Anger and Parenting

Anger and Parenting

Anger and Parenting are two things that rarely are talked about.

But you know what…I am angry today.
Yesterday a great friend and I were enjoying a fun play-date with our kids.
We stepped away to pack stuff up, when my husband came home.
Little did I know in that 3 simultaneous minutes he decided to go to the bathroom… (Moms know to hold it! Just sayin’)
In that little span of 3 minutes my four year old decided to take her plastic golf club and smash it into our 70 inch, $3,000 new flat screen.
ihelpmoms-tv
That is the screen where Princess Sofia greets her each morning and the Little Einsteins take her on great adventures.  Why on earth would she want to destroy something that has brought her joy?
My first reaction was disbelief.  She never ever had hurt anything before.
My second reaction was why on earth did my husband go to the bathroom?
My third reaction was awkwardness what we were in the middle of a play-date.
My fourth reaction was I don’t know the right way to deal with this. So my husband and I agreed she needed to go into her room for a parental timeout.  We needed to gather up a game plan.
It wasn’t even about the television being ruined it was about the mindset of behavior in following others, bad decision making to physically hurt something and little remorse that upset us most.
So many thought ran through my mind about the dumb stuff I had done as a kid and recognizing now that I was the adult facing a parenting crossroads. Damn Karma.
How can you make a 4 year old understand that extremely bad decisions have extremely dire consequences?
Where on earth were we going to magically find $3,000 to replace our TV?  We had carefully budgeted for that.  If she was older having her work to earn it would make complete sense.
My husband did some deep breathing, while I took a time out to think about how to handle this in the back.  It is easy to point fingers as adults too, me blaming him for going to the bathroom, him blaming me for not explicitly saying he was in charge for a few minutes, (it’s fine if you want to blame us for a lapse of 3 minutes in parenting, I am the honest mom after all), and blaming myself for leaving the plastic golf clubs in the playroom.
When we came back together to navigate this parenting decision, we decided she needed to feel the consequences.  We took a look at things she LOVES.  She had a birthday party today she really wanted to go to, so she was going to stay home, while our youngest got to go.  In terms of the financial component, we decided that we would cancel her birthday trip to Walt Disney World.  The hotel, tickets, dining that weekend would cover about half the TV cost.
Parenting.  It’s a weird day when you realize you have a big, adult decision to make to ensure your child doesn’t just slide by.
Parenting.  It’s a hard thing to convey your dismay in a way a 4 year old can understand it because to them a new day represents more fun, more adventures.
Parenting.  There is no manual you can pull out when you see your TV crushed to pieces and a golf club in your child’s hand.
Parenting.  The hardest job in the world.
I am not angry anymore, because I realize at the end of the day, you love your child unconditionally, you have to be the parent which isn’t always fun and you have to follow through.
How would you handle it?  Would you let it slide? Is it just a simple timeout? Do you have a tangible consequence?
Bring on the parenting advice!
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