redcircle52 karma2010-11-03 23:12:52 UTC
Most kids say that they won't forget what its like, and then they grow up, and ... repeat what their parents did. The reason why: kids learn by observing the actions of people, and over time these behaviorisms become automatic. For example, when you lecture a kid, 95% of what the kid takes away is that it is appropriate to lecture people when you disagree with them; 5% of the take-away is the content of the lecture. So the classic kid is telling himself, during the lecture, that his parents are so unfair (they usually are unfair), and that he won't do the same. But the cycle is so hard to break, because by the time you grow up and have your kids, you want to maintain your active life cycle, and you don't have time to think about how to override your automatic responses. When the kid does something that irritates you, or might make you look like a bad parent in front of the crowd, then you react immediately based on your childhood experiences, which is to scold, shout, and humiliate (when we feel negative, our minds narrow and resort to past experiences, which is why we always think of the awesome comeback 10 minutes later, once we've relaxed). And your kid is sitting there burying his fury, because most Americans maintain a power relationship with their kid (discipline and reward+punishment). Basic leadership: you don't scold anybody in front of other people, but do it discreetly if necessary (this is a big item in "Naval Leadership" by Karel Montor). This is one habit that most of us should develop.
Thinking about breaking the cycle takes lots of thought, meditation, and patience to implement. Most of the time is spent trying to figure out what to do differently so that it becomes easy. There actually is a silver bullet, which I can best describe as what is congruent with our evolutionary development, for people actually raised their kids successfully eons ago for us to be here today, prior to spoken language, lecturing, yelling, etc. The basics from that era drive our cognitive and psychological development today, and the answer is leadership, and is well described by A. S. Neill in "Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Childrearing".
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