When Honey Bee was 2 and a half years old we decided to enroll her in ballet classes. She loved to watch and dance along ballet videos to the point that we could stream the whole Sleeping Beauty ballet and she would be either dancing along or watching attentively the whole time. It was summer time which made the decision easy since we only had to commit to a few classes. Of course, I still got all the gear because: cuteness.
So there we go Honey Bee and me to the dance gear store. Everything was going just fine until I asked her to try the shoes. For some reason she started throwing a huge fit, I honestly don’t remember the details. It happened almost 2 years to date now, but the point is after several attempts to calm her down and tell her that I’d take her to the car if she didn’t stop the fit (you see here… I was telling a 2 and a half-year-old to use reason and behave while she was going crazy… yeah, right!), I completely lost it and stormed out of the store. I was FURIOUS! Literally blinded by anger. I tried to buckle her in the car seat, wrestling style, no success. I spanked her bottom for her unacceptable behavior at the store and the situation just kept escalating. Eventually, I got out of the car and slammed the door as hard as I possibly could. It was very hard. Things eventually calmed down and it was then that I replayed the situation in my head over and over and could not shake away the thought that if my daughter had tried to follow me towards the door I could have either slammed her hand or head on it. I cringed. Because I lost control, I acted with rage I could have seriously hurt her if she had come after me. I cried for days just thinking about that possibility.
I truly don’t remember the details of the episode. I only remember the terrifying thought I had if my actions had led to a different outcome, how could I live with myself if I had hurt her. Since that day, I chose to “walk away” from her fits. Either literally or just going to my happy place in my head, because I cannot afford to flip my lid and act irrationally. I am the adult in this relationship with a fully formed brain, she is still under construction, she has no obligation to be “emotionally stable”.
This is the first time I open myself about what happened that day. I’ve shared the episode with my husband, who calmed me down and reminded me that I shouldn’t be upset about something that did not happen, but no one else. However, it was a good reminder about how blind people can get while in anger. I for sure experienced the receiving end of that growing up and it wasn’t pretty.
Getting myself to walk this path of positive parenting is not easy. It is a daily battle to deny behaviors and emotions that might seem easy to rely on while living the situation, but in the long term, they will only drive me away from my daughter. Becoming a “Positive discipline parent” is a must for me so I can steer completely away from any chance of damaging one the most precious relationship I have in life.