"What is wrong with spanking is the lesson it demonstrates. It teaches
children undesirable methods of dealing with frustration. It dramatically
tells them: 'When you are angry, hit!' Instead of displaying our ingenuity
by finding civilized outlets for savage feelings, we give our children
a taste of the jungle."
2. Advice from a Child [back
"When your dad is mad and asks you, 'Do I look stupid?' it's best
not to answer him."
----Megan, age 13
3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]
What if your main job as a parent is to make yourself dispensable? What
are you doing today to help your children get along without you?
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6. Article: Guilt Tripping [back
by Chick Moorman
Larry and Corrina Johnson took their children on a trip this summer.
No, they didn't visit Mt. Rushmore or the Grand Canyon. Fenway Park, the
Field Museum, and the Mackinaw Bridge weren't part of the itinerary either.
In fact, the Johnson family never left home. The trip their children experienced
was delivered at the kitchen table. They received a full blown, all expenses
paid, guilt trip delivered by Larry Johnson and lovingly supported by
his wife, Corinna.
"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves," Larry said to his
nine-year old twins to begin their summer excursion down guilt trip lane.
"You haven't done anything of value all summer. All you do is lay
around watching television, eating junk food, and leaving messes in the
family room. Your poor mother works her fingers to the bone cleaning up
after you. Don't you have any respect or level of feeling for your mother?
If you do, you don't show it. She's a good woman and doesn't deserve to
be treated the way you treat her. Do you see her gray hairs? Where do
you suppose those come from? You're going to be the death or your mother
the way you ignore her efforts. She loves you so much and you treat her
like she's invisible. If anything ever happened to her, you'd be sorry.
She's not going to be around forever you know. Sometimes she can't sleep
at night from worrying about you two. I hope you're proud of yourselves
because I'm not. Now, I expect to see a radical change in your behavior
starting right now. Go over and give your mother a hug and show her how
much you love her. Go on, do it now."
Larry Johnson did what a lot of parents do to manipulate their children
into behaving in a desired fashion. He dispensed a huge dose of guilt.
Parents who use shame and guilt as a motivator do so because they believe
that the technique is needed to encourage children to change. The idea
is that if children can be shamed into feeling guilty, they will change
their behavior and do what their parents desire.
There are times when shaming works and produces the behavior we want
from out children. But at what price? Children who are shamed regularly
come to believe that the shame is justified, that they must have earned
it, and that they deserve it. They develop such core beliefs as "I'm
no good," "I'm not enough," "I'm wrong," and
"I'm not worthwhile." Children who have these core beliefs see
themselves as shameful and act in accordance with their beliefs.
This negative belief system tends to attract increased shaming from the
significant adults in their lives, which reinforces their negative core
beliefs. These children often get caught up in a self-depreciating cycle
of behaviors and parental responses that is difficult to exit.
Shame and guilt often backfire. Their use produces resistance and resentment.
Children realize on some level they are being manipulated, pushed, and
controlled by parent talk that shames. Manipulation breeds resentment.
Pushing calls forth pushing back. Control is resented.
Parents who use shame in an effort to dispense guilt don't always do
it as blatantly as Larry Johnson did with his twins. Parents often do
guilt tripping so subtly that they are unaware that their parent talk
is shame based. If you are using any of the following parent talk with
your children, you are inserting shame into your language patterns.
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
"That will make me feel bad."
"What will the neighbors think?"
"I'm glad your dead grandfather isn't here to see this."
"I can't sleep at night worrying about you."
"Someone who loves their mother (father) would never do that."
"Jesus wouldn't like that."
"You should know better."
"And you call yourself a Christian (Mormon, Jew, Muslim, Methodist,
"Your behavior gives me headaches."
"God sees everything you do."
"You've really disappointed your grandmother."
"How would you feel if no one sent you a birthday card?"
If you hear yourself using any of the sentences above, there is an alternative.
Instead of dispensing a shame-based communication, use a style of parent
talk that is open, honest, and direct. Present choices to your children.
Explain what happens if they choose a certain behavior and what happens
if they don't. Allow them to choose and then experience the legitimate
consequences of their behavior. Children learn more from a caring adult
who helps them to evaluate their choices and the results that follow than
they do from one who shames and continually lays guilt.
If you have strong feelings about a behavior or desired response, tell
the child directly. Explain the reasons for your feelings. Step out of
the resistance-resentment cycle by telling children exactly what you expect
"I'm angry about the broken window, and you will need to find a
way to pay for it" is more effective than "You should have known
better." "Looks like you have chosen to work with a tutor this
marking period. The two D's demonstrate that you can use some extra time
and help in those subjects" is healthier than the guilt-laying "You
really disappointed us with this report card."
Refuse to be one of those parents who cause children to feel shame and
guilt for their actions. Communicate honestly without sneaking shame into
the equation. Stay centered in your efforts to create respectful, responsible
children by modeling those attributes in your behavior and in your parent
Spotted on a minivan in Cancun, Mexico:
Be Their Hero From Age Zero
9. Announcing: COUPLE TALK: How to Talk Your Way
to a Great Relationship, by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller [back
This new book is a treasury of practical ideas for building a caring
and respectful intimate relationship. It is filled with language skills
that create honest and open communication patterns between you and your
Learn powerful skills to help you:
* Resolve conflict.
* Increase trust and caring.
* Demonstrate listening and understanding.
* Communicate feelings without wounding the spirit.
* Encourage both autonomy and connectedness.
* Rekindle warmth and passion.
* Revitalize your relationship.
SPECIAL 20% PREPUBLICATION DISCOUNT NOW AVAILABLE INCLUDES FREE SHIPPING
This 280-page hardback book will sell for $24.95 beginning on its publication
date of August 15th.
Today we offer it for only $20 postpaid. Your copy will be shipped out
the day COUPLE TALK arrives at our warehouse.
To take advantage of this special prepublication offer, call (toll-free)
877-360-1477, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send your check for $20 to Personal
Power Press, P.O. Box 547, Merrill, MI 48637.
This special offer extends only until August 1st, so order your copy
If you liked PARENT TALK or TEACHER TALK, you won't want to miss COUPLE
10. Become a Parent Talk System Trainer [back
Please join us for one of the following facilitator trainings in the
Parent Talk System:
1. Dearborn, MI, July 31 - August 2, 2003
2. Wausau, WI, August 4-6, 2003
Facilitator trainings are designed to prepare local trainers to present
the Parent Talk System to parents in their communities. This 3-day skill-based
training will help facilitators learn strategies that teach parents how
to raise responsible, caring, confident children.
Join a select group of people throughout the world who are already using
Parent Talk skills to improve family life in their communities.
Request a detailed brochure today at email@example.com.
(Please include your mailing address.)
11. Managing Your subscription [back
A.) If you are receiving the newsletter as a forward and would like
to insure that you get your personal free subscription, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to the parent newsletter.
B.) To remove yourself from this list, e-mail email@example.com and ask to be deleted from the parent newsletter.
C.) Back issues of the Response-Able Parenting Newsletter can be found here.
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Be sure to let us know your old e-mail address so we can unsubscribe it.
To find out more about workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses
presented by Chick Moorman contact him at toll free, 877/360-1477 or email IPP57@aol.com
Copyright 2003 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share
this with your circle.