I was totally ready for the Terrible Twos. I was ready for meltdowns and tantrums. I was ready for "no" in all of its glory. Thankfully, we seemed to avert much of the biting that she was learning from daycare.
What I was not ready for? Was the hitting.
I have physical boundary issues anyway. So when my kid started ripping my glasses off my face and laughing about it, it tested my ability to not get angry.
But the hitting?
(Breathe. 1... 2... 3... )
I have read popular articles, and some of the scholarly ones also, that discuss how bad spanking is. I was determined to be a mother that did not spank. Okay, maybe a swat. Only when necessary. Reserved for life-or-death things like running into the street.
So when my kid punched me for the millionth time the other day, totally out of the blue, I reflexively smacked her on the backside.
It wounded her grievously and she cried pitiously in my arms. My heart broke. Immediately, I was remembering everything that I read. That spanking makes them emotionally withdrawn. That spanking makes them hit more - how can you teach "no hitting" when you, yourself, hit? That spanking breaks trust.
Spanking goes against every ounce of attachment parenting I have practiced for two years.
So ... what am I left with? When my kid hits me, or steals my glasses, what do I do? Other than breathe deeply and try to squelch the instinct to hit back, what is left?
I've tried stern. I've obviously tried spanking. (So has my dad). I've tried time out, which she doesn't at all understand or comprehend. I've tried just simply removing her to another room when she got so excited she hit my mom, and she was so wounded at that, she started to cry.
Other suggestions? Is it just a phase?
The good thing is, in the Great Car Cleanout, I found a book I had checked out of the library last summer about positive discipline for the under 3 crowd. Since I probably already owe a hundred bucks in fines on it, I might as well re-read it and see if it has any suggestions.