Saturday, August 4, 2012

Time out, is another form of child abuse

This picture brought to mind these answers Alice Miller gave to her readers: AM: A tantrum shows the deepest despair and helplessness which a child is not able to express with words. An empathic adult will try to remember what happened right before it, in oder to UNDERSTAND what drove this child just now into despair, and to let him/her know about it with empathy. That can help the child to understand himself. But never should a child be punished for his despair. Such stupid, cruel advices show, why children cannot express themselves other than through a tantrum. Let us assume that your friend is coming to you and is sobbing, without being able to tell you, why. Would you lock her up in a room as punishment so that she will stop? Such advice though is given to parents when children are at stake.

AM: You write: I come from a background of mostly emotional abuse and rejection (only a little slapping, spanking etc have been done to me). Then you write a long letter that shows your dispair caused by your child but besides the sentence above you NEVER mention HOW you suffered from the LITTLE SLAPPING, SPANKING etc when YOU were a child. Only in the PS you mention "by the way" your parents. Eventually you ask me to write a book for you so that you can teach your child to behave. But in all of my books you can find the information you actually do need: Your child triggers in you the old pain, caused by your parents that you obviously fear to feel in spite of your long therapies, which gave you probably only the intellectual knowledge. Otherwise you would know that "the time out" is a cruel way of refusing contact, even if it may be recommended by a Waldorf school and by many ignorant authors. When a child behaves in a way that you judge as nasty he is suffering. Instead of finding out why he suffers you send him away. Would you do this also to a good friend ? But you can't find out what makes him suffering as long as you don't know what made YOU suffer as a child. Your own old pain seems to remain still denied or dissociated and it is THEREFORE blocking your empathy for your child. You may want to read my book Free From Lies coming out in June 09 at Norton, NW. But it is NOT about "discipline", not at all.

"A child whose life is full of the threat and fear of punishment is LOCKED INTO BABYHOOD. There is no way for him to grow up, to learn to take responsibility for his life and acts." These words could not be truer. I see so many people in this world locked into babyhood. It’s so sad.

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