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Response to Floyd R. Turbo (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 04:55 PM

55. My parenting method was very different than this, and is demonstrably effective.

I was the child of a functioning psychopath who not only engaged in physical abuse but also loved the thrill of public humiliation. I still carry the scars inside and out.

As a parent of two academically-gifted and very emotionally intelligent young adults, let me share my method for dealing with any and all issues like this (and there were a few) --

The Long Talk.

Sitting down privately and talking about 1) the history of human development and the concept of empathy as it related to whatever the issue was, 2) the science (psychological, biological, quantum mechanics) of social behavior as relevant, and 3) the long-term impact of choices we make on everything and everyone around us -- and all in terms appropriate for their age -- was extremely effective in all circumstances. I always tried to encourage, never criticize, and I took whatever time was necessary to get my kids to understand how others felt, and the dynamics of how their actions could spread like ripples in a pond for good or for ill.

It wasn't boring, it wasn't threatening (not even subtly), but it was Information They Needed, to grow up and be happy and learn to help.

It was a lot of work. And it took an enormous amount of patience. And I ran into parents who parented the way the guy in the above story did, or recommended whipping or spanking or the closet or some other form of isolation, and they would routinely dismiss my method as either unworkable or Too Much Work --

But it worked. I have the evidence. I can prove conclusively that unconditional love and acceptance and parenting by teaching and example are effective, non-trauma-inducing, and utterly worthwhile.

I will admit that there were times when the prospect of the Long Talk was feared by my children. I'm certain the hour or two it took was viewed as the Longest Moment Of Their Lives. But goddamn it, it worked every time.

No spanking. No yelling (well, once, and I apologized). No time outs, no taking away the X-box, no grounding, no humiliation. Just Talk.

And that is the essence of the revenge I have taken on my own parents. Their methods die with me. And my kids have both solemnly promised never to allow their children to suffer the slings and arrows of physical or emotional abuse.

Work. Do the goddamned work. Spend the goddamned time. Gimmicks and mind games and forced labor can be just as damaging as the belt.

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LineReply My parenting method was very different than this, and is demonstrably effective.
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