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272 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2005
“How we feel about our kids isn't as important as how they experience those feelings and how they regard the way we treat them.”You can keep telling yourself (and them) that you love them and you’re doing it for their better interests but actions speak louder than words and it’s up to the person to decide who they trust, respect and believe!
Rewards and punishments turn children’s attention onto themselves; ‘what will happen to me if I (share, hit him, say thank you etc)’ rather than ‘what will happen to him and how will he feel if I (you get the point)’This was something that Alfie put into words so well. Read the book just for this point (I don’t have specific quotes but it’s a recurring theme). What kind of people do you look up to, want to know and be friends with? People who are considerate, kind and look out for you or people who only do stuff for you if there is something in it for them.
Discussion rather than punishment.Telling a child to go to their room after they hit someone isn’t going to magically make them realise that they hurt another person especially if they’re very young when this event occurs. By discussing what happened you can help children to learn that their actions do have consequences but that those consequences are not going to their room or getting grounded, they are that other people will be affected, they may get hurt and upset etc.
No one is perfect. Please don’t pretend to be because of your children.Your job as a parent is to help your children to learn, discover and explore the world. Show them that people do make mistakes, they are sad sometimes, nobody knows everything and everyone needs help some of the time. If a child sees everyone else as perfect but knows that they are not, what will the repercussions be to their self-confidence, self-love, self-worth and the way they view the world. Think resentment, regret, hatred etc. It’s not good basically.
“People who can –and do- think about how others experience the world are more likely to reach out and help those people-or, at a minimum, are less likely to harm them.”Perspective. Try and see the world from the child’s point of view. Show them how to think about other people and realise they have feelings and thoughts too and are the centre of their universe just like you're the centre of yours. After talking a little about how war is a “monstrous failure of imagination” Alfie then goes on to say “Less dramatically, many of the social problems we encounter on a daily basis can be understood as a failure of perspective taking. […] To work on seeing things as others see them is to live a very different sort of life.”