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One of the biggest dilemmas parents face is finding the balance between empowering your child and still setting firm boundaries.  Fifty years ago parents favored an authoritarian style of parenting where obedience was the primary goal.  In the last thirty years the parenting pendulum has swung to value empowering the child as primary.  As a consequence children are more strong-willed and unafraid to assert there wants and needs which makes it even harder for parents to set and hold boundaries.

In the podcast that follows I use the “Meet the Hand “ metaphor to explain a method of childrearing that simultaneously recognizes the child’s power and autonomy while asserting the power and autonomy of the parent.   The goal of this approach is to raise children who have a strong capacity for mutual recognition.  Mutual recognition occurs when a person has both the ability to recognize and assert their own needs while recognizing and respecting the needs of others (preferably without the use of manipulation, shame or guilt).  When a person has internalized both the recognition of self and others these two are held in tension within them (the needs of self and others are often conflicting).  This tension is a necessary part of healthy psychological development and gives rise to self-discipline, emotional regulation, intimacy, and feelings of connection to and responsibility for the community around them.

Check out the podcast here: Meet the Hand

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