Shaming a child

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Shaming a child

Shaming is a more subtle form of violence then spanking or hitting. Shaming is a very subtle dynamic. It is what I call the stealth bomber of emotional zingers. You can say something in a fun, playful way or you can say the same words in a shaming way. For example, "That's so silly. That's so silly." That can be playful and benign. But I've heard it said, many a time, in a way that is dismissive and just puts a child into shame. Shame is a biological process. We know if from the blushing. It is rooted in our survival. Vinny Browne is sort of a shame specialist. He said that what shame does is that it raises the feeling in us that we are not worthy of connection. It is rooted in our biological survival drive to being connected. Shaming is really undermining of a child's optimal brain development because it is putting them in that fear state, into that separated, disconnected state.

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Marcy Axness, PhD

Childhood Development Specialist

Marcy Axness, PhD, is an early development specialist, popular international speaker, and author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers. She is a top blogger at and a member of their expert panel. Featured in several documentary films as an expert in adoption, prenatal development and Waldorf education, Dr. Axness has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. She considers as one of her most important credentials that she raised two peacemakers to share with the world -- Ian and Eve, both in their 20s. 

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