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How to Raise Healthy Children Many of todays parents today still believe that it is necessary to discipline and punish children in order to raise them into healthy good people However leading researchers are warning society that traditional child-rearing practices and punishment of children can lead to just the opposite physical and mental illness depression criminal behaviour and violence The most damaging myth in our society that contributes to the failure of adults to see the harmful effects of punishment is the myth that children are selfish cruel difficut to manage and control and must be trained to be good Almost daily we hear how cruel children can be But where does this cruelty really come from According to Dr Alice Miller author of Banished Knowledge Facing Childhood Injuries it comes from the cruelty that children experience by even well-intentioned parents and other adults who blindly treat children cruelly for their own good While society condemns some forms of emotional physical and sexual abuse there are many ways that we hurt children without realizing it shaming scolding punishing withdrawing love isolating them scaring them needlessly expecting too much of them expecting too litttle of them emotionally burdening them etc Adults worry that they will spoil their child if they do not punish or discipline them However Dr Miller asserts that children will naturally treat everyone they come in contact with respectfully and compassionately and with kindness if they have been treated this way from birth All the techniques for controlling the child and manipulating them into acting like good human beings are based on the erroneous assumption that the child needs discipline to be taught to be respectful responsible and good For example in a time-out strategy to control inappropriate behaviour small children who act out their pain and frustration are not supported in consciously experiencing and expressing their painful feelings nor are they assisted in discovering
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