The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even
touched—they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller
As I continued to travel down a road of both parenting
and faith shifts, it became clear that I didn’t understand a great
deal about feelings and emotions. I realized that when I
parented my sons, I considered their expressions of certain
feelings as out of bounds. My response to normal human
emotions such as anger, frustration, jealousy, and the like was
often to label them as disrespectful, disobedient, or shameful.
My goal was to prompt each child to shut down strong
reactions as soon as possible, or better yet repress them
altogether. I needed to reexamine the corporal punishment and
timeout/microwave timer strategies that I used with my boys.
Conservative Christian parenting advice often includes
the idea that children must obey at first command, and there is
a subsequent harsh punishment or isolation if they do not
comply. Timeout, corporal punishment, and removal of
privileges are touted as appropriate reactions to a child’s
expression of any “negative” emotion. As I became more fully
educated about normal child development, I further
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