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Don't Call It Spanking

Hitting a child is wrong, no matter what word you use for it

No parent wants to hurt their child. If parents knew how to achieve connection, responsible behavior, cooperation, and kindness without hitting, threatening, consequences, time out, or punishment, they would do it. I don't judge parents who hit their children, yell, or punish; instead, I feel compassion and want to help them become who they truly wish to be, and bring healing to them and to their children. The greatest gift we can give our children is to work on ourselves and become models of nonviolence and of peaceful connections. Children were not created all wrong and needing to be fixed, and guiding them does not require hurting them - ever.Parents want to know how to help their children learn and grow without physical punishment, and need support and guidance.

By Any Other Name

The term spanking is used to reduce a parent's sense of guilt, through self-denial: "I am not hitting / abusing my child, I am only spanking him." I advocate to eliminate the word “spank” as a first step to awaken ourselves from this unconscious denial. Being compassionate means forgiving yourself, but it doesn't mean continuing to cause harm.

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A tantrum can vanish before it starts if we put the spotlight on it with validation and playfulness. Six-year-old Danny (names and scenarios are changed) came into the kitchen and asked his mother for a dessert. His mother said, “If you want something sweet, there are grapes, peaches or dried fruit.” 

“I want only watermelon, that’s what I want. Nothing else!” said the boy emphatically.

I was sitting close by and saw the tantrum building up. Danny stamped his foot lightly, he frowned, and his voice became tight as he was repeating his plea and was ready to explode. At that moment I said,...

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...so we can raise powerful "tiger" children

Q: I have read CNN interview of Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Chua speaks of her superior Chinese parenting. Many people see her as abusive, but others think she puts much more into her children. I am feeling confused. I am here to give my children all that I can. If I give less than this "Tiger" mom does, it is because I think it is actually better to allow children to grow up on their own. But now I am not sure. We are unschooling, and my children fifteen, twelve and nine, are not practicing anything. Are they missing something? Am I depriving them of accomplishing high ranks in society?

 

A: Any mother, Chinese or not, would abandon control and manipulation, if she knew kinder ways to raise a happy child who grows up into loving, joyous and accomplished adult. Chua would be very happy if her children would be fulfilling their own passions, without oppression. She would love to never have to coerce, yell, threaten and make her home into "a war zone" (her words.) Only, she doesn't know that this is possible.

 

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