In part 2 of my interview with Adele Faber, co-author along with Elaine Mazlish of “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” we talk about what do do when you’ve got nothing left emotionally to give to your children, how to handle foul language, how to problem solve with your children, and being authentic with your children about own feelings. Finally, Adele gives her opinion on whether or not we need to be tougher with our children, especially when they are acting out.
What is our major goal as parents? ….. “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. It 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 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? Too many 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 a child 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, 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.”
pages 14-15 of Liberated Children, Liberated Parents