First Love

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if only human babies
came into this world
feeling unconditional
self-acceptance

or that they had a deep
understanding of themselves
seeing only a healthy, positive self-image
possessing a tremendous amount of self-respect

right from the beginning
it would be helpful
for them to know how
to enjoy their own company

able to forgive themselves as necessary
when to say no
and mean it
respecting their boundaries

to be proud of themselves
and their achievements
that it was ok to accept applause
and to pursue their dreams

to understand that challenges
are a part of growth
that they possessed the strength of character
to know what was best

if only they knew all these things at birth…

less damage would be done as they aged
as they felt the cruelty and destructiveness
of the older generations
or the indiscriminate hazards of life

if only their first love would be themselves…

if only we would teach them they are worthy of that love…

Hang Up The Belt, Please

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WikiMedia

Spanking children is wrong. Using force and inflicting pain to make a child understand something, no matter how it’s justified, is just abhorrent to me.

I can’t say that was always how I thought about the subject. But I’m glad my opinion has evolved, and I would never consider doing it again.

The idea that hurting a child intentionally, a miniature human you supposedly love, is the way to make them understand some lesson; well, it’s just stupid really. I feel that all it really teaches a child is that the people they love are capable of causing them pain. Might it deter a child from bad behavior? It’s entirely possible. But in my estimation and in published studies, it can also create a whole host of adjustment issues which appear later on down the line in the child’s life.

Add to any future emotional repercussions a child may have as an adult, the spanked child learns to repeat what was done to them in their childhood with the next generation. They will perpetuate the practice because they think it was normal. In reality, though, our society does not condone physical assault by adults on other adults. It’s simply not acceptable in our society. We actually put people in jail for that. But yet, spanking is a tradition which still remains to date. It makes no sense.

So maybe instead of just hitting our children into fearing their parent(s) and/or creating future spankers, let’s do things which would encourage the growth and development of a mature individual. That seems like a reasonable solution. Much better than a violent one.