Alfie Kohn blasts "Supernanny" - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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Yeah I have. I didn't get out of it what you got out of it, doesn't mean I "missed the point." I just disagree with him. I disagree with a lot of the currently in vogue discipline stuff, and I'm not even anywhere near what most people would consider traditional, authoritarian, or a hardass.
Nope, you cannot disagree


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#122 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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I think Kohn's focus is more on the child's perception of the act rather than the intent of the parent. If that helps you understand any better.
That's the generalizing that drives me a bit batty with this. How in the world can he (or anyone but the person who is in relationship with them) know a child's perception?? Sure, there are certain circumstances and adult behavior that leads to perceptions that we can generalize about. But saying that time outs mean a love withdrawal from the perception of the child seems a bit presumptuous to me.

I think the way Supernanny does it is a battle of wills and breaking the child down. I totally disagree with it. I would imagine most of us wouldn't engage in hours of picking up our child and placing them back in a corner. I find that to be madness but I see why she does it - to get the child to comply and do the time out in the future. I get it but don't agree with it.

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I cannot stand Kohn. I think he and his ilk are responsible for all too many cases of maternal depression and burnout. Also, I see all too many people trying to do the "unconditional" parenting thing, or the constant "playfulness" and then BOOM they snap. Better to find a middle ground where you're not constantly smiling madly on the verge of losing your mind.
I think you make a wonderful point. I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate him, but I've seen a dear friend of mine finally break after 5+ years of constantly being with her kids and putting their needs ahead of her own - every time. It's just not a good system. I think kids benefit greatly from learning (when it's developmentally appropriate) that the world does not revolve around them. It doesn't have to be a mean lesson, but one that is available to them when mom or dad consider themselves as well.

Finding that middle ground is really good advice.

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Yeah I have. I didn't get out of it what you got out of it, doesn't mean I "missed the point." I just disagree with him. I disagree with a lot of the currently in vogue discipline stuff, and I'm not even anywhere near what most people would consider traditional, authoritarian, or a hardass.
ITA that if you don't agree with UP or the more extreme end of AP or GD it doesn't mean that you automatically fall into the opposite parenting extreme.
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#123 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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What research does he base his parenting theories on (sorry, I don't have the book to check for myself)?
I don't have my copy handy either. Sorry!

Lots and lots of footnotes and citations, though not sure the exact nature. Probably many from psychology. I'm guessing you're not a fan of that field?
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#124 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:03 AM
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Nope, you cannot disagree


Silly woman, liberation is for kids!
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#125 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Why is it that if anybody criticizes Alfie Kohn, everyone assumes that they haven't read his stuff?
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#126 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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That's the generalizing that drives me a bit batty with this. How in the world can he (or anyone but the person who is in relationship with them) know a child's perception?? Sure, there are certain circumstances and adult behavior that leads to perceptions that we can generalize about. But saying that time outs mean a love withdrawal from the perception of the child seems a bit presumptuous to me.
Well, I guess like most bodies of work, he's looked at research and studies where children have been questioned or evaluated and he's drawn his conclusions. Obviously, statistics don't apply to individuals, but I think one can certainly gather enough "trends" or liklihoods from a certain treatment to make generalizations about it. Like how *most* rape victims will respond/feel. How most olympic winners will respond/feel. Etc. Enough, anyway, to consider or reconsider whether one wants to engage in that treatment, you know?
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#127 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:27 AM
 
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I skimmed the thread, ladies, sorry to have not read it all... just wnated to add my .02.

My folks used punishment, corporal and otherwise. Time-outs, go to your room, etc...

And I DID feel that love was being withdrawn.

My mom told me (when I asked her about what she thought of SuperNanny, and this thread...) that one day she listened outside my room as I talked to my invisible friend (I was 4) about being punished... "It's like she loves and then she hates me, and then she loves me and then she hates me again...! I wish she would just pick one..."

As she spoke I remembered that day vividly and those feelings. Although, at the time, she explained that she still loved me, even when she was mad and I was 'in-trouble', I can honestly say I never fully trusted her. I still don't in some ways...

I hvae spoken with friends whose folks used the same tactics and they felt the same way... that their folks didn't love them in that moment, or even that the love was endangered somehow.

We have a listening spot. I go there sometimes... I have thrown "penalty flags" (usually a paper towel on the floor) for dh when he barks and grouses and sent him to the listening spot, and dd is encouraged to use it... anyone needing a moment to collect themselves so they can be calm and consult without yelling etc uses it.

We model it as a "time for reflection" or meditation... not a time out... tho perhaps it serves the purpose some folks intend when they use the time out.

Supernanny is an attempt to generalize parenting into a one-size-fits-all technique allowing folks to gain control. But she doesn't teach about what that control means. I often tell dd "I see you're having a hard time controlling your body/words" Then I ask her, "I have a hard time listening to that... Do you need to take a break til you're ready to speak to me in a way that makes it easier to listen to you?" I have told her I'M having a hard time staying in control of MYself. That's control folks can get their heads around. But Supernanny seems to strive for a familial culture of domination rather than self-control.
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Of course you can speak to that, you're a mother .
Ha! No, I just meant that I don't really know what you're talking about, in that I don't really think I've noticed that or experienced that.
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#129 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:41 AM
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Why is it that if anybody criticizes Alfie Kohn, everyone assumes that they haven't read his stuff?
I don't know, but missionaries also seem to think I've never read the bible.
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#130 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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I don't know, but missionaries also seem to think I've never read the bible.
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#131 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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Ha! No, I just meant that I don't really know what you're talking about, in that I don't really think I've noticed that or experienced that.
It's ok. You'll know it when you experience it
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#132 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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I am amazed at the number of women who give birth to three and four children after attaining three and four degrees, earning great salaries and are still unable to have their children follow simple directions. It's priceless. Mothering is not a new.

Supernanny places the responsibility back into the parents hands and while her methods and techniques may be a bit PG-13, she is just a television personality. And she has the word "nanny" in her title, for heavens sake.

It's embarrassing to me that we live in a society where an Alfie Kahn or Supernanny is needed and whose teaching methods are even being considered by the families and parents of people with children. Can anyone tell me if Alfie or Supernanny have any children of their own? This matters to me a great deal.

My take on parenting is that it is just like breastfeeding -very natural. The only thing that has changed over the course of time is the amount of emotional and physical support we get from other mothers. We live in our houses closed off from one another. How many of you get together to go to the grocery store, cook a meal, crochet, etc. And I am not talking about once a month.

If mothers did more things as a real group parenting would be much easier, and less stressful, but most importantly many SAHM would not feel so alone and take on the pressure of being a Supermother.

Now like all of you I have really thought this gift of being a mother through, and the conclusion I came to is this; I am a woman who has the ability to give birth -and this is not new. It's really as old as the earth itself. we may evolve but the one thing that stays the same is a mothers love for her child.

It's really as simple as that, for me. If I gave birth to five children I will figure out what each of my children need from me. It is my job to get them ready for the world. My role is unmatched. My love is unconditional....and it is necessary for each of my children to listen. Period.
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#133 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 02:38 AM
 
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but I've seen a dear friend of mine finally break after 5+ years of constantly being with her kids and putting their needs ahead of her own - every time. It's just not a good system. I think kids benefit greatly from learning (when it's developmentally appropriate) that the world does not revolve around them. It doesn't have to be a mean lesson, but one that is available to them when mom or dad consider themselves as well.
In Unconditional Parenting, Kohn's advice does not include ignoring the needs of the parents, at all. He reminds us of children's developmental abilities, and sites research that shows negative results because of rewards and punishment. He encourages reason and morality. I don't understand how anyone can consider this "ilk".
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#134 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I am amazed at the number of women who give birth to three and four children after attaining three and four degrees, earning great salaries and are still unable to have their children follow simple directions. It's priceless. Mothering is not a new.

Supernanny places the responsibility back into the parents hands and while her methods and techniques may be a bit PG-13, she is just a television personality. And she has the word "nanny" in her title, for heavens sake.

It's embarrassing to me that we live in a society where an Alfie Kahn or Supernanny is needed and whose teaching methods are even being considered by the families and parents of people with children. Can anyone tell me if Alfie or Supernanny have any children of their own? This matters to me a great deal.

My take on parenting is that it is just like breastfeeding -very natural. The only thing that has changed over the course of time is the amount of emotional and physical support we get from other mothers. We live in our houses closed off from one another. How many of you get together to go to the grocery store, cook a meal, crochet, etc. And I am not talking about once a month.

If mothers did more things as a real group parenting would be much easier, and less stressful, but most importantly many SAHM would not feel so alone and take on the pressure of being a Supermother.

Now like all of you I have really thought this gift of being a mother through, and the conclusion I came to is this; I am a woman who has the ability to give birth -and this is not new. It's really as old as the earth itself. we may evolve but the one thing that stays the same is a mothers love for her child.

It's really as simple as that, for me. If I gave birth to five children I will figure out what each of my children need from me. It is my job to get them ready for the world. My role is unmatched. My love is unconditional....and it is necessary for each of my children to listen. Period.
Hmmm... I'm not really sure what you're reply means in the context of this thread. Mothering, parenting, is as old as time for sure, but so is abuse. So is murder. So are anger, fear, and desire... three things that often drive a person to thoughtlessly act in their own interest. As societies, we created laws to govern these drives. And those laws started as ideas. Ideas proposed by individuals who believed that their ideas would be of help in delineating "right" from "wrong".

By that token, we tend (as social animals) to look to others for inspiration. When we're out of ideas, we go to the "experts".

People like Kohn, Faber and Mazlish, Dr. Sears, and others offer us thier expertise in those times when we flounder for answers in a world where we don't get together communally much. They amass information and ideas in ways that many of us would not otherwise be able to.

And in our world, TV is a big presence in some folks' lives. With shows like Supernanny on, it's easy for folks to lose sight of the editting and the underlying messages... or lack thereof, and see these tv personalities as "experts".

It's good to have the strength of character to say "I don't need anyone's input", or whathaveyou. But some folks do need input...

I do. I would not be half the mommy I am were it not for the gems I have found in books like Raising a Secure Child: Creating an Emotional Connection Between You and Your Child by Zeynep Biringen, Ph.D., How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids WIll Talk by Faber and Mazlish, The Virtues Project, or the Sears books. As an abused child myself, I might have just kept perpetuating the abuse... Thankfully, I have had some awesome advice and great support.

Not everyone does... and some turn to their tv instead of friends, family, or books.
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#135 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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<snip>And she has the word "nanny" in her title, for heavens sake.
What does that mean, btw?
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By that token, we tend (as social animals) to look to others for inspiration. When we're out of ideas, we go to the "experts".

People like Kohn, Faber and Mazlish, Dr. Sears, and others offer us thier expertise in those times when we flounder for answers in a world where we don't get together communally much. They amass information and ideas in ways that many of us would not otherwise be able to.

And in our world, TV is a big presence in some folks' lives. With shows like Supernanny on, it's easy for folks to lose sight of the editting and the underlying messages... or lack thereof, and see these tv personalities as "experts".

It's good to have the strength of character to say "I don't need anyone's input", or whathaveyou. But some folks do need input...

I do. I would not be half the mommy I am were it not for the gems I have found in books like Raising a Secure Child: Creating an Emotional Connection Between You and Your Child by Zeynep Biringen, Ph.D., How to Talk So Kids WIll Listenand Listen So Kids WIll Talk by Faber and Mazlish, The Virtues Project, or the Sears books. As an abused child myself, I might have just kept perpetuating the abuse... Thankfully, I have had some awesome advice and great support.

Not everyone does... and some turn to their tv instead of friends, family, or books.
okay.
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#137 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 03:06 AM
 
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What does that mean, btw?
never mind.
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#138 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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Did you want to clarify or anything?
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I asked because I was a nanny.
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#140 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 03:19 AM
 
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.Supernanny is an attempt to generalize parenting into a one-size-fits-all technique allowing folks to gain control.
hmmm...interesting but the people need something. She is not visiting the homes of poor people, she is needed in the homes of middle class families.

And we should remember that the lifestyles of the rich and famous rolls downhills. We mimic the ways of the rich -whether we'd like to think that way or not. Yoga. Vegan. Organic. Fashion. If those individuals with some money can not reason with their children pretty soon it will roll downhill. In fact, I've seen more AP mothers unable to control their kiddos in the aisle of target, trader joes, and farmers markets than I care to mention. i know this is not the case for all AP mothers but certainly for a large enough number where we'll eventually see this same type of parenting being perpetuated by our children. I want the next generation of daughters to be confident in their roles as mothers -however they see fit to approach it- not to one day look back at us and say "you truly had no idea what you were doing."

My point is -if your household is in need of a supernanny- all of that negotiating, talking, sharing, reasoning, and compromising with your children obviously wasn't working. And to be honest by that time it's usually -but not always- too late.
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#141 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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Did you want to clarify or anything?
no. the statement speaks volumes.
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#142 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 03:25 AM
 
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no. the statement speaks volumes.
Ah, but you did clarify... thank you!

So, it seems like what you're saying is: you take issue with parents getting help from people they perceive as experts instead of just using their natural abilities as parents to keep their kids in check. Is that right? And you mentioned economic class... would it be more permissable or palatable if Supernanny only went to the homes of the poor?
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Ah, but you did clarify... thank you!

So, it seems like what you're saying is: you take issue with parents getting help from people they perceive as experts instead of just using their natural abilities as parents to keep their kids in check. Is that right? And you mentioned economic class... would it be more permissable or palatable if Supernanny only went to the homes of the poor?
prennamama,

this is not my fight... i have a lot of problems but getting my children to listen is not one.

let's move on, shall we.
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So, it seems like what you're saying is: you take issue with parents getting help from people they perceive as experts instead of just using their natural abilities as parents to keep their kids in check. Is that right?
I'd like to clarify this...no, that is NOT what I am saying. It's really much deeper than that.
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#145 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 04:09 AM
 
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Okay. But move on from where? I was attempting to understand your post. It seemed out of context, but possibly full of inspiration. I'm still not clear on what your actual take is. Except that you said your take on parenting is: "that it is just like breastfeeding -very natural. The only thing that has changed over the course of time is the amount of emotional and physical support we get from other mothers. "

I have no beef with you, and never questioned whether your children listen. Sincerely, I wondered what your point of view was.

So far, you just seem to have disdain, possibly for nannies, maybe for Kohn, and potentially me. Still wondering what your intent was originally.

Peace.
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#146 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 04:18 AM
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Jumping in here-- I really, really like UP-- I guess Kohn just clicks with my instincts, and that's what his ideas are about: freeing yourself from societal mores about "good parenting" (ie rewards/praise/punishments/control) to follow your instincts. I find that what we do, which is pretty UP, really responds to my needs and feelings. I'm allowed to be a whole person, and relate to my DD as a whole person, not as an administrator and a set of behaviors. I find UP very freeing, very focused on getting back to each member of our family, mom, dad, toddler, as people and as a group. I think our society sets us up to be too controlling. The whole premise of control is not something we buy into, as a family. And yet, we are teaching DD the ways we can do things to get along and meet everyone's needs. The values and habits that make everyone happy and fufilled. I just like how Kohn reminds parents to really ask, what is the goal, long term? And also to remember that kids are people right now, too, not just adult people in the making. Nice balance.

Sorry to be so rambling. I just read this thread the day it was posted and never got around to replying! But I appreciated the link
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#147 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 04:23 AM
 
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Reread my responses if you would like to get a better understanding of what I was talking about.
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#148 of 529 Old 08-29-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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Jumping in here-- I really, really like UP-- I guess Kohn just clicks with my instincts, and that's what his ideas are about: freeing yourself from societal mores about "good parenting" (ie rewards/praise/punishments/control) to follow your instincts. I find that what we do, which is pretty UP, really responds to my needs and feelings. I'm allowed to be a whole person, and relate to my DD as a whole person, not as an administrator and a set of behaviors. I find UP very freeing, very focused on getting back to each member of our family, mom, dad, toddler, as people and as a group. I think our society sets us up to be too controlling. The whole premise of control is not something we buy into, as a family. And yet, we are teaching DD the ways we can do things to get along and meet everyone's needs. The values and habits that make everyone happy and fufilled. I just like how Kohn reminds parents to really ask, what is the goal, long term? And also to remember that kids are people right now, too, not just adult people in the making. Nice balance.

Sorry to be so rambling. I just read this thread the day it was posted and never got around to replying! But I appreciated the link
Mmm-hmm... I totally see what you're saying. I also really like the way Kohn's approach encourages the parent to honor the individual that a child is... children aren't just a set of statistics. What works for some doesn't work for others. I like the way he really high-lights listening to our children as a means to facilitate their communication skills, in order to better navigate thru the times when communication gets tricky...

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Reread my responses if you would like to get a better understanding of what I was talking about.
Hmm, yeah, I did... a couple of times... It's cool if you don't want to just explain what you meant. You really seemed to be saying something profound, but if it's not important to you to be clear, I'm ok with not knowing what your point of view was. Take care. Thanks anyway!
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#150 of 529 Old 08-30-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whalemilk View Post
I cannot stand Kohn. I think he and his ilk are responsible for all too many cases of maternal depression and burnout. Also, I see all too many people trying to do the "unconditional" parenting thing, or the constant "playfulness" and then BOOM they snap. Better to find a middle ground where you're not constantly smiling madly on the verge of losing your mind.
i dont know. i have felt burned out before (in 18 years of parenting) but not from utilizing Kohn's theories. I have felt burned out prior to learning about GD when I have found myself at home, after a long day at work, w/ a child or children that I did not understand and could not get to do what I wanted. Since learning about UP, I have been much more relaxed and happy b/c I have very much limited my struggles w/ my children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
What research does he base his parenting theories on (sorry, I don't have the book to check for myself)?
I wish i could scan then but i cant. The References at the end of the book over 12 pages long (single spaced, small type, not sure how small). Most of the references are to psychology articles and books. The footnotes for the book (the paper back edition) is 22 pages long (same type as References i believe).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommoo View Post
In Unconditional Parenting, Kohn's advice does not include ignoring the needs of the parents, at all. He reminds us of children's developmental abilities, and sites research that shows negative results because of rewards and punishment. He encourages reason and morality. I don't understand how anyone can consider this "ilk".
I have also found this to be the case. I have simply learned, from reading UP, why my children are struggling through something (if they are). It has helped me to understand them better and to be able to negotiate (in a stronger position than previously) their needs w/ mine, or others. I have found it very empowering...not as some have said...disempowering.
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