As a father of girls myself when I want to express my concern and love for my daughters the furthest thing from my mind is shame.
Yesterday I saw an article on my Yahoo homepage about a father (Scott Mackintosh) who didn’t like the fact that his daughter was wearing short shorts. In response to his dislike of his daughters shorts Scott made himself a pair of short shorts and sported a “Best Dad Ever” T-shirt. Click here to read the article.
Scott was quoted as saying, “I simply did this in hopes that my daughter would know of my great love for her and that she knows of her great worth”.
Well Scott… I’ve got news for you. Shame is not a long-term solution in parenting.
I know I haven’t spoken on this for a while so it may be time to climb back onto my soapbox.
In parenting the use of Guilt, Shame, and Fear only builds resentment/anger between the child and the parent.
We as parents should be inviting our children into adulthood in a healthy manner. Using Guilt, Shame, and Fear only teaches our children unhealthy ways to interact with people. Furthermore it teaches children how to inappropriately get others to do what you want them to do.
The balance to this is to use healthy adult-to-adult interactions that don’t manipulate or control the other person.
In doing this we will role model appropriate behavior for our children and show them how to be healthy adults.
Interestingly enough Scott himself was quoted as saying, “I don’t think my object lesson of ‘modest is hottest’ made the statement I had intended. But no matter if social media gets the story mixed up and twisted, my daughter will always know that her dad loves her and cares about her enough to make a fool out of himself.”
Scott/Parents, if you want your children to know that you love them and how much you love them.
Tell them and tell them often…