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"Sending children away to get control of their anger perpetuates the feeling of 'badness" inside them...Chances are they were already feeling not very good about themselves before the outburst and the isolation just serves to confirm in their own minds that they were right." -- Otto Weininger,Ph.D. Time-In Parenting

When our kids get angry, it pushes buttons for most of us.  We want to be loving parents.  Why is our child lashing out like this?  READ POST

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Permalink

"An angry child is one who is quite frightened and sad underneath her tough stance. However small the issue, she feels that something absolutely vital to her is being threatened, and she has no choice but to fight. She also feels alone. As far as she can tell, no one understands her, no one will come to her rescue, and everyone is out to hurt her. Children naturally lean toward affection and companionship. When you see a child fiercely attacking her loved ones, you can assume that she is sitting on extremely painful feelings. She puts up her guard, daring us to care that she is hurt and needs help." - Patty Wipfler  READ POST

Thursday, June 13, 2013 | Permalink

“So just to clarify: 3-year-old girl kicks 1-year-old, there's a blood-curdling scream, and I am to hold my 3-year-old (after making sure the crying 1-year-old is fine, got that) and just sit with her until she feels better? No time-out, just hold her and tell her that I love her and that I know she is hurting too....So, no discipline, just love, i.e. more attention....more attention for kicking the baby?!"

I know exactly what this mom means. Someone kicks my baby? The lion-mama in me roars. The last thing I would feel like doing is lavishing love on the perpetrator.  READ POST

Friday, June 07, 2013 | Permalink

"Odd as it may seem, children who hit are children who are afraid. The fears that cause trouble for a child who hits usually have their roots in some frightening experience earlier in her life, even though she may not seem frightened at all. To manage her fear, the frightened child develops aggressive behavior that flares any time she feels tense. Instead of crying or saying she feels scared when her fears are triggered, she tightens up, can’t ask for help, and lashes out." -- Patty Wipfler

Most of us feel mortified when our child hits another child. We may know intellectually that he's lashing out because he's overwhelmed or scared, but we still feel like it's an emergency. His aggression triggers our "fight or flight" response -- and suddenly our own child looks like the enemy. We feel an urgent need to take action. Punishing action.  READ POST

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 | Permalink

"How many times have you felt forced/nudged/shamed/coerced into parenting in a way you don't usually because you were in a public situation? I know I have, and it still happens now that my kids are out of the toddler tantrum stage." - Ask Moxie

"Where I struggle is under the judgmental gaze of grandparents who believe in PUNISHMENT and CONSEQUENCES when the line is crossed. I can almost hear a tsk, tsk as I do my empathic parenting. .. No matter how old I get....I still want parents' approval, you know?" - Ann

Kids don't always behave as we'd like when we're out and about.  And when they're at family gatherings, they're often over-excited and off their schedules, so their behavior can be particularly challenging. 

The hard part is that not only do we have to be extra creative to help our child cope in a way that doesn't infringe on the rights of others...We have to do it in front of an audience! An audience that we just know is judging us as bad parents. It doesn't matter whether it's grandparents judging us as Permissive and Clueless or supermarket cashiers judging us as Yelling and Mean. If we were good parents, our child wouldn't be acting up to begin with.  Right?  READ POST

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 | Permalink

“I can't believe you're telling parents not to discipline! I'm so tired of parents who can't say No to their child and let them rule the roost. No wonder kids today don't have any self-discipline."

Yesterday, we talked about Daring Not To Discipline. (And yes, I'm using discipline as the dictionary defines it: punishment.)

Like the above commenter, most parents assume that not punishing means permissive parenting. This is a new idea for most people, which is why it's the lengthiest chapter in my new book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. But resisting the urge to punish doesn't mean we don't set limits! In fact, neither permissive parenting nor authoritarian parenting work to raise self-disciplined kids.  The research on this is very clear: the kids who develop self-discipline, resilience, and emotional intelligence are raised with empathic limits.

So yes, LIMITS are an essential part of raising great kids. But not just any limits. EMPATHIC limits. That's because children develop self-discipline more readily when they feel more connected to us. Empathic limits means we:  READ POST

Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Permalink

"Before we're 8 years old, we have almost no capacity to filter out information that comes to us. So if parents or teachers, people we count on to nurture us, say something hurtful to us before the age of eight...it goes in quite deep and we carry those misbeliefs with us. They profoundly affect our relationship to ourselves, to others...our sense of value in the world."  -- Dr. David Simon

What did you learn before you were eight?  That you're a capable person, worthy of adoration and an abundant life, lovable exactly as you are, even with all of your messy imperfections, bodily functions, anger, fear, and neediness?  Or maybe that you somehow aren't lovable enough to have your needs completely met, that some of your feelings and body parts are shameful, that harsh words or even blows might rain down on you at any time?  READ POST

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Permalink