Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cause n' Effect

I was thinking...all parents talk about "instilling" things in their kids.

Basically...how do we do that?

When parents want to teach their kids "responsibility"...they will normally approach it by punishing the kids when they fail in that area. Without touching on the problems with the negative approach, very simply,  when the children "cause" something that's not the best, the parents strive to emphasize the "effect" that the child's action caused.

We teach them by "cause and effect". The child is the cause and we try to get them to understand the effect they had on the world.

Well, pretty much everything we do...everything our child does...good or bad...is in the category of "cause". Everything we do is a "cause" of something. And, so children are learning thru this process with their parents 24/7. They are learning about how they effect the world with what they do.

SO...when your baby feels hungry and attempts to alert you this is a "cause"...what effect do you teach the baby that that will elicit in the world? What about when a baby has not expressed hunger...does not feel hunger...yet the clock tells mom "it's time to eat" and so she feeds the baby? Then, even, when the baby "arches his back" in his hi-chair 'cause he really isn't hungry and is then punished. What are you teaching them about hunger? That hunger feelings = eat and when you're not hungry = don't eat. Or, do you teach them that hunger has nothing to do with eating?

When your child is not tired and they attempt to express that to you this is a "cause"...and if it is "time" for them to go to bed regardless...or when your baby is peacefully sleeping and for mom decides the nap should be over now and mom gets the baby out of bed...what effect do you teach the baby that their cause leads to?

Think of how many people in the US are overweight...because they eat when they're not hungry...
Think of how many people in the US who are sleep deprived and overworked...
Could it be that these people never leaned proper "cause and effect" with regard to their body's signals for sleep and food?

When your baby feels scared, unhappy, or alone and cries out to you...this is a "cause"...what effect do you teach the baby to expect from the world in this type of situation? Do you teach the baby (future adult) that when they are scared, alone, unhappy...to seek out those who will warmly accept, love, and comfort them? That crying out will bring them comfort from another person? Or, do you teach that baby (future adult) that the "cause" of crying out does no good and that what they should expect in life is to go thru everything alone and handle it on their own?

It's all really very simple... God actually designed us that raising children is a joy...that is mutually satisfying and health-enhancing...you so often hear of mothers who are "sleep deprived" but that is probably due to bad "cause and effect" training in the mom...because God designed our bodies that when baby nurses it makes baby sleepy...AND it makes mom sleepy...but moms are "too busy" to sleep with baby...and they suffer for it...and think that it is the BABY which is causing them their sleep deprivation...but really it is the mom's own ignorance of her own body's signals to sleep with the baby and when her body wants to that is causing her sleep deprivation...

Every interaction we have with our children is teaching them something. And, particularly with a newborn and young baby they are learning what to expect from EVERYONE for the REST OF THEIR LIVES!

Teach them what God is REALLY like...
For those of you who are following "Growing Kids God's Way"...it couldn't be farther from God's way if you tried...



Friday, May 27, 2011

"If it feels good...do it!"

You know…I was thinking about this again…and the feeling you feel after, for married ladies, you have sex with your husband…you can ONLY have with your legally married husband. 

Truth is...You could have sex with anything you put your mind to, couldn't you? Your kids, the neighbor guy, the mailman (or lady), the chair leg…anything you really felt like pleasuring yourself with you could manage to do something that someone has likely already done in some sick porno! Right? But, while all those other sources of orgasm would "work" to give you that moment of pleasure…would the act REALLY be pleasurable? No! There'd be that "nagging" feeling in the whole event that would just ruin everything!

THAT nagging feeling is GOD. 

So, if you were to pursue the slogan, "If it feels good do it" with regard to sex…you would only choose to have sex with your husband because he's the only place for that act to ACTUALLY feel good.

And, see…we all know that when we sin or even consider/plan sin it makes us FEEEL icky. Right? That's God.

I was thinking that this is universal and it's built into our biology. Like, if you take anyone from any culture or background and hook them up to a lie detector they all make it react. I anyone from any culture on the planet becomes enraged…their blood pressure is gonna rise. This is something beyond our biology…like I believe the universality of how "sin" affects the human body is EVIDENCE that proves God made us. Animals don't have this. And, there is no "morality center" in the brain…Our whole bodies react in some way to sin no matter how we're raised…why? 'Cause God made us upright. God made us this way and one of His main communications systems with us is thru those "wrong" feelings.

SO it totally makes sense that here we humans are unable to properly define both love…which God IS…and unable to define PLEASURE. Because if we think that pleasure includes those yucky feelings…then that's like pushing the mute button on God. Satan wins.

So, enter the Calvinists who teach us that our bodies are "sinful" and "only want to have pleasure and disrespect God"…then…you'll have people totally disregarding their bodies every signal. People who place no value in feelings. For the good and for the bad. You'll have ladies ignoring their God-given urge to pick up their crying baby so they don't "give in to their flesh" because their flesh is bad…and you'll have people like me as a teenager seeking love and over and over going out and trying to get it from any Tom, DICK, or Harry…that would do me…EVEN THO I felt worse in this huge spiral of worsens…like…It was a horrible catch-22 of seeking men to get love…having sex…feeling even WORSE about me…so I'd seek men…have sex…and feel WORSE STILL!!! 

Or, on the less extreme side of that scale... you'll have people speeding, texting while driving, not obeying traffic laws EVEN THOUGH they do feel kinda' icky about doing it…and how many people die because of those things every year? SIMPLY responding to our FLESH when it says, "Oh, I dunno about that…" when you speed…when your phone goes off and you wanna read the message…would SAVE LIVES! 

But, thanks to Calvinism (and particularly the doctrine of Original Sin) in our culture, our culture is NOT tuned into the human body in a way that respects its signals...

Our bodies are amazingly fearfully and wonderfully made machines that are a communication system between us and God. The peace we feel when we're not in sin, when we're right with Him, is not a magic feeling He zaps us with when He's pleased with us. It is built into our bodies. If we would just LISTEN to our bodies…and NOT do things that DON'T FEEL RIGHT…consistently…we'd be on the path to making good choices all the time.

Bad choices always have an "icky" feeling to them. We need to become a people who are sensitive to that…we need to be a people who are different and set apart from "the world" because the world thinks LOVE = warm fuzzies or sex…and the world thinks PLEASURE = anything that has a pleasurable feeling no matter what the consequences…

If when our kids disobey or are naughty if we asked them, "How do you feel right now" and focused their attention on how yucky they feel inside…and how making a better choice next time will result in them not feeling that way…what an awesome way to equip them to go out in the world without us…to be able to "detect" bad choices?

But we don't do anything to help our kids understand their feelings...If a child screams, "I hate you!" often parents will punish that child and tell them that was bad when they were only in their childish way expressing, "I'M SO ANGRY!" We don't help them with those feelings and tell them the anger is OK but let's figure out a better way to handle it...or fix what's making them angry. And, we tell our kids when the fall and cry, "Oh! It doesn't hurt!" When our babies feel hungry we don't feed them 'cause it's "not time". When our babies cry and feel scared we don't pick them up. When our kids say, "I don't like this food!" we make them eat it anyway. We don't pay much interest in anything our kids feel. Everything about our culture in raising kids works toward dysregulating that communication system...turning off the alerts!

AND…when evil people are planning evil…they put out "vibes"…electrical signals with their hearts and minds…an ekg would be able to read it…a CAT scan would see it…and our bodies CAN pick up on it. What if we were more attuned to that? What if our radars actually WORKED? How safe would that make us from scammers…child predators…rapists…etc…

It makes total sense that the church believes our bodies are SINFUL and we need to IGNORE them…because satan knows it's God's communication system to us…it's our protection system…and ya strip us of it and you have a condition called, "Naivety"…(which is active in all of us apparently to some degree if you judge that by the things people click on on Facebook). It leads girls to ignore their icky feelings and get into a car with a serial killer…it leads people to write checks out to scammers…and it just leads people to do all sorts of stupid stuff…

Every Bible commentator we know of has believed some form of "our bodies are sinful" and this would have effected their view of this verse's meaning. But, if you believe your body deserves your attention and that God has it programmed to know the difference between sin and not sin...look at what this says...

Isaiah 58…
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?

Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out of their house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?

Then will your light break forth as the morning, and you health will spring forth speedily: and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.




Thursday, May 26, 2011

"She's a witch! Burn her!"

In July 2007 my husband and I witnessed a horrific thing. We were living in a town in Guatemala and someone made a claim against one of the neighbors that he was a "kidnapper who sold kids' body parts to the US for organ donations". Soon, there was a mass of people around his house all in a frenzy. Everyone had judged this man and basically wanted the death penalty. No one was really interested in any facts they were in a frenzy to execute judgment.

They broke into the man's house, drug him outside, tied him up and beat him almost to death. They cheered, whooped and hollered as they all bounced around kicking him almost jubilantly in a circle with him in the center on the ground lying there quietly bleeding. Everyone was all smiles as this man was "getting what he deserved". Anyone who dared suggest that maybe this man wasn't a baby-stealer was threatened with the same treatment. After they were satisfied with beating this man someone went and got a gallon of gasoline and doused him with it and then lit him on fire then stood around and watched him as laid there helplessly on the ground with his hands and ankles tied…writhing slowly and oddly silently as he burned.

Americans hear this story, or see the pictures of that evening, with all the brown-faced poor villagers and immediately think of these primitive 3rd world country people as brutal, dangerous, savage even. People very different than modern, educated Americans. People always asked us why we didn't "get out of there right away!" because the town and the people were SO DANGEROUS!

Hmph. Sure. Those uneducated 3rd world country people were very brutal, savage and dangerous over that event, it's true, but reality is they are no different from Americans.

You go onto the message boards where people are discussing Casey Anthony's case and they are just as brutal, dangerous and savage…in their own Westernized way. In Guatemala the people know they can get away with doing atrocious things and the law will not get them…but here in the US we all know we'll be caught and persecuted. But, I think that's the only thing that separates they who burn someone alive and us...the external law. Remove that threat of punishment and I bet you'd see a very different USA...(oh, wait! We did have a USA like that once...remember the Salem Witch Trials? Remember the lynchings of black people in the 1900's?)

Just read some of those discussions about Casey Anthony... you see hundreds of "educated" and "modern" Americans "mobbing her", "beating her", and "setting her on fire", and even "dismembering her", with their words which sometimes graphically describe the horrors they'd love to see happen to her...even before all the evidence is in. Their hearts are the same as those who literally burned a man alive before the evidence was in.

Terri Irwin wrote in her book (which was awesome), "Steve & Me":

"I have seen Tasmanian devils battle over a carcass. I have seen lionesses crowding a kill, dingoes on the trail of a feral piglet, an adult croc thrashing its prey to pieces. But never, in all the animal world, have I witnessed anything to match the casual cruelty of the human being."

I agree.

:(

(Pic outta' the newspaper the day after the mob burned that man...it incited yet a bigger frenzy as truck-load after truck-load of villagers flooded into town seeking others to punish for the crime of kidnapping...I have actual pics of the night of the burning, but I guess I shouldn't post those...)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"As you love yourself"...

Jesus said in Matthew 22:

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment.The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

On these 2 commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. The entire point and message of God...depend on those 2 things. 

Love the Lord with all you've got...and love others the way you love yourself...

Love others...the way you love yourself...

So...how do we come to love ourselves? 

"We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

We learn to love by the way we're loved.

So...when you see a homeless person begging what are your 1st thoughts? Do you wonder what he'll do with the $ and therefore if he deserves your pity or not? Do you not wonder why he doesn't just "pull himself up by his boot straps and change his situation?" Do you wonder why he doesn't just help himself?

Where do you think we learn to think that way?

When a baby lies in a crib alone and cries...and mom comes sometimes and sometimes not...what do you think the baby is learning about "love"?

If everything about the whole point of what God's doing in the world hinges on us loving God with all we've got...and everyone else the way we love ourselves...it would seem that Mom's job in the first years of a baby's life are of critical importance. Critical. Mom represents God's love for the baby...and will shape the way the baby "loves himself"...and therefore how that baby will grow up to love the world...

You leave a baby alone to cry by themselves and "soothe-themselves"...you teach them...
...to judge the value of their perceived needs
...that they're on their own
...that they need to do it themselves
...that the only dependable constants in life are themselves and the material things around them they control
...that in order to get thru life they have to look out for themSELVES 'cause no one else is going to be there for them all the time...

So, if that's how they love themselves...that's how they'll love others...you've taught them to...
...judge the value of other's expressed needs
...that they don't need to help others because they should be able to take care of themselves
...that others need to get all their financial and material ducks in a row and then they'll be ok

...that not everyone's "cries" need responding to if it interferes with their own lives and looking out for their own personal interests
...that it's OK to ignore people when they reach out to you

Don't you see it in the Westernized church? 
...we judge other's needs. We judge and criticize them. "Oh, that girl shoulda' not been foolin' around and she wouldn't be in this crisis pregancy!"
...we try to find other people to help those in need. You see it in the constant battle over Democrats vs Republicans...always trying to find a way for the gov't to do the church's job.
...we will show up in a girl's life in a crisis pregnancy and try to help her get a good job to make money, to teach the value of hard work...or we go into a 3rd world village and we build a church or a school or offer some other material thing and think we've helped because we changed their "physical/material world" for the better...
...we avert our eyes from the homeless man on the street corner, or we won't ask the single teenage mom to move into our guest bedroom because we don't really want to get involved...we can't risk changing our schedule, losing any money, having our leisure time cut into, or really disrupting our lives in any way to help others. We want to write a check to the church or vote for the right politician and for someone ELSE to help that person...Heck, we can't even put it as a priority to evangelize in our daily lives, we want to cuss, drink, smoke, speed, and then invite our unsaved friends to church so the pastor can do the evangelizing for us!

The whole point of all God's done and is doing in the world hinges on how we love Him, ourselves, and others...and that can all be put on a wrong path by well-meaning mothers...

The best way to teach your child to love God is by showing your child how God loves. And, then once the child is loved as God loves...he will then be able to love...

It is the whole point...

Picking your child up when they cry out to you does not spoil them. It shows them how God loves us. All the old wives tales...and books like, "On Becoming Babywise" are simply instructions on how to teach you how to not love as God loves you...and what's done in the first 3 years of life will be in your child till the day they die...and they will either survive what you do...or they will THRIVE...


No woman would ever think it is good and healthy and right to ignore their husband's need for sex and then for the husband to shut himself away in another room and self-soothe that need...and likewise it is equally sick and sad for a mother to lie peacefully in bed while their baby lies all alone in the dark in another room and strokes their own hair and sucks on their thumb to self-soothe...




One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" 
Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."" 

Matthew 12:28


Pleasure Comes from God: 2

I got into a conversation with a goooood friend of mine the other day that made think of something...


"Sin" is basically fulfilling a God-given desire in a bad way.

God-given desire. Ya get that?

God has given us desires. Desires for pleasure. God made us so that we want pleasure. God made us that way. And, He has provided the most awesome and excellent ways to fulfill those desires. (He, after all, is the one who created the orgasm).

Sin is the result of people attempting to fulfill those desires in ways that hurt God. 

God gave us the desire for sex. We have it best, and can derive the most pleasure from that in a healthy monogamous marriage. All the (outside of the church) studies even show that this is true. And, God delights in seeing a healthy, happy, monogamous couple enjoying sex. God is happy when we are happy.

But, happiness and "fun" are all twisted around in the way the world perceives it. The same as with "love". People say they "love" their iphones...they say they love people they hurt...and they say the think partying and living the wild life is "fun". It's all twisted up, and it makes sense. There is a force on the earth that hates God and everything He loves and has worked hard to ruin it all.

One of the best ways to ruin a human is to destroy their foundations. And, if your army's goal was to destroy humans you'd focus on them for their 1st year of life, especially.

Satan is described as a roaring lion seeking someone whom to devour. And, in nature you see the the prowling lions that seek something to desire go after the sick...and the babies... (Romans 1)

So, if one way people get into sin is by fulfilling God-given desires in a wrong way...if you were the enemy of mankind you'd want to make sure that human babies learned pleasure all wrong.

That would mean that there is a right way and a wrong way for a baby to feel pleasure. And, since God is good and fair, He'd make that very clear to us how to do this job of mothering. He'd build it into our minds, our hormones, our common sense, and He'd (Romans 1) put it in nature all around us. He'd make it so clear to us that we'd be without excuse!

Babies don't come wired with desires for pleasures like the ones grown-ups get from iphones, sports, music, facebook, fine dining, fancy cars, etc...No. Babies come with very simple desires for pleasure. They want to know Mom is there. They want to feel her, see her, smell her, hear her. They want to know she's there. They want the pleasure of a full belly, and a clean diaper. Simple desires for pleasures that help wire the baby's brain properly for the future the way God designed them, ensure that the baby will live, and desires that actually provide hormonal health and well-being for their caretaker as well. (Which is another spiritual truth about how we effect God when we look to Him as our source of all things we need.)

Such simple things that when Mom responds to baby's expressions of desires in the correct way and fulfills those desires in the God-given way baby learns how to fulfill God-given desires in the right way. And, God even made it so that it would feeeeeel good for Mom to do it. So simple.

So, if a baby is supposed to get the pleasure of snuggling up against mom, nursing, having a full belly, and being rocked to sleep in the arms of mom listening to her heart beat and smelling her...all those things...but instead baby gets a bottle and dropped into a crib alone...the baby is going to cry. Baby is saying "this does not feel good" just the way God designed baby to do in this situation. Mom gets hormone surges that will, if she follows her God-given desires correctly, propel her toward the baby to fix the situation!

But...this is the modern Westernized world. Mothers are usually told that responding to their baby's desires will ruin the baby. Spoil them. And, so they ignore the system God's put in them to get them to respond to their baby and they resist. And, then what happens is that when Mom does not respond, something has to happen to the baby. The baby has to "deal" with it and come up with other ways to compensate for this loss of pleasure. The baby who is has the God-given desire for comfort from mom is put into the position in their formative time...to fulfill that desire in another way.

The baby will act in Mom's place and do what they can to substitute her God-given role in their life...They will suck their thumb, twirl their hair, move their bodies rhythmically, hold a teddy, vocalize to themselves...any number of things that we're all familiar with. We think these things are all benign. And, although those things could not be said to "be" wrong things...they are "wrong" in the sense that they are not the correct way God designed the baby to be soothed.

So what are we really teaching our babies to do when we teach them to "self-soothe?" We're teaching them to "fulfill a God-given desire (for mom) in a wrong way"...

And, what about Mom??? Everything about a mother's physiology tells her to pick her baby up when it's distressed but due to "teachings" she's following she will resist that. And therefore she too is "fulfilling a God-given desire to pick up her baby in a wrong way"...

All these things that the baby does when left to self-soothe are a way the baby seeks comfort FROM THEMSELVES rather than from an outside source. That outside source once they're an adult would be God...but if they've been trained as a baby to look within themSELVES and in their immediate material surroundings for comfort...to "self-soothe", it is not going to be natural for them to run to God when they feel displeasure in life.

This self-soothing, basically, is filling a God-given desire in a wrong way.

AND...one funny thing about kids is that they always think mom n' dad are right when they're little. They look up to us as super heroes! So, if they FEEL inside that they want mom, and mom is a super hero and believes baby should be alone, it is almost like mom telling baby, "No...that's not what you feel"...or it's like telling baby, "Your feelings are not legitimate". Basically, it would totally disrupt the whole system of "what is pleasurable and what is displeasurable...and how do we fulfill desires properly?"But, we expect these babies to grow up into people who know what is pleasurable and what isn't. We expect them to know that going to bars and picking up people to take home and sleep with isn't REALLY pleasurable. We expect them to know to seek God when they're disturbed and not go off and drink themselves into oblivion in a corner in their house every night to deal with it.


Basically, the modern "Western" way of parenting (which is promoted by books like Babywise and others) is the best way to get your kids' perceptions of pleasure to be totally out of whack and wired all wrong. It's the best way to set the kid up to be a grown up who doesn't know how to fulfill their God-given desires correctly.

God is good and He is fair and He wants you and me to have fun and be TRULY happy. We gotta stop thinking a mile wide and an inch deep and start making God happy by responding to the bodies He gave us in the right way...and training up our children in the way they should go by loving them, and responding to them the way we're supposed to...

(Josh...2001)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Charlie the Crab

OK, his name might not have been Charlie...but...here's his story...

We showed up on the beach one day to go play and there was a ginormous crab just hanging out down by the shoreline. We took pics of him. We messed with him a little. We marveled at how he reacted with us and in some cases tried to scare us off. He was so cute!!! But, I was concerned for his "safety" being exposed out on the middle of the huge beach so we dug a little hole for him for him to sorta' "hide" in.

After we had our initial "interaction" with him, both I and my oldest daughter kept just checking on him. Looking back at him. Keeping a wary eye out for birds. On more than one occasion we said things like, "I hope no birds eat our crab." And, that struck me as significant...

"Our crab"

What made this crab...one among thousands "our crab?"

It was the fact that we'd met him...interacted with him..."cared" for him...and had a limited sort of "relationship" with him because of it. He went from being "a" crab to being "our" crab.

I thought, how well it would do the church to get more involved with people...interact with them..."care" for them...so that the world becomes "our" world and not "the" world.

Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my sheep"...
Feeding is a way of caring.

What if we listened to Jesus and spent our time, instead of <cough> blogging about stuff...playing on facebook...and "preaching" at the world with our bumperstickers, t-shirts and crafty status updates...and instead went next door and said to the widow lady living there, "Is there anything I can do for you today?"

And, Charlie? Whatever happened to him?

Finally, we grabbed him in a bucket and took him back up to where all the crab hide-outs seem to be and we let him go up there so he could find his hole again.

(Actual photo: not an actor)

Cages

Romans 1…tells us we can see the truth about God thru the Creation…I just can't say that enough and I see it every day...

I was just watching something on Animal Planet about tigers kept in small cages…the tigers were suffering from psychological issues because of it. They said that any time you keep a wild animal in a cage…(restrict its freedom)…and deprive it of the ability to fulfill it's natural desires that it will end up having all kinds of mental problems that show themselves in aggressive behaviors and the animal engaging in repetitive behaviors…

I was just thinking that yeah, I knew this already. We all know this. You chain up a dog even…and it will become aggressive. Caged animals will pace. We just know this stuff.

Parents would do well to notice how this truth applies to their own lives...to their households. What we've come to accept as "normal" behavior in toddlers and teens…the "terrible twos" and "teenage rebellion"…these are not "normal" phases of life. These are normal reactions to being "caged"…these are common things in our culture…but they are not "normal healthy" development…they are "normal reactions" to being "caged".

How do human parents "cage" their kids?

There are 4 styles of parenting, basically…

(Underlined parts are discussed at the end...and are a different topic)

Indulgent - Indulgent parenting, also called permissive, nondirective or lenient, is characterized as having few behavioral expectations for the child. Indulgent parenting is a style of parenting in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them.

Neglectful - Neglectful parenting is also called uninvolved, detached, dismissive or hands-off. The parents are low in warmth and control, are generally not involved in their child's life, are disengaged, undemanding, low in responsiveness, and do not set limits. Neglectful parenting can also mean dismissing the children's emotions and opinions. Parents are emotionally unsupportive of their children, but will still provide their basic needs.

Authoritative - Authoritative parenting, also called 'assertive democratic' or 'balanced' parenting, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectations of maturity. Authoritative parents can understand their children’s feelings and teach them how to regulate them. They often help them to find appropriate outlets to solve problems. Authoritative parenting encourages children to be independent but still places limits and controls on their actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and nurturant toward the child. Authoritative parents are not usually as controlling, allowing the child to explore more freely, thus having them make their own decisions based upon their own reasoning.

Authoritarian - Authoritarian parenting, also called strict, is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between parent and child. Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive style in which parents exhort the child to follow their directions and to respect their work and effort. Authoritarian parents expect much of their child but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries. Authoritarian parents are less responsive to their children’s needs, and are more likely to spank a child rather than discuss the problem.

Authoritarian parents often have "well-behaved" kids when those kids are young…but then once those kids are too big to "control" with threats of spanking…not only are all of the kids true feelings and frustrations finally able to show thru…but now they also have the psychological damage and anger from being "caged" their whole life that they have to now deal with...

Parents need to see the effects of their parenting for what they are and stop dismissing things as "normal" behavior. If your toddler is ANGRY there is something you're doing wrong. If your toddler engages in "repetitive behavior"...something is wrong. And, this doesn't mean "you suck" as a parent...it's OK...we all have done things wrong...but it's not OK if you see signs and don't do something about it.

We need to see the truth in nature about what we're doing as parents if we're ever to have a peaceful world…God left us all the clues we need to see the truth. It's all around us every day everywhere we go…so much so that we are without excuse for not seeing it…

Romans 1:28-21
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

(Underlined parts are another topic...for anyone who follows "Babywise" you might note that Gary Ezzo's style of parenting would be a mixture of "Authoritarian" and "Neglectful". Look again at the underlined parts and think about it...)





Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick thought about Happiness and Fun

I just said something to my 5-year old that's just "true".

She had gotten mad at me about something and once she was willing to talk to me about it, I said to her, "If you would just learn one thing...you would not get mad at me very much anymore."

"What is it?" she asked quietly.

"If only you would believe that the thing I want most for you...the thing I want for you all the time every day is for you to be happy and have fun...you would not get mad at me for stuff like this." (this = the thing she was mad about at that moment)

And, that just struck me. It's just true. And, "everything that's knowable about God is evident in what He's made"...and that includes us. God calls us our Father...and if it's just true that I want my kids to be happy all the time...it's true for God, too.

The church...the more religious it gets the worse they are with "fun" and "happiness". The ultra-religious would have us believe that God is most pleased when we're somber, stoic, and quiet. God is even more pleased if we're suffering somehow for Him.

The church makes it almost that fun and happiness are "sin". Or, if you talk about the importance of fun and happiness they may agree...with a "yeah but..." word of caution. The church believes fun and pleasure are bad.

God designed the human brain that when it is denied "pleasure" as a baby...pathology develops. In the exciting read, "Early Deprivation of Empathic Care" by John Leopold Weil, MD, it is explained how important it is for the baby to receive empathic care from the primary caregiver to disrupt their states of displeasure and not disrupt their states of pleasure. And, in all cases, the human brain develops "coping strategies". All cases. Babies (one example) who are put on feeding schedules and are played with when they are hungry...develop coping mechanisms for that. Their brains suffer. God made their brains.

God clearly wants us to be happy and to experience pleasure. But, the religious mind can't read that sentence without freaking that somehow I'm promoting sin. "Woe to those who call good evil and evil good..."

The greatest crime in the universe really is to not know God. To not know WHO He is...

Christians will get into arguments about "is Allah just another name for God"...etc...when I do believe that even within the group who all call God "God" as in "Jehovah/Yahweh" of the Bible are talking about entirely different gods...



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