Here’s a great quote from Dallas Parents…
I’ve been fighting a cold and getting sicker and sicker, until this morning when I woke without the ability to speak at all.
I went through the day scribbling notes, gesturing and occasionally squeaking and whispering out a few words.
The funny thing is, it was kind of nice at times. And I’m pretty sure I was a better mother for it.
With four children, I can be a loud mother!
I am frequently hollering “Anna, be nice to your brother!” from the next room, “Jack, please set the table for dinner!” up the stairs and “Alex, stop throwing things off the bunk bed!” from the doorway.
Today was a nice change from that.
There is something to be said for having to get very close and speak very softly.
Of course, it makes it really hard to answer the phone when that important phone call comes!
My voice is coming back already and it should be fine tomorrow.
Just the same, I think I’ll give it a rest.
“Discipline isn’t just about winning or losing.
Every power struggle offers you the opportunity
to connect with your child or disconnect.
The relationship you will have with your child
when he’s an adolescent
lies in the words and actions you use today.
Ultimately your real power is in that emotional bond.”
–Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles
I had this long story from today that I was going to share on this theme, but I think Ms. Kurcinka said it well and I have to get up early for a 1900′s era birthday party. Sometimes less is more!
Shouting to make your children obey
is like using the horn to steer your car,
and you get about the same results.
Many of you have probably heard about the little girl who was killed by her parents this month as a result of them following the Pearls’ advice in “To Train Up a Child.”
I wrote about it here if you’re not familiar with it.
People have been silent about the Pearls for years, even though they have been linked with a child’s death in the past and they advocate practices that many of us feel are heartless and abusive. A few bloggers have spoken out against them and some (like me and many mothers I know) have boycotted some sites who were affiliated with them.
Too many of us have stayed quiet, though. Some people think parents have a right to use this sort of “discipline” even if they don’t agree with it while others are just uncomfortable with the thought of speaking out against it. People are finally starting to vocally call this system what it is, though — abuse — and are standing up to it.
I listed quite a few of them and quoted them here.
The book is online and I read parts of it to see if it was being misinterpreted, as some people are claiming. People have said it contains “good things” too, but I didn’t see a speck of anything good. It gave me a stomach ache and made me hurt for all of the children being raised in these methods.
There are triumphant stories of beating the author’s 4 month old baby with a willow branch until she learned not to try to crawl up the stairs, proud stories of the author’s daughters telling a neighbor mother that she needed to “switch” her 7 month old baby for crying because “if he’s old enough to pitch a fit, he’s old enough to be switched.”
Michael Pearl tells parents not not even wait until their children do anything wrong before hurting them because then they won’t be properly trained. He teaches that his methods (whipping with plumbing line, branches, rulers and other instruments) should be used until parents have “100% compliance.” He has advised parents they should continue until children are “too breathless to protest” and has said “if she can cry out for you it’s not hard enough.”
People online have said that they respect other parents’ rights to use these methods. It should not be okay to respect a parent’s “right” to terrorize and abuse children.
I’d like to challenge everyone who has a blog or writes a column to add your voice on behalf of children against these cruel teachings. If you don’t have a blog, speak out about it on online parenting groups, post against the Pearls on Facebook, bring it up in playgroups and churches.
Let’s flood the internet and our communities with people speaking out and calling a spade a spade. It’s not a different discipline method, it’s child abuse. It’s not Christian. It’s evil.
<a href=”http://musemama.blogspot.com/2010/02/bring-back-boycott.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/AnneBasso/Blog%20Tools/ttuac7.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Muse Mama” /></a><br />
Thanks for listening, speaking up and being the kind of parents who give me back some faith in the world.
Victoria is 11 but sometimes I forget she’s not 17 or so. Or maybe 34. Victoria was one of those babies that people always said had an old soul.
Look! At one day old, she was already deep in thought.
Over the years, we haven’t parented Victoria (or any of the kids) in a strictly mainstream way. I’ve never been that big of a fan of mainstream things, and when it came to parenting I preferred to follow my heart. I also followed the advice of lots of other mothers I admired and read an awful lot of books, but I picked books that followed my heart too.
Along the way, I got a lot of advice that I didn’t ask for, and I pretty much ignored every bit.
Somehow, despite my parenting all wrong as far as at least a few relatives were concerned, she completely skipped any terrible two’s, did learn to fall asleep in her own bed, did not in fact test her boundaries and has pretty much been a terrific kid every day of her life.
Best of all, I thoroughly enjoy being her mother. We sit and have long talks. We teach each other things (she’s already way better than I am at anything computer related). We crack jokes. She reads my blogs and asks my advice.
And yes, I give her chores and math problems (we homeschool) and have some rules that she’s not entirely fond of, but she has a say in all of that too and she doesn’t seem to mind any of it too terribly (other than the math problems).
Tonight we sat and read through an heirloom seed catalog from 2005 together. We read some of the cool stories of the plant varieties and I talked about what qualities to look for in plants for our area and we made plans for summer gardens.
Almost every night, we have talks like that. I love them.
People tell you all the time that you should parent this way or that way or some dire thing will happen. People care an awful lot about how other people parent, I have to say.
I think the biggest parenting lesson I learned from Victoria is that there’s a direct correlation between how much time you spend just hanging out and enjoying your child, and how great your child will turn out. Not just being around each other, but really talking and connecting.
And that it’s always a good idea to follow your heart.
Or it could be that she just has a great head on her shoulder.
And yes, I thoroughly enjoy the other 3 children too, but that’s another post for another day (and I don’t have pictures of them with snowball heads on their shoulders).
Join the 2010 Happiness Challenge!
Parenting secrets for peaceful holidays
And have you heard of Nonja the orangutan?
She uses a camera that dispenses a raisin with every click
and the photos are automatically uploaded to
her Facebook page.
She has over 70,000 fans!
and yes, I know she’s an orangutan and not a monkey
so here’s my own monkey pics.
Christmas photo outtakes!
We’re in Nebraska, visiting some fabulous friends for a few days. In the meantime, here’s a site I found that I’ve had fun exploring. Enjoy Parenting is written and maintained by father and author Scott Noelle. It’s full of articles and tips about parenting and seems to be written with a very pro-child, positive, fun spirit. I signed up for a daily email and enjoyed my first one today, about redirecting ourselves when we can’t help but yell by yelling a bunch of nonsense to get the mindless reaction out of the way. I’m looking forward to exploring it more, but today I have a birthday girl to adore and some silliness to plan.
~ Jane Nelson
~Rachel Carson"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others,
~James M. Barrie
A lot of us were brought up to think that the only way you can deal with a misbehaving child is with punishment. Pah! Ridiculous. :)
Sometimes we just need to find some new tools or be reminded of good alternatives.
I love this list of 20 things you can do to deal with behavior instead of just punishing.
"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."
~ Oscar Wilde