“Get The Belt” Parents Don’t Read This!

A truly love based parenting paradigm does not make sense to old paradigm, traditional fear-based parents (authority/dominance vs love/influence). In fact, it looks almost insane. As in, "you have got to be out of your mind Post"! But if we look at the world, we can hardly say that old paradigm, traditional, conventional, typical parenting approaches do much for building a peaceful world. Some say, "when I was a kid, I got a good whipping when I did wrong and I turned out alright". When I listen to the media, I wonder how alright alright really is? In addition, you who turned out alright weren't abandoned at 2 years old by a drug addicted mother, no father to speak of, and missed the most critical first 3 years of bonding and attachment with your parent. If you had a dad to whip you, you at least had a dad. Besides, once you have been punched in the eye by your 17 year old adopted son, you get the sense that this is not your ordinary child raising.

Typical kids roll their eyes, whine, complain and eventually do what they are told. Traumatized kids may punch you or worse. And you are lucky if they ever do what they are asked at times, at least without a world war. Even if you win you loose. I'd rather switch than fight. Here is a more typical traumatized situation, and some very non-typical guidance. It may give you something to think about. Remember, if you loose the relationship, you have no influence. If you've lost that— you've lost everything.

Dear Bryan—  Our 17 year old son is failing in school partially because he refuses to go part of the time and partially because he refuses to work.  The school has been very accommodating, but he has refused any alternate ideas offered.  I try to spend ten minutes with him each morning, waking him and being as pleasant as I can.  At night, he lays in his room and plays Game Boy or reads as late as he can.

Friday night, because we won’t buy him a class ring until he passes three semesters, he left the house at 6:30 p.m. with one girl and came back after ten and announced he was spending the weekend out of town with another girl.  He ignored our requests to not go.  He returned Sunday night as if he had just been out for a walk.  He acts like we owe him service, video game, and TV time.

Our 15 year old daughter complains because we “let” him do what he wants.  Tonight she is not home yet; it is 11:15 and she has a curfew for her probation at 9:00.  She is also back hanging out with a friend who she said is a bad influence.  She was just starting to work hard, so her grades were moving toward F.  Again, the school is accommodating and trying to help her.

It is going to take a lot more than breathing to get through this one.  I feel like there is no way to set limits.  I have considered telling my son he needs to pay rent if he is going to refuse to follow rules.  He doesn’t seem to have the ability to work, was taken off the schedule for his last job because he “lacked ambition.”  —Mom and Dad

Hello, Mom and Dad—  Here’s the hard part about the task you have taken on raising your children: You have to stop taking personally their life process and many of the decisions they shall make. The two of you have done a wonderful job by these children, but you often forget where they came from, what their earliest working blueprints are, and what their unconscious motivations might be.

Secondly, when one is acting out and another threatens to do the same, your anxiety rises even higher. Rather than getting upset with your daughter, remind her that she is very capable of making the same choices as her brother, and not only will the two of you be hurt, but she will most likely not be happy with where she ends up. Encourage her to do the right thing, but give her the option to do otherwise. Remember, she is going to do what she wants anyway; don’t create a dynamic where you are fueling her emotional state. Influence rather than control, maintain the relationship, and trust the process.

As for your son, it’s much the same; charging him to pay rent will only cause him to move out. The two of you have come so far with this kid, but remember 17 is still only 17 and there are still many years left for you to influence his life! You are in a scary place now, but is it that much more scary than where you have been in the past? So far you have kept these kids in school, and though they are failing, at least they make the effort to attend. They are not serious alcoholics, drug addicts, or depressives. Look at their history; it’s all there if that is the path they take, but I believe your influence will be greater. Don’t allow your fear to push them away. Work with what you have in the moment, today. And Always keep the door open. Always. —B.

"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
-- Master Yoda- Star Wars Episode I

Have a Calm and Peaceful Day.


Have you read Bryan Post's FREE e-Book How to End Lying Now: Why Kids Lie and What You Can Do to Stop It? Post offers a radical new understanding of difficult children - adopted, foster, diagnosed, biological, or grandchild. The Post Institute has helped families and professionals move from fear to love in their struggles with challenging behaviors such as defiance, disrespect, self-mutilation, cutting, hoarding or gorging food, stealing lying and more! This free book can get you started - see your child's behaviors in an entirely different light and learn how to apply this approach. A truly love based family-centered model for many behaviors and diagnoses.

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Parenting Attachment Challenged Children "Hands-On" Home Study Course
Want Serious Help -- Seriously? This may be the answer you have been praying for. There really can be peace in the family with your child. Bryan Post's Powerful new program is now available and includes the new 5 Hour Course on CD-Rom to accompany the workbook and 6 Hours of Video. This new program provides all the tools and understanding you need in order effectively parent your challenging kids. The home study course for parenting the child with challenging behaviors is life changing and is only meant for the serious parent or professional This course with accompanying workbook and the 5 hours of course material on CD-Rom to follow along will make the concepts easy to work with. You will have step-by-step instructions on how to create a therapeutic healing environment for children with trauma histories. If nothing else works for your child, this may be the training program you have been praying for. This best-selling package will start you on the road to restoring peace in your family and give you a running start! You will never know unless you try this, but you might always wonder.

For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • www.postinstitute.com – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.comThe Parenting Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids and many other challenging behaviors and diagnoses.
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  1. Michele Nicholson says:

    I can identify with this parent’s fear. Bryan, what you say really works, not over night, but over time. My son wasn’t listening to any of our rules, he started skipping classes and his grades were plummeting. My husband and I actually did what this parent wanted to do last year, We put our foot down and began charging him rent, but it only caused more frustration on both our parts. It was like pulling teeth to get him to pay and it fueled his anger and caused him to distance himself from us even more. Thankfully we started trusting in the tools and methods that Bryan teaches and our relationship with our son is better than ever and we are all beginning to heal. We are forever grateful, Bryan!

  2. Thank you for this post. We’re working with two younger children, one with a a medical problem causing severe behavioral problems and the other child–very sensitive and high strung personality regressing. It’s very intense and stressful parenting. Your words are encouraging at a very difficult time for us as parents.

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