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Our shadow side has no power on its own. It can only twist the light, by manipulating, controlling... For example, with children, we try to manipulate them to conform to our ideas. More appropriately, we can discuss the consequences of their choices, but the choices themselves are only up to them depending of course on what choices are age appropriate. If the final choice for a young child is up to the adult, then we need to be clear about this rather than manipulating the child into a "choice" that is not really his/her own. And if they have made bad choices, we can support them in dealing with the consequences. But never say: "I told you so!
  

Regrettably, the thing I asked my son when he was young and had made a decision was: "Are you sure?" That was an example of manipulation. Questions like that cut them off from their trust in themselves.

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"Children are by nature innocent and totally trusting. Parents need to care for them in a way that does not abuse that trust."

Conscious Parenting Workbook pg 1 - soon to be released by Hohm Press http://www.hohmpress.com

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            So L was a little wound up tonight, but in happy, exuberant way. There is another way she gets wound up that it sort of destructive, like she has pent up energy - as in she's been repressed all day and not guided in healthy outlets/expression of said energy - and it definitely needs expression, but is that much more difficult to guide.

            Anyway, this didn't seem to be the case. We'd had a long walk to and play at the park and lots of jumping on the bed. After a fairly calm and much enjoyed dinner, she went to have a bath with papa as her supervisor.

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"Children need and want boundaries. Every child knows what it feels like to be happy and what it feels like to be miserable, which is why they ask for limits. They will push the limits as a way to discover for themselves what the limits are, but a child who knows their limits, and for who the limits are trustworthy and reliable, is a child who will be happy and confident.

Between ages two and four, an immediate response to the circumstance and fair, non-arbitrary discipline is crucial because that's when children get their major teaching about boundaries. Setting consequences for breaking boundaries is an important consideration here. We need to know what to do and when to do it, and quickly. To set consequences a week after something happened is useless for a young child - after a week it is a different universe for them. Consequences should fit the disobedience, and be directly in time with the vent, so the child knows what the consequence is for."

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One morning, I was in the office, working on some routine things, nothing pressing, just things that needed to get done. I had a little friend who was 5-years old. He had picked up the phone that morning and called me, in tears, asking me to come. I asked him a few questions and he told me that nothing had happened; he wasn't hurt or anything. He just wanted me to come.  

It was only a ten-minute drive or so for me to get to his house, maybe a little more if the traffic was bad. What I was doing in the office wasn't urgent at all, yet I convinced myself that if I “come” to him this time, it would set up a pattern and he would think that I would come any time he called. So, I told him that I couldn't come right now because I had work I had to do in the office, but that I would see him soon.   

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