Quoting Devil's Advocate:" I come from a VERY physically and emotionally abusive mother. I vowed never to hit my kids. I am ashamed ... [snip!] ... vow to continue non-spanking. Someone please tell me that I'm not a horrible mother and I can redeem myself. DD just turned 3."
i auto-spanked max... and i have named myself a non-spanking advocate.
but ... i did it. i raised my hand to him in frustration... and w/ one stinging swat on his bare-butt found myself in that position... he cried, stopped being an evil kicking child demon and i apologized and said i got too angry.
we've discussed spanking as something that happens when people get upset -- b/c it's happened.
i'm not making any excuses here, but the swift instinctual reaction to his misbehavior -- pretty much before thought even had occurred, was astonishing to me.
i just grabbed his wrist, whirled him around and planted my hand on his ass like i'd been doing this since i was knee-high to a grass hopper. and i've never done it to anyone in my life!
i think the best you can do is get yourself into a frame of mind about the personhood of your child, about what's realistic from them developmentally, why their irritating behaviors are sensible in the context of their lives... and mostly just challenge yourself to adapt and be patient w/ their struggle to understand and gain control over their worlds, b/c they're growing so much faster than you realize.
i think remembering your own childhood can help you realize how tough and strange it is to be a child... it helps me.
consequences must be doled out in a logical manner -- in accordance w/ the behavior, but violence shouldn't ever be part of that.
anything specific you're having difficulty w/?