Like most survivors of child sexual abuse, I had no role models when I was growing up. My home was dangerous, and the adults around me couldn’t be trusted. That’s not what I wanted for my kids.
In my quest to become a better parent, I began to read books on the subject of parenting. One that affected me deeply was Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson. They said our greatest challenges with our kids are in the areas where we weren’t supported as children. Those areas are important stages of development that child abuse survivors missed. Wow, right?
From other books I learned how to discipline in an empathetic, positive way. How? Rather than shame struggling children, you “connect” with them in their struggle, focusing on the real reason they felt disconnected enough to act out in a negative way. When you do, it encourages and empowers them to ask for support in situations like this.
Try it. The next time your kids need to be disciplined, stop and connect before you correct. In the process, you’ll be validating their worth by inviting them to concentrate on their strengths, not their weaknesses. You’ll be raising empowered children, who trust you to have their best interests at heart.
Sounds like a wonderful way to parent, doesn’t it? It is, and it makes a big difference!
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