So, by profession I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. What does that mean? I write and implement behavior modification programs - both to increase desired behavior and decrease undesired behavior - for individuals with autism. So... behavior is my THING. I train OTHER parents about handling behavior. I'm the Behavior Mama for crying out loud. I've taught probably a hundred kids not to hit.
My kid hits. My kid has been hitting for months. I've ignored it, I've Time Outted it, I've talked about it, through it, in it, around it. I've yelled. I've walked away. I've taken data and analyzed the function (it's multiply controlled, in case you wondered - part attention, part access to preferred items). And we've gotten it under control - completely ignoring it and walking away from it worked.
So she and the babysitter are playing about 10 feet from me. It's a small house. And she hits the babysitter. And I GUT REACTION want to jump in, prove the the babysitter that we're "doing something about it," put my kid in some kind of Time Out just to do what we're "supposed to do". Then I hear the babysitter FAKE CRYING.
Very realistically. She's put on a full-on, pouting, crying, you-hurt-my-feelings show for my daughter. My daughter is FROZEN to the spot. Spellbound. Working this one out in her little brain. Not amused at all. I hold tight. And sure enough, my daughter toddles over, gives her a hug and says, "Sorrrrry....". On her own. NO barking mom. No Time Out.
It was another instance where my Feel Good Mommy and my Society-is-Judging Mommy had to go to bat for a while. My Feel Good Mommy wanted to hold tight and let the sitter handle herself and my daughter. While it does not in any way feel good to have your child hit someone else, the quiet feeling at my core told me that letting the sitter handle things was the right decision at the right time, and felt good to me. The anxiety provoked by the idea of having to jump in, do some kind of consequence... felt bad to me. It was the "people will judge" Mommy who wanted to do that.
Feel Good parenting lets you respond to the dynamics of the situation with all the elements - that particular babysitter, that particular child, at that moment in their relationship, and that time of day. No book or parenting theory could prepare me to make the right decision in that vortex of variables. Tuning in before making a decision helped me access the calm center of decision making - the decision that made me feel good.
When were you torn between your Feel Good Parent self and Another Kind of parent self? Or between your Authentic self and Another self?