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How can I stop hitting my 5-year-old?

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I yell and hit my kid all the time. I don't know why I have no patience for this 5-year-old. Sometimes, I wonder whether I dislike her? I don't kiss or hug her, but I do so to my 3-year-old.

I know I am terribly wrong and I cry after I hit her, but I cannot control myself. I feel awfully guilty about all this. Sometimes, I cannot sleep thinking about my behavior. All I can tell is I am repressed and oppressed and vent my anger on my little one.

Please help me if you can.

This question was submitted by 'Farhana'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello, Farhana. I appreciate you writing in.

This is really sad to hear. You know it's wrong, yet you feel compelled to do it. I really hope you don't lose control totally when you hit her, to the point where you really hurt her. I know all violence can be seen as bad, but there are still grades of severity and a vicious, uncontrolled beating around the head is not the same thing as a short sharp smack on the leg (I'm not saying either is right).

For the sake of your child – actually, both children – and yourself, if you are really damaging your child, you need to get help now from someone who can aid you in looking after her properly.

Children can be bundles of joy, but they can also drive us to distraction and feel impossible to reason with at times. I know that from having my own kids. It sounds like you have lots of stresses in your life (reading between the lines). The more stressed you are and the less you meet your primal human needs, the less spare capacity you have to be patient with her. That's not an excuse, but an explanation.

Every time you hit her, she is learning. Being attacked is very focusing, to say the least, and we learn when we focus. But she may not be learning to behave, but to fear and distrust you, herself, and even life itself. You need to be ready for that anger to stop it misbehaving and making her and your life a misery, so read 'How to Control Your Anger'.

Make a point of starting to hug and kiss your 5-year-old during quiet moments. Take time to relax. And you could start listening to our 'Anger Management' download in order to 'train your brain' to handle those moments so that your 5-year-old can make some good memories. : ) You could also use the 'Patient Parent' session.

You are not a bad person, because you know it's not right and want it to be different. If you feel you need to talk to someone near you, then find someone and soon.

All my best,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - May 27th, 2015 in

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