Thursday, December 1, 2011

What are negative emotions and rough handling of their infants

Dr. Phil,

I learn a lot from your blog and I have read your parenting book. I read your blog Aggressive Behavior in Toddlers, but I do not know what you mean by "negative emotions towards their infants and rough handling of their infants."

Thanks, Lilly, S.F. CA

Great question, Lilly, thanks.

Yesterday I was at lunch, looking forward to reading the latest gadget article for all things Apple computer. A few tables over I observed a mom and grandmother eating lunch with a 3 year old and an 18 month old. What I observed were "negative emotions towards their infants and rough handling of their infants."

The three year old was in a high chair reaching and grabbing as the food came to the table.  As he strained to reach for a french fry, his mom gently slapped his hand and said, "I told you in the car if you can't be a good boy you're going to get a spanking."

Over the next 15 minutes, while I finished my lunch, I observed the mom and the grandmother talking to each other in a friendly manner. When either adult was interrupted by a child, they growled softly at the child and said stern things to them.

"Stop doing that, you're acting like a little snot."
"You never listen to me."
"You're being a brat."

The 3 year old seemed unaware of anything the adults were saying. He seemed used to it. I saw his hand get gently slapped 5 times. Of note I did not see either adult talk to or with the children only at the children.

Over time, I can see how this type of parenting can lead to these children showing aggressive behaviors in school.

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