It’s February. I have a three year old. Today is a good day. Zero hitting. Hitting can be Ian’s go to some days, and it’s taken me the last year and a half to come to terms with it. Not that my terms have fully come yet, but they have packed the car with a lunch and are on their way.
Today, he has successfully not thrown a car, a boot, and a water bottle. He’s had the thought, swung his arm behind his head, heard my reminder to keep my body safe, paused, and dropped said objects to the floor behind him.
I am under no illusions that physical aggression is done. It may be something he’s challenged by always, but I rejoice in the pause. In knowing he has the ability to not do it.
Through each parenting challenge, I fully acknowledge that I’m actually parenting myself. Every time I ask Ian to keep my body safe, I’m that little girl who was attacked and bullied. I have to remember that my child is not the enemy, and that I am safe. I now have the opportunity to speak up when as a child I did not feel safe to do so.
When I was bullied and went to my second grade teacher, I was told, “Boys will be boys.” I think this is complete cop out and was extremely negligent on her part. However, I also see that some kids just have this temperament. I’m not excusing it at all and I never let a physical transgression happen without discussion and removal if it doesn’t stop, but I also have to acknowledge that Ian hitting doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom or he’s a bad kid. It’s not because I don’t discipline or he doesn’t listen to me. There is nothing else for me to “do” other than be consistent, focus on connecting with Ian and let him know that no matter if the behavior is acceptable or unacceptable, he is worthy of love and belonging.
Anyone else out there a proud parent of a “hitter?”