Parenting

Guilt.

I made a parenting decision yesterday I’m not proud of. It wasn’t a rash decision, not entirely. I had been thinking about this discipline technique for awhile as a “last resort” type of thing, and yesterday, in a brief moment, I jumped off the bridge. I’m sure many of you can read between the lines, but typing it out solidifies the moment in history and I’m not proud of it in retrospect.

I will never do it again because the guilt it has now riddled me with it so strong, so vile, so painful — is something I can’t live with forever. I’m hoping it will fade in time and since I’ll never jump off the bridge again and now I’m just left with the guilt of the jump and knowledge that I can never un-ring that bell.

(Pardon for the mixed metaphors.)

I just wanted to tell Wes, I’m sorry. I hoped it would help some discipline issues. But even if it does, even if the threat that it will happen again causes you to stop the bad behavior, I don’t think it was worth it. I’m sorry. I love you.

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6 thoughts on “Guilt.”

  1. I am absolutely not invalidating your feelings. I do not believe in parenting guilt. When I screw it up badly I apologize and move on. I take all the kisses, the snuggles, the healthy food, the car seats, the bedtime stories and the dance parties and I stack them up. Then I take every angry yelling, stupid mistake and stack them next to it. The eight million loving touches far out stack the stupid human mistakes. And I know he will be fine.

  2. I totally empathize with your struggles. I have a 5 year old and some of the behaviors you describe about your son really mirror what we have been going through. My daughter is a very sweet and bright girl, but lately the aggressive behaviors have kicked up a notch. She hits, bites, kicks, pinches when she isn’t getting what she wants. I don’t have any answers for you as I am trying to figure it out-and I also have a 15 year old so I am not a rookie parent. I have engaged in discipline techniques that I am not proud of as they were merely done out of anger. Please be gentle with yourself-we all have the best intentions but sometimes make mistakes or not great choices. Hang in there.

  3. I am too stupid to read between the lines (or at least to be sure I am reading correctly) but I think our society has put way too much guilt on parents and we let it consume us. I was a product of spanking as a child (though albeit it was a very rare thing indeed), and I have no lasting neurosis or ill feelings towards my parents. I was backhanded as a teen across the mouth ONCE and quite frankly I deserved it, I was being a complete self-absorbed ass who needed a wake-up call. I can count on one hand the number of times I have swatted my kids in 8 plus years and I don’t feel guilty for it. Yes I try to use many different approaches, as my kids get older the punishments are typically things like “write 25 sentences saying the following… I will NEVER say I hate my sister etc” but before a child can write and after timeouts start lasting FOREVER, the talking it out ad nauseam and the behavior isn’t changing, something has to give. We are all just trying to raise GOOD people, give yourself a break.

  4. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but since I’m not a parent…I don’t have any idea of what you are going through. Parenting takes great patience. I just know that at times I have done things that I’m not necessarily proud of, but that the action I took at time was what was needed. And guilt does go away…just take a deep breath and try not to beat yourself up about it (easier said than done).

  5. I’m not sure I’m reading between the lines correctly – but let me add my 2 cents worth, anyway.
    I’ve raised 5 – all boys, from 44 to 28 now. Yes, they were spanked now and again – and have grown up to be up-standing young men – all of them.
    I myself was spanked – I grew up back in the day when you were spanked in school – then got it again at home. I too turned out okay.
    A previous commenter remarked that she was hit across the mouth and always remembered it – me too!
    At 16, I mouthed off to my gram, then lied about it to my very strict father – I was raised with my mom out of the picture as well, so he was doubly strict.
    Anyway, between the fresh mouth and the lie – dad had had enough. I still can not have a smart mouth to elders – the lesson stuck.
    So, dear Kim – you are doing a superb job, truly, and correctly one’s child is never a cause for guilt.
    We used to say – no bruises, no blood? You are just fine 🙂

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