It wasn’t until I was aggressively confronted at a neighbor’s childrens’ birthday party that I thought twice about my 3-year-old son hitting other kids.
I was at a neighbor and good friend’s house for 5 minutes, walked away from my son for 1 minute and heard another parent telling my crying child to go tell his mom what happened…
This woman was a hot mess… she began yelling at me that my child bit her child and that she doesn’t want him around her child.
Needlesstosay….I have never been confronted by another parent in such an aggressive manner before and I clearly saw where her child got his lack of communication skills…
Not only did I feel very sorry for this woman who clearly had her own troubles with communicating, but I felt sorry for myself because I had not felt the conviction I feel now about my son’s behavior.
This experience was a beautiful gift that drove me to get very clear about my intentions with my children and how I teach them, how I respond to them and even to other children.
It’s not about the hitting…
Some parents teach their children to “walk away”, say “no”, and even to “hit back.” Hitting is a terrible taboo in toddler culture, right up there with its brother, Biting.
Here are my clear beliefs that I am able to define, thanks to this enlightening opportunity:
Being aggressive with Theo just teaches him more aggression. I believe the reason he hits is because he has a hard time communicating, and especially if the other child is not communicating effectively, either. It’s not about the hitting, but about being heard… c’mon, friends… we all just want to be heard.
Another reason he hits is because he’s testing his boundaries. I recently witnessed him and another boy his age being physical with each other, in a way they both agreed with…this was at the playground and I didn’t know the boy or his mother, but my son and her son took to each other and ended up wrestling around and chasing each other…
This made me realize that my son wants to mess around….be physical… have fun….
Back to the outrageous behavior of the birthday party….
This woman’s son had a hard time speaking and I noticed he and my son working through this communication…I noticed this in the first few minutes of us being there… who would ever think, though…
Kids are individuals and I am committed to treating my children as such. I will take an extra moment to understand the situation and adjust my energy….
I am not perfect and make mistakes all the time. I do not intend on being a hypocrite but make this intention as a loving one.
Some kids are antsy or think differently and doctors say they have ADD and autism… other kids have behavioral problems because they may be empathetic to others’ energy or because they have a hard time communicating. Some kids are a result of neglectful parents.
I am not one of these parents and if anyone wants to have a conversation with me about how I raise my children, please, perhaps we can share notes.
I raise my children with care and intention and yes, I make a butt load of mistakes…yes, I said butt load…and I am the first to take responsibility for those mistakes, learn and move on.
Moving forward, I will be courageous and with conviction of the choices I make with my children. I am not perfect and Iyanla says we “don’t have to be perfect, only willing.”
I will be compassionate for small children, though they have free will, their parents either have no clue or they are doing their best or both.
I will take things more lightly, carry a gentle heart…perhaps I’m referring to “speak softly and carry a big stick”….
I am not perfect and I may default even before the kids go to bed tonight. Nonetheless, I have faith. My intention is set and so it continues….
What others say about hitting
It’s not about the hitting…It is our energy that we must adjust in order to address the feelings of our child… They just want TO BE HEARD…. we must listen to them and teach them… We must BE the change we want to see in the world, we must BE the energy we want our children to learn.