Teaching Empathy
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Teaching Empathy
Articles about teaching and learning how to be more empathic and compassionate. See more at CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Newspaper Front Page: All Sections

Newspaper Front Page: All Sections | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page


Visit the individual magazines specifically for empathy and;

*   Main Page All
*   Animals
*   Art
*   Compassion

*   Compassionate Communications (NVC)

*   Curriculums
*   Education
*   Empaths

*   Empathy Quotes

*   Empathic Design - Empathy in Human-Centered Design (New!)
*   Health Care

*   Justice

*   Self-Empathy & Self-Compassion
*   Teaching - Learning
*   Work 

*   etc.


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(Empahtic Parenting) Parenting for a Peaceful World

Parenting for a Peaceful World

~ Robin Grille (author) More about this product
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“Building of human empathy is one brick at a time and sometimes the bricks come down in the building process.”  

Robin Grille, Parenting for a Peaceful World

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Empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting

Empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Landscape of the Soul by Gary Caganoff


The empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting of the pre WWII generations, and different again from the permissive parenting style that grew out of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s work post WWII (Grille, 2005, p79, p85).


Both these latter styles of parenting are still the dominant child-raring practices in our society.


The authoritarian style of parenting aims to, ‘train the child to conform to cultural norms…

Where the parent, while (perhaps) not lacking affection, tends to view the child through a moral lens that dichotomises behaviour into ‘good’ and ‘bad’’ (Grille, 2005, p69).


This style of child raring enforces discipline and control in order to bend the child to fit parental and social expectations, which limit self-expression and tries to create the ‘good child’...

The opposite of authoritarian ‘control’ parenting is permissive ‘out-of-control’ parenting, where you, as the parent, allow your child to control you, the parent, through your own compliance, indulgence, or indifference (Paul, 2007, web page). 


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(Empathic Parenting) Organizing an active listening partnership with another adult

(Empathic Parenting) Organizing an active listening partnership with another adult | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
Counselling or organized active listening with another parent differs from chatting with friends in that it gives you the chance to really drop into exploring where the related feelings are held in your body, and help you to experience relief and release as you share your vulnerable feelings.  


You'll experience a lot more patience and space for you to deepen into your thoughts and feelings when the space is dedicated to you feeling heard.  This process often brings gems of clarity and insight into the origins or the core beliefs of our most painful patterns.


Often in talking about one’s problems with friends, a person doesn’t necessarily gain a sense of relief, release or resolution because many of the responses that friends and family offer are often at a more intellectual level and may lack true emotional connection. 


When you feel that which is raw and vulnerable for you, you need and deserve to feel truly met, heard, understood and empathized with.


by Genevieve


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(Empathic Parenting) How Empathic Parenting Is the Antithesis of Narcissism: Empathy is the cornerstone for love

(Empathic Parenting) How Empathic Parenting Is the Antithesis of Narcissism: Empathy is the cornerstone for love | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
Lack of empathy is a trademark of narcissistic parents. Empathizing with your children is feeling what they are feeling and acknowledging those feelings. It is the art of compassion and sensitivity, as well as the ability to give moral support in whatever they are experiencing.


You do not have to agree with them but you are there for them. You put aside your own feelings and thoughts for the moment and tune in to their emotional needs to attempt to understand where they are coming from and why. Instead of citing rules or trying to give advice and direction, try this empathy exercise instead...



When we can give empathy to our children or loved ones, we are doing a double good deed




 by Karyl McBride  


image: Echo and Narcissus - Waterhouse http://j.mp/1DKyc2R


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(Empathic Parenting) The Power of Empathy in Parenting Your Teen - surprising benefits

Get ready to be surprised about how many hidden benefits their are to employing empathy in your communication with your teen. Dr. Clarity is the screen name ...
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Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate

Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
1. Compassion: According to this overview of the scientific literature by Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda in The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction, 


"If there are pets in the house, parents and children frequently share in taking care of the pet, which suggests that youngsters learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal." Even very young children can contribute to the care and feeding of a pet — a 3-year-old can take a bowl of food and set it on the floor for a cat, and at the same age, a child can be taught to stroke an animal nicely, maybe using the back of the hand so they don't grab the animal. Supervising kids during the first few interactions is a teaching moment.


Later, once they have learned the ropes, their memory and understanding of a life outside themselves will be stimulated each time they interact with the animals. Older kids can be responsible for walking a dog or playing with it in the yard, cleaning out a cat's litter box, or taking veggie scraps from dinner to a rabbit or hamster.


A study of 3- to 6-year-olds found that kids with pets had more empathy towards other animals and human beings, while another study found that even just having an animal in a classroom made fourth-graders more compassionate. 

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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, April 29, 11:50 PM

I have heard the claim, especially by equine therapists, that "the horse is the therapist."  I think that applies to virtually all dependent creatures that children (and adults) interact with..  I heard a cute story that dogs were sent to earth to deliver the message of peace.  The dogs ate the message, but are still trying to deliver it. :) -Lon 

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(Empathic Parenting) Are You Listening Without Empathy?

(Empathic Parenting) Are You Listening Without Empathy? | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
A real danger for parents who try to learn Active Listening solely from a book’s printed page is their inability to hear the warmth and empathy that must accompany their efforts. Empathy means a quality of communication that conveys to the sender of a message that the listener is feeling with her, putting herself in the shoes of the sender, living, for a moment, inside the sender.


Everyone wants others to understand how she feels when she talks, not just what she is saying. Children, especially, are feeling people. Therefore, much of what they communicate is accompanied by feelings: joy, hate, disappointment, fear, love, worry, anger, pride, frustration, sadness, and so on. When they communicate with parents, they expect empathy with such feelings.


When parents don’t empathize, children naturally feel that the essential part of them at that moment–their feeling–is not being understood. Probably, the most common mistake parents make when they first try out Active Listening is to feed back a response devoid of the feeling component of the child’s message.

 

Here’s an example:

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Dimitris Portokalis's curator insight, April 27, 3:55 PM

"A real danger for parents who try to learn Active Listening solely from a book’s printed page is their inability to hear the warmth and empathy that must accompany their efforts. Empathy means a quality of communication that conveys to the sender of a message that the listener is feeling with her, putting herself in the shoes of the sender, living, for a moment, inside the sender."

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( Empathic Parenting) The Determinants and Consequences of Empathic Parenting: Testing an Expansion of Belsky's Model of Parenting Using Sem

( Empathic Parenting) The Determinants and Consequences of Empathic Parenting: Testing an Expansion of Belsky's Model of Parenting Using Sem | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

 Ultimately, the current findings support Belsky's claim that parent factors are the strongest predictors of empathic parenting. Implications of these findings are many. The results highlight the importance of assessing a parent's childrearing beliefs and attitudes and level of distress in conjunction with characteristics of the child when a family comes in for treatment

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(Empathic Parenting) How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard

(Empathic Parenting) How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Why can being empathetic be so hard?

  • We’re exhausted....
  • We feel overwhelmed by our stressors...
  • We get caught in an avalanche of anger....
  • We feel trapped and unable to get away...
  • We want to avoid the feelings another is experiencing....
  • We feel annoyed or impatient...
  • We lack “affect management skills...
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Empathy: Why It's Important, Why We Should Nurture It in Our Kids | ParentFurther

Empathy: Why It's Important, Why We Should Nurture It in Our Kids | ParentFurther | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

By Steve Palmer


One of the most important skills we can teach our kids is empathy. Empathy is the ability to see and value what another person is feeling or experiencing. When we see someone in pain and feel that response in our own gut, that’s empathy.


When we see someone crying tears of joy at an important reunion and notice ourselves choking up, that’s empathy. When we see someone struggling with a problem and feel an emotional pull to help, that’s empathy. It’s a core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behavior – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well..


 Here are a few points to consider:

  • Help your kids put words to their emotions...
  • Feel out loud....
  • Include empathy as part of discipline....
  • Reward empathy...
  • Be patient...
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(Empathic Parenting) How Children Develop Empathy (role play)

(Empathic Parenting) How Children Develop Empathy (role play) | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
We can help our children cultivate empathy.


When we say, “Look at the dog; it seems like he is hurting when you hit him,” we help our children focus on the inner feelings of others to help guide their behavior. In this way, we play an important role in helping support the development of empathy.


But here is the good news: it is not all up to us. Mother nature supports children in naturally developing empathy while FREELY PLAYING WITH EACH OTHER.


Their internal drive for ROLE PLAY and PRETEND PLAY lead them to playfully experience many different roles, naturally growing their capacity feel the internal world of another.

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(Empathic Parenting: Why Can't My Child Behave?: Empathic Parenting Strategies that Work for Adoptive and Foster Families

Empathic Parenting
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(Empathic Parenting) "Good" Children - at What Price? Shame Doesn't Teach about Relationship or Empathy

(Empathic Parenting) "Good" Children - at What Price?    Shame Doesn't Teach about Relationship or Empathy | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

While shaming has the power to control behavior, it does not have the power to teach empathy. When we repeatedly label a child "naughty" or otherwise, we condition them to focus inwardly, and they become pre-occupied with themselves and their failure to please. Thus children learn to label themselves, but learn nothing about relating, or about considering and comprehending the feelings of others.


For empathy to develop, children need to be shown how others feel. In calling children "naughty", for example, we have told the child nothing about how we feel in response to their behavior.


Children cannot learn about caring for others' feelings, nor about how their behavior impacts on others, while they are thinking: "There is something wrong with me." In fact, psychotherapists and researchers are finding that individuals who are more prone to shame, are less capable of empathy toward others, and more self-preoccupied.

The only true basis for morality is a deeply felt empathy toward the feelings of others. Empathy is not necessarily what drives the "well-behaved" "good boy" or "good girl".


by Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor

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(Empathic Parenting) Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy

(Empathic Parenting) Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

It's a fact of human relationships that our capacity for listening is elusive; we lose it, we regain it, we lose it again. Sometimes it is hard to see whether we are listening so that our children really feel heard. We kid ourselves. We think we are listening when really we are avoiding contact - and then we are bewildered by and surprised at our child's frustration. It can be very useful to get a clear picture of what is listening and what is not.


When our own fears, our shame, our jealousies or our emotional exhaustion get in the way, we tend to play some pretty clever games to deflect our children's communications so that their feelings won't touch us.


One of the biggest reasons we avoid listening is because our children's disappointments make us feel guilty .


Our evasive tactics are called "empathy blockers". Empathy blockers save us the trouble of listening, but they cost us our connection with each other.


Sometimes we use empathy blockers inadvertently because we are anxiously trying to save our children from emotional pain. Ironically, the greatest salve for our children comes from being heard, not from us trying to change how they feel. For all of these reasons, we all use empathy blockers from time to time, quite automatically and unconsciously.

 


by Robin Grille

Excerpted from Heart to Heart Parenting

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How do the empathy circles work?

How do the empathy circles work? | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
The Empathy Circle process I am following are inspired by Sarah Peytons's work (www.empathybrain.com) and if you enjoy the process give Sarah credit and if you don't enjoy it let me know :).


The circle works like this, one person is invited to receive empathy around something that is alive in him or her. The person then shares the observation (like if it was filmed by a camera) and then describes what happens in his or her body and you can also name what you feel. Then the people in the circle offer needs guesses (or feelings and needs guesses) and the person receiving the empathy takes the guesses in with a "Thank you".


I do want to say that people who for some reason do not feel like they can offer a needs guess can always skip so please don't feel too much pressure about participating in such a circle.


After the circle has offered the needs guesses the receiver checks back in with the stimulus and the bodily sensations in order to see if a shift has happened. If not another round of needs guesses can be offered.


If a shift has ocurred the person who received the empathy might want to share something or come up with a request.



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What Is Empathy, and Can Empathy Be Taught?

What Is Empathy, and Can Empathy Be Taught? | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
Empathy is a commonly used, but poorly understood, concept. It is often confused with related concepts such as sympathy, pity, identification, and self-transposal. The purposes of this article are to clearly distinguish empathy from related terms and to suggest that the act of empathizing cannot be taught.


According to Edith Stein, a German phenomenologist, empathy can be facilitated. It also can be interrupted and blocked, but it cannot be forced to occur.


What makes empathy unique, according to Stein, is that it happens to us; it is indirectly given to us, “nonprimordially.” When empathy occurs, we find ourselves experiencing it, rather than directly causing it to happen.


This is the characteristic that makes the act of empathy unteachable. Instead, promoting attitudes and behaviors such as self-awareness, nonjudgmental positive regard for others, good listening skills, and self-confidence are suggested as important in the development of clinicians who will demonstrate an empathic willingness.


by Carol M Davis


paper http://www.physicaltherapyjournal.com/content/70/11/707.full.pdf


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Barbara Kerr's curator insight, May 3, 11:42 AM

Self-awareness is a necessary ingredient for the occurrence of empathy. 

Betty Skeet's curator insight, May 3, 1:20 PM

Can empathy be taught?

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(Empathic Parenting) Can you teach empathy? Children tend to adopt their parents’ values.

(Empathic Parenting) Can you teach empathy? Children  tend to adopt their parents’ values. | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Studies suggest that all of these skills can be taught or encouraged. For example, discussing the emotional content of stories has been shown to increase empathy in school-age children, as does getting children to practice imagining how other people might be feeling.


Children also tend to adopt their parents’ values.


So if parents strive constantly for fame, academic achievement or monetary gain at any cost, then their children are unlikely to value empathy very highly. Therefore, teaching empathy begins with showing empathy, and children who feel cared for and secure are more likely to show empathy towards others.


Kathy Curtis 

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Teaching Children Empathy

Teaching Children Empathy | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Empathy isn’t just taking another perspective. Con men can do that. In order to be empathetic, children need to know how to value, respect and understand another person’s points of view, even when they don’t agree...


To that end, the project offers these five suggestions for developing empathy in children:

  • 1. Empathize with your child and model how to feel compassion for others...
  • 2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations...
  • 3. Provide opportunities for children to practice...
  • 4. Expand your child’s circle of concern...
  • 5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively...
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(Empathic Parenting) Empathy as a Foundation of Family Life: Robbyn Peters Bennett and Edwin Rutsch

(Empathic Parenting) Empathy as a Foundation of Family Life:  Robbyn Peters Bennett and Edwin Rutsch | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

"I think for some, there is a religious idea that children are innately sinful, and innately evil even maybe.  But what neuroscience is saying is that children are innately empathic. That the fundamental neurobiological orientation of the brain, is it learns though empathy and through co-regulation and that children have an innate need to connect and they have an innate need to feel good with us and to enjoy us."


Robbyn Peters Bennett, LMHC, CMHS is a psychotherapist, educator, and child advocate who specializes in the treatment of trauma-related mental health problems resulting from the effects of early childhood stress, abuse and neglect. She is the founder of StopSpanking.org, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public on the dangers of spanking. She is on the steering committee of The U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children.
 
In this dialog we talk about how science shows that we are biologically wired for empathy and how trauma can block it and ways to restore blocked empathy.  We also discuss the role of empathy in different parenting approaches.

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(Empathic Parenting) Parenting: Empathy is Not Indulgence

(Empathic Parenting) Parenting: Empathy is Not Indulgence | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
Empathy is not indulgence. It is not permissive and it is not laissez-faire. Listening with empathy helps children bounce back. The solution of every emotional or behavioral problem of childhood should begin (but does not end) with our willingness to make a genuine effort to hear our child’s concerns and to understand her point of view.

When you listen empathically to your children, they experience reduced stress, and then, increased cognitive and emotional flexibility. In your child’s behavior, you will see less argument, less defiance, and less withdrawal.

Moments of empathic understanding then open a pathway toward emotional maturity. Your child becomes, in small increments, more open to compromise and problem solving.  In this way, our empathy helps bring about a decisive change in children’s attitudes and behavior; a fulcrum shift in their emotional development—a movement away from urgent and insistent demands and toward tolerance for disappointments and frustrations, and acceptance of personal responsibility.


KENNETH BARISH, Ph.D


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Susan Stillman's curator insight, April 25, 10:19 AM

Shares some important concepts about parental empathy influencing a child's brain development as well as their behavior and attitudes.

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(Empathetic Parenting) Positive Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Listening to Your Partner, Listening to Yourself

(Empathetic Parenting) Positive Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Listening to Your Partner, Listening to Yourself | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

by Kathleen McGuire, Ph.D.


In the 1950s, psychologist Carl Rogers took a stand against the authoritarianism inherent in psychoanalytic and behavioral theories of psychotherapy and created “client-centered” psychotherapy. The therapist did not impose values or goals upon the client but acted only to facilitate the unfolding of each person’s unique way of being in the world. Rogers later called his movement the “person-centered” approach, and it spread to education, childrearing, and peer self-help.

Rogers created “empathic listening.” The therapist tried to hear the client as if standing in the client’s shoes. He or she would then try to reflect back the client’s own words such that the client could hear him or herself more clearly. The client continued clarifying and articulating his or her own vision until the words and images exactly fit inner experiencing. Just this - finding exactly the right words or images for unclear body sensings - allowed the client to move forward, to become more clear about values, goals, and action steps.


https://www.focusing.org/chfc/articles/en/mcguirek-listeningtochild.htm


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Empathic Parenting vs. Rescue Parenting

Empathic Parenting vs. Rescue Parenting | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
Every parent naturally wants the best for their children and to help them succeed in any way they can. However, there is a fine line between “helping” and “rescuing.”


The difference is about being empathetic to your child and helping them find solutions, rather than trying to rescue or shield them from situations where they may feel disappointment or failure.

“Empathy” means sharing feelings and experiences with another person, and being able to feel what they feel even if you didn’t directly experience the same things. Likewise, being an empathic parent means you can understand where your child is coming from and patiently listen to them when they express their feelings. It means being flexible and sensitive to your child and their specific needs, while teaching them skills to deal with negative situations.


by Susan Daniel

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(Empathic Parenting) The Parents' Corner: Empathic Parenting

(Empathic Parenting) The Parents' Corner: Empathic Parenting | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

Lately the number of studies are emphasizing the positive effects empathic parenting has on children. There are articles, books, websites all advising how to apply the methods of empathic parenting.


However, knowing what to do is not exactly the same as actually doing it. It is so easy to get caught in your own emotions and instead of being reasonable to raise your voice, threaten, punish. Phrases like “Stop this right now or I won't buy you anything” or “Do you want to get punished?” are not unfamiliar to most of us.

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(Empathic Parenting): The Right Way to Discipline Your Child

(Empathic Parenting): The Right Way to Discipline Your Child | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it

For years, parents have been relying on punishment to transform their kids’ “bad” behavior. The effectiveness of the approach is a debatable issue, but one thing is clear: it’s not good for a child’s development.


Punitive parenting such as grounding or time-out may not help in getting the kids to realize their mistake, feel remorseful, and develop an understanding of right and wrong on moral grounds.


They choose to do the right things mainly because of the fear of punishment. Once they grow out of fear, they’re likely to rebel against their oppressor, which in this case are the parents. To avoid this, positive parenting based on an empathic approach is what you should be exercising.


  • Developing the Parent-Child Connection...
  • Focus on the Problem, not the Symptoms...
  • Encourage Them to Mend What They’ve Broken...
  • Give It Time..



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(Empathic Parenting) Landscapes of the Soul

(Empathic Parenting)  Landscapes of the Soul | Teaching Empathy | Scoop.it
The empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting of the pre WWII generations, and different again from the permissive parenting style that grew out of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s work post WWII (Grille, 2005, p79, p85).


Both these latter styles of parenting are still the dominant child-raring practices in our society.


The authoritarian style of parenting aims to, ‘train the child to conform to cultural norms…

Where the parent, while (perhaps) not lacking affection, tends to view the child through a moral lens that dichotomises behaviour into ‘good’ and ‘bad’’ (Grille, 2005, p69).


This style of child raring enforces discipline and control in order to bend the child to fit parental and social expectations, which limit self-expression and tries to create the ‘good child’...

The opposite of authoritarian ‘control’ parenting is permissive ‘out-of-control’ parenting, where you, as the parent, allow your child to control you, the parent, through your own compliance, indulgence, or indifference (Paul, 2007, web page).By Gary Caganoff


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