I was smacked as a child.
I have to admit, I have hit my nephew and my daughter once before.
Before becoming a mother myself, I was looking after my sister’s kids.
My nephew was in the bath and was “playing” with his sister.
I believe he didn’t understand what he was doing, but she was having trouble keeping her head above water.
He was too involved in the game and unable to “hear” me. I tapped him on his almost two year old bum only hard enough so he let go of her. Then I helped them both out of the bath to calm him down and explain why it’s dangerous to play like that in water.
I felt absolutely terrible after. He got lots of hugs and I made sure to tell my sister about it. My nephew, now 16 knows the story too.
With my daughter… it was when she was also almost two and a train was about to arrive at the station. She kept pulling out of my hand and trying to run away from me, I smacked her hand to shock her enough so I could pick her up and prevent her from getting hurt.
Again felt terrible.
In moments of panic, I reverted to what I learned as a kid. It frightened me that it was automatic instinct.
I learned though to try harder to assess the situation before and prepare them with words vs reactions.
Easy with hindsight, but I still have the thought of what if…. unknowns, unknown until known!
I do hear you though. I cringe hearing my parents generation complaining about how the kids of today just need a good smack. Then the next conversation is how outrageous it is that elderly people get abused in aged care.
Yes… I say. It’s shocking when anyone gets abused… especially those that are in vulnerable positions… kids and those in aged care!
The don’t even register. The same conversation arising next family gathering.
Well.. this response went way longer than I thought!!
Thank you for gifting me space to reflect.
Thank you for bringing the clarity to the chaos and most importantly…thank you for being you.