June 23, 2012

what psychologically hurts children

Dyami and his cousin, Nina
as a parent, i have always focused on the spiritual development of our children as unique souls who are full of inner capacity which needs nurturing in order for it to flourish.  despite all of my efforts and devotion as a mother, i have no doubt hurt my children's tender hearts many times due to my own inability and weakness as a soul..

each of us carries with us old patterns of behavior that we have learned growing up, or we lack the necessary spiritual capacity due to growing up in environments that did not provide us the example and training to equip us well enough as parents.  nevertheless, this is how humanity and a spiritual civilization advances: one generation at a time, learning and striving to put a spiritual approach to parenting into practice..

the other day i came across an article in the newspaper that describes 10 ways we as parents can psychologically hurt our children (written by Sidney Cohen).  a few of the items struck a cord within me.  i thought it was worth sharing:
  • take a perfectionist's approach whenever possible (ex. domestic upkeep, grades, activities)
  • focus a lot of attention on being strict with rules and regulations -- especially with pre-teens and teens -- or being mostly like a buddy with your child, rather than trying to strike a balance between being a fair and reasonable disciplinarian and friend
  • negate your kids' feelings whenever possible, especially with statements telling them how to feel or how they should not feel
  • almost never punish them even though you threaten to do so
  • almost never give them a chance to earn rewards, telling them basically they are to do what's expected and when they do, they deserve no special acknowledgement for it
  • almost never demonstrate any sincere affection in words or in actions
  • tell your kids as often as possible they owe you respect as an adult and parent, rather than going about earning their respect through your efforts and through being a worthwhile role model
  • as often as possible, compare your kids' performance with their siblings and peers so as to give them the message, "it doesn't matter how hard you tried.  even if i say it matters, what really matters to me is you do better or worse than whoever i'm comparing you to right now"
  • abuse your child, verbally or physically
  • as often as possible, be a hypocrit by telling your child, "do as i say, not as i do"

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