If you are a parent, you use some sort of guideline or method to discipline your children. I know I do.
What do you do and does it work?
We get all kinds of experts telling us how to “discipline” our children. We also get unsolicited advice from the people who love us. Our parents chime in, our siblings and our friends. Everybody has an opinion on how we should be raising our children. Some suggest giving a child a time out. Other methods of disciplining a child could be to take away toys, play dates, television or computer time. Well what if all these methods were wrong? That’s a question that I ask myself, especially after using all the methods above and seeing no results.
Lately my eight year-old daughter and I have been butting heads. We fight over cleaning her room, doing her homework, putting her dishes in the sink and bickering over the way she has been behaving in general. My sweet little girl has literally turned into a teenager way before her time.
Spending time together has gone from being quality mother-daughter time to a stressful mess!
Just as I’m about to throw in the towel, my sister, a very wise and loving aunt turned me onto a clinical psychologist named Dr. Shefali Tsabary. She’s made a name for herself by calling for a radical restructuring of the parenting hierarchy. Dr. Tsabary says that our children are our greatest spiritual teachers. She says they are here as a reflection of where we need to go and grow in our lives. That our relationship is a partnership and not a hierarchical control situation. “Who you are, your child will reflect. Who your child is, is a reflection of your consciousness or unconsciousness.”
Those are some deep words. They stopped me in my tracks! Just think, how daunting it is to know that we the parents are what shape our children completely. It’s something I’ve always known, but to see it put in those words make it so real.
I’ve just picked up some books that Dr. Tsabary has written. They are “The Conscious Parent” and “Out of Control”. I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve read them. In the meantime, I’m going to change the way I look at my daughter, consciously.
The conscious parent, she explains, understands that children are not possessions; they are expressive, free-thinking individuals with their own spirit and interests. “They are not ours to possess, to control and dominate, and to act as if they are our puppets, our minions, our products,” Dr. Tsabary says. “Because that’s where we begin messing it all up.”
I’m going to stop, pause and tune into my child. I’m going to connect more.
Dr. Tsabary says, that we should be the parent we need to be for our children and not the parent we think we should be.
It makes your really think. It’s a different type of parenting. It’s more spiritually connected. Being a parent is the most sacred job and sometimes we have to go back and take some new classes in order to be the best in our job.
Thanks Laila, certainly something to consider and be mindful of when “parenting.” Anxious to hear what you glean from her books. xoxo, Liz
I think there is a distinction between discipline and “controlling and possessing” our children. I don’t necessarily agree that our relationship is a partnership…there is a good deal of hierarchy involved in particular between parents and children…Discipline is a necessity when raising children! The methods vary and are quite often defined by cultural norms. Our children’s abilities and temperament are genetic and there are quite a bit of environmental influences outside of the parents. We as parents need to be fluid (as opposed to rigid) in dealing issues that we come across with our children.
I have 2 boys 10 & 12 & I’m always thinking about this three words Firm , Fair & Consistent. I grown up in a family as a youngest one & the most important word was Respect & somehow I was confused between Obedience & Respect & honor But I find out that Respect is not the same as Obedience.
Respect is about attitude, not simply Obedience.
The unique thing about respect is that it is a two way street.
To help your child develope respectful behavior , she needs to experience it.
I think we shouldn’t speak harshly to our kids, for example when we are saying Get over here now!
models demanding behavior. its just as easy to say, “please come here , sara, I could use your help with the dishes.” (and excuse me for my shakey english)