Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Empathic Parenting

This is an exerpt from Jan Hunt's book "The Natural Child" regarding trusting children.

"* We understand that all children are doing the very best they can at every given moment.
* We trust that though children may be small in size, they deserve to have their needs taken seriously.
* We know that it is unrealistic to expect a child to behave perfectly at all times.
* We recognize that "bad behavior" is the child's attempt to communicate an important need in the best way she can.
* We learn to look beneath the child's outward behavior to understand what he is thinking and feeling.
* We see that in a very beautiful way, our child teaches us what love is."

And a quote from an author quoted in her book:

"Two questions help us see why we are unlikely to get what we want by using pumishment...The first question is: What do I want this person to do that's different from what he or she is currently doing? If we ask only this first question, punishment may seem effective because the threat or exercise of punitive force may well influence the person's behavior. However, with the second question, it becomes evident that punishment isn't likely to work: What do I want this person's reasons to be for doing what I'm asking?

We seldom address the latter question, but when we do, we soon realize that...punishment damages good will and self-esteem and shifts our attention from the intrinsic value of an action to external consequences. Blaming and punishing fail to contribute to the motivations we would like to inspire in others."

- Psychologist Marshall Rosenberg

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