I remember piling every parenting book into my basket at Barnes and Noble and thinking okay, once I read these– I’ll know what to do. I’ll be better prepared. I’ll be a better mother. I’ll know how to teach and how to discipline.
I don’t think I’ve read more than half of ONE of those books.
I loved the thought of picking up books on the subject of something SOOOOOO extremely close to my heart, because when you have a book, magazine, article etc in your hand of something that interests you, you are excited to be filled with knowledge and better yourself in that area you wish you flourish in. This is why I love wedding magazines, photography books, business books, etc…but I will tell you one thing. Trial and error has been so much more effective for us and on top of that, 99.99999999% of everything has come completely natural which I am so thankful for. But part of me wondered until the other night– would I be doing better things as a parent IF I had read more of those books? Here’s why my answer is NO.
The other day I was in Target and this little boy was chasing after his mother who was furiously whipping through the clothes racks. It was 10pm and he was in his PJ’s, she was too (which is fine! no judgement) but she just looked frenzied. Stressed. And she was DEFINITELY taking it out on this poor little kid who kept crying nervously. He would go to touch something and instead of saying “don’t touch that” she HAD to smack him. I held my breath every time I hear her smack him because it makes me sick that people feel the need to teach their children a lesson by hitting them. When he hit her back one of the 10 times she smacked him, she FLIPPED and I had to wonder……lady, do you not get it? What are you teaching him? Do you want him to hit others? WHERE did she learn this? Was this her natural instinct, to hit the child she chose to bring into this world to teach him to NOT do something bad like…hit? I would say that I was glad he hit her back but instead of her being aware and taking it as a lesson, she didn’t. She hypocritically got angry at him for doing exactly what she did to him. AWESOME mom right there..as I sit here getting messages from people I know desperately trying for a child. It just simply breaks my heart.
This is where I wonder why when Cammy smacks us in the face, and she does, I choose to take her hands down and tell her no no and kiss her instead. And then, she stops! And usually smiles, and usually hugs me. What is it in ME that tells me immediately that as an adult, I need to suck it up and not smack her back? I mean she is only ONE but she does smack, and hard. We don’t ever smack her, I mean the kid hasn’t even EVER cried it out once. We know she can’t communicate throughly though and the only time she smacks is when she is tired and frustrated and trying to get her point across. When she makes a huge mess, does something she KNOWS she’s not supposed to do, acts too rough…she always ends up correcting her behavior and being sweet again when I am sweet in disciplining her. Did we just get lucky? Are some kids just horrendous? Maybe. But in this house, we do not lay a hand on her…ever.
I’m not saying you are TERRIBLE if you spank your child. This woman in Target was a shining example of going TOO far and it broke my heart. It was hard to experience in a public place and I wasn’t even looking, just listening. I know a ton of people who do it. But I am saying that if you feel no guilt afterwards or ever about it, then you are parenting the way that comes natural to you. You WILL know what works for your family and child no matter how many books you read.
Just remember, they are only babies/kids..and they definitely deserve the best.