In the past, I have tried to use my anger to instill fear in my son to make him obey me. I confess that I have also used shaming as a tactic to manipulate and control my son’s behavior. I have done this not consciously, but unconsciously because it’s the parenting style that I have witnessed throughout my life. Yes, I’m guilty, and I do accept that using anger and shame as discipline drivers are not positive, nor do they communicate love.
I want to share this with you because as I live out this whole parenting journey, I find that the more I work on myself and my flaws, the more effective I become as a parent.
When I have felt the need to manipulate my son to behave the way I want him to behave, I have noticed that my own desire to manipulate does not come from a healthy place.
When we feel the need to manipulate our children, we may lean on forceful ways to have them comply and many times that includes resorting to harsh corporal punishment.
We manipulate because a situation may feel our of control and our natural reaction will be to fight our way back up to holding on to the reigns. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s a sign of fear. Our own fear can take us to pull out the “shame on you card,” and the “anger tactic.”
Our job is not to control our children. They are not robots.
Our anger gets in the way of empathizing with our children because for some parents being empathetic will require to become vulnerable. Parents with anger issues, or undetected anger issues, have a hard time allowing themselves to become vulnerable because to be vulnerable is to enter one’s own feelings.
To have self-control over one’s emotions is true courage.
When we instill fear in our children to get them to respond to what we are commanding them to do, we are acting from an unhealthy place. Rather then letting anger lead our words and actions, we should discipline from a place of self-control.
When I was a little girl, I remember that I did something that wasn’t pleasing to my dad. It was so petty that I don’t even remember what I did wrong, BUT what I do remember was his reaction. He whipped me with a belt and left a mark on the side of my left thigh. After he hit me I remember going to a corner of the room and crawling into a ball. I cried. I felt alone and I felt so much hate towards him. I remember going to school the next day and talking about how much I hated my dad. I resented him for it and till this day I still remember how he made me feel.
We should NEVER force a child to behave a certain way. Instead, we should always kindly correct the behavior, and not the child.
Forceful discipline = power struggle & resentment
Children who feel attacked go into defense mode (this is how any human being responds to an attack, it’s normal) <<<<<<<<<<<<< Why can’t people understand this! It’s upsetting.
Shame is a very powerful emotion.
There are many ways that parents have made us feel ashamed and often times this shame brews deep, self-conscious emotions in our hearts.
When we tell a child that they should be ashamed of themselves we are communicating to them that there is something wrong with them.
When we use shaming as a way to make children refrain from a certain behavior, what we’re really doing is humiliating them. To humiliate and shame a child is to be emotionally abusive.
To humiliate a child is to insert a chip in their mind that tells them they aren’t good enough. Once installed, this information has a long-term impact into adulthood.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, especially children. Children are the most vulnerable and should be protected, loved and supported especially throughout their growth process.
Let’s be conscious and be intentional about the things that we say and do.
It’s time for a shift in parenting. It’s time to discipline with empathy, compassion and respect. Above all, with tons of love.
Love always wins.
Thank you for reading! Many blessings.