I need to figure out a way to be angry at my kid without being mean and I really need to stop sitting him down firmly when I am pissed.
The impulse to smack a person when I am really mad can be very strong and since I’m clearly not going to haul off and whale on my child, I find other ways to channel that desire for physical aggression. When he was an infant and we were forever bouncing his mattress so he would sleep, I would sometimes bounce him just a little too heavy–handedly. Sometimes when I was doing that Happiest Baby on the Block “Five S’s” routine, I would swing him so fiercely that I had to really hang on tight to keep him in my arms. Both of them helped me breathe through the insane frustration and anger I felt and neither hurt him. I feel ok talking about them, pretty confident that there are only a rare few parents out there who haven’t done similar things.
But this sitting him down thing I’ve been doing lately seems a little over the top to me. Again, I don’t think it hurts him. It’s not like I am tossing him or slamming him. I am just sitting him. On the floor in the hall. In the tub during a shower. I don’t like it. I hate that I can think back and picture myself doing this more than once. Who am I to physically control my child out of my own anger? I thought maybe I could pat myself on the back for not smacking the living sh*t out of him, like some parents do when they’re frustrated or angry, but really, how is what I do all that different?
Ugh. I hate it. And I’m stopping it. I need to stop bullying him. Done and done.