Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Product of Poor Parenting Skills

Cade has taken up the hobby of smacking. And evil looks, which Brandon so aptly named “spanking with his eyes.” He’ll hit me, and I’ll say, “No, Cade, no hits. Say sorry.” And I’m angry, but I try not to let him see it, only my gentle (but also so, so firm) guiding hand. But then he looks up at me with those dark blue eyes and those long spidery lashes, and he smiles and shows the dimple in his left cheek, and he says, “Sowy Mama.”

And I melt.

Until 2 minutes later, when he smacks me again.

And I repeat my speech. (Which seems to be working, as you can see.) (But I keep trying it.) (All to no avail.) (And yet.)

Or he’ll chuck his toys at the wall, chipping the paint. And he especially loves drawing on them with a pencil. And, so, so unfortunately, pencil scribbles do not erase from walls. I’ve tried. Desperately. Many times.

And then: repeat “sowy” cycle = stern mom, sweet boy, manipulate and melt my malleable (alliteration: 4 points!) heart…

Clearly, he does not really feel repentant for his misdeeds.

So, my question is this:
Is he simply in the Terrible Two’s, or do I suck at punishing (or lack thereof) my son?

I’m beginning to think my first is going to be really screwed up.

But at least he no longer humps the TV.

16 comments:

Brett said...

To simply answer your question. . . it's your parenting that's wrong.

brie said...

Thanks Twin. Your vote of confidence means the world to me. Good thing I know you're joking, loser.

Laur said...

thats a tough one. I think he will grow out of it. You are right, he is just so stinkin cute its hard to ever get mad at him (not that I have ever been mad at him) but at the same time you would hate him to hit other kids cause then you will have other mom's mad at you.
I told you I had to do my first time out with Conner the other day. Just go with your instincts. Love ya!

Stacy said...

I think kids (of all ages mind you) do listen and learn from our parenting punishing/guiding attempts... BUT they also have a wonderful knack of forgetting everything we just taught them or punished them for within moments.
Haylie does it and it DRIVE ME INSANE. andyou know you don't want to beat your children but sometimes (before the lovey eyes are viciously whipped out to melt us) it would be so easy to be a bad parent.
You are doing fine. and I am glad you keep reiterating that hitting mommy or anyone is unacceptable. It drives me crazy when parents don't scold their kids when they hit them.
ok the end.

Krista said...

Mr. Clean magic eraser works wonders on walls. I even got sharpie off with it. I bet he's just in that stage. We should get together and let our boys beat up on each other so they know how it feels to hit. Year number two is seriously trying my patience! Really though a play date might be fun if you are up for it.

zubeldia said...

i was reading something the other day in a parenting magazine and it talked about the best way to get your kids to do/not do something, is to really positive reinforce the behaviour you actually want from them... This, as opposed to negatively punishing them.

I don't have kids, of course :)

Love, Z

H said...

I obviously have no real children of my own....but I do have a classroom of evil devil spawn-ish children who STILL act like your little Cade man. Apparently, in all my child development courses in graduate school, there is no such thing as the "terrible twos". It's us. The grown ups. We don't understand that they are simply at a stage of exploration. Exporing EVERYTHING known to mankind...even the whole "if I do this ____, then what will happen?" I think Cade's just experimenting and loves to see your reaction....how he has the POWER to "melt" you. Power + 2 year old boy = trouble. Well, and some good laughs too. I've learned, and also practiced this in my kindergarden class, that simply ignoring those kinds of things is the best thing to do. No reaction whatsoever (unless of course the kid is beating you to a pulp!). And, like Z mentioned, getting all psychotically happy when he DOES do something appropriate and loving. : ) So, that's my two cents! Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It's all about trial and error, as we all know!

KC Elaine said...

Unfortunately I know nothing about parenting, so I can't answer your question. But I enjoyed your story!

Courtney said...

I have no experience, just a lot of trepidation considering I'll be dealing with similar stuff in about 2 years. But I do think it's curious that my older brother (who was a mischievous, trouble making kid) is now an amazingly talented and sane dr-to-be, and I (who was perfectly mannered, obedient, and never getting into trouble) am the one who nearly killed myself in my quest for perfection and control. So maybe a little rebellion and defiance is a good thing?

Kathy with a K said...

Advice: Let him see that you're angry and don't melt! He's just waitin' for you to melt. It's his reward for hitting. Don't make it worth his while.

:) Good Luck. Consistency is the hardest part.

brie said...

You're all right, of course. I think we want to forgive him so quickly because we want him to know that it *was* good that he said sorry. I dunno. We're also toying with the thought of putting him in timeout, but it'd only be for a minute or two - literally, not more than that. Most I've talked to are saying he's old enough for that...so we may try it...

This parenting shiz is *hard.*

Laura said...

I say bite him. That is what I do to my kids, and it works great for me.

Seriously...if he hits, take his hand, look him the eye, and say in a deep stern voice, "we don't hit. Hitting is bad.If you hit again, you get a two minute time out."

THEN...bite him.

goodmum said...

LOL! I LOVE the "spanking with his eyes" comment. I SO do that to MY son!!! Now if only it actually did some good.....

Kia (Good Enough Mama)

H said...

Today a mom I work with said what she does to her kids when they hit or pull someone's hair, or scratches someon, she immediately and very firmly says in a calm and unemotional voice, "hit your own body" or "pull your own hair"...you get the point. She says when they're that young (toddler age) they actually do it immediately (cuz they're so at that "command" stage). The funny part, she says, is that after they smack themselves, or whatever, they look at her with this bewildered look on their faces like....why the heck did I just do that? I guess it gives them a taste of their own medicine...and with their own hands as well! Anyway, it made me laugh and so I had to share it with you!

And about biting. I read that above. I actually bit my dog's leg once cuz I was mad. I think it startled me more than my dog. Yeah, I'm that stupid....how sad.

kellymarie said...

So my 2 year old son does the same thing, hits mommy! Whats up with that? Anyway me saying "no hitting mommy! thats naughty!" never works either! but having dad step in and saying a little more sternly "you dont hit mommy! that hurts mommy!" works a lot better. he seems to realize more that it isnt nice. must be a mom/son thing, i dont think keller would ever hit daddy! good luck
-kelly

Brooke said...

It's called Mr. Clean--Magic Eraser (2 pack). It gets anything off the wall that you want! Your parenting skills are fine. Believe me, I've been in your shoes and still am. I wonder what I've done to my first one!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!