I took a few days off of ThinkKit blogging due to a busy work schedule, a kid with a double ear infection, and having a nasty cold that has made me completely lazy when not at work. I'm back in the game now! ThinkKit's prompt today is to talk about something I am on the fence about, what I can't make a decision or opinion on. I think because I'm the mother of a mischievous toddler, I would have to say it's discipline.
Discipline for a 21 month old is difficult and I constantly question if I'm doing the right thing when Raven does something that could be dangerous or just naughty. I admit that I get so frustrated when she does the same thing I tell her sternly not to do and I try to give her several warnings but I just don't know how much she understands versus how much she wants to defy me. This is why I try to explain to her something she is doing is wrong before my bad cop persona comes into play.
When I get very fed up with Raven's bad behavior after verbal warnings, and counting down to have her stop, I put Raven in her room for a five minute timeout. This works about 75% of the time to where she will come out and behave. However, she screams and cries during her timeouts and it breaks my heart. I feel like a bad mother for making her so upset and making her be alone. I hate hearing my daughter wail as if she's expressing how much she hates me. I know discipline is important when raising a child, but maybe I'm more sensitive to it because I hate making anyone upset. I want everyone to be happy always (in a perfect world, yea even the people I don't like).
Am I doing the right thing by using timeouts? Does my daughter think I am mean because she might not understand what she's doing wrong? Am I too harsh with using timeouts or should I just keep telling her no to what she should not be doing? Am I even a good mother (this runs through my head everyday).
One thing I will NOT do is spank, hit, or slap my child or possible future children ever. I personally feel physically hurting your child as punishment is abusive but our parents came from a generation where this discipline was acceptable so I'm not mad at my grandparents or parents for using harm as discipline though I cannot fathom hurting my child to get my point across. I'm sure there are still parents out there that do spank, and honestly I would rather not know who does this because maybe they were raised that it was ok to do so and I don't want to judge others' parenting styles. Though I was spanked sometimes, my parents never left a scar on me and I didn't grow up resenting them for it. I just choose not to ever use this method.
Toddler discipline, it's hard you guys. It's like trying to solve a math equation without any multiple choice selections. I'm sure as my daughter gets older, it will hopefully be easier to know how to properly discipline her especially when she can talk. I will be able to figure out what works and what doesn't work with her to teach her right from wrong. In the meantime, I will suffer through the short timeouts that she does not like either. I just hope my daughter becomes a good person and never has to go to therapy because of her mother!;)