Liberated Parents Liberated Children Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:


Liberated Parents, Liberated Children

Authors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish wrote their counter cultural book regarding tips and tactics for parents to use as they raised children before the term "counter cultural" had become politically correct. In 1974, when the majority of children were being raised under the questionable permissive advice of Dr. Spock, these authors focused on another aspect of child rearing. They were significantly influenced by child psychologist Hiam Ginott who believed that it was the emotional well-being of the child that would guide his actions. Ginott, quoted in Faber and Mazlich's book, said that he believed that "when parents are given the skills to be more helpful (to their children's emotional development) not only are they able to use these skills, but they infuse them with a warmth and a style that is uniquely their own. [parenthesis added]" (Faber and Mazlish, 1974

In their book, Liberated Parents, Liberated Children: Your Guide to a Happier Family, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish begin by discussing their experiences attending a series of parent workshops given by Dr. Ginott, "As parents," Ginott says, "we have to make certain decisions that represent our best judgment at the time. And the decision-making process does not necessarily have to be shared with our children; nor do we permit their evaluation. When a parent is clear about his rights, when he knows that guilt is an inappropriate response, then he helps his child gather strength and learn reality" (Faber & Mazlish). This advice reminded one of the authors of a parenting incident in her life when she had helped her child gather strength by not sharing her guilt. The incident involved her kindergarten-aged son, David, who had asked for a drive to school because it was snowing outside. Because there were two younger siblings at home, David was told he could manage to walk the five blocks to school on his own. As the author explains, shortly after David left for school, the wind picked up and the snow worsened. When David returned from school that afternoon, he explained that he had been late to school because the strong winds made it difficult for him to walk quickly. The author admitted feelings of great guilt over the incident but instead of sharing these feelings with David, she responded, "Wow! What a walk you've had! All those long blocks in that bitter wind. That took endurance! That's the kind of thing you'd expect from Abe Lincoln, not a six-year-old boy!" Thus, instead of feeling weak and sorry for himself, David seemed proud of his accomplishment (Faber & Mazlish,)

What is notable about this example is not so much whether of not the parent passed along her feeling of guilt over making her young child walk to school in a blinding snow storm, but that the parent connected with the child on the issue. The child was not blamed over arriving late to school, which would have produced inappropriate shame in the child. The parent did not back pedal and apologize for her mistake requiring the child to brave the elements, which would have place undue power in the child's hands for a future time. Rather the parent accepted the situation and stood her ground in her position as the decision maker thus reinforcing her child appropriate dependence on her. Within the unchallenged confines of the parent and child relationship, she acknowledged her child's feelings, and encouraged him for a job well done in the face of difficult conditions.

Ehrensaft echoes Ginott's message to parents about accepting our position as adults. "We must stop abdicating the throne and accept our position as an adult," Ehrensaft says. "Children do not do well with deposed kings and queens for parents. To be good parents, we definitely must give generously of ourselves, but never give ourselves over to our children." (Ehrensaft, 1997)

This differentiation between giving of ourselves to our children, and giving ourselves over to our children is the delicate line which Mazlish and Faber walk throughout their book as they discuss skills for parents to learn to build emotionally balanced and self-secure children. The approach which encourages parents to remain in their authority role in the child's life, as well as equips the parent to connect with the child's feeling is the element of this book which sets it apart from other works. Dr. Spock taught parents to reason with their children rather than correct them. By doing so, the well intentioned doctor instructed parents to abdicate an important role in their children's development, which is the role of authority to which the child is accountable.

Mazlish and Faber answer the questions regarding how can we help a child change from undependable to dependable, from a mediocre student to a capable student, from someone who won't amount to very much to someone who will count for something. The answer is at once both simple and complicated. The child needs to be raised with the confidence that they can become dependable and capable by the way the parents treat them. Part of that process, identified by the authors, is treating a child as if he already is what we would like him to become. (Faber and Mazlish, 1974).

This quote is from pages 87-88. It is one of the best statements I have ever seen by authors of parenting books: "People have asked us, "If I use these skills appropriately will my children always respond?" Our answer is: We would hope not. Children aren't robots. Besides, our purpose is not to set forth a series of techniques to manipulate behavior so that children always respond. Our purpose is to speak to what is best in our children-- their intelligence, their initiative, their sense of humor, their ability to be sensitive to the needs of others. We want to put an end to talk that wounds the spirit, and search out the language that nourishes self-esteem. We want to create an emotional climate that encourages children to cooperate because they care about themselves, and because they care about us."

Tactics and Skills

The authors identify a series of approaches to use with children when interacting with them in order to build confidence, compassion, and character. The first is "When kids feel right, they'll behave right." Parents can help children feel right about themselves and the world by accepting the child's feelings first, and then working toward behavioral changes if needed.

Another approach toward building a child's self-esteem while at the same time directing their actions is an approach which I call "love the sinner, and hate the sin." When a child is having difficulty following directions, or just forgetting some of their responsibilities, the authors suggest stating what is acceptable and what is not. While the authors do not make this differentiation, the parent who uses this approach must remember to communication that the behavior is unacceptable, not the child. A child who brings home grades which are less than his or her ability should not be told "you are not acceptable when you have this level of grade performance." To do so would create less self-esteem in the child, and drain any motivation from him like water down the kitchen sink. Instead, the parent should approach the child with" I know you have done much better in this class than your current grades suggest. What are you doing differently?" This approach gives the child the ability to respond with his or her feelings without feeling demeaned for his poor performance.

The authors continually reinforce the parent's positional authority which is just as important to a child's well being as their own feelings of self-esteem. Another approach to simply approach the child without arguing, or attempting to re-reason the given task. By stating what needs to be accomplished with…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Liberated Parents Liberated Children" (2003, November 07) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

"Liberated Parents Liberated Children" 07 November 2003. Web.8 December. 2016. <>

"Liberated Parents Liberated Children", 07 November 2003, Accessed.8 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Child Adoption Is a Process

    Gradually, there are lesser desired adoptive kids as society have come to accept single mother who parent their children compared to earlier. The disgrace of giving birth to a child outside marriage has lowered and hence, the bulk of single moms prefer to have their kids with them in place of "relinquishing them" for being adopted. Besides, thanks to advanced technology, "birth control" pills are instantly accessible to the

  • Children s Literature Despite Its Name

    In a sense, literary nonsense helps the reader begin to develop critical thinking skills because it problematizes familiar concepts and forces the reader to view them in a new light. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland places familiar standards of behavior and etiquette in ridiculous situations in order to show how these standards are arbitrarily determined. Stuart Little challenges traditional notions of birthright and ancestry by demonstrating in a comical way

  • Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark

    Children? The novel Where are the Children? By Mary Higgins Clark falls into the genre of a suspenseful mystery. The bulk of the novel involves Nancy Harmon, the protagonist. We meet her after she has moved from California to Cape Cod and has reinvented herself. Tragedy struck Nancy Harmon's life when her children went missing, only to be found in the bay, 50 miles apart, with plastic bags over their

  • Pursuant Attached Instructions The Argument Analysis Attached

    pursuant attached instructions. The argument analysis attached article, Ellen Winner. As, instructions I sources -text citations/quotations. Argument analysis: "Sometimes our folk theories are correct: Parents do shape their children" Ellen Winner's essay "Sometimes our folk theories are correct: Parents do shape their children" is a counter-argument to recent claims that 'nurture' is of little importance in shaping children's life paths and personalities. She argues that the results of personality tests have had

  • Gender Specific Behaviour Is Imposed on

    " This temporary lesson actually applies on a wider scale to life. Clothing, in our society, is closely integrated with sexuality and gender definition. Men often determine who they will have a sexual interest in based on the clothing of the person in question. A woman in a housecoat is not generally seen as a sexual target in the same way that a woman in a leather miniskirt is. Because

  • Social Contexts of Development the

    (the Teacher's role in developing social skills) Role of Workplaces: Respectable work is seen as a social standard based on harmonizing and mutually collaborative policies to advance rights at work; employment; social protection and social dialogue. It tackles a basic ambition of women and men everywhere, that is, to get respectable and productive work in situations of freedom, equality, security and dignity of human labor. This ambition stresses a collective attempt

  • Teaching Tolerance According to Sara

    Therefore, Bullard links parenting and disciplinary styles to the cultivation of tolerance. The author points out that "children who are punished harshly or inconsistently, or who are frequently threatened with punishment, are prevented from developing the internal controls they need to discipline themselves," (156). Children who are raised in supportive environments will generally tend to support their peers and those who they meet through their entire lives. Toward the end

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved