Monday, 12 September 2011

Parenting for a Peaceful World



I have been reading Robin Grilles book - Parenting for a Peaceful World. It covers the history of parenting, how they have been raised through the ages and the building research about how important parenting is in shaping children into adults and society overall.

This book was really to read in its content, but not so easy on my emotions. Some parts were hard to read because they are so raw,uncomfortable in terms of how children have been treated historically, but then as we got into the last 100 years and present day and emerging parenting methods - I felt an impending guilt, self -disgust and  pressure to really do better.

One part, I don''t know exactly how it was put, describes how even the best mothers, those with the most loving intentions, become abusive if they do not have any support. That really hit me. I am not saying I am a child abuser - but okay I am actually. Because in term of how I want to parent my children, my ideals, I am abusive. I really do know better but I find it so impossible because I am unsupported, overburdened and lonely. I am not a victim, not anymore because I am going to change the situation. I don't need to live like this to be at my family's pleasure so they can "pop in" and see a grandchild and then go off to live their "own life".

Looking at how authoritarian parents use guilt, control, manipulation to control - I can see why I have been mindwashed to try to please everyone (up until recently) and now understand the overwhelming guilt, self hatred and shame I feel when I even THINK about doing something my old family don't approve of. I guess if you are brought up to be judged and blamed and evaluated, that is how you think to treat everyone, including yourself. You can imagine our family converstaions - you should do this, you shouldn't do that... so painful and negative.

Something to mull over - I'll keep reading this book however painful I find it. If it didn't ring true it wouldn't hurt so bad, and I think if I face it I can change it.

A poem by Mary Haskell that I have been thinking of in the last few days  - great fridge poetry for parents:

"Nothing you become will disapoint me; I have no preconception that I'd like to see be or do. I have no desire to forsee you, only to discover you. You cannot disappoint me"

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