Jen's post really struck a chord with me. She was writing about some of the really stupid things her professional team had said to her. This one really got to me:
"What you really need to do is make sure Little Turtle knows the expectations and hears from you that physical violence is not okay." (Oh, is that what you're supposed to do? Never would have thunk it on my own although I do think I did a pretty good job of explicitly and firmly saying, okay yelling, "You may not bite my boob," as she was latched on with her full set of teeth one night.)
When I first read this, I wanted to shout at my computer, "Are you f--cking kidding me?" But of course Jen is not, because we've had many supposedly-brilliant professionals say similar things to us.
Our kid knows (at least when she's calm and rational) that violence is not okay. However, that doesn't make any difference when she's angry or upset. Sometimes she will dial it back in. Sometimes, she won't.
There's an entire collection of stupid things professionals have said to Jen, so if you are parenting a difficult child, go take a look. I'm sure some of her post will strike a chord with you as well.
I know for a great many parents, it seems that we know what's better for our kids than the professionals who are supposed to be helping them. It's pretty embarrassing when a supposedly-experienced therapist manages to be thoroughly manipulated and triangulated. But of course the therapist doesn't recognize that she's been had, and everything comes down to the fact that we parents obviously must not be doing the right thing. (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)
At one point, we raised the issue of our child's behavior with her pediatrician. Do you know what she said?
She told us to withhold the child's allowance so that she would behave.
We did as the good doctor suggested, just as we've tried zillions of other parenting techniques that haven't worked.
I suppose you can guess how well withholding our kid's allowance worked out...
But the idiocy of the suggestion sure made me want to stab myself 10,000 times with a titanium spork.
Maybe withholding a child's allowance is a way to obtain compliance from a "normal" kid, but it sure didn't work here. As the doctor suggested, we set up a chart, and kept score, and you can guess how many weeks our kid was able to keep it together long enough to get her money...
For our kid, money simply wasn't a sufficient motivator. Or perhaps the entire concept was too abstract. Who knows.
So telling a kid violence is not okay is about as effective as spitting into the wind. It's probably less effective, because at least spitting into the wind will get your face washed.