Saturday, April 23, 2011

Damon's Story ... Son Beaten by Dad

A couple of friends on Facebook (Ed Gamboa via Ryan Ange) posted this video - for which I am grateful. Very sad . . . very touching. The speaker is Mark Lundholm, an addictions comedian.

The killing of this child is horrible and sad. But listen to the worldview Damon holds - crying is for "faggots," touch is forbidden, emotions are off-limits. In his home, no doubt, touch = violence, crying = showing pain or defeat, emotions = opening oneself to ridicule and abuse.

As much as I would like to believe this is the exception, I don't think so. So few parents know how to be good parents, and the lower the income level, the more this is true.

It's so simple to teach young parents how to be better parents, but it also requires that the parents have some measure of affect regulation (the ability to not act out anger or frustration, for example, on their kids). Most of them don't have any skills of self-awareness.

I highly recommend two books for parents, or for those who work with low-income parents:

Parenting from the Inside Out, by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell.
Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play (3rd Ed.) by Phyllis B. Booth and Ann M. Jernberg

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