I just did a search on Dr Ray...so far I am frightened, not only by his facial hair (Hi, Dr. Ray, 1978 called. It wants its soup strainer back.) but also his rather non-chalant attitude towards being ignorant of one's children and their motivations, curiosities and desires and most importantly general childhood development. (" Sometimes we're better off in the dark, because our kids' motives might scare us, confuse us further, or really make us mad. As my mom used to warn me, "Don't tell me why. I'm upset enough already!"".) It almost seems from one of his "tips" as though parents should wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.
Childhood development is KEY to understanding both age appropriate behavior and how to guide children effectively towards better learning.
Authority is not a dirty word, but it is a gift and should not be abused or warded over another person without extreme responsibility. I am my son's authority (the person he goes to for troubles, advice and fears) because I have proven myself to be caring, knowledgable, and FAIR, not because I am authoritarian. It is through our dialogues and discussions and at times even standoffs that I have earned my role as someone he can trust and respect. I understand that many practicing christians in the US are not into the Darwinistic version of evolution, but does that mean any all evolution is off the table? Shouldn't there at least be room for social evolution?
His blog reminds me though that there are worse things than being spanked...I'd take a smacked bum any day over the silent treatment, or as he calls it, the Ghost treatment.
That's just mean spirited, man!
Those of you here who follow his philosophy...can you explain why? I don't understand why one needs to resort to draconian, alienating, and violent (in a more ghandian sense of the word than a webster merrian spirit) techniques to give children a sense of your authority. I find it FAR FAR more effective to figure out the need and FILL it or give my child the tools to fill it themselves, rather than demand obedience first above all else, and meet only the needs that I deem worthy of my attention. It is the difference between a boss you respect for their superior field knowledge and ability to mentor you versus the boss who has arbitrarily risen above you and whom you must treat with respect lest they dump all over you to teach you respect...ya know?
If you like this guy, have you read any of the CNVC stuff (I promise, no psycho babble stuff there)? You might find these communicative tools meet your desire to be in control of your home and your family without resorting to any form of punishment that is counter-intuitive. We have also found logical and natural consequences to be far more effective than physical or punitive consequences...so for example: DS left his school bag at home. There was a time DH and I would have grounded him in the afternoon for such an oversight. But we didn't because he didn't have his bag which meant he didn't have his homework which meant the teacher probably spent the day embarassing him (shaming...yeah....not -- luckily we have trained DS not to take such things seriously) and then he had no snack or drink for recess, which already bites the big one...how is grounding him to his room going to be any more effective than that? I doubt it would be. So natural consequences win. If he is acting all hyper and weird about a TV show...logical consequence...no TV show until he is older and proves he is able to handle it maturely. Bouncing on my couch....grrrr...logical consequence...no sitting on my couch until you can learn respect for my things, not a punitive consequence, just a stepping stone to being a part of social unit.
I'm really concerned how anyone can be so la-dee-dah about not understanding your kids' needs. Our need for order authority does not trump their need for connection and being understood, does it?