Words Matter

Sunday, August 28, 2011 4 comments

"Be mindful of the language you use to describe your children. They will come to see themselves through that filter you design." - Lori Petro, TEACH Through Love

Words are powerful. Words are especially powerful when said by parents to their children. The words we use to describe our children become a part of their self concept, and their behavior is based on their self concept. Consider these words from this article:
Our actions have deep roots on what we think and how we perceive self. Self concept has a big influence on our behavior. Behavior pattern decides actions. Stable or unstable self concept, it is a motivating force in a persons behavior...It is worth at this moment to connect the influence of our word we use to call some little ones as ‘dumb’, ‘donkey’ etc. We just casually call and forget, but those words have big impact on little minds. Some school children study below their capacities because they have learned at home and from other members of friend circle to think themselves as dumb.
I love this article , which talks about how what we think about our children often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It says this:
If we have a positive view of our children they are likely to feel the same about themselves.
It goes on to say this, which I think is so important for parents to understand:
Children will have a much easier time valuing themselves if they are valued by their parents. Dorothy Briggs, the author of Your Child's Self Esteem, says that parents are like a mirror, creating the child's self image. We reflect back to them who we think they are and they take it in as the absolute truth. They are not critical of our evaluation of them until they get much older, when the damage is largely done.
I was in the salon a couple of weeks ago, and a mother had her son there with her. She was telling everyone in the shop how difficult and bratty he has been all summer. The boy hung his head low, and I wish I'd had the courage to tell her how she was destroying his self concept, but I didn't. I often hear parents belittling their children right in front of them, using hurtful words like "mean" or "brat." Even if they never actually say these words to their children, the way they think about their kids influences the way they treat their kids, and the children will pick up on that. From What Does Your Child Look Like:
The way we 'frame' a situation, or a person, heavily influences our interactions. If we consistently see our children as frustrating impediments in what would otherwise be a well-ordered life, then every interaction with our children will be marred by that default view. Such a view promotes a deficit-orientation towards a family. It reduces motivation on the part of parents to help their 'good-for-nothing' 'bratty' 'ungrateful' children. And unsurprisingly, such an approach is hardly inspiring for children. They feed off the negativity of parental perception and typically live up to precisely what is expected of them... which is not much.
That mother in the salon was actually feeding her son's misbehavior because she was making that a part of his self concept.

I understand we aren't perfect parents, and sometimes something may slip off our tongues that we regret saying. In those instances, apologize and reaffirm to your child your love and belief in him. Positive parenting does not require us to be perfect, but it does require us to be mindful. Be mindful not only of the words you say, but of the thoughts you think. Reframe negative thoughts and purposefully look for and appreciate the positives in your children. Tell them how kind, capable, and wonderful you think they are. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child will never be found under the Christmas tree: A healthy self concept.


“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.” - Dr. Haim Ginott

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The Benefits of Laughter

Friday, August 26, 2011 No comments
Laugh!

"If you have children at home, there is no reason you shouldn't be laughing all through the day. Don't get so caught up in the pressures of raising your children that you don't take the time to enjoy them." - Joel Osteen

If I could give you only one piece of advice for raising your children, cultivating strong relationships, and creating a pleasant home atmosophere, that advice would be simply this: Laugh.

Too often, we get so caught up in the stresses of daily life, the pressures of our jobs and childrearing and housekeeping, that we forget to laugh. There are many benefits of laughter! Studies show that people who laugh often are healthier, more creative, live longer, and are happier overall. Laughter also brings us closer. It's a connector. Because positive parenting is all about the connection we have with our children, laughter is a powerful tool to connect us and make us more in tune with each other.
An article on The Benefits of Laughter says this:
But of all the elements that contribute to the warm atmosphere of a good relationship, there is one that seldom gets translated into advice or even therapy, yet is something that everyone desires and most people would like more of: Laughter.
Laughter:

- Strengthens relationships.
- Attracts others to us.
- Enhances teamwork.
- Helps defuse conflict.
- Promotes group bonding.

Think about these benefits in relation to your parenting! If you want your children to listen, laugh with them! If you want a strong family bond, laugh together!

This article gives more insight into the benefits of laughter.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.
Not only does laughter bond us when we're feeling good, but it protects us in times of adversity!

The article goes on to say:
Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

- Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
- Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
- Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
- Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.

My challenge to you (and myself) is to make time every single day to laugh with your children. Act silly. You don't always have to put on a serious face and stern voice in order to be an effective parent. In fact, the opposite seems to be true! The more open and silly and spontaneous you are, the more effective you will be! Play games, tell jokes, dress up, chase each other, make goofy faces, watch a funny movie, and just enjoy each other. Watch your relationships blossom, your stress diminish, your child's behavior improve, and your happiness soar!


My reminder on my kitchen wall. :)

One day, a chicken walked into a library. He said, "Book, book!" and the librarian said, "I know you want a book." So she gave the chicken a book and it walked out. In two minutes he came back, got another book and went again. This happened for two days non-stop. On the third day, the librarian followed the chicken, past the zoo, past the shops, to the park and to the pond. In the middle of the pond, on a lily pad, sat a frog. The chicken offered the book to the frog saying, "Book, book," and the frog replied, "Read it, read it!!"

"All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other." -August Wilson

What is Misbehavior? - Guest Post by Kelly Bartlett

Friday, August 12, 2011 2 comments
This is a guest post by Kelly Bartlett.
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"Children don't misbehave, they simply behave to get their needs met."

This quote comes from Dr. Thomas Gordon, but other psychologists and parent educators have said the same thing. Dr. Jane Nelsen devotes a whole section of her book, Positive Discipline, as well as lessons in her parenting classes to understanding children's mistaken goals of behavior. The underlying concept is that behaviors like crying, whining, tantrums, lying, hitting, destroying property, etc. all stem from a child's unmet need. There is something that child is needing that they're not getting, so they behave in a way to try to meet those needs. Dr. Nelsen calls them "Mistaken Goals" because the child is often mistaken about how to behave in a way to meet their needs.

Last week, I saw a lady who set her full cup of iced coffee next to her on the bench near where her 1-year-old daughter was toddling around. The little girl kept going over to it and picking it up, wanting to turn it over. The mom continually called her "naughty" and asked if she needed a time-out. If this mother understood the relationship between needs and behavior, she'd know that her daughter was not being naughty and that a time-out won't solve anything. At one year old, this child's need is to explore her environment using all of her senses; she is not misbehaving, she's doing exactly what a one-year-old needs to do.

We all behave in ways to get what we need. If I need something to eat, I'll go to the kitchen and make myself some food. If I need some order in my life, I'll clean my house. If I need a renewed sense of community, I'll turn on my sociability as I make an effort to connect with friends and neighbors. If I 'm feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated, I might subconsciously distance myself from others as I attempt to carve out some alone time for myself (if I don't realize what I need), or I might just say, "Hey, I need some alone time," (if I do).

Kids aren't as astute at knowing how to meet their needs as we grownups are. Sometimes even we don't behave in the most appropriate ways to get what we need. A child is much less capable of identifying and articulating what they need, and instead they reach out through their behavior. What looks like "misbehavior" is actually a child's misguided attempt to fulfill a need that's not being met.

As any parent knows, hunger and sleep are two of the most common needs that, when unmet, trigger all kinds of "colorful" behaviors in children. Other needs children have that they will work at meeting are:

- Empathy; children need validation and acceptance of their thoughts and feelings
- Belonging; children need to know that they matter and that they have an importance place in the family
- Autonomy; children need to have choices and independence
- Connection; children need to be heard and understood

The most common "misbehaviors" we see in our children are most likely the result of one of those needs not being met. I see it in my own kids. Just a few days ago, my daughter Elia (age 6) was acting extra whiny and clingy, and I was getting frustrated wondering why. But after a weekend of fewer household projects and more of my focused attention, she got the connection she needed (and I hadn't noticed she needed), and the clinginess subsided.

And I know that sometimes my son JJ (age 4) can't/ won't/ doesn't want to do anything to help around the house; he acts like his contributions don't matter. He thinks that he doesn't matter. But when John and I break down tasks and help him get through little jobs, he sees and feels his own success. He understands how much he does matter to the family, and he gains a needed sense of significance and belonging.

I strive to remind myself that misbehavior isn't really what it seems and therefore doesn't require "discipline." As a Positive Parent, my response to my kids' "misbehavior" is less about applying appropriate disciplinary action and more about meeting the underlying needs. It's proactive. It's respectful. It's loving. It's a reminder that misbehavior isn't malicious, it's human nature.


Looks like someone needed to see if the cake was cool!


Misbehavior? On the contrary, purposeful destruction that meets JJ's need for tactile stimulation.

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Kelly Bartlett is a Certified Positive Discipline Educator, a freelance writer, and a contributing editor on the topic of positive discipline at The Attached Family magazine. She blogs about her family's endeavors in positive discipline and attachment parenting at Parenting From Scratch (www.parentingfromscratch.wordpress.com) and is a contributing blogger for API Speaks.

Discipline with L-O-V-E and C-A-R-E

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5 comments
love

There is tons of discipline advice out there. If you're new to positive parenting, it can be especially daunting to figure out how to handle certain behaviors. But discipline doesn't have to be complicated. You don't have to remember dozens of techniques, tips, tricks, and methods. All you really need is L-O-V-E.

L - Look for the reason behind the behavior. Take a moment to think about what could be behind your child's actions. This will be important information going forward. Is he tired? Jealous? Needing instruction?
O - Open your heart. Remember that you may not like what your child has done, but you do like your child. Instead of reacting, make a conscious decision to pause and breathe, open your heart, and allow compassion and love to help you respond.
V - Validate feelings. Again, the way your child expressed his feeling may be wrong, but the feeling itself is never wrong. Let your child know that you understand how he is feeling, and empathize with him.
E - Explore solutions. Focus on teaching your child appropriate behaviors rather than punishing. Get your child involved in the process of making it right. Problem-solving is a skill that teaches your child responsibility for his actions and gives him a great tool for life.

Care

You may feel certain behaviors warrant consequences. In this case, after you've disciplined with L-O-V-E, discipline with C-A-R-E.

C - Consequences. If problem-solving is not enough, a logical consequence may be appropriate. Your intent should be positive (to teach) and not negative (to get even or hurt). Ideally, consequences should be related to the behavior. For example, if your 4 year old throws a toy and it hits his sister, it is logical to take that toy away for a while.
A - Act with fairness. Again, the goal here is to teach your child how to do better next time. Taking away video games for a week is more likely to build resentment than to teach anything. It may help to wait until you are calm before issuing a consequence.
R - Reconnect. This is crucial for your relationship. Hugs, kisses, I love yous, and play should resume once it's over.
E - Enjoy. Don't bring the incident back up or nag your child about it. Reconnect and move on. This teaches your child how to make amends, and there is no need in dwelling on the past. :)

Here are a few other ideas to encourage good behavior:

- Let your child hear you say good things about him to others; never say anything bad about your child in front of him.

- Don't label your child with words like "mean," "naughty," or "lazy." Your child will internalize these words, and they will become part of her self concept.

- Notice the good things your child does. I'm not talking about lavishing on fake praise, but just a genuine, kind appreciation for things such as being nice to a sibling or completing a task will reinforce those positive behaviors.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. - Lao Tzu

Educated, Scientific, Effective Parenting

Sunday, August 7, 2011 3 comments




This is what my mom said to me once in reference to my decision not to spank my children. "That is just a bunch of new-age nonsense. Children have been raised that way for thousands of years." My answer to that was "And look at where we are."

Positive Parenting is not some kind of new-age trend. This is effective, educated parenting backed by years of research from leading psychologists and neuroscientists who all concur that the traditional methods of discipline are harmful and ineffective and that loving, consistent, kind, responsive parenting makes healthier, happier, better behaved, morally sound children.

Please do NOT confuse Positive Parenting with:

- Permissive Parenting

- Lazy Parenting

- Mollycoddling

- No Discipline

- Over Indulgence

If traditional methods of parenting (spanking, grounding, yelling, controlling) really work so well, why is our society filled with intolerance, violence, hate, and crime? Do you think spanking will keep your kids out of prison? Think again.
The best-kept secret in child psychology is that children who were never spanked are among the best behaved." -Murray Straus, Ph.D.

Our children are facing a mental health crisis. In his book, Spare the Child, Philip Greven notes:
"Punishment in childhood has always been one of the most powerful generators of depression in adulthood." p. 130
"Depression is often a delayed response to the suppression of childhood anger that usually results from being physically hit and hurt in the act of discipline by adults whom the child loves and on whom he depends for nurturance and for life itself." p. 132
And it's not just hitting that is harmful, we now know yelling and shaming to have lasting psychological effects.

By contrast, Positive Parenting has many benefits, such as a reduction in power struggles, stronger relationships, better behavior, resilience, and high emotional intelligence.

Positive Parenting is backed by research on attachment and its effects on the developing brain by leading researchers such as Allan Schore, Dan Siegel, Bruce Perry, and Murray Straus.

Positive Parents:

- Are educated about their child's developing brain.

- Understand the importance of attachment and relationship.

- Set clear boundaries.

- Enforce limits consistently.

- Discipline their children.

- Are kind, gentle, and respectful.

You don't have to make your children feel bad to teach them lessons. In fact, children are less likely to retain information when they are upset. Your secret tool is your relationship with your child. Attachment is the key to effective parenting. Daniel Siegel, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development at UCLA, and author of the seminal book The Developing Mind and Parenting from the Inside Out, specializes in the study of attachment. He describes it as something of a magic bullet when it comes to child development.

While genetics, experiences, temperament, and many other factors contribute to a child’s personality, Siegel says, secure attachments lay the foundation for it all. Attachment “shapes children’s interactions with their peers, their sense of security about exploring the world, their resilience to stress, their ability to balance their emotions, and their capacity to create meaningful interpersonal relationships for the future.”

Having this foundation, or lacking it, Siegel says, affects everything from school success to the ability to form friendships. Self esteem, social skills, emotional intelligence … even who a child eventually picks as a life partner, can all be traced back to attachment, he says. (Source)

Dr. Laura Markham has this to say about Positive Parenting:
Why Positive Parenting? Because it works, from toddlers to teens. Positive parenting raises a child who WANTS to behave.

Strict Parenting raises angry kids who lose interest in pleasing their parents. Permissive parenting raises unhappy kids who test their parents. In both cases, the child resists the parent's guidance and doesn't internalize self discipline.

Positive parenting -- sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance -- is simply guidance that keeps our kids on the right path, offered in a positive way that resists any temptation to be punitive. Studies show that's what helps kids learn consideration and responsibility, and makes for happier kids and parents.

Ignoring all of the attachment and brain development research is like ignoring the research on smoking. Just as some people will continue to smoke despite the known risks, some parents will continue on with traditional discipline. Just as some smokers will not get lung cancer, some children raised with traditional discipline will not have lasting psychological damage. The question is, are you a gambler? And how much are you willing to risk?

Bottom Line: There are a lot of misconceptions about Positive Parenting, from it's permissive to indulgent to lazy. The fact is that Positive Parenting is educated parenting. Positive Parenting is actually less lazy than traditional parenting. We don't just give a swat or send our kids to corners and expect that to teach them appropriate behavior. That's lazy. We teach. We come up with solutions. We give our children the tools they need to do better, and most importantly, we create secure attachments.

Be strong enough to be gentle. Too many parents equate being gentle with being weak or passive when nothing could be further from the truth. Gentleness requires great control, active connection, and intense calm. So, when your child needs discipline, remember that an iron grip isn’t the only way to go. You can accomplish great things by being the calm voice of authority and reason in your home. - Hal Runkel, ScreamFree Parenting

Boys are NOT Stupid!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 8 comments
'

Per Wikipedia, "Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women." Equal being the key word here.

I am ALL FOR equality.

I am NOT for boys being left in the dust. In her article Feminism Shames Young Boys, Pelle Billing says this:

The effect of teachers bringing feminism into the classroom, whether they are feminists themselves or simply instructed to do so, is that young boys hear the message: “Girls are good, boys are bad.” Due to their cognitive development, this is the natural interpretation of feminism for young boys (and girls). This creates a sense of shame at a very deep level, and could quite conceivably affect the self-esteem and healthy development of these young boys.
She goes on to say this:
Let’s have a passionate gender debate amongst adults, but leave children alone, and stop telling them that there’s something wrong with them simply because they were born male.




Christina Hoff Sommers tackles this issue in her book The War Against Boys, and one commenter on the book said perfectly what I was trying to articulate myself.
The problem with feminism is not that it has fostered achievement for women. Rather it is feminism's attempts to demean the roles and achievements of men and "feminize" boys that are problematic. To the extent that feminism has encouraged girls and women to strive for excellence, it should be lauded. To the extent that it has used our institutions, particularly our schools, as a vehicle to establish a so-called "new feminist order" at the expense of our sons, it is shameful.
Of great concern to me, as a mother of 2 sons, is that boys are falling behind in education. From elementary schools to high schools, boys have lower grades, lower class rank, and fewer honors than girls. They’re 50%more likely to repeat a grade in elementary school and one-third more likely to drop out of high school.

What I also find to be beyond troublesome is that boys are now being marketed to be stupid. The apparently popular book "Boys are Stupid. Throw Rocks at Them" has this product description on Amazon. "Girls, here it is—everything you need to know about boys: 1. Boys come from the Stupid Factory. 2. Boys are pretty much smelly and useless. 3. It is possible to have fun with boys, however..... 4. If you decide to keep a boyfriend, he will need to be housebroken." It is described as "edgy freshness." I think it's garbage. How will MY sons feel if they see a girl wearing this shirt?



But is feminism really to blame here? In an article in Dissent from 2006 titled The War Against Boys, Michael Kimmel points out:
If boys are doing worse, whose fault is it? To many of the current critics, it’s women’s fault, either as feminists, as mothers, or as both. Feminists, we read, have been so successful that the earlier “chilly classroom climate” has now become overheated to the detriment of boys. Feminist-inspired programs have enabled a whole generation of girls to enter the sciences, medicine, law, and the professions; to continue their education; to imagine careers outside the home. But in so doing, these same feminists have pathologized boyhood. Elementary schools are, we read, “anti-boy”—emphasizing reading and restricting the movements of young boys. They “feminize” boys, forcing active, healthy, and naturally exuberant boys to conform to a regime of obedience, “pathologizing what is simply normal for boys,” as one psychologist puts it.
However, he goes on to say:
Perhaps the real “male bashers” are those who promise to rescue boys from the clutches of feminists. Are males not also “hardwired” toward compassion, nurturing, and love? If not, would we allow males to be parents? It is never a biological question of whether we are “hardwired” for some behavior; it is, rather, a political question of which “hardwiring” we choose to respect and which we choose to challenge... By contrast, feminists believe that men are better than that, that boys can be raised to be competent and compassionate, ambitious and attentive, and that men are fully capable of love, care, and nurturance. It’s feminists who are really “pro-boy” and “pro-father”—who want young boys and their fathers to expand the definition of masculinity and to become fully human.


So who caused this problem? I don't know, and the truth is, I don't care. It doesn't matter who I pin the blame to, it doesn't solve the problem. And what I want are solutions. What I want is for my boys to have the same equal opportunities as your girls, and vice versa. What I want is for NO ONE to be left behind. What I want is for my boys to not be subjected to this kind of garbage.





What I want is for my boys not to be shamed just because they are boys.

I don't have any overnight solutions. I know we can not feed it by purchasing the garbage I've pictured here. I believe conscious parenting will have an effect. The more children raised with respect, compassion, and empathy, the more respect, compassion, and empathy will permeate society. We need to be conscious of the messages were sending to our children, conscious of what messages they're getting from the media. We need to discuss these topics with our chidren when it is age-appropriate to do so.

As one mom put it in the video Do Boys Get a Bad Rap, "Instead of putting the emphasis on "feminism," we should be putting the emphasis on "humanism," as in "all human beings should be treated with respect."

This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 6 comments


There has been a lot of buzz about how spanking affects children. It got me to wondering how spanking affects the spanker. I turned to my friend and Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting, for her thoughts on this topic. Her words are in bold type.

1. When a parent hurts her child, the parent has to deaden her natural empathy. We know, for instance, that watching a violent image reduces our empathy. To actually engage in a violent act ourselves is much worse, we must disconnect from our own compassion not only for our child but for anyone.

Yes, spanking is a violent act. Even if you do it "out of love" it is still violence because you are physically striking another human being to deliberately cause them pain. To deliberately inflict pain on you own child, you have to disconnect from compassion and from empathy.

2. When we spank our child, we MUST justify it in order to live with ourselves. So we begin to see our child as bad, as deserving of punishment.

Wow, that's big, isn't it? If you did NOT see your child as deserving of punishment, you would see no need to spank, would you? If you viewed your child through a compassionate lens, as a tiny person who will make mistakes along the way because he is human, who deserves to be taught in a loving, gentle way, you would never strike him. You spank because you believe your child deserves it. Why? Who deserves to be hit?

3. When we see our child as needing to be physically hurt in order to learn a lesson, we may become less protective. We certainly are more likely to spank harder next time.

Research studies have shown that you must escalate your punishments for them to continue to work. Studies also show that you hit your child 40% harder than you think you do. Furthermore, 2/3 of all physical abuse cases start out as regular spankings that get out of hand. Prof. Wolpert said his research suggests that people's inability to actually gauge how hard they are whacking others means that parents who try to spank no harder than they remember being spanked may well over-hit.

4. When we spank our child, we "wall off" our own inner child, who feels vulnerable. In fact, our desire to cut off that vulnerability is one reason we spank. But it walls off our hearts and makes us less capable of feeling love.

Less capable of feeling love. If you need to heal your inner child, click here.

5. When our empathy for our child is reduced, we feel less connection to him. We are therefore less likely to say things to him in a way that helps him hear them.

When you spank your child, not only does it cause your child to disconnect from you, but you're pulling away too. This is detrimental to your relationship and creates a cycle of disrespect and resentment.

6. Studies confirm that when we're angry, we can calm down if we disengage. If, instead, we interact either verbally or physically with others, we tend to lash out with our words or bodies. Lashing out actually makes us angrier. So the act of spanking actually makes the parent angrier. That's one reason spanking keeps escalating, because the parent has to spank harder and longer to "vent" her anger.

Every time you spank, neurons on firing in your brain. I'm no neuroscientist, but what I have read and understood about neuroplasticity is that your actions and thought patterns create neural pathways that make you more likely to act and think that way in the future. You have to break the pattern.

7. After we spank our child, we experience a temporary release of the "fight or flight" neurotransmitters that have flushed us with rage. That relieves us. We feel better. The problem is that we associate feeling better with the spanking. So we are more likely to spank in the future in order to feel better when we are angry. Spanking is actually physiologically addicting to parents.

Are you an addict?

8. Any time we "give in" to our anger and have a tantrum (and spanking is a parental tantrum, as is yelling), we set ourselves up for a cycle of remorse and guilt, which lowers self-esteem.

Once your "feel better" is over, do you start to feel bad? Guilty? If you are a spanker, pay attention to how YOU feel after you've spanked your child. Don't sweep your feelings under the rug or brush them off. FEEL them.

9. When we hurt our child physically, it ruptures a bond of trust. Children only "behave" because they love and trust us, so they stop behaving. The effect on the parent is a feeling of hopelessness, like whatever was rewarding about parenting is gone.

Ah. And here is heart of why spanking doesn't work. Your child, feeling disconnected and resentful, acts out more. You begin to dislike your own child. Once your bundle of joy, now the joy is gone.

Oh, it does work, you say? Your child stops acting out? If that were true, you'd never need to spank your child more than once.

Some children deal with the pain in a different way. Instead of acting out more, they internalize the pain. You're fooled into thinking it worked because the behavior stopped, but there are harmful effects you may never see until years later.

10. Research shows that when we depend on spanking as a way to manage our child's behavior, we become less creative about finding other solutions, and our parenting is less effective. That in turn undermines our confidence and damages our self-image.

"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham Maslow

SUMMARY:
The harmful effects of spanking on the spanker:
1. Reduced empathy.
2. Distorted lens through which you view your child.
3. Walls off your heart and makes you less capable of feeling love.
4. Broken connection.
5. Tendency to be angrier.
6. Addiction to the "feel better" after the release of the "fight or flight" neurotransmitters that have flushed you with rage.
7. Lower self-esteem.
8. Loss of joy in parenting.
9. Lowered confidence.
10. Damaged self-image.

If you were spanked but "turned out okay" and use that as justification to spank your child, then I urge you to watch this eye-opening video.

For more truth about spanking, read Plain Talk About Spanking.

"Children ought to be led to honorable practices by means of encouragement and reasoning, and most certainly not by blows and ill treatment." - Plutarch, circa 45 -120 CE, "The Education of Children," Vol. I, Moralia, Ancient Greece.