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Oct 14, 2008
Part 1: What happened to you COULD have purpose...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

George, it is not at all uncommon for adults in their 30s to question the methods their parents used to raise them. Life experiences have a way of triggering memories, and in some cases, doubts and emotional turmoil. It is often a time of angst, as the memories flood back and as we (you) try to make sense of what cannot be made sense of. There are lessons to be learned during this time, but they can only be learned if the person is willing to open up to what each experience can teach.

George, you are obviously a very sensitive person: you were highly sensitive as a child; and I can tell that you still are. Use that sensitivity in a productive way. Use it to ensure you do not pass on to your children the emotional residue your upbringing left you with. Allow me to elaborate...

You remember the emotional pain and betrayal of being spanked by the person who was supposed to love and protect you, not hurt you; it's an opportunity for you to learn other effective methods of discipline for your own children that do not include spanking.

You remember what it was like to be exposed as a little boy by your mother and brother; it's an opportunity for you to teach your children about their sexuality in ways that are age appropriate.

You remember being paddled with a piece of a 2x4 for using the f-word; use this as an opportunity to teach your children by modeling appropriate language, and if they use inappropriate language, teach them that it is "potty" language and that it is disrespectful to use it anywhere but in the complete privacy of the bathroom when no one else is around to hear (or some such method). I've taken the liberty of detailing this method, which I used when I ran my daycare.

Part 2: Lessons Learned continued below...

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Oct 14, 2008
Part 2: Lessons Learned
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Continuing from my comments above...this is how I handled inappropriate language from the mouths of the 2 1/2- to 7-year-olds when I ran my licensed child daycare more than fifteen years ago. It was highly effective: one, because they learned that bad language was inappropriate and unacceptable around people. Two, they learned about respect toward others, and that I respected them. Three, they learned that bad language wasn't necessarily off limits, providing they went into the "potty" room (bathroom) where no one would hear them.

I had one little boy who, when frustrated, would run like mad to the bathroom to let out the curse word he was thinking, but he did so silently. When he was done, he would rejoin the rest of us, completely vented and ready to have fun again. But mostly, once I removed the "shock value" by allowing them to go to the bathroom to quietly use their "potty language" they weren't interested in using it. The results were even more dramatic than that...in a 7-child daycare setting, the older children taught the younger ones the lesson they learned about using "potty language". I can't tell you how adorable it was to see a 4-year-old helpfully (not bossily) and without prompting from me take the hand of one of the 3-year-olds and gently lead them to the bathroom to use the language. "Use your words" was a mantra in my daycare, as long as they were appropriate words.

George, as I'm sure you well know, no parent is perfect; few, if any, children come out of childhood unscathed to some degree. Depending on how you think about the remembered events of your childhood, there is purpose in them. You CAN turn it around for the benefit of your own children or those in the next generation if you decide to work with children.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me, George. I do hope that doing so has been in some way cathartic for you.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Oct 21, 2008
Props to you.
by: Anonymous

I give you ton of props for dealing with all that you have done over the past 8 years. I just wish I could pray to take the pain away. I had a friend who is still experiencing the side effects of abuse from her family. God bless you both.

Oh btw, the laundry thing isn't that big. I had to do laundry since I was 6 years old. Sorry!

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