven't because you have more beautiful and loving moments with your kids that surpassed that small break down that they quickly forgot about right after it happened.

So in those moments try and breath before you react but if you lose it just know they still love you as you love them.

Shana W. said...

I too find myself yelling WAY to much, and I too find myself asking for forgiveness. It sounds to me that you are taking the right steps change this cycle. Just remember that there is no PERFECT mother.