toxic or unhealthy shame

Finally, parents should learn to give their child unconditional love, in so far as this is humanly possible. The more conditions we attach, the more we shame our children. The more we use conditional phrases, (such as ‘good boys/girls never answer back their mother/father’, ‘children should be seen and not heard’, ‘you should be ashamed of yourself for doing that’, ‘you are a stupid boy/girl, etc), the more likely we are to shame our children. Parents must allow their child to develop at his own pace, and not expect to be pleased all the time. A child will instinctively know if a needy parent craves being pleased, and ultimately this will fill him with shame and rage. Shamed parents are needy parents, because their needs were not fulfilled when they were children.

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