Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm getting slap-happy. Feel like monster mom

I can't control my hand these days. It instinctively flies at Sonny Boy almost every day. Yeah that's bad. But what the hell! He's always spilling out food stuff from jars on to the floor, and throwing goodies out of the window, sticking his dirty finger up the water filter tap, defiantly peeing just outside the bathroom door -- the works.

Defiance. That's what I see in his eyes.

Am i getting too hard on him? I don't really have too many dont's for him. But the few things i don't want him doing, I DON'T want him doing.

I've tried ignoring him when he misbehaves (because i think he does it for attention).
I've tried holding him close and slowly and calmly telling him the consequences of what he's done ("See, now we don't have grandmas' yummy food left to eat" -- kind of stuff)
I've tried telling him a strict no, looking hard into his eyes.
I've tried smacking his bottom and sometimes rapping him on his back.
I've tried short time outs too (something i hate, but decided to give a shot, in desperation).
Nothing seems to work.

But most instinctively I've been slapping his bottom.
My mom and grandmom keep warning me that soon he'll be so immune to the slaps, he'll get more stubborn.
My dad in all patience tries to tell him what he's doing is wrong etc. Then he runs out of patience too and complains to me.

Spare the rod, spoil the child, I tell myself.
Then I keep reminding myself, I wasn't spoilt, and I was almost never hit -- twice precisely through childhood, and both times by my father! And my parents swear I was well-behaved and never needed so much disciplining.

I mean, Sonny Boy has to be reasonable at least some times -- at least five out of 10. Yesterday again he'd managed to reach the salt jar; nanny grabbed it in time. And he threw a tantrum saying he wants the salt jar. I asked him "why do u want it?" and he says "I want to throw salt on the floor"! and cried again without letting up. Ufffff... I tried telling him that salt was for eating; the only person listening was nanny.

P.S: Happy Diwali every one. Have a great year. I'm away for a few days, doing the customary "Diwali with the in-laws in husband's hometown" which translates into cooking humongous amounts of food for the joint family that will be there in full force -- 12 adults and four children. Sigh. Yeah! I have to say happy holidays ;-)

Oh and another PS: Please do catch this film called Udaan (made in 2010), starring the very sweet and angelic-faced Rajat Barmecha, and Ronit Roy in a very hate-able role. It's so much about breaking free and coming of age; but for me, it was so about how not to the kind of father Ronit (Bhairav Singh) is in the film. And don't watch it during the festival. Before or after is better; the film can be heart wrenching at times.


Jayadeep(JDP) said...

High time you picked up the book, Unconditional Parenting, and remember his age:)

Garima said...

Ouch... I can imagine your pain.. before the hand flies and after the hand flies! Its hard both ways.
But I did smile.. when I read, Sonny needs salt since he wants to throw it on the floor... at least he is honest! :-)
And no its not a monster mom thing to do. Its his age and the half understnading of world around. He right now knows the meaning of his actions and not the consequences of the same.
Here is US, there is concept of: Baby Proofing the house.. which pretty much means, keeping things in places that are out of reach for kids. Google it.

Happy Diwali... good part of cooking huge amounts of food.. is you get to eat it all up as well!

Anonymous said...

Please stop hitting the child -
Plz read book - How to Talk to So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish.

Start considering ur child as ur ASSET and not as a DEBT.

Aparna said...

Yikes all you judgmental people out there - give support and book recommendations but don't make sweeping statements please!

And for you dear Forever Mom - Been there done that. I even started writing a blog away from my mom blog to try to deal with the feelings I had about this subject. I am also a terrible screamer and that leads to the same result as well (combined with a sore throat!). The books help a little, but basically the ball's completely in our court as we cannot control the child's reactions - even when they have nothing else bothering them (slept well, ate well, completely healthy) they can behave in ways that drive us crazy - we just have to work on our patience and breathe breathe breathe before reacting as much as possible :).

Forever mother said...

Dear Jayadeep and Anonymous, will look up the books you've recommended. Thanks.

Dear Garima,
Thanks dude. Like all things from the western world, baby proofing has also arrived in India, safety latches, knobs and all ;-) But sometimes, like dinnertime, the salt must be on the table, huh?!

Dear Aparna, thanks a ton for the support. And for the request to be non-judgemental. Was a bit upset with Anonymous' comment of "Start considering ur child as ur ASSET and not as a DEBT." Ummm I wasn't thinking debt or asset when i was slapping Sonny. Children are neither debts nor assets. They are little people. I love Sonny, but have to slap him all the same, when he does wrong. Just that I wish i did it less often, but i'm running out of patience and energy.

And i agree with you on this -- each book on parenting/raising kids has a piece of advise/how to that doesnt always work for you. For that matter even elders in the family will have an opinion/solution that may or may not work for you. I'm open to trying things out/reading up to experiment and figure out what's best for my individual situation.
But, it takes time. This phase of my slapping has just started. I hope I don't have to very soon.

Naga said...

I am a father of an obedient 9 year old daughter. I understand your problem :) At times I also feel that we have grown up successfully too, at a time when nobody spared the ROD on US. :)

Here are some tips that I can think of to divert your hyperactive kid. Yaa Kids are Kids!

Try to create a play area for him in your room. Put sand ( wow u get colourful sands these days), small chocolates, etc in tiny jars. If he spills frequently spread a newspaper on the floor. (It would be easy for you to refill it back to the jar ;) Re-arrange and say do it as how Mommy or Granny keeps in the kitchen :)

Get a Monthly calendar (which is real big with lot of space around the dates). Each day tell him MOM would draw a happy face whenever he is a good boy. Make it at 6PM daily activity. Even though he has done some thing ,tell him MOM forgives you and draws a HAPPY FACE :) for you SONNY BOY!. NO he is naughty, draw a small sad face :( ! Tell him this will turn to a happy face 2moro if he is good the next day.

On going loo near the bathroom door - Try this trick - Put a small bag near the door. If he does not pee (listens to you) tell him GOD or an GOODY ANGEL put a small gift for you as you did not do that bad habit sterday. If he does leave it empty and cook up some story.

So best trick is to distact the kid. Try to see what makes him sit at one place, like reading a story or giving him a pencil to draw on a book or dropping toys and picking it up along with him and keeping it in the proper place along with him. Like saying 1 2 1 2 1 2 or hey doggy why are you lying here, go to your place, hey elephant are you hurt, no dont cry I will keep you back in your box and so on..

All the Best!!!


Forever mother said...

Dear Mr Nagarajan
Been meaning to thank you for a long time. Sorry for the delayed reply.
Will try to implement your practical (and interesting) tips. Sorry, couldnt find your e-mail ID to reply to you.

The chart/calender idea sounds good...will definitely give it a shot.

Mona said...

Hahaha....and not because I'm evil..but I am in the same boat yet know what, eveything you've said is spot on about them constantly testing you...I hvae arrived at a few conclusions:
1) My short fuse gets shorter esp when I am multi-tasking which is almost (you can make the 'a'in always capital) ALWAYS..
2) If Sonny Boy like my Lover Boy is under 4, they do not understand or really fear consequences...and you already know that....:)
3) When he starts behaing UN-reasonably, the books say Breathe...I swear that's the last thing that I can get myself to do..I normally explain and re-explain and re-explain and then at least 5 outta 10, react the way you do.

I need not tell you what it does to my conscience.
Hubby dear, who is my Virtue of Patience in these matters insists I SHOULD NOT show him irritation..but should distract him totally (yeah, sure!) and then hold him/hug him and watch him MELT. guess what?
when i can actually bring myself to stay calm and do that, I have seen the magic that brings my count down to 3....

regards...from one monster to another...