Believe in your kids

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When I was a kid I overheard a conversation my younger brother had with my mom…about me. They were in the next room, so I could still hear them. I guess my mom didn’t know that, and she chose to handle the situation the way she did, unfortunately for me. He asked her if she thought I was pretty. I guess he was very little then and didn’t have his opinion about things yet, so he asked a lot to learn about the world. Well, my mom did answer his question, but her answer haunts me even now. She paused for a second or two, I remember that, and then she told him that she thought I was…interesting.

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Quote (Haim G. Ginott)

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Makes…you…think. And then think even more. And, maybe, realize we shouldn’t be so harsh on our kids. After all, it’s just an umbrella, figuratively speaking.

β€œWhat do we say to a guest who forgets her umbrella? Do we run after her and say “What is the matter with you? Every time you come to visit you forget something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Why can’t you be like your sister? When she comes to visit, she knows how to behave. You’re forty-four years old! Will you never learn? I’m not a slave to pick up after you! I bet you’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to your shoulders.”
That’s not what we say to a guest. We say “Here’s your umbrella, Alice,” without adding “scatterbrain.”
Parents need to learn to respond to their children as they do to guests.”
― Haim G. Ginott

Photo: thejbird (Flickr)

Quote (Jodi Picault)

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Another deep message today. Sounds simple, yet not many people give it enough thought.

Do you want love or blind obedience (also mistaken for”respect” by some parents) from your kids? If you want to be loved, then be the person worth loving. Would you love someone who constantly intimidates you, yells at you, spanks you, doesn’t respect your opinion, and only wants you to follow everything that person says, all the time? Would you, honestly, be able to love someone like that? Then don’t be that way with your own kids. Be someone they would look up to because they want to, not because they are forced to. Be someone they would enjoy spending time with, someone they would feel like they can trust, because they know you won’t harm them, and will understand and support them. Be someone…you would love yourself if you were in your child’s shoes. Be someone who deserves love.

Photo: Dani Venn (Flickr)

Spanking is hitting

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“The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) condemns the use of physical punishment (corporal punishment) in the discipline of children and recommends alternative methods that enhance children’s capacities to develop healthy emotional lives, tolerate frustration, regulate internal tensions, and behave in socially acceptable ways.

Physical punishment is a serious public health problem in the United States, and it profoundly affects the mental health of children and the society in which we live. Studies show that approximately 65% of adults in the United States approve of physical punishment and about 50% of families use physical punishment to discipline children. Yet, research shows that physical punishment is associated with increases in delinquency, antisocial behavior, and aggression in children, and decreases in the quality of the parent-child relationship, children’s mental health, and children’s capacity to internalize socially acceptable behavior. Adults who have been subjected to physical punishment as children are more likely to abuse their own child or spouse and to manifest criminal behavior (Gershoff 2008).”

More on their position here: http://www.apsa.org/About_APsaA/Position_Statements/Physical_Punishment.aspx

I am my kids’ friend

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When I was a child, and then later a teenager, my mom would always stress that she was my parent, not my friend, so I shouldn’t see her as one, treat her as one, and talk to her as one. Of course, this was mentioned whenever there was a disagreement and she was unhappy with me, and she clearly used the word “friend” as something very bad. But it always puzzled me. I loved my friends, they were my world, so I hated whenever my mom would say such hurtful things, because I felt like by her attitude towards friendships she insulted my friends, too.
And the saddest part is that I always felt envious of families where children and parents were very close, as close as I was with my friends.

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