Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott

Education & Parenting

“No parent wakes up in the morning planning to make a child’s life miserable. No mother or father says, ‘Today I’ll yell, nag, and humiliate my child whenever possible.’ On the contrary, in the morning many parents resolve, ‘This is going to be a peaceful day. No yelling, no arguing, and no fighting.’ Yet, in spite of good intentions, the unwanted war breaks out again.” […]

“What do we say to a guest who forgets her umbrella? Do we run after her and say “What is the matter with you? Every time you come to visit you forget something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Why can’t you be like your sister? When she comes to visit, she knows how to behave. You’re forty-four years old! Will you never learn? I’m not a slave to pick up after you! I bet you’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to your shoulders.” That’s not what we say to a guest. We say “Here’s your umbrella, Alice,” without adding “scatterbrain.” Parents need to learn to respond to their children as they do to guests.” – Haim Ginott

According to Dr. Ginott’s parenting is a skill that can be learned via a series of communication techniques that allow the parent to:

  • discipline without bribes, sarcasm, and punishment,
  • criticize without demeaning,
  • express anger without alienating,
  • acknowledge rather than argue with a child’s feelings,
  • respond so that children will learn to trust and develop self-confidence.

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