I admit I make parenting mistakes and I am not a perfect parent. But as far as I am concerned, I am trying to give my child everything I can. I always make sure that he follows my orders and use them for his benefit. I am sure I am making the right decisions for him because I know better. But, do I?
According to Ruby Natale PhD, PsyD “Many people use the same tactics their own parents used, and a lot of times that meant using really harsh discipline.” We always think that being a parent we have the right to control our kids. We make decisions for them because we assume they won’t do well. We try so hard to keep them away from danger, and when they disobey, we lose ourselves and unintentionally hurt them. But that’s the problem. Spanking our kids lead to complication and sometimes, it causes mental conditions.
My Worse Parenting Mistake
I usually use spanking as a means of disciplinary action for my child’s incoherent behavior. But recently, I noticed that instead of encouraging him to behave, he tends to have mood swings. He became distant and detached. At first, I thought that was okay because at least he learned his lesson. However, the constant spanking made him aggressive, agitated, disrespectful, and ill-mannered. So I wondered why my disciplinary action seemed not working anymore.
Amy Morin, LCSW is right when she said; “It’s important to ensure your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development because the way you interact with your child and how you discipline her will influence her for the rest of her life.” So I attempted to talk to my child in the most comfortable way I can, but it didn’t work. I somehow felt that I already inflicted something in his emotional and psychological state that he thought about me as someone who will make his life miserable. He became depressed, anxious, stressed out, secluded, and lonely. Every time I approached him, he would tend to back off and shrug me off.
Since I used to spank my kid every time he committed a mistake, I continually did what I thought I had to. Though I seemed to notice those different behaviors, I ignored them. I wasn’t thinking of any pediatric counseling whatsoever, not until he recently stopped talking to me. He ignored my presence as if I didn’t exist. He stopped communicating with me and pretended that I wasn’t around. At his young age, I got scared. So I questioned myself, “what have I done”?
Since I knew I made a mistake, I am now ashamed of the outcome. I don’t want to talk about my son or my situation in front of other people. And as much as possible, I don’t want anybody to know about it. I don’t want people to know that my parenting style created so much psychological pain to my child. So I tried searching the internet for possible solutions in my problem with my child, and I bumped into BetterHelp, a website that caters to online counseling. After reading a lot about the dangers of spanking and how it can cause a traumatic experience, I decided to schedule my son for pediatric counseling. Finally!
I understand Allison Ricciardi, LMHC on her statement that “You may have done everything right. You may have tried your best to instill the right values, morals and faith. Your kid’s challenging but that doesn’t mean failure on your part.” But as the process of consultation continues to show development, I became more ashamed of myself. I thought that physical damage had nothing to do with mental conditioning, but I was wrong. I inflicted my child’s emotional and psychological health, and now I am paying for what I did.