Pat Steffens, Extension Family Life Specialist
Revised by Kathy Bosch, Extension Specialist, Family Life Education
Understanding why children misbehave is important. We can respond more effectively to them and their behavior when we figure out what is causing the problem.
Children misbehave when they don't feel well.
Children need plenty of sleep, nutritious food, exercise and fresh air. When children don't get these things, they have
difficulty managing their feelings and coping with daily life. A tired child can be cranky. A hungry child can be irritable. A sleepy child can be fussy. A sick child can be cross.
Children misbehave when they feel rejected. Children
who feel unloved and unwanted may become resentful, moody and ill-behaved. When parents or other adults ignore children's thoughts and feelings, youngsters tend to think of themselves as unworthy. Children need and want to be accepted.
Children misbehave when they lack knowledge and experience. Children aren't little adults. They're
not born with information and wisdom. Mistakes and some misbehaviors are part of the learning process.
Many acts that parents call "bad" are simply
mistakes. These mistakes need to be talked over and explained. Children need firm but fair guidelines geared for their age and developmental level.
Ways to Prevent Misbehavior
know and use strategies and techniques to prevent a child's misbehavior. Misbehavior may be prevented in the following
- Change the setting. Put dangerous
items, breakables and valuables out of the reach of infants and toddlers. For preschoolers, have play areas that are safe and worry-free.
interesting toys. Playthings
prevent boredom and misbehavior. They need not be expensive but they must meet safety standards.
clear rules. The fewer rules you make, the better. They should be reasonable. Consistent enforcement provides security and
tells children rules are important.
flexible. There may be special times when rules can be relaxed but not forgotten. Rules will need to change as the children grow in ability and responsibility.
a good example. Children imitate those around them. They learn what they live.
- Give choices. When you can, give children a choice of several things to do.
their attention. Say children's names, touch them appropriately and
look them in the eye before you talk or give instructions.
- Give warning time. Tell children 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time that you want
to change their activity. Let them get ready to go on to something new.
time with your children. Children need undivided, personal attention regularly with their parents and care providers.
- Talk kindly to your children. There will be occasions when you need to raise your voice or use a different tone, but this should be done rarely. Children will more readily listen to you, follow your rules and feel better about themselves when you talk with them in a kind, respectful manner.
Middle-class children resentful at being pushed to succeed, poll shows
Middle class parents are more
likely to push their children to succeed at school, leaving them feeling resentful and unloved, a Government-backed survey has found.
Parents with higher incomes
are also less likely to be able to spend regular "family time" at home with their children, according to a poll of nearly
4,000 parents and children in England and Wales.
Overall, the survey found
that 4 in 10 children feel "very pushed" to succeed at school. More than half of the most pressurized children were left feeling
that their parents cared more about their academic performance than their happiness.
Middle class parents are more
inclined than others to put such pressure on their children, according to independent researchers working for the Department
for Children, Schools and Families.
The report chimes with a nationwide
study published by OFSTED earlier this week that showed increasing numbers of children feel worried about their future and
their exam results.
"Parents from higher socio-economic
groups in terms of income, education, and occupation placed a relatively greater emphasis on education and the concept of
"parental push'," the DCSF researchers found.
They discovered "a degree
of resentment among children who felt pushed, with heightened levels feeling that "my parent thinks I'm useless" and "my parent cares more
about how well I do at school than whether or not I am happy"."
Parents were asked whether
they believe that "Children should be allowed to develop at their own pace without feeling pressurized" or that "Children
should be pushed if they are to reach their full potential."
Some 38% of parents earning
more than £45,000 said they agreed that children should be pushed. Only 22% of those earning between £10,000 and £45,000 said
Parents who send their children
to independent schools are much more likely to believe children should be put under pressure:
45% said they believe children
should be pushed, compared to 21% of parents with children at state schools.
Parental pressure on children
leaves many feeling unloved and undervalued, the study showed.
Some 54 % of "very pushed"
children said they felt that their parents cared more about their progress at school than their happiness.
And 11% of the most pressurized
children said they thought their parents felt they were "useless".
The study also suggested that
working long hours leaves some middle-class parents less able to focus on their children.
Only 44% of parents with the
highest income spent time at home with their children at least 4 times a week. Among the poorest family, the figure was 60%t.
"Higher income families participated
less in family time at home and more in family days out, perhaps reflecting a more "cash rich, time poor" lifestyle," the
The study also found that
"parents with higher-level occupations and incomes helped with homework less regularly than other parents" as their work commitments
The study also found that
parents have a more positive impression of their daughters' performance at school than their sons'.
Some 63% of parents of girls
felt they were "doing better" than others in their class compared with 53% of parents of boys.
Middle-class parents are more
likely to have a positive view of their children's performance:
65% of those earning in excess
of £45,000 per year said their children were "doing better" than others in their class. Only 50% of the poorest parents said
The researchers conducted
2,572 half-hour interviews with parents and 1,154 with children between February and April this year.
source site: click here
posted by Deepak Chopra Sep 26, 2008 5:00 am
One of the worst parts of
suffering a great loss is the feeling of utter isolation. The problem of loneliness, which exists for countless people, requires
deeper healing than simply seeking out company. Loneliness can happen in a crowd and may feel most intense when you find yourself
alone on a packed city street.
As a child, it was easier
to cure loneliness, because the presence of a parent was enough to offer reassurance. As an adult, loneliness becomes more
existential - it feels as if you have been abandoned, yet you cannot say by whom. If you suffer from loneliness, have the
intention to befriend yourself; ask for spirit to comfort you with its presence.
Children need constant reassurance
that they are loved because their sense of self is undeveloped and therefore fragile. By hearing “I love you,”
they gain a core of self-worth. As long as this core is strong, a person can withstand the loss of love, even though it may
bring intense pain.
When the core of self-love
has become too weak, despair is the result. In some people it was never strong enough to begin with; in others the intensity
of grief has proved too much. Ask spirit to come in and repair your innate sense of being loved. Affirm today that you can
feel loved within yourself, even after a great loss.
Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).
source site: click here
Are parents too pushy ?
06 November 2008
Are some parents leaving their
children feeling unloved ? This was the basis of an article published recently in The Daily
Telegraph. The article goes on to say that middle class parents especially those with higher incomes are more inclined than
others to put pressure on their children.
Is this right ? Should children
be pushed in order for them to reach their full potential ? The Government-backed survey found that four in ten children feel
' very pushed ' to succeed at school. Also more than half of the most pressurized children felt that their parents cared more
about their academic performance than their happiness. Parents who send their children in independent schools are more likely
to beleive children should be put under pressure.
The article also stated that
parents with higher incomes are less likely to spend regular 'family time' at home according to a poll of 4,000 parents and
children in England and Wales.
I have to say this makes me
feel a little bit sad, also a bit angry, knowing that there are some parents who will never be satisfied, or content with
what their children acheive. Is it a case of ' I missed some opportunities and I will make sure that my children will not'
or that they are planning their childrens lives out for them, instead of letting them make their own decisions, or is it a
case of 'we are paying for your education and you will jolly well be successful' !
I am not talking about 6 year
olds opting out of school or indeed insisting that homework should be done and children working to the best of their ability
and supporting that, but also seeing them as individuals, who when they grow up will have their own lives, and will make their
Fair enough give them the
opportunity to try something new, but if it does not work out, or the child is not enjoying it then stop, maybe try something
else, after all they may not have the same interests as you.
Maybe children should be pushed,
but pushing them relentlessly I feel is a mistake, if a child has worked hard and has done their very best, that is all that
you can ask. If that means they fall short sometimes, then that is how it is and something that we we have to accept, which
of course is what some parents find very hard to do, and see the failure is a reflection on them.
Family time is precious, especially
in our very busy lives, I feel sometimes that it has to be 'scheduled in' and it should not be so. Is it because parents are
out working ever longer hours in order to provide the schooling, the hobbies or whatever else?
When in reality children need
time and contact with their parents. No amount of endless music lessons, clubs or whatever else it is can substitute for the
love and support shown by parents.
source site: click here
Bringing New Life to Your Marriage
by Carol Heffernan
It often starts with something small. Maybe
she arrives home from shopping to find that the kids aren't in bed yet. She thought her husband would have realized that the family needed to get up early, so the kids needed to go to bed early.
think it was a big deal. Besides, he was playing with them and they could
take a nap the following day.
She is upset and communicates this to him, but before too long, she can tell that he is upset with her for being upset with
When she speaks up,
he rolls his eyes. He thinks she’s about to nag and she thinks he’s very insensitive. And so it goes . . .
Like many couples,
they never saw it coming. But such seemingly minor conflicts are like termites, silently eating away beneath the surface, until one day the foundation crumbles.
Trouble is, this disagreement isn’t only about the children's bedtime. It goes deeper than that. According to author
and marriage expert Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, the wife isn’t just looking for a resolution on
At a certain point, she begins to
feel unloved thinking, "If I mattered to him, he'd be more attentive and would definitely talk to me." The husband, meanwhile, interprets his wife’s "need to talk" as another situation that will result in him feeling disrespected as a person and thinks, "I can never be good enough."
"A husband needs respect like he needs air to breathe," Eggerichs explains, "while love is by far a wife’s greatest need."
co-wrote Motivating Your Man God’s Way with his wife, Sarah, says this concept
is the secret to a better marriage. Without it, couples can easily get caught up in the constant back and forth of complaining
and stonewalling, action and reaction. Eggerichs calls it the "crazy cycle."
The Bible states in Ephesians 5:33
that husbands are to love their wives and wives are to respect their husbands. Seems easy enough, right? But this commonly cited verse makes a point that’s often overlooked,
a point that is central to the crazy cycle: Men and women differ when it comes to their deepest relational needs.
If a husband’s deepest need (respect) a wife's deepest need (love) are fulfilled, their relationship is able to flourish. But when these needs are unmet, the cycle begins.
So, why this craziness? When a woman feels unloved, Eggerichs explains, she reacts in a way that may seem disrespectful to her husband. He then reacts to this disrespect in ways that feel unloving to his wife. The more
she complains and criticizes, the more he shuts down and stonewalls.
"The message she’s
trying to send is that she feels unloved at that moment," Eggerichs says. "But she
will react in very negative ways that, in the male arena, feel disrespectful. She isn't trying to be disrespectful, but is feeling unloved. Sadly, he may not decode that."
So, how do you stop the "crazy cycle"
once it’s started? Eggerichs says it’s as obvious as it seems: Mutual understanding begins when wives respect their husbands and husbands love their wives. His goal is to help couples better understand how to do that, putting an end to their crazy cycles.
As any married couple eventually
discovers, romantic feelings don't exist everyday. It takes effort to keep a marriage strong, to keep minor disagreements from becoming
major ones, to favor sweet words and tender glances over harsh comments and contemptuous glares.
"In Ephesians 5:33," Eggerichs says
"God invites every married couple to make a conscious decision about how they appear to the other. A wife can feel unloved, but appear disrespectful; a husband can feel disrespected but appear unloving. This is why things
get crazy! Our negative appearances work against us. God's Word protects us from that mistake."
He continues, "Really, all you have to do is learn this crazy cycle, and when
you see the spirit of your spouse deflate, trust . . . that you’ve said something that appears unloving or disrespectful. Then go back and say, 'Did I come across as unloving / disrespectful? I'm sorry, will you forgive me?' That works almost every time."
Eggerichs has seen firsthand how
marriages are transformed when husbands and wives put this fundamental concept into practice. To that end, he and his wife
started the Love and Respect Marriage Conference and the testimonials from those who have attended
have been very encouraging.
At the conference, they illustrate
in detail how to spell "love" to a wife and "respect" to a husband.
The conferences promote the same
message as the Eggerichs' book: When unconditional respect and love are demonstrated through tone, facial expression and word choice, the spirit of our spouse re-opens.
"We're going to have conflicts over bedtime-type issues. We're going to get upset," Eggerichs says. "By dealing with marital conflict God's way, we can stop the crazy cycle before it starts. If things get out of control, we can halt the craziness. God's Word works." Carol Heffernan is the
online editor for broadcast programming at Focus on the Family.
For the Unloved Child Care Worker
Does the child expect a child care worker in his life? Does it surprise you that you're unwanted?
Because the child care worker isn't seen as being a part of the natural order of a child's life, the worker
isn't entitled to any of the pre-conceived responses from the child which a parent or a peer might
The child care worker must,
therefore, understand the roles which the child already perceives and using this information and his skills, develop his role according
to reasonable and professional expectations. Harry L. Blackman,
while Supervisor at Group Homes Lutheran Orphans and Old Folks Home, Toledo, Ohio,
discussed some of the stresses acting upon the child in care & the effect of these stresses on both the child and on the child care worker's efforts.
The "Fantasy family" is a phenomenon
which occurs between the child & his mother in the first few minutes of their physical meeting & continues in spurts
in the mind of the child, perhaps in anticipation of coming visits or in an attempt to escape from reality, by dreaming of living within the "fantasy
The "fantasy family" is different for each individual. Basically, it consists of a caring & loving mother who has need for the child & protects the child. She is the child's "wonder mommy." The child sees himself as obedient & good.
He doesn't get into trouble, is successful &
makes his mother proud.
The mother sees the child as her baby who needs her nurture, love, experience & attention. She also sees the child as someone who should give her a thankful
response for the efforts & sacrifices that she has made & will make. Although the idea will be different for different
individuals, the situation will follow a general pattern.
It makes little difference that the child has been physically abused by the natural family or that he is mentally scarred by emotional disturbance, retardation, malnutrition,
or lack of affection. It makes little difference that the mother is out of the picture for weeks, months, or even years
at a time.
It makes little difference that the child verbalizes his hatred for his mother or his mother's hatred for him. The "fantasy family" still exists for the child & the personalities identified
in that "fantasy family" are his natural parents as he perceives them. Although the "fantasy family" appears to fade as the
child grows older, it still continues; it's just under a pile of reality.
This affects both the child in care & the child care worker directly, since the child
care worker is rarely perceived as a personality of this "fantasy family" & fights the battle of being a parent in the
child's mind. Thus, the child care worker does 'not deserve' the devotion or responses the "fantasy family" is entitled to.
When the child care worker must act as a disciplinarian, or has sacrificed to the nth degree,
the child may remark how great & wonderful his parents are. It's important that the child care worker keep in context the fact that these great & wonderful people are
the "fantasy family" who are nothing but good in the mind of the child.
When the child & the mother do meet, the child care worker can readily see the syrupy
exchanges, that usually lasts only a short time. The mother assumes her natural role of protector, a strong individual who
supplies the child's nurturing needs; the child, in turn, takes on the image of the ideal child.
The breakdown of this stage of the relationship is very rapid & the overprotective mother reverts to meeting her own needs. The child is no longer capable of playing the fantasy role. Mom hasn't lived up to expectations & the child hasn't lived up to expectations.
Depending upon the level of disturbance & the weakness of the relationship, the child
comes away from the visit drained, bored, upset & almost always angry because he realizes that his mother will not be taking him with her. Reality has crept in, but
has not destroyed the "fantasy family"; merely disorganized & repressed
thoughts of it for a time.
The child's real world today is shaped by the stresses created by what I call the 'Mary Hartman' effect. Mary's life is patterned from fad after fad.
Her speech is spattered with phrases from commercials. She is controlled by television, magazine ads, soap operas & other media-type fantasies.
although a dramatization of the effect of commercialism & artificial living situations in entertainment, is, I believe, a good characterization of the phenomenon. The expectations of children today are far greater than those of children 10 or 15 years ago because they have
been bombarded with a media fantasy world.
The child expects jets, money, sailboats & world vacations. He expects family drama & at the same time an ideal family. And, because the child's goals are way out of reach, he tends not to grasp for them. Many
of the children who do attempt to reach for goals find that the traditional work-for-a-living ethic isn't working & they
resort to other ways of attaining the goal.
What about peer pressure? This is an area that has been talked to death. Every child care worker
is aware of it. It's the effect that one child or group of children have on another child. It can be a positive effect or a negative effect as far as the child care worker is concerned.
Peer pressure can be the very destructive element that helps construct antisocial views. Children may have rejected the traditional values of the communities we live in, usually as a result of conflicting value systems among parents, child care workers, peers & school systems.
Often peer pressure amounts to a fantasy perception of what the child believes are his peers' expectations of him. The perceptions are manifested by the anxiety of rejection by peers.
The Child Care Worker
So who is the child care worker & with
what feelings is he contending? The child care worker is the individual in the child's life who is like the elf in a story
book. While the child sleeps & is unaware, the worker is meeting his nurturing needs, coping with the problems, raising
the child & teaching the child how to operate in the real world.
At the same time,
the child care worker earns the parents' jealousy because right now he is managing the child's life better
than the parent can. He earns the child's hostility because of the conflict he represents as a competitive figure with the
"fantasy family" - the child's immediate needs for the child care worker are infinitely more apparent than the need for the
The child care worker
hasn't grown up within the Mary Hartman stresses as the child has. He sees the child striving for fantasy
goals. Knowing how difficult it has been just to attain his own level of success, the child care
worker has a responsibility to meet even the fantasy needs of the child, and yet may be completely rejected by the child.
He becomes aware
that the more he does for some children, the more he gets hurt personally. The worker must realize that
as a professional there are skills he can perfect to make his work more effective & less painful to himself and to the
children & the families he serves. Because he is so vital to the children & families he serves, he knows he can't
The child care worker
isn't a peer & shouldn't attempt to compete in the role of a peer. He is a professional who must have
more influence on the child's direction & growth than the other stresses have.
There are many other stresses and strains that can act upon the
child in care. In a diagram one could show the child in the middle, with the fantasy family, the Mary Hartman effect, the
peers, and the child care worker all pulling in different directions.
Philosophically, you can talk about who is right. Pragmatically, it doesn't matter. It is the
child care worker's responsibility to be right. So who wins? Well, unless something has changed, no one wins. In fact, this
atmosphere all too often destroys the child, the family, and the child care worker.
One approach might be to cut some of the strings. Then the stresses are in your favor - or are they? The chances are that
you are only delaying the inevitable. Another approach might be to pull harder, fight harder and stronger than the peers,
than the Mary Hartman effect, and the fantasy family effect. To do this you may use harsher discipline, more conferences,
more devotion, and more rewards.
This may work for a while, but what happens when you come to face the ultimate problem of child care workers
- burning out?
And what happens when that strong figure of the child care worker is gone from the child's life?
Is the child strong enough to manage all of these pressures by himself?
Are there enough adults or time to devote to each child to accomplish that kind of success?
The following topics for group discussion
may help you to deal with the stresses you and the children face.
- Help the children you work with
to identify their perceptions of the ideal family. This will give you clues to the "fantasy family".
- Hold short group sessions which
are designed to recognize how each of you help each other. In these sessions, everyone toots his own horn. Each member tells
how he sees his role in helping others, and what he or she has actually done for the others in the house. Here is the opportunity
to receive recognition from the children and separate your actions from the "fantasy family". This will reduce the anxiety
surrounding your competitive role, and will make children aware of the expectation that they should help and care for each other.
The skill of group leadership is
one way to draw the stresses of the peer group, the 'fantasy family', and the Mary Hartman effect into the directions you
feel are most helpful. Too often the child care worker expects treatment to be imposed on the child by psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker. Your influence and skills are more
powerful than any outside treatment could reasonably expect to be.
And stay stimulated
and informed yourself. Keep reading. Contact your professional Child Care Workers' Association for training workshop dates,
resource materials, and reading lists.
Two centuries of alienating Europe.
On the Fourth of July in 1889,
Rudyard Kipling found himself near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone with a party of tourists from New
England. He winced as a “clergyman rose up & told them they were the greatest, freest, sublimest, most chivalrous & richest people on the face of the earth & they all said Amen.”
Kipling, who had travelled from India to California & then across
the North American continent, was bewildered by the patriotic hyperbole that seemed to come so naturally to the citizens of the United States. There were
many things about America that he loved, battling with a 12-pound Chinook salmon in Oregon; American girls (“They are clever; they can talk. . . . They are original & look you between
the brows with unabashed eyes”) & he did go &
live in Vermont for a while. But he was irritated by the relentless assurances that Americans seemed to require about their country’s incomparable virtue.
When a “perfectly unknown man attacked me & asked me what I
thought of American Patriotism,” Kipling wrote in “American Notes,” his account of the journey,“I said there
was nothing like it in the Old Country,” adding, “always tell an American this. It soothes him.”
The Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, who spent 2 miserable periods in the American Midwest in the 1880's - working as, among other things, farmhand, store clerk, railroad
laborer, itinerant lecturer & (more congenially) church secretary, treated the street parades of veterans “w/tiny
flags in their hats & brass medals on their chests marching in step to the hundreds of penny whistles they're blowing”
as if the events were curiously remote tribal rituals.
The fact that streetcars were forbidden to interrupt the parades & that no one could absent himself without incurring
civic disgrace both interested & unsettled Hamsun. Something ominous seemed to be hatching in America: a strapping child-monster whose runaway physical growth would never be
matched by moral or cultural maturity.
Hamsun gave lectures about his stays in the United States at the
University of Copenhagen
& then made them into a book, “The Cultural Life of Modern America,” that was largely devoted to asserting its nonexistence. Emerson? A dealer in glib generalizations. Whitman? A hot gush of misdirected
For Hamsun, America was, above all,
bluster wrapped up in dollar bills. “It's incredible how naively cocksure Americans are in their belief that they can whip any enemy whatsoever,” he wrote. “There is no end to their patriotism; it's a
patriotism that never flinches & it's just as loudmouthed as it is vehement.”
By the end of the 19th century, the stereotype of the ugly American, voracious, preachy, mercenary & bombastically
chauvinist, was firmly in place in Europe. Even the claim that the United States was built on a foundation stone of liberty was seen as a fraud.
America had grown rich on slavery. In 1776, the English radical Thomas Day had written, “If
there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it's an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one
hand & with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.”
After the Civil War, European critics pointed to the unprotected laborers in mines & factories as industrial helots. Just as obnoxious as the fraud of liberty was the fraud of
Christian piety, a finger-jabbing rectitude incapable of asserting a policy w/out invoking the Deity as a co-sponsor.
This hallelujah Republic
was a bedlam of hymns & hosannas, but the only true church was the church of the Dollar Almighty. And how could the cult
of individualism be taken seriously when it had produced a society that set such great store by conformity?
The face of the unloved American didn't, of course, come into focus all at once. Different generations
of European critics added features to the sketch depending on their own aversions & fears. In the early 19th century, with Enlightenment optimism soured by years of war & revolution, critics were skeptical of America’s naïve faith that it had reinvented politics.
Later in the century, American economic power was the enemy, Yankee industrialism the behemoth against which the champions of social justice needed to take up arms. A third generation, itself imperialist, grumbled about the unfairness of a nation’s rising to both continental & maritime ascendancy.
And in the 20th century, though the United States came to the rescue
of Britain & France
in 2 world wars, many Europeans were suspicious of its motives. A constant refrain throughout this
long literature of complaint & what European intellectuals even now find most repugnant, is American sanctimoniousness,
the habit of dressing the business of power in the garb of piety.
Too often, the moral rhetoric of American diplomacy has seemed to Europe a cover for
self-interest. The French saw the Jay Treaty, of 1794, which regularized relations with Britain (with which republican France
was then at war), as a cynical violation of the Treaty of
Alliance with France, of 1778, without which, they reasonably believed, there would have been no United States.
In 1811, it was the British who felt betrayed by the Americans, when Madison gave in to Napoleon’s
demands for a trade embargo while the “mother country” was fighting for survival. But the gap between principles
& practices in American foreign policy was as nothing compared w/the discrepancy between the ideal & the reality of a working democracy.
Although 19th century writers paid lip service to the benevolent intelligence of the Founding Fathers, contemporary American politics suggested that
there had been a shocking fall from grace. At one end was a cult of republican simplicity, so dogmatic that John Quincy Adams’s
installation of a billiard table in the White House was taken as evidence of his patrician leanings; at the other was a parade
of the lowest vices, featuring, according to Charles Dickens, “despicable trickery at elections, under-handed tampering
w/public officers . . . shameless truckling to mercenary knaves.”
A few transatlantic pilgrims, of course, saw American democracy haloed with republican grandeur. When, in 1818, the
23 year-old Scot Fanny Wright, along with her younger sister Camilla, visited the Capitol, the congressional morning prayer,
“may the rod of tyranny be broken in every nation of the earth!” caused her to tremble with admiration.
Only later did she concede that she might have mistaken the commercial bustle of the country for democratic zeal. And,
indeed, for most European travellers extravagant idealism was followed by an equally unbalanced disenchantment.
Nikolaus Lenau, a German poet who told a friend he meant to stay in the United
States for 5 years, managed only a brief period, from 1832 to 1833. He couldn't tolerate
a country where, he claimed, there were no songbirds. (In the 18th century, the Dutch naturalist Cornelius de Pauw, lecturing on America
to the court of Frederick the Great, had solemnly insisted that dogs in the New World never
Other characteristics of American life alienated the Romantics: the distaste for tragedy (a moral corrective to illusions of invincibility);
the strong preference for practicality; the severance from history; & above all, what the Germans called bodenlosigkeit,
a willed rootlessness, embodied in the flimsy frame construction of American houses.
Europeans watched, pop-eyed, while whole houses were moved down the street. This confirmed their view that Americans
had no real loyalty
to the local & explained why they preferred utilitarian “yards” to flower gardens. No delphiniums, no civility.
The British who arrived in the United States
in the 1830's & 1840's had imagined the young republic as a wide-eyed adolescent, socially ungainly & politically
gauche, but with some hint of promise. What they found was a country experiencing an unprecedented growth spurt, both territorial
& demographic & characterized by an unnerving rudeness, in both senses of the word. ladies & gentlemen dodged
quids of tobacco juice & averted their gaze from the brimming cuspidors that greeted visitors to steamboat saloons &
hotel & theatre lobbies.
The hallmark of Jacksonian America seemed to be a beastly indifference to manners, the symptom of a society where considerateness to others was a poor second to the immediate
satisfaction of personal wants.
The conduct of Americans at dinner said it all. They wolfed down their food, cramming corn bread into their sloppy maws
during meals that were devoured in silence, punctuated only by slurps, grunts, scraping knives & hacking coughs. (All those cigars.) At the Plate House, in the business district of New York, the naval captain & travel writer Basil
Hall was astonished by the speed at which the corned beef arrived & then by the even greater speed at which it was demolished:
“We were not in the house above 20 minutes, but we sat out two sets of company at least.”
Only the boy waiters yelling orders at the kitchen broke the quiet. The lack of polite conversation suggested the melancholy & dispiriting monotony of American life, on which almost all the early reporters commented.
Tocqueville explained the apparent paradox of anxiety amid prosperity as the result of the relentless obligation to be forever Up & Doing.
The European commentators’ dismay at the tyranny of American materialism was disingenuous, since many of them
had come to the United States to repair
their tattered fortunes or make new ones. Frances Trollope decided to sojourn in America when a rich uncle did the Trollopes the disservice of marrying late in
life & still worse, begetting an heir.
Fanny Wright, whose ardor for America had been relit by the Marquis
de Lafayette’s triumphal tour in 1824 & 1825, visited Mrs. Trollope at her expensive rented house at Harrow Weald,
outside London, in 1827 & persuaded her to join her.
Wright had bought two thousand acres of land on the Wolf River at Nashoba, Tennessee, w/the aim of establishing a communal
settlement where slaves would receive the education & practical skills that would fit them for freedom.
Mrs. Trollope planned to visit the Nashoba utopia, w/3 of her 5 children & then proceed from Memphis,
15 miles away, up the Mississippi & Ohio Rivers to the thriving new city of Cincinnati, where she intended to make a smart little bundle.
But Fanny Wright’s settlement turned out to be a cluster of woebegone huts. Plank floors were set only a few feet
above sodden mud. The chimney in the hut Mrs. Trollope shared with Wright caught fire several times a day. Instead of a model
farm, there were a few slaves who were barely subsisting.
Of the all-important school there was no sight & no prospect. Mrs. Trollope, aghast at the filth & the fever-bearing
mosquitoes, fled with her children to Cincinnati, which was,
alas, an “uninteresting mass of buildings,” where hogs rooted in the streets.
Together with the French painter Auguste Hervieu (who had intended to teach at Nashoba), she flung herself into show business,
remodelling a “Western Museum,”
which had hitherto been a collection of natural curiosities & patriotic waxworks. Her son Henry became the Invisible Girl, booming prophecies in creepy darkness & with the help
of glass transparencies, she created a vision of the Infernal Regions, featuring frozen lakes with erupting fountains of flame
& electric shocks should the customers, peering thru grates, try & touch the exhibits.
Mrs. Trollope’s next venture, a galleried, gaslit emporium of consumer wonders, stocked with fancy goods supplied
from Harrow by her husband, ended in debt practically before it began. Mrs. Trollope wasn't
quite prepared to admit defeat, but one of her children was seriously ill & she decided that they had to return to England.
She stopped in Washington, then spent 5 months with a hospitable friend in Stonington, Maryland. There, filling
notebooks with a tart, vivid account of her experiences, Frances Trollope took a genteel revenge on the land that had betrayed her.
“As I declare the country to be fair to the eye & most richly teeming w/the gifts of plenty, I'm led
to ask myself why it is that I don't like it,” she wrote. She is struck by the fact that servants call themselves “help”
& bewildered that so many thousands of young women would rather toil “half-naked” in factories than seek to enter
When a Cincinnati neighbor, “whose appearance more resembled a Covent Garden market-woman than any thing else,”
made the mistake of taking her arm & walking her about, “questioning me w/out ceasing,” Mrs. Trollope noted
that, while democracy was very fine in principle, “it will be found less palatable when it presents itself in the shape
of a hard greasy paw & is claimed in accents that breathe less of freedom than onions & whiskey.”
“Domestic Manners of the Americans” made Frances Trollope, at the age of 52, a sudden literary reputation
& 250 pounds from the first edition. Her book was popular in Britain
because it documented the stereotypes of cultural inferiority & boorish materialism that the Old World was avid to have confirmed about
Stendhal annotated a copy & concluded that there was indeed a “smell of the shop” about the country.
Baudelaire remarked that it was the Belgium
of the West. But the book sold equally well in Boston & Baltimore, albeit to scandalized & infuriated readers.
“Trollope” soon became a popular shout of abuse in American theatres & on display in New York
was a waxwork of the author in the shape of a goblin.
The wounds inflicted on American self-love by Mrs. Trollope were superficial compared w/the deep punctures made by Charles
Dickens. In 1842, when Dickens published “American Notes,” an account of a visit to the United States, he had a huge American readership.
His novels were instant best-sellers here & many of them, most notably “Nicholas Nickleby” & “Oliver
Twist,” had been dramatized on the popular stage. Despite, or perhaps because of, the unhappiness “American Notes” engendered, 50,000 copies were sold in a week in the U.S.
Dickens’s America is all Yankee
repression & southern stupor. He saw Boston, New York
& Philadelphia thru the keyhole of the prison cell &
the madhouse. The Tombs, in New York, served as a metaphor
for the dark, unforgiving world in which it was situated.
And the geographical heart of the country, though not a jail or an asylum, or a reeking warren like the Five Points,
was a river of death. Decades before Joseph Conrad steamed his way upstream into the heart of imperial darkness, Dickens,
travelling from Cincinnati downstream to Cairo, Illinois (reversing mrs. Trollope’s route), experienced
the Mississippi as a septic ooze, a turbid soup of animal & vegetable muck.
Cairo lay in the stinking belly of the beast: “The hateful Mississippi circling & eddying before it & turning off upon its southern course a slimy monster hideous
to behold; a hotbed of disease, an ugly sepulchre, a grave uncheered by any gleam of promise: a place w/out one single quality,
in earth or air or water, to commend it: such is this dismal Cairo.”
The sense of America as a sink of
contamination extended to its society & its institutions. In the Capitol, where Fanny Wright had been flooded w/tremulous
rapture, Dickens saw “the meanest perversion of virtuous Political Machinery that the worst tools ever wrought,”
a clamorous gang of fakes, fools & tricksters.
His habitual outrage extended to the unrepentant practice of slavery in the South, but he never took the North’s
support for emancipation as evidence of moral uprightness. The North, he wrote in a letter to a friend, hates the Negro quite as heartily as the South, but uses slavery as a pretext for domination.
Many people in the governing circles of both Britain & France were sympathetic to the South, not only because of the threatened interruption of raw-cotton
supplies but also because a Confederate victory would preëmpt the emergence of a gigantic & powerful nation.
In November, 1861, when an American warship stopped the British steamer Trent to remove two Confederate agents bound
for London & Paris, the ailing Prince Albert had to intervene to restrain British calls for war. According to Philippe Roger,
whose “L’Ennemi Américain” (2002) is a brilliant & exhaustive guide to the history of French Ameriphobia,
the fate of the South became a sentimental fashion in Napoleon III’s Paris.
When the American republic failed to break up, the European angst about its economic transformation & territorial expansion became a neurosis. For some time, the British government, worried about the growing imperial rivalry of the new Germany & the French Republic, had complacently assumed that American expansionism could be manipulated to keep its rivals at bay.
If the American fleet would, for its own purposes, prevent European undesirables from straying into the Pacific at no cost to the British taxpayer, jolly good for the Stars & Stripes.
The Spanish-American War of 1898, which the French treated as the unmasking of Yankee imperialism, was looked at in London w/relaxed tolerance.
Rudyard Kipling’s lines on “the White Man’s burden” were written not in praise of some triumph
of the Union Jack beneath far-flung palm and pine but to celebrate the fall of Manila.
Much as he loved the energy of America, Kipling
became progressively unhappy the farther east he went. Soot-black, fog-fouled Chicago,
its scummy river speckled w/rust & grease, was, he thought, an apparition of the American future.
He stood on a narrow beam at the Chicago stockyards,
looking down on the “railway of death” that carried squealing hogs to an appointment w/two lines of butchers.
The fact that the stockyards were also a tourist attraction only heightened his stupefaction.
Unforgettably, he saw “a young woman of large mold, w/brilliantly scarlet lips & heavy eyebrows . . . dressed
in flaming red & black & her feet . . . were cased in red leather shoes. She stood in a patch of sunlight, the red
blood under her shoes, the vivid carcasses tacked round her, a bullock bleeding its life away not 6 feet away from her &
the death factory roaring all round her.”
It's hard to know where fact ends & fiction begins in Kipling’s “American Notes,” but the book’s
bravura passages established the idées fixes of Europeans about the muscular republic on the verge of its imperial awakening:
awesomely carnivorous, racially mongrel & socially polarized, both ethically primitive & technologically advanced.
At the turn of the century, that stereotype, along w/America’s cultural poverty (exceptions were always made for Mark Twain), imprinted itself in the literature of reporters from the old world. In an age absorbed by the physiology of national types, homo americanus seemed to have evolved for the
maximization of physical force.
While chewing gum was preferable to chewing tobacco, its ubiquitousness mystified French observers like Jules Huret,
until he decided that it was a workout for the overevolved Yankee jaws & teeth, which needed all the power they could get to tear their way thru the slabs of steak consumed at dinner.
Likewise, the appeal of American football—the Harvard-Yale game became almost as much a fixture of foreign itineraries
as the stockyards was explicable only as quasi-Spartan military training. What really startled Europeans was the blood-lust
the sport seemed to provoke in spectators. At one Harvard-Yale game, Huret listened in appalled fascination as a 19 year-old yelled “Kill him!” & “Break his neck!”
from the bleachers.
Modern anti-Americanism was born of the multiple insecurities of the first decade of the 20th century. Just as the European empires were reaching their apogee, they were
beset by reminders of their own mortality. At Adowa in 1896, the Ethiopians inflicted a crushing
defeat on the Italians; in 1905, the Russian Empire was humiliated in war by the Japanese.
Britain may have ruled a quarter of the world’s population & geographical space,
but it failed to impose its will decisively on the South African Boers. And Wilhelm II’s Germany,
though it was beginning to brandish its own imperial sword, remained fretful about “encirclement.”
The unstoppability of America’s
economy & its immigrant-fuelled demographic explosion worried the rulers of these empires, even as they staggered into the fratricidal slaughter
that would insure exactly that future.
It was self-evident that France & Britain
should have been grateful for the mobilization of American manpower in 1917, which tipped the balance against the Germans & Austrians.
Colonel Charles E. Stanton’s declaration “Lafayette,
we are here,” & the subsequent sacrifice of American lives for a European cause, seemed to herald a restoration
of transatlantic good feelings. But, as Philippe Roger (& others,
like the historians David Strauss & Jean-Philippe Mathy)
explains, if the war created a brief solidarity, the peace more decisively destroyed it.
When Woodrow Wilson failed to persuade Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles & America withdrew into isolationist self-interest,
all the old insecurities & animosities returned. Wilson was perhaps
the most detested of all American Presidents by the French, for whom his self-righteousness was compounded by his
failure to deliver results.
American generosity (in the French view) toward German reparation schedules fed into the conspiracy theories
that seethed & bubbled in the anti-American press in the 1920's & early 30's. In “The American Cancer,”
Robert Aron & Arnaud Dandieu went so far as to argue that the First World War had been a plot of american high finance
to enslave Europe in a web of permanent debt, a view that was echoed in J. L. Chastanet’s “Uncle Shylock”
& in Charles Pomaret’s “America’s Conquest of Europe.”
The newspaper France-Soir calculated the weight of debt to the United States at seventy-two hundred francs for every French man & woman. Nor
was there much in the way of sentimental gratitude for General Pershing’s doughboys. Why, it was asked, had the engagement of American troops on the western
front been delayed until 1918?
The answer was that the United States
had waited until it could mobilize a force large enough not just to win the war but to dominate the peace.
For French writers like Kadmi-Cohen, the author of “The American Abomination,” the threat from United
States was not just economic or military. America
now posed a social & cultural danger to the civilization of Europe.
The greatest “American peril” (a phrase that became commonplace in the literature)
was the standardization of social life (the
ancestor of today’s complaints against globalization),
the thinning of the richness of human habits to the point where they could be marketable not only inside America but, because of the global reach of American capitalism,
to the entire world.
movies, which, according to Georges Duhamel, were “an amusement for slaves,” & “a pastime for the illiterate,
for poor creatures stupefied by work & anxiety,” were the Trojan horse for the Americanization of the world.
Jean Baudrillard’s belief that the defining characteristic of America
is its fabrication of reality was anticipated by Duhamel’s polemics against the “shadow world” of the movies, with their reduction of audiences
to somnolent zombies sitting in the dark.
The charge that the United States was imposing its cultural habits
on the prostrate body of war-torn Europe returned with even more force after 1945. Americans
thought of the Marshall Plan (together with the forgiveness
of French debts) as an exercise in wise
altruism; European leaders like de Gaulle bristled with suspicion at the patronizing weight of the program.
Complaints against Coca-Colonization, the mantra of the anti-globalizers, were already in full cry in the 1950's. But
as Arthur Koestler, who bowed to no one in his loathing of “cellophane-wrapped bread, processed towns of cement &
glass . . . the Organization Man & the Readers’ Digest,” put it in 1951, “Who coerced us into buying
The United States don't rule Europe as the British ruled India;
they waged no Opium War to force their revolting ‘Coke’ down our throats. Europe bought the whole package because
Europe wanted it.”
Yet somehow, in the present crisis, American democracy has let itself be represented as American despotism. Some in
the European antiwar movement see the whole bundle of American
values, consumer capitalism, a free market for information, an open electoral system, as having
been imposed rather than chosen.
Harold Pinter told peace marchers in London 2 weeks ago that the United States was a “monster out of control.” And while representatives of the Iraqi exile community in Britain narrated stories of the atrocities
their families had endured at the hands of Saddam Hussein, banners in Hyde Park equated the Stars & Stripes with the swastika.
These cavils are not necessarily false, just because they’ve been uttered by Ameriphobes. Fast-food nation was
invented in the 1830's & Captain Hall’s puzzled observation that in America the word “improvement” seemed
to mean “an augmentation in the number of houses & people & above all in the amount of cleared land” has
not lost any of its validity w/the passing of a hundred & seventy-odd years.
Early on, Europeans identified appetite & impatience as the cardinal American sins. Among the many anxieties of European friends, as well as enemies, of the United States
is that Americans aren't being told that what lies ahead may be much more testing than a fly-by war & a drive-through
But of all the character flaws that Europeans have ascribed to Americans, nothing has contributed more to widening the
Atlantic than national egocentricity (a bit rich, admittedly, coming from the French). Knut Hamsun put the emphatic celebration of separateness down to a lack of education about other places & cultures
& commented, perhaps waspishly, “It's almost incredible how hard America
works at being a world of its own in the world.”
Virtuous isolation, of course, wasn’t a problem so long as the United
States saw the exercise of its power primarily in terms of the defensive policing of its own continental space. But now that policing has gone irreversibly global, the imperious insistence on
the American way, or else, has only a limited usefulness in a long-term pacification strategy.
Like it or not, help will be needed, given America’s notoriously short
attention span, intolerance of casualties & grievously wounded prosperity. Serving the United Nations with notice of redundancy
should its policies not replicate those of the United States & the
United Kingdom might turn out to be shortsighted, since in Europe, even
in countries whose governments have aligned themselves with America,
there's almost no support for a war without U.N. sanction. Perhaps Mrs. Trollope put it best after all: “If the citizens
of the United States were indeed the devoted patriots they call themselves, they would surely not thus encrust themselves in the hard, dry, stubborn
persuasion, that they are the first & best of the human race, that nothing is to be learnt, but what they're able to teach
& that nothing is worth having, which they don't possess.”
All About Authoritarian Parenting Style
There are almost as many parenting
“styles” in the world as there are parents.
However, most experts have classified parenting styles into
three main categories:
If you are aiming to raise
a self-reliant, pleasant, well-behaved child, the authoritative
parent will generally have the most success.
What is Authoritative Parenting?
Authoritative parents exercise
control over their children, without being controlling.
They set rules and guidelines that they expect children to follow. But they also recognize that sometimes flexibility is called
Authoritative parents often
express love and affection to their children, without
fear that such expressions of emotion may affect their ability to discipline. As their children get older, authoritative parents
encourage more responsibility and freedom, within well-outlined rules.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and other children’s health organizations state that children
of authoritative parents usually grow up to be independent, socially successful, and respectful of authority.
Using snacks as an example,
an authoritative parent might allow sweets in moderation, after explaining to the child that such treats are tasty, but not
Like authoritative parenting,
authoritarian parenting involves control. But unlike authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting usually involves too
much control. Authoritarian parents set rules and standards without flexibility, emphasize obedience and feel it is important
to exert power over their children.
Authoritarian parents may
not show as much love and warmth as authoritative parents, which can lead to their children feeling rejected and unloved. Authoritarian parents are also more likely to label a child as “bad” if they fail to follow
the strict rules set down for them.
Children of authoritarian
parents usually follow one of two paths; they either rebel against authority and escape their homes early (whether they are ready or not), or they remain dependent on their parents throughout adulthood.
Again using the snack analogy,
an authoritarian parent would set a rule that sweet snacks are never allowed, no matter what the occasion.
On the face of it, permissive
parenting may seem like a much better idea than authoritarian parenting. Permissive parents show lots of love and affection,
accept their children for what they are and make few demands of their children.
But in doing this, permissive
parents fail to teach their children the consequences of their actions, respect for authority and responsibility. By showing
little or no control over their children, they risk raising a spoiled child who expects to be spoon-fed both physically and
emotionally throughout life.
Children of permissive parents
are less likely to grow up independent and socially successful than children of authoritative parents.
In the snack example, a permissive
parent would not limit a child’s intake of sweets, and would not explain the consequences of unlimited snack consumption.
Authoritative Works for All Children
Since authoritative parenting
is inherently flexible, it works for all kinds of children. Whether a child is naturally anxious, easy-going or energetic,
authoritative parents know that they can deal with any problems that arise as long as they stay firm in both their love, and
Authoritative parents recognize
that not all children are the same, and that rules may need some changing depending on the child. Being a flexible, authoritative
parent shows your children the value of compromise and lets him or her know that while you are still in charge, you can make
changes in rules if necessary.
Written by Audrey Finkel
source site: click here
A Functioning Family--What Does It Look Like?
Terms like co-dependancy and
dysfunctional are more than just the latest buzz words. Dysfunctional families are not happy families. Children from dysfunctional
families do not feel loved and accepted. They do not feel like they belong.
A family that is functioning
well is meeting basic needs. Parents are firm but kind. They ask for and give respect. They learn from their mistakes. They're
for each other and always include limits. Parents set the right example. Dr. Kevin Leman does a good job of defining the basic
rules for functional family living.
First, the parents are firm
but fair. What does this mean? They are not permissive, nor are they authoritarian. Permissive parents say: "OK, have it your
way." They can't seem to say "No" and mean it. Authoritarian parents say, "My way or the highway." Leman says,
"Both these approaches fail
to meet the basic psychological needs. . . . Both approaches leave children feeling unloved,
insecure, not belonging anywhere, unapproved of, unrecognized, and operating in a dependant, irresponsible way.
Both these approaches destroy
or erode children's self-image or sense of self-worth. When used to extremes, both approaches lead straight to a seriously
dysfunctional family." Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down, p. 54.
The firm but fair approach
requires flexibility, with freedom to fail, to ask questions, to disagree, to think, and to express anger in appropriate ways.
Ask and Give Respect:
Parents need to recognize that respect is a two-way street - if you want respect from your children, you
must respect them. Yes, you are the adult and you are in charge, but you don't have to yell, be harsh, or use the drill sergeant
approach to discipline.
Yes, it is hard
to find the right balance between being too harsh or too lenient. We can learn from our mistakes. And we as parents can help
children to learn from their mistakes. One of the best ways to avoid making the same errors is to apologize when we blow it.
parents who have the humility to apologize. Many times I have had to go to Fred, our oldest, and apologize for my angry words.
He would always say, "That's OK, Dad. I had it coming. I forgive you." To be firm but fair always allows for failures and
mistakes. We should loosen up and quit trying to be perfect. There are no flawless parents. We all make mistakes. Some can
be very serious.
Love Includes Limits:
Unconditional love is the cornerstone of successful parenting. But genuine love includes limits. God holds us accountable
for our words and actions. Yes, we must be kind and compassionate but let us be firm and fair.
The big challenge
is how to communicate limits. "Tom, let's sit down here on the sofa and share some feelings." (This
is much better than, "Tom, I want to talk to you.") Set the stage for an exchange of feelings that are honest
we bought the TV, we all agreed on a set of TV guidelines? You have not lived up to our agreement. . . . I will give you one
more chance. If you fail to live up to our TV rules, there will be consequences. You will lose your TV privileges for a considerable
period of time."
Children who feel loved function
much more cooperatively. Use lots of eye contact, focused attention, and appropriate touching. This will help.
Parents Must Agree:
Parents should often discuss their values and their discipline philosophy. You need to present a united front to your children.
Kids are masters of the art of "divide and conquer." So, get by yourselves and decide your values and then agree on a reasonable
What parents believe about
right and wrong is vital. Tell your children often:
"We believe . . . and this is why . . ."
There is so much
valuelessness in modern society. The foundations of our values as Christians is, of course, the Word of God. Remember, keep
repeating the phrase: "This is what we believe . . ."
For emphasis we repeat Dr.
Leman's six rules for a functional family:
- "Be firm but fair.
- "Ask - and give - respect.
- "Learn from mistakes.
- "What you see is what you get.
- "Real love includes limits.
- "Walk, don't just talk, your values." Ibid, p. 71.
If you want to have a functional
family based on the Word of God, you will need to sit down with your family often and talk about how your family is functioning.
The golden rule of parenting is "treat your children as you want to be treated."
Show respect for your children
just as you expect them to respect you. Give lots of choices instead of just telling them what to do. "Make a list of the
traditional and eternal values, such as honesty, forgiveness, humility, and being a good sport, that you hold and that you
want to communicate to your children. Then look for ways to model these values." Ibid, p. 73.
"These commandments . . . are to be upon your hearts. Impress
them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you
get up" (Deut. 6:6, 7, NIV).
source site: click here
Guilt: I'm feeling unloved by my child
Sometimes your child will
speak or act as if he doesn't love you, and this may make you feel rejected, and as though your child doesn't want you around.
While this may well hurt your feelings, it is not that your child doesn't love you. And in no way does it mean that
you are a bad parent.
When this happens, try to understand why your
child is acting this way. For instance, your child may have felt frightened and abandoned while away from you. After coping
with these feelings all day, just the sight of you allows the feelings to come flooding out - as anger - instead of what he
is really feeling: scared that you wouldn't return.
In situations like this, help your child express
her feelings - even if your child is very young.
It's also important that you explain your actions.
If your child cannot fully understand what you're saying, just the tone of your voice will be comforting.
Holding your child close, and being reassuring
about your relationship will also help. "Even though Mommy and Daddy had to leave, we missed you, too. And we love you very
Try to remember
that all children can, at times, behave this way. Like anyone else, your child will at times be temporarily angry. Just try not to take it personally. Give your child time to get over
her anger. And soon enough, she'll be hugging you and ready to love you again.
- BUT NOT UNLOVED
Yes, abandoned after birth by her mother, but loved by Jesus throu missionary associate Shannon Freund in Romania.
"Back in January, one of my colleagues, Raegan Glugosh, went to a maternity hospital here in Bucharest to visit a street girl (Ana) who had just given birth to a baby
girl. While visiting with Ana, Raegan tried to see Ana's baby but was unable to because the room Ana's baby was in was locked. Raegan learned that this locked room was the hospital's room
for abandoned babies. Ana's baby was in this room because she lives on the streets and didn't want to take her newborn on the streets
during the winter. A couple of days later, Raegan returned to the hospital to visit Ana again, only to find that she had already checked
out, leaving her baby at the hospital.
This time when Raegan went to the room with the abandoned babies, the nurse was there. Raegan spoke with the nurse & discovered that only one nurse per shift cares for these infants. Whenever the nurse needs to leave the room, she locks the door & the babies are left unattended.
On this particular day there were about 18 abandoned babies in the room, from newborns to 8 months of age. The nurse was very receptive to the idea of having volunteers come in to help change, feed, bathe, clothe & hold these infants. So in mid-January, after a meeting with the head nurse of that unit, we began
volunteering to help with these infants.
It has been such a blessing for us to be able to work with these children. Although it has only been a few months, we
can see some improvement in the older babies. Knowing how important infant stimulation is, we have brought in toys, bouncer chairs & a walker to give the babies some variety
in their activities, instead of laying in their cribs all the time."We've learned that since the weather is warmer Ana now wants to take her baby with her to
her "home" on the streets. But the streets are certainly not a safe place for an infant.
Please pray for babies in this situation.
Feeling Unloved is the Primary Reason for Divorce
As simple as it seems & after years & years of handling divorce cases, no matter what they say or how it's rationalized,
the primary reason for seeking a divorce is that the initiator feels hoplessly unloved.
How or why this happens is very complex & it's directly related to how each person sub-consciously defines "feeling loved".
Feeling Unloved as a result of an
imbalance in the Equity of the Deal is the primary reason why people get
divorced: not money, not sex, not in-laws, not children, not affairs, not abuse, not alcoholism.
The circumstances, beliefs & genetics all existed when the parties formed their partnership, yet they still felt loved because they found a balance in the:
Equity of the Deal.
This makes sense intuitively because people get married because "they're in love". However, love is defined differently for each person based on their paradigm which affects their values. Their values in turn determine their needs & wants.
A relationship that meets
the needs & wants of a person makes that person feel loved. When the equities become unbalanced, the party getting the light end of the deal feels unloved.
Have you made a reference to a common thing & then were surprised when another person imagined that thing as something
completely different than you intended?
How each of us sees the world, is interpreted thru our own personally created filter or paradigm. It's more than a point
of view, it's each person's unique way of thinking based upon a combination beliefs, experiences & genetics that thru subconscious neuro-associations, alter the way we automatically react
by default to any given set of circumstances.
The feelings generated by our paradigm, define our values, which in turn, define our needs & wants. Often changes in our circumstances, beliefs or experiences can dramatically atler our perspective resulting in a paradigm shift.
These can be good or bad for a relationship since any inbalance in the Equity of the Deal will make one of the parties
The list below addresses the various Paradigm Factors.
paradigm is helpful to resolving many disagreements because each partner may be looking at something very differently, &
typically neither realizes the other has both a legitimate & different point of view.
- Circumstances - Divorce Statistics
- Beliefs - Traditional Roles
- Genetics - Cavemen &
Before you get married for the first or subsequent time you should stop ignoring a reality of marriage & understand the Divorce Rate Statistics:
Your Marriage will probably end in divorce.
Although it isn't statistically reported, the percentage of people who get married who believe that their current marriage will end in divorce is probably nill, yet even
second marriages fail 75% of the time.
Why do people ignore divorce statistics? The
reason for this is that people so deeply desire what they perceive as the benefits of feeling loved, that they ignore the warning signs of doom.
people will sub-consciously believe or consciously rationalize that:
warning signs of doom aren't really a big deal
- Divorce statistics
are just numbers & it "won't happen to me"
- Things will be different
when we're married
- They have too
much invested to end a "pretty good relationship" supported by the fear of loss
- They don't need to work on their own personality & relationship issues
- The problem is
with the other person, not accepting that they're repeating the same errors that caused disruptions
in prior relationships
- What they need is to seek out that dysfunctional
relationship resulting from misguided childhood neuro associations about what love is supposed to be, i.e., dysfunctional acts that
they subconsciously conclude are acts of love, typically from parental
misconduct or maladjustment
The Divorce Rate represents
a condition of society which constitutes a paradigm factor in feeling loved or unloved.
Paradigm factors affect the way each person in that society will value what they want & need from a relationship.
By understanding how your
values define your needs & wants, you can better evaluate the likelihood of divorce, given how you personally would most likely formulate
the Equity of the Deal for you.
If you're trying to reconcile
or marry again, this insight allows you to become aware of relationship pitfalls & to better understand & perhaps thereby consciously
decide what it is that you really want from a relationship,
rather than sub-consciously be drawn to a dysfunctional relationship based upon events & circumstances that affected you as a child.
If you're contemplating
divorce & wondering how to best position yourself to exit
the marriage with minimal
damage, these concepts are critical in understanding the how timing can lead to either a successful
divorce or a contested divorce nightmare.
All statistics cited are to neutral government sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau,
the Center for Disease Control, FEDSTATS & the non-partisan Urban Institute.click here & scroll down to read the entire listing of statistics on their website!
Traditional Relationships & The Myth of Stability
Historical Roles of Men & Woman
The historical roles of men & woman in relationships were rigid & well defined. This provided both many advantages
& disadvantages to both sexes, but supported the societal goals of marriage very well.
The Traditional Relationship Model - can be summarized as strictly structured & gender rigid. The role of husband
was the "King of the Castle", an independent decision maker who protected & provided for his family. The wife was the devoted "Queen". She was financially dependant upon her husband & subordinate to his decisions. Her mission was to make him happy, care for his children & administer the home.
In a less civilized society, the regiment provided by patriarchal social control may have been a necessary evil in the social evolution of human-kind. However, as technology, education &
freedoms have changed our world, society & many of its "belief institutions" remain in the "Dark Ages" of relationship theory.
To better understand the confusion surrounding the newly emerging roles of men & woman in relationships, we must first explore the historical
advantages & the newly emerging disadvantages of the Traditional Relationship Model.
The Advantages of the Traditional Model
The illusion of the Traditional Relationship Model is that of stability. Indeed, while divorces were low, that was more
a result of rigidity & oppression, rather than free choice. However, there are clear advantages, many of which are superficial, but in many respects quite legitimate methods
to achieve the social objectives of marriage.
Well defined Roles - Men & women knew from childhood, exactly what their role would be. Without questioning
if such roles are preferable, fair or pleasant, they were without question, clearly & rigidly defined.
Mens' Roles - The men were to be the bread winners, providers for the family, protectors of their wife & children,
the leader, the decision maker, the "King of the Castle", where "being
a man" means being independent, self-sufficient & strong.
Womens' Roles - The women were the deferring
servant to their husband. Whose "duties" included execution of the work tasks for a household, bearing & raising children,
serving the sexual needs & physical needs of the husband, obeying without question the commands of her husband.
She was totally dependent upon her husband economically: prohibited from owning property or being employed. She had no right or place
to give her "opinion" about anything & had no acknowledged input in any decisions, even child bearing. She was expected to "keep her place".
Clear Expectations & Responsibility - The rigidity of role definitions benefited each w'certainty
of expectations & a clear delineation of responsibility.
As would be expected, the behavior of people in a society is taught & enforced thru its major institutions. Civil & criminal
laws, societal pressure & religion teachings were fashioned to support, clarify & continue these rigid roles & the underlying patriarchial society within which they existed.
Legal Institutionalization - Clear expectations & responsibility, were institutionalized through criminal & civil laws. There was no question about what was expected from either a man or woman in their roles as husband & wife.
When a woman was married to a man, she was certain that as long as she wasn't guilty of adultery, she & her children would be financially provided for, for the rest of her life.
Criminal laws for a Husband's failure to support his wife & family still exist today in many jurisdictions.
To assure performance of their marital obligations, legal divorce was extremely difficult. At certain points in history, death was the only way to end marriage. It certainly
helps keep the divorcer rate low when divorce isn't allowed.
Over time, civil divorce emerged, but the legal basis for a cause of action in divorce was limited to fundamental violations of the societal contract between husband & wife: incapacity, fraud or infidelity of the wife.
If the wife was underage or otherwise not qualified to marry, a husband could divorce. Or, if she was found guilty of adultery, criminalized in many states, the husband could divorce & she would typically lose not only all financial support, but custody of the children as well, in what
today would be the equivalent of a termination of parental rights.
Women couldn't sue, nor vote, nor was their opinion of consequence to society. Since the male dominated society viewed
only the husband's obligation of support to be the sole consideration.
As time passed & wives were allowed to sure for divorce for extreme acts of physical cruelty, there was still little
that changed for the husband as he would still be obligated to support her when he was at fault.
There was no real reciprocal burden of consequence for infidelity by the Husband. All that he loses is her servitude, while his responsibility for support continued.
On the other hand, if the husband was wealthy & the "tasks" of servitude were performed by actual servants, rather
than the wife, there was a great incentive for the wife to overlook her husband's infidelity.
Over time, civil divorces provided additional grounds for divorce for each party such as Adultery, Abandonment, Failure to Support & Extreme Physical Cruelty. Each of which is clearly a derivative of a breach of the traditional social
contract between husband & wife.
They were gradually expanded upon with causes of action for incarceration (a derivative of abandonment), deviant sexual conduct (a derivative of cruelty) & other grounds.
Trivia: New Jersey
was a leading reform state with the introduction of "18-month separation". However, being on the cutting edge of change, its laws still require a "Cause of Action" or proof of statutory grounds, even w/the so-called "No Fault" ground of "18
Other states that were slower in their change if divorce laws allow divorce by consent, without grounds, with no waiting period or with no "cause" being required.
Clearly the husband benefited greatly in the Traditional Relationship Model & are reluctant to abandon their role as "King". In addition, even today, many older matrimonial
judges still assume the gender based traditional obligation that the "husband shall support" the
divorcing wife, regardless of fault or financial ability.
Thus there's little wonder why men live the traditional role & exhibit the entitlement mentality, for beside there
being little personal advantage for a man being "de-throned", it's the common misconception by many men & women that:
" Husbands are obligated to support
their wives & children by virtue of their gender as males."
Social & Religious support - The traditional roles were accepted & encouraged within society in general & women realistically had few viable financial alternatives for self support. The majority of religious view points,
reinforced strict adherence to these traditional roles.
Historically, one may observe that religious teachings change over time as the interpretation of religious principles adjusts to the accepted norm of society at the time. As a vehicle to teach the particular dogma of that sect, organized religions are
extremely resistant to change & well suited to teach & enforce rigid duties & responsibilities.
It becomes self-evident that as the demands of society change, either the religious sect adjusts, loses membership or another sect that better responds to its community forms & absorbs its membership.
It shouldn't be surprising that with today's widespread acceptance that change is inevitable & religions in general being rigid & unadaptable,
it's little wonder that many sects that continue to recite the Traditional Relationship Roles of men & woman have lost
Long Term Stability - As a result of the
lack of choices or options, the rigidity of roles, the clarity or responsibility & expectations, together with the reinforcement of the Traditional
Model socially, religiously & legally, marriages were very stable. Few people ever got divorced. The vast majority of
children were raised by both parents.
There's no doubt however, that education of women, advances in technology, the need to increase production for world wars & civil rights awareness all contributed to changes in society that provided fertile soil for the seeds of freedom & choice for women.
These changes highlighted the disadvantages of the Traditional Model & no one believed or correlated, the change in Traditional Roles, with the increase in divorce & broken families. to continue reading about the disadvantages of the traditional roles click here! you'll go directly to their website. remember to save this window to return to!
The Male Paradigm
Men think differently than women. This concept was widely publicized in John Grey's books Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
Where the difference in thinking & its affect on communications between the sexes, was compared not only to differenct languages, but as if each sex came
from a different planet.
The analogy is apt, because it clearly shows that the difference in paradigm is more than just language or culture,
they come from completely different planets & everything that each finds normal, is not normal for the other.
This hits at the heart of the relationship problem: we do for others in a way that would please us. Between men &
woman, this can be two different worlds.
The Caveman is a Hunter
Have you made a reference to a common thing & then were surprised when another person imagined that thing as something
completely different than you intended?
Thinking different isn't a statment that one way of thinking is better or worse than another. The distinction between men & women is how they think has advantages in different situations.
As a caveman what was the role of the male? For a thousand generations men have been the "Hunters." Biologically, they
have superior strength & greater confrontational attitude from testosterone. It was their role in the primative community to go out & hunt down the food.
As the hunter, the male needed single minded focus so he could attack & kill the prey. His skills as the hunter & physical strength,
made him the natural defender of the community from enemy attacks. Hesitation or distraction could lead not only to the loss
of a meal, but his own death if the target had time to counter-attack.
Crouched down quietly, a group of males could attack, w/saying a word, each with a designated target, each unified in
a single minded goal. Bonded by the task, feeling only anger toward the prey or enemy they will kill & happy with their success. The full range
of emotions were not needed & socially developed to become undesired.
In the community, the male brings back the food & defends his family. He has a mate for sex & to care for lodgings. He cares little for creature comforts & has no patience to attend to the needs or desires of his mate. In the context of the community he complies with what he has to, to avoid confrontation with the other males.
Communication Issues for the Caveman
are often upset about how poorly men communicate with them. The reality is men & women not only speak different languages
of Martian & Venutian, their biological paradigms actually affect how they think & react in the same situation.
fact is, men & women communicate poorly with each other because they think differently & respond in ways that are clear from their perspective, but confusing & even annoying to the opposite sex.
are some examples of communication styles of the caveman, that are particularly irritating to cave women.
Lack of Information - The caveman doesn't provide
information unless he has decided upon the resolution of an issue.
do things, rather than feel about things. Here is
an illustration within this analogy: The group of cavemen sit quietly, waiting to ambush the prey, they move into position
without talking, each focusing on what he has decided to do, with a few silent coordinating signals, they jump into an attack.
lack of information communications issue manifests itself in several ways:
- When asked about something he hasn't already decided about, he doesn't discuss it, he's vague or elusive. From the
caveman's perspective, he hasn't had time to think about & decide what to do, he doesn't want to be wrong & at that moment, the issue doesn't need to be resolved so
it's put off.
response is to be vague & elusive, keeping his option open until he needs to decide his answer.
Avoidance - The caveman doesn't make the decision about what to do until the
last possible moment. Once the decision is made, the caveman intensely & steadfastly focuses on what he will do. Until
the last possible moment has arrived, the issue isn't mature & from the Caveman's perspective needs not to be discussed,
updated or reported about.
Silence - If there's no problem, a caveman has
nothing to say. If there's a problem, the caveman decides what to do in the quiet comfort & safety of the cave. The caveman sees no need to discuss something simply for the sake of being connected.
The Caveman's Rule of Silence - Cavemen are silent
because a caveman only speaks when:
- He has made a decision about the solution
to the issue; or
- He is asking for a solution about what
to do from another caveman.
lack of information issues make the cave women think he is non-committal & unconnected or that she's too stupid to deal with. She then
feels insecure & panicky, so she presses for an immediate answer. This makes the caveman
feel nagged & controlled.
They Don't Say What they Want - The cavemen know what to do, they're tight group, who mutually rely upon each other to do whatever it takes without
coaching, discussion or exploration of their feelings. The caveman learned what to do by doing it in the past when he wasn't asked or expected to decide.
Explode with Anger -
Issue Commands -
Consider Feelings Petty -
Lie to Avoid Confrontation -
The Female Paradigm
think differently than men.
The Love Dilemma
often in our romantic search for our one & only soul mate, we enter into a relationship that have many enjoyable qualities,
but a little voice in the back of our heads keeps asking disturbing questions we don't want to answer.
we silence the voice, reaffirm our commitment to the relationship & proudly rationalize that "True Love Conquers All". Only to sadly realize months or years later that the little
voice was right.
Love Dilemma is the reluctance to challenge the "minor issues" as one begins to fall in love. The fear that the entire investment into the relationship may be lost if a minor issue is challenged creates a fear of loss that usually leads one to either:
natural & virtually unavoidable consequence of this typical emotional pattern is making a long term relationship decision based on incomplete
& false information.
one accepts the Equity Theory of Relationships, then the initial misperception of who is putting what into the deal
is false from the beginning, resulting in Misguided Expectations.
that party eventually realizes they can neither ignore these issues nor change the other party, they Revisit the Equity of the Relationship, eventually resulting in divorce when the truth
of the imbalance is finally accepted.
to read more great information about this like:
There is no such thing as a soul mate
Can love conquer all obstacles?
Figuring out why you want it
Ending the "pretty good" relationship
and much more click here to visit their website!