the pea is sick with croup again and i was up most of last night with her so you will have to read this post with that grain of salt tucked into your pocket. the thing about croup is that in the middle of the night (or at 3:43 to be more exact) your child is struggling for their every breath and making that horrific sound (stridor on the symptoms list) and you are holding them but they can’t breath well enough to nurse and you are thinking, do i wake this child up for real and rush to the emergency room or do i hold her tight and listen carefully and let her sleep as well as she can and ride it out?
it seems like a pretty intense decision in the middle of the night and i am willing to guess that even parents who do not normally cosleep may stay all night with their croupy child. i certainly did. not only by her side in the bed we normally cosleep in but with a hand on her so that i would wake the moment she moved (once i put her down). we were up a lot. i was not angry i was scared and i was calling out to our power animals and spirit guides to sit with us and help me hold her and help me know exactly how to call this one. i was calling on the divine for healing light. also, it was the middle of the night and i had that my child can’t breath feeling and it was intense.
it was out of this night that i came down to see a post up over at sorta crunchy, “when extremists are taken to the extreme which basically shares the story of an adoptive family who beat their child to death (and tortured their other child) in the name of discipline. i know i am over simplifying this but remember, i just spent the night holding my sick child and worrying for her life. then i came down stairs to read about children beaten and killed with some plumbing tubing. PLUMBING TUBING. i have to type that twice because i tell you the words are bringing tears of grief and outrage to my eyes.
in case it wasn’t already clear from the rest of my writing on this blog i will tell you straight out that i do not believe in any kind of spanking, hitting, or plumbing tubing forms of discipline. honestly i don’t even practice time outs. i do discipline my children. i teach them what the expectations in our family are, i help them meet these expectations, i set limits, i stick to my limits, i do this with love and kindness as much as i can. i believe in gentle discipline.
with that said i have read in the comments on the blog post that i linked to, and also in some other places where spanking is discussed, that spanking is fine as long as the parents are certain not to do it with anger. some how, if you can separate your anger that your child is not doing what you want them to from the act of physically hurting them to show them they have disappointed you it is A OKAY.
again, let me apologize for my flipness here. i should reel it in instead of apologizing but i am not.
i will tell you that as a parent i struggle with the anger i experience when my children are challenging me on a daily basis i think. probably several times a day. i have to be so careful to observe myself, to have inner dialogs about things, to find ways not to act out of anger. not to speak out of anger.
and i am just not buying the possibility that you can HIT your child to teach them how you want them to be without having it be attached to your own anger. i do not believe it to be possible. the act of hitting itself is violent. violence is born of feeling. feelings like anger, incompetence, violation, frustration, fear. violence is not born of love.
i can understand these feelings. feeling angry with your children. feeling like an incompetent parent. feeling that your children have violated your space, your life, your me time. feeling frustrated with how they are acting. feeling fearful that you have somehow failed them and that is why they are not perfect little angels all the time. oh yes, that i get.
i do not understand how you can convince yourself that you can spank them without anger.
i do not believe that you can beat your child (with plumbing tubing or your hands or a belt or…) into loving submission.
i do not believe there is space in this world for that kind of teaching. not the right space. i don’t want it in the world i live in.
divine light shine down on me and rid me of the fire that pours out of my heart when i think about this story. show me how i may help any parents who feel tempted to take such measures. show me how to spread the word of love and GENTLENESS. the word of connection and attachment as the greatest discipline of all. now i will hold my child as she struggles to breath her way through the night and i will pray for all children living on this earth that they find arms that hold them in embrace. arms that practice the art of physical love. arms that move to connection and loving touch. and may all the arms that are moving towards children in acts of violence be stilled by the power of the divine flooding into them.
if it is to be so it shall be.
peace to all my readers.