“A child who obeys out of fear will only do so as long as he or she is scared. A child like this never develops an internalized sense of right and wrong without being policed by a more powerful authority figure.” ~ Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma by Nancy Samlin
For me, even though I was raised to obey out of fear, I still developed a sense of right and wrong because of the religious upbringing I had. But I do know that being punished meant that when I was younger I would hide things from my mom and that she and I didn’t develop a close connection because I was afraid of her and her reactions to my behavior and questions.
As parents, my husband and I don’t use punishments while setting boundaries for our daughter. We strive to be respectful in our discipline and to include my daughter in the process of problem-solving and guidance.
My daughter has a close connection with me but still hates to disappoint us. I have learned that you can set behavior limits in a loving way that isn’t the same as demanding obedience out of fear — that instead keeps the parent-child relationship intact — and still have your child learn right from wrong.
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