Wow -- This is so profound, I just had to share - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-08-2003, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm reading the book, "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I just read this section and was so moved, I wanted to share it with you.

It is a scene where parents are attending a parenting study group with teacher, Dr. Haim Ginott. He poses the question, (the rest of this post is quoted directly from the book):

"What is our major goal as parents?"

Someone ventured, "To improve parent-child relationships."

Another said, "To find better ays of communicating with our children."

**** another woman glibly said, "To produce children who are, among other things, brilliant, polite, charming, neat and well-adjusted, of course."

Dr. Ginott looked solemn. It was obvious that this last comment had not amused him. He leaned forward and said, "This is how I see it. I seems to me that our large goal is to find the ways to help our children become humane and strong.

For what does it profit us if we have a neat, polite, charming youngster who could watch people suffer and not be moved to take action?

What have we accomplished if we have reared a child who is brilliant -- at the top of his class -- but who uses his intellect to manipulate others?

And do we really want children so well-adjusted that they adjust to an unjust situation? the Germans adjusted only too well to the orders of the Nazis to exterminate millions of their fellow men.

Understand me: I'm not opposed to achild being polite or neat or learned. The crucial question for me is: What methods have been used to accomplish these ends? If the methods used are insults, attacks, and threats, then we can be very sure that we have also taught this child to insult, to attack, to threaten, and to comply when threatened.

If, on the other hand, we use methods that are humane, then we've taught something much more important than a series of isolated virtues. We've shown the child how to be a person -- a mensch, a human being who can conduct his life with strength and dignity."
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#2 of 5 Old 03-09-2003, 01:42 AM
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Thank you for posting this. What a great insight!

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#3 of 5 Old 03-09-2003, 04:06 PM
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Thank you for sharing this. Beautifully said...

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#4 of 5 Old 03-10-2003, 12:55 AM
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americle this is too Bizarre! I just started reading the same book not three days ago and was struck by the exact same section. I was relating it to dh and telling him how much it resonated! Since then I have been trying to find anytime I can to continue reading it -- I've even found myself crying while reading it -- it's so powerful. It is such an incredible book. I have two quotes from the book currently tacked up on my fridge:

All feelings are permitted; actions are limited.
We must not deny a child's perceptions.
Only after a child feels right, can he think right.
Only after a child feels right, can he do right.

and the "proverb" written by one of the children about
how it felt when a friend's mother called him a liar and

It's not what they think; it's what I know.

The last one is more for me than ds (he's only 15 months at the moment and I don't think able to read this one yet).

I just had to say thanks for sharing and I'm so glad someone else is reading it at the same time and finding it as important as I am!

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#5 of 5 Old 03-10-2003, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Kimba -- Amazing. I was (and still am) planning to post that exact same passage on my refrigerator. It is a good reminder. I've been reading the book while nursing, and if dh is around I often exclaim, "This is the BEST book," or something along those lines. It really is the best book I've read on parenting so far. Very wise.
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