The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.
Fifty years ago there was a widespread belief that sparing the
discipline rod would spoil the child. In this flight from the
discipline rod, something valuable that customarily went with
the rod has often been lost - verbal parental directives about
behavior. I am not suggesting bringing back corporal punishment
as a routine measure. What I am suggesting is bringing back the
effective verbal messages that parents often used in the past.
Deliver these demanding messages authoritatively with direct eye
contact, and in a tone that "accepts no nonsense." "You are not
to steal! It is wrong to hit your sister! You are not to do
that! You are not to pull the wings off butterflies!" Many
(perhaps most) children seem to need such messages, though for
some children they are unnecessary.
|Authoritarian messages are crucial if we are to change society's violent trends. Such trends start with authoritarian messages given by parents to their children.
These messages are not traumatic. They are authoritarian, and
that has become a no-no for some of today's parents. Too bad.
The children of these parents will have a much tougher time than
those who do receive appropriate authoritarian messages. Young
children thrive on right/ wrong, and good/ bad messages from
parents - for several years that is their correct stage in moral
development. Without such parental messages, they will tend to
pick up morals anyway, from TV and friends. In this author's
opinion, this is one significant cause of societal violence
today: when parents aren't giving enough authoritarian messages,
kids adopt TV values.
Will changing TV reduce societal violence? If my contention is
correct that kids often adopt TV values, then TV could well add
authoritarian instruction to its kid fare. Television is a
parent for many children today. I don't believe it is the TV
violence level that is a major cause of our increased violence
in society, for the Japanese (with many authoritarian parenting
messages) have more TV violence and much less societal violence.
Perhaps after three TV assaults of a cartoon-person, new laws
could require that a real-looking parenting figure come on the
screen for just a few seconds saying seriously, "it is wrong to
hit other people." (Then similar messages about stealing,
killing, etc. could be aired.) Voice these messages in a neither
sweet nor gentle tone, but in an authoritarian tone talking
directly to the camera.
The most abusive messages are given by parents who say, "you
are bad," "you are stupid," or "you will wind up in jail." These
and other similar messages are taken in by a child and often
accepted as truth if said by a parent. Later, of course, the
child receiving such early verbal abuse will be a school dropout
or in trouble with the law because of violence. (If you as a
parent give out even one of these messages, you need to talk
with that child about how you were wrong to do so and why you do
not think that way about that child.)
|We generally do NOT choose our sexual preferences. We choose to act on them, but sexual arousal is rarely a choice for us. It is either there in certain circumstances or it is not.
More Excerpts This Chapter
ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
OUR CURRENT FAMILIES BRING OUT OUR SKEWNESS
MOTHERS CAN BE SEXIST TOO
MANY MEN STILL ABDICATE THEIR PARENTING ROLES
WORKING MOMS - ARE THEIR KIDS OK?
LATCHKEY CHILDREN DON'T DO AS WELL
THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents
Sexual Education Psychology
EFFECTIVE PARENTING © 1995-99