I did it again. I spanked my kids again this morning.
It began like this. I woke up early..early enough to finish the morning chores and start on time to work…but too late for any good stuff! Which meant, no exercise, no prayers once again! I was working up a frenzy in the kitchen and suddenly noticed the uncanny silence. I hurried out to find Small A sprawled on the sofa looking at some pictures( which she has already seen atleast a hundred times before) and Big A in front of the mirror only half-dressed with her nose into a book…which meant that I have lost precious time in which to do their hair; to fill their tummies – which BTW, is the MOST time-consuming activity in the morning since I have keep pulling them out of their fanciful reveries and remind them to chew and swallow what is in their mouths! Which meant that all my resourceful planning since the previous evening has gone down the drain. I finally lost it and spanked them, got a good dose of disapproval from the dad, a few insipid arguments went to and fro and I got out of the house feeling as shitty as humanly possible.
The truth is I don’t want to spank the kids. Nobody does. And every-time I do it and judge myself to be the worst mom living on the planet, I go on the internet and do some soul-searching. And I find things like this that make me feel worse(if that was possible)! Ten reasons to NOT spank your child! Ha! I think one reason is good enough for me – which is it doesn’t make me feel good! Even so, I found this on the internet which says 74% of parents spank their kids! That’s HUGE! And, I thought I could draw from some moral police here..
I did a lot of introspection (read: did nothing productive at work) and found that when some of these happen/don’t happen- I tend to hit the kids:
1. In most cases, I spank my kids because I am pissed off with something else – myself, my hubby, my friend, my maid, my boss, the traffic,the sun, the next planet, the list goes on…In short, I spank the kids for reasons that have very little to do with them. I need to straighten that out.
2. I need to understand that when most of your plan has to do with people, and not machines; it is only natural that your plan will be off by a good degree. And two important people in my plans are very little. They are kids. Naturally, I should learn to build in a lot of buffer in my plans.
3. I have also observed that exercising in the morning releases some kind of magic hormones which trick my brain into thinking that I am the most wonderful person in the world- and wonderful people DO NOT hit their kids. So, I need to exercise. EVERYDAY.
4. I need to speak to my sisters more often. Coz they seem to know when I REALLY need to bitch/rant/rave. They give me appropriate gyan at the right intervals and either of us don’t remember a word of that after I am done. We implicitly know its over.
5. As I seek to be more aware of the world around me, I realize that some people are not given to this kind of temperament at all. They simply don’t see anything as big enough to lose their cool. I am yet to make up my mind on whether I should spend more time with these guys or just with myself to shift to that space.
6. More than anything, I need to remind myself everyday that my kids will not be kids forever….that I have only a few days of their childhood left to savor.
As a desperate attempt at my own redemption, I am on a mission. And my mission is that FOR THE NEXT 90 DAYS, I SHALL COMPLETELY, IRREVOCABLY SHUN SPANKING AS A TOOL FOR DISCIPLINE. By the end of this period, I am hoping I can take these lessons to other areas of my life.
P.S: As I was getting into the car, I saw them both dancing to the beats of ” Morning, Noon- English, Vinglish’ that was on the morning FM. They looked at me, opened the door and said, ” Amma- our favorite song!!!” My own guilt made me look for any signs of hostility in them, but they only said, “Amma, I want to sleep on your lap…”
If you are serious about learning forgiveness as a tool for better living, just observe children around you. They are the only ones who can teach you by example.
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This is my first time on your blog and I haven’t quite caught up yet. I just wanted to drop a quick note to acknowledge your courage for putting your confessions out there in public, and wish you the best for your personal 90-day no spanking challenge! Good luck 🙂
Thank You, Sumitha! I am at it!
You write wonderful things that should be read by all adults. The perspective is simply admirable.