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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Message I Discarded

First and foremost: I believe much of what we learn and internalize early in our lives comes from the messages our parents teach and pass onto us. However, I also believe we choose which messages we will retain as we become thinking adults.

One message my parents taught me that I discarded was that childern should be taught to behave through the use of physical discipline. Even before we became parents, my wife and I agreed we would not discipline any children we had this way. I recognize this might strike some as an indulgent baby boomer approach to child rearing but I know the choice to discard my parent's message was purposeful.

 I believe being physically disciplined (although never abusively) contributed to my adolescent and young adult tendency to resolve conflict in a physical way. By choosing to not discipline my daughter physically, I think she will make better choices how to resolve conflict than I did when I was her age.

What messages have you discarded? Why did you choose to discard them? What benefits have you realized by discarding them?

1 comment:

  1. In alot of ways you could say that I was raised by an emotionally abusive single mother..I was called names, never received affection or any praise or compliments. I was not told that I was loved. (EVER). I was taught to be prejudical towards other races and to criticize people that were not educated. I was also taught that every wife must control her husband and direct him to do the things she wants. If he doesn't comply then, he does not love you.
    I was taught that parents should have no more than two children and anything more is irresponsible. I was taught that beauty is skin deep and to be beautiful you must endure pain and be disciplined with your body. ie wear tight clothes to remind you not to eat.
    I have to say that I have discarded most of my upbringing and teachings and continue to work to reject most of this hogwash.I shower my 3 children with love, affection, compliments,praise, for example.