Fighting Back

Author’s note: I wrote this post about a month ago. Normally my oldest is really well behaved, but every once in a while we get to see his crazy, wild, freaking out side.

I failed big time as a mother today. I spanked my oldest son and put him in time out. I lost my temper and yelled at him harder and louder than I have in a long, long time – All because I refused to let him wear a hideously mismatched outfit to preschool.

If he wants to look like a fool within the comfort of our home that’s fine, but I won’t let him look like a maniac in public.

I know what a lot of you are thinking, “What harm is there in him wearing crazy clothes?” The truth? There isn’t any. His wardrobe selection was not the problem. The underlying issue was his reaction to me telling him “NO.” When he acts like a raging bull because he doesn’t get his way … that’s when I have a problem.

If he would have asked in a kind, calm tone with a cheesy, toothy grin, I probably would have let him wear his ugly bear camouflage shirt with his bright green pants. But his rotten resistance and poisonous attitude set me off.

He grunts and whines and screams if he doesn’t get his way. He pouts and growls and charges. Recently he has resorted to hitting, kicking and even biting me in an effort to get what he wants.

That behavior is unacceptable in my opinion and I’m not going to take it anymore. I’ve got to find a successful way to show him that he can’t act like that.

It’s going to be a battle — not only with him but with myself.  Normally I feel guilty for punishing him. I hear him crying from his bedroom and want to console him. I want to cuddle to him and tell him everything is going to be all right. Everything will be all right, but he isn’t going to get everything he wants — especially if he tries to hurt me. I can’t feel guilty for establishing some boundaries.

I am going to have to buck up and show him some tough love. As I told him today, “He is not the boss around here, I am.” I said that coupled with the disclaimer that I am never going to ask him to do something that will harm him, scare him or make him nervous.

I plan to set him on his bed in time-out as many times as it takes in order for him to realize that he can’t flip out like a crazy man. No matter how much he cries from his bedroom, I can’t cave in anymore to his tantrums. Wish me luck and let’s hope I can keep my temper in check.

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