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EFFECTIVE PARENTING

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.)

Next Excerpt  

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?
   EFFECTIVE PARENTING
   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
   THE ELDERLY


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