Where is Super Nanny when you need her? As you know from the previous post, my son is a handful. My daughter was also, at this age, but she quickly learned and improved her behavior. My son is a challenge. He ignores any command to “stop”, “put that back”, “get down”, “don’t do it”. He ignores me so well that I actually had his hearing tested. Al Hamdulilah (Thanks to God). The response of the audiologist was, “He hears fine, he is just ignoring you.”
I was raised in a family where children were spanked. Al Hamdulilah, we all turned out normal, so this method did work. We learned quickly that some behaviors were not allowed. But, I want to try a different method. I am concerned with the mixed message I send my son, when I stress to him, “NO Hitting.” And to emphasize the point, I hit him. Ahhh the hypocrisy. My mother says it is not hypocritical because I am teaching him that I am the only person allowed to hit. It is supposedly okay for me because I am the authority figure. But maybe what I am teaching is that as an authority figure I have a policy of “Do what I say, not what I do.” This is not a policy I want to teach.
As I look at the violence in America, I wonder if this is another of the root causes. Do we teach our children to resolve issues by violence. If a child sees their parent reacting with violence, what do they imitate? These are my college educated, social psychology background, responses. The reality is that as I watch my son repeatedly hit his sister, jump off of furniture and worse of all, go running in the street….I wonder.
It is incredibly difficult to modify his behavior without spanking. Spanking is by far the quickest, easiest and most effective way to change his behavior. But I despise myself later. I feel like a failure as a mother. I have sunken to my lowest level out of frustration. Sigh. I have searched the Sunnah and the Quran for advice. The best I have found is the hadith, “he is not one of us (a believer) who does not show kindness to children.” There are many exhortations to be patient. I often reflect on the patience of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) when his grandchildren crawled on his back while he was leading the salaat in sajdah. My son loves to do this also and it drives me crazy! My first instinct is to knock him off, but I restrain myself and wait him out as long as I can. Then I’m sorry, I have to get him down. He can literally sit on my back, pulling my hijab and kicking my ribs for about fifteen minutes straight.
I am trying “time out.” And we have instituted the “naughty chair.” Thanks Super Nanny! But I have literally had to put him in the naughty chair five times in a row for hitting his sister in one morning. This worked but by the next day, he had replaced hitting with biting! And he has so many behaviors that require a quick and immediate response that it is very frustrating. I just wonder how other moms feel about this issue and what are some of your methods. By the way, time out is the only thing that works because he doesn’t have anything that he enjoys enough for me to take away. Nor does he relate his current behavior with future activities, so I can’t say, if you do this we wont go to the park later. And before you ask, No, I am not the most consistent and I know that is part of the problem. Sigh…