A Jan08 mummy shared that she beat her son with a cane until he knelt down and turned black in the face and had bruises all over his legs cos he was so naughty. I can emphatise with what she was going through. It is difficult to control your temper when your child does not behave the way you want them to.
Don't want to eat, don't want to sleep, pour water on the floor, pour soup on the table, throw toys, don't want to share, push classmates and sibling, draw graffiti on your household items, chewed on toys, tupperware and even the Bumbo seat, refuse to put on clothes, refuse to dry hair after showering, refuse to wear every shirt or shoes that you take for her, if you let her choose, she will change her mind 5 times after you have put them on for her. Yes, RaeAnne is no angelic child, she has done all of the above.
There was a period also when I either beat RaeAnne with my hand or locked her at the balcony with the sliding door for her 'time out' when she is naughty. Less than 5 mins only. But after that, she kept telling maid, 'If you do this, I will beat you and lock you up'. Then I decided, if other people hear her saying this, they'll think what kind of family does this child grow up in? Do I want my child to grow up with so much anger and harsh words? Will she grow up to be loving and patient if I set the wrong example? So, I stopped doing it.
Many times, I'll snap too especially when she refuses to nap and keeps taking out her clothes. She can change 5 shirts in 1 night and take more than 1 hr to sleep. But luckily I'm usually not alone so I'll walk into my room and let the maid/hubby handle her. Sometimes, I'll flare up outside and start throwing her things then hubby will know I've reached my max and automatically take over. Luckily I got no cane in the house or I don't know what I'll do in my fit of anger. Cos I'm the sort who will act first then regret later if I really lose it. :P
But after I calm down, I realise if she were an only child and I don't have no. 2. Will I be still be so impatient and punish her or will i be telling her nicely or finding other creative ways to distract her and get her to behave? Answer is no then I'll feel guilty cos she did not ask to have Mei Mei. It is our choice so I should not punish her because sometimes when we are rushed for time, I will be behaving like a mad woman shouting at the maid and RaeAnne esp when Mei Mei is crying for milk/sleep, Maid has done something wrong again, RaeAnne is cranky and throwing tantrums because she is hungry/sleepy/thirsty/naughty while hubby is his usual cool self.
A few times, there is a reason why she doesn't want to do certain things. Eg. don't want to eat cos she has an ulcer but cannot express herself. Want to draw with my pen on my bedsheets cos she thought it can be wiped off with wet wipes like the white board marker. Push Mei Mei because she said Mei Mei cannot take the toy and eat. Mei Mei may end up swallowing it. Sometimes, I forget that she is only a child and expect too much from her, expect her to behave as an adult.
Today, she asked me Mummy are you a good girl? I said yes. Then, she said 'I love you. Naughty gal, I don't love.' It caught me by surprise but I realise that I always tell her that to make her behave. "If you are naughty, I don't love you."
But love for our kids should be unconditional, even when they are naughty and drive you up the wall. even if they are sick and vomit all over you. even if you send more than 10 photos, they will never make it to the cover of a baby magazine. So, I told her. No, if you are good gal, I love you a lot. When you are naughty, I love you a bit. But I still love you.
P.S. A mummy reminded me, love is not measured by how good or naughty you are. I should love my child just as much even when she is naughty. I agree and I do love her as much no matter what she does. But, I will still get angry cos I'm only human. Time to find a new phrase to get her to behave... :P