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Peter Haiman, Ph.D.

 

Thinking Outside the Box

Organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and the American Academy of Pediatrics can no longer remain politically inactive. These organizations have been primarily educational in purpose and isolated by nature. Yet, current child-rearing practices, influenced by changing values and the media, seriously damage child development.

In 1997 I wrote "Cooperation Will Make It Happen," published in the Journal of Psychohistory, which described the erosion of the extended family and consequences for children and adolescents. I announced a meeting of educational leaders to create The Alliance for Children. Although the meeting was held in Washington DC in 1997, and most in attendance viewed the alliance as critical for children and the future of our democracy, no subsequent meetings occurred.

In the intervening fifteen years, child rearing in this country has become more damaging to children. They are growing up less educated, more violent, with less humane values, and less thoughtful and caring of others. Our leaders behave more violently and cannot cooperate. It is time for the above organizations to join together and form an alliance that will improve social and cultural influences on child rearing so the next generation can continue to enjoy freedom in the United States.

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ALTERNATIVES TO HURTING YOUR CHILD

by Peter Ernest Haiman, Ph.D.

All parents get angry at times when raising their children. How you express your anger and how often you get angry with your kids is REALLY IMPORTANT. When you express your anger in ways that do not harm or frighten your children, you will teach them an important skill.

Here are some ideas that have helped other parents get through angry times without hurting their children. Why not try some of them out?

Things to try:

  • Have an agreement with a friend who is also a parent.
  • Be there for each other so that when things get bad you can call one another and get together. The kids can play together while you talk with the other parent, find support and get some peace.
  • Stop what you are doing and slow yourself down.
  • Let your child watch T.V. or do something interesting while you sit down and slowly take five or six deep breaths. Find a way to relax for a short while.
  • Write about how you feel. End by writing three good things about yourself, your child, your partner, or a friend.

Ways to Distract Yourself From Your Anger:

  • Count backwards from 20 to 0.
  • Use the alphabet by saying a word that begins with each letter (apple, basket, city, dog, etc.).
  • Play some music you like that you can sing or hum.
  • Do a vigorous exercise.
  • Take a warm bath or shower.
  • Lie down and put your feet up.
  • Make up a tune or song and sing it.
  • Say words that rhyme out loud.
  • Look at a magazine you like.
  • When you get angry, say "I'm angry!!" out loud over and over again until the anger eases.
  • Be silly or say silly things.

Spanking Makes Parenting More Difficult for You

Remember, spanking:

  • Teaches the child to hit children and adults when angry.
  • Teaches the child to act out problems and angry feelings.
  • Keeps children from learning to use words to solve problems.
  • Tears down the self-esteem of both child and parent.
  • Stimulates children sexually and they frequently act out sexually as teens.
  • Creates physically violent behavior habits that your child will act out as a teenager.
  • Causes children to become afraid and withdrawn.
  • Erodes a child's trust and respect for you. Your youngster may then resist your guidance.
  • Erases the effects of your good child rearing efforts.
  • Creates a child who fears adults.
  • Prevents children from trying to learn in school because they are scared that teachers will punish them when they make mistakes.
  • Makes parenting children harder and harder if you frequently get angry at them. If you get angry at your kids too often, for your own sake and theirs, get professional help.

This article was published by the Contra Costa Child Care Council (2006).



 
 
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