Feeling: frustrated but empathetic
As we cross the half year mark of bub’s second year, we grow closer to the
terrible terrific 2s.
You know what they say about this period of time right?
Well, we’ve been having our fair share of fighting with the little monster in the past few days and weeks. And apparently I’m not the only one who has a strong will in this family. I’m definitely going to be pushed to the limits of patience in due time.
I mean, if the bub is going to act like he gets to have whatever he wants at the tender age of LESS than 2, can you imagine what this is going to be like a decade down the road when he hits the teenage-d years?
I really don’t even want to think about it.
But it’s really all about them pushing the system and learning their rights from wrongs. It’s at this stage when they really start to understand what they are capable of that they really try to start finding out the limits to their abilities.
I mean, considering that such a short time ago, our tykes who are now kicking and screaming, arching their backs and screaming their lungs out, they used to be helpless and without a hand for neck support, they wouldn’t even be able to hold up their heads, not to mention they still can’t wipe themselves up after going poopoo or peepee.
I don’t know if it’s me though, but I constantly tell myself that I need to watch how I react in front of my child. Every little action and movement and word out of my mouth is now in jeopardy of being copied and repeated.
The kids look to us for guidance and as much as we might deny that we owe them a living, we brought them into this world and it’s our solemn job to teach them.
If all the articles I’ve been reading are any indication, it’s because they don’t know how to express their feelings in a way that is satisfying. Because the gurgles and the grunts and funny noises and even the pointing and gesturing don’t connect with the communication that we are used to amongst people who CAN talk, they more often than not can’t get their meaning across and get frustrated to the point they melt into a puddle of “I don’t give a shit anymore”.
And it sucks that to make it worse, they aren’t going to be able to help that they are going to be clueless about EVERYTHING for a long time.
So we HAVE to be patient with them, no matter how much our brains are telling us to tell or get frustrated back or even give up trying to get your point across.
I used to tell people about how I was never sure I would make a good parent – I was never a good kid. I went out late, dated terrible guys, partied late into the night when I was at an age that I could get in trouble for doing it and not to mention came home from those parties a lot worse for wear….
I’m sure I gave my mum hell and heart attacks and everything else in between. And she was a single parent to boot so it couldn’t have been easy for her at all.
I wouldn’t wish anybody the terror of being a parent to me in my teenage years. I shudder thinking that my kids might turn out being a chip off this old block. *sigh*
And you know what they say about you never knowing what it means to be a parent until you actually become one? Well yeah, they were right.
It’s not just about the sacrifice and the pain and the heartache and the sorrow, it’s the fact that you’ll willingly go through it all and back all because of the love and care and concern that you have for your child – that want and need for your child to grow up well and balanced will drive you to do what you need to do to help them to grow up well.
And that includes disciplining them.
And it you think about it, discipline is not easy at all.
Every single bit about what you need to do to teach your kids a hard-learned lesson is a fine line these days.
When I was much younger, spanking, caning, grounding and being sent to your room without dinner were part and parcel of growing up. Now it’s more like a violation of human rights the way that people go on and on about how they should never beat their kids.
I can get that you don’t want to get to the point where your kid is bruised and black-eyed and is cowering in fear of what you might do to them.
It’s really about ensuring that your kid has a healthy sense of respect and reverence for you as their parent to an extent that they would not challenge your authority over their lives.
This is not to say that sometime in the future, the trainee will supercede the trainer – because there will surely be a time when they WILL know better – but for now, while they are barely able to watch out for themselves in the face of danger, the only thing to do, is to make sure that our word is law. And followed to a T.
Anyway, think about it. If you’re facing a child who refuses to listen to a word you’re saying, takes things and swipes them off the table, or worse – throws them not only away but AT you, and basically makes you want to scream in exasperation, you’d want to give them a sound beating too just to show ’em who’s boss.
I mean, sure you can’t help it when a meltdown occurs, but let’s not even start to mention when there are lots of people around looking at you like you’re the parent who can’t control their own kid.
I admit that I used to be one of those people too. Judgmental and shaking my head while tsk-ing about the incompetence of these parents..
Well. Now I know better.
There have been A LOT of videos (like this one) in circulation about people who discipline their kids in public, only to draw flak for the people around them because it seems that they were too harsh. And yet another article can’t seem to find it right now) I read recently about how discipline is really a “family matter” and other people shouldn’t be concerned with how a parent educates their children.
Of course, not to such extremes of course! We used to think that we would be okay with spanking because hey, look how awesome we turned out.
But when you see your kid in front of your, all helpless and innocent and if you can get past the crazy, blinding rage moment, you KNOW that in truth, they don’t know better (most of the time). And how could you punish your own flesh and blood?
I remember this story from when I was younger. My brother and I had been fighting. Or something. It must have been a pretty bad fight or something must have happened, because my mum was going to cane us. And we had been caned a lot of times before and we knew it hurt, so even though we were angry with each other, we made a pact to try and stuff pillows down our shorts so that our butts would be padded.
I mean if you can imagine little kids under 10, and we weren’t big kids, with a pillows down their shorts…
Well, we weren’t inconspicuous if that’s what you’re asking.
But my mum, she just went along with the whole joke and continued to whip us soundly on our padded behinds while we silently tried to smother giggles in our misguided belief that we managed to swindle her.
And that really just speaks of how much it must really pain a parent to beat their child at the end of the day and how much more it hurts me, than it does hurt you and all that. Actually, to be honest, I think my mum secretly enjoyed being able to really take out a little anger on the fluffy pillows for once. I know I would’ve.
In any case, discipline and punishments are important bits of growing up and making sure that we stay in line with what’s expected of us. Perhaps it was apt that the 10 commandments were talked about in Sunday’s sermon this week too…
God will play just as big a part on how we bring up the bub. And hopefully we’ll be able to find a way to incorporate getting to know Jesus and how He led his life on Earth as we are teaching our bub about life. We can only hope that we’ll be a good enough example….
There is a lot of responsibility weighing on a parent’s shoulders when it comes to this sort of thing and don’t I know it. Whether or not our kids turn out to be outstanding members of societies or degenerates who murder and steal or even commit adultery or become jerks and bitches, it’s all dependent or counting on the lessons you impart to your kids.
Huge shoes to fill people, HUGE.
Measuring my feet,