Fear of Discipline Backfires!

Do you have a wild child? Then this article may be for you. Do you just blow up when you can’t take it any more? Then this article is definitely for you. Abuse victims, when they become parents, are handicapped in two ways. One, they have no clue how to give good discipline because they never saw it done. A parent who knows how does not resort to abuse. Or, I should say, a parent who knows how deep in his/her bones, not just intellectually, does not need to resort to abuse. So if you were beaten, humiliated, yelled at, ignored, neglected, abandoned, criticized, or any of the hundred other ways of being abused, you never saw positive discipline in action. So you just don’t know what it looks like. Now, suppose you take a parenting course. Here’s handicap #2. Even when you learn–intellectually–what it is, many parents who have been abused have a gut-level abhorence of anything that remotely looks like violence. Any form of discipline that is perfectly “kosher” may look to an abuse victim like something harsh, mean, and hateful. And those parents just can’t seem to put it into action. That’s when the leniency paves the way for the very abuse they don’t ever want to be guity of doing: Because they have failed to discipline their child, the child, of course, gets out of hand, eventually. That’s what normal children do, if unstopped. So then, these sweet, lovely parents who couldn’t bring themselves to discipline their child lash out at them angrily. And they actually feel justified! “I’ve had enough!” They exclaim. Well, that’s...

Those Kids Must Be Doing SOMETHING Right

The saddest family walked into my room not long ago. The tension in the air was so great, I could hardly breathe. The parents smiled and were quite pleasant as they addressed me and their children, so what was I picking up? The daughter, a teen, had a glum expression and sat with her arms crossed. She, clearly, was unhappy. But was she just a manipulative person who was cross when she didn’t get her way? That seemed to be her parents’ thought as they argued and negotiated their way through the first 20 minutes of our session. Now, in truth, if these parents had been operating from the rest of this website, they would have gotten gold stars. They were not abusive. They were not putting the children down. They had good rules. They stuck to the rules (more or less). They tried to not let the kids walk all over them. Was it their fault that the children needed so much control? How To Create Low Self Esteem Without Abusing Your Child The answer is: Yes. Yes, it is their fault. The object of controlling a child is to foster self-control. The object of discipline is to foster self-discipline. If parenting is not accomplishing that then all the rules, all the consequences, are for naught. You will only foster rebellion. Or resentment, or just plain pain. This child was in pain. And the worst of it was that with all the rules and all the consequences and all the arguments, negotiations, and deals, she was totally convinced that whatever was wrong was wrong with her. Even when...
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