It’s been a hard day. I was in a bad mood, burned out and low on margin, the sort of place in which incessant whining is massively difficult to process or deal with. Ultimately, when Hazel was throwing a fit in the car because she wanted to sit on the other side of the car, I yelled at her, “Get in your seat!” And it was just that one sentence, but I really yelled. Pretty quickly thereafter I almost lost my voice. I don’t yell very often in my life.
I should have asked Ted to take the kids to the park so I could practice and cook in peace and quiet. I didn’t.
One thing that did strike me in, though, even in the middle of all this, was that Hazel was able to tell me that I wasn’t using a kind voice and that she wanted me to apologize. And I did apologize, even though I really, really didn’t want to. And that is a level of skill that neither my parents nor I had when I was a kid.
And tonight after I got the twins down (thankfully they fell asleep nursing and it was easy), I came back downstairs, snuggled up with Hazel, and read two books to her. And I told her again that I was very sorry for yelling at her, that I loved her, that I was glad she was my daughter. We were able to be warm and open with each other.
Tomorrow I want to finally get some things from Positive Discipline printed out and put up on the walls. I need help in those moments of great difficulty, things to do when I’m angry that I won’t regret later, things that will actually be positive in the long run.
I don’t want to be an asshole to my kid.