Your children do not belong to you. They are not a property or a possession. They are not here for you to command, but are in need of your considerate guidance. Children possess wisdom that most adults have long forgotten. How you treat (or even consider) your children and others less powerful, reveals a lot about you. For example, when you harshly punish a child, and they resist, and you push against their resistance with even more punishment — you are actually pushing against yourself. This is your imbalance that the child is showing you, as an emotional mirror to yourself. The struggle originated with you, and while amplified and escalated, your original act of force is the source issue — not what you considered to be the child's misbehaviour. These cycles of vying for control and domination tend to escalate. Many adults who become angry with their children, and punish and blame them, are actually themselves the unknowing sources of the child's behavior. What they believe they despise in the child, they unconsciously despise within themselves. They create what they hate within the child. Children and animals are psychological mirrors that allow us to see and understand ourselves; they reflect back our psychological energies. Violence instructs to violence; calm instructs to calm. Your message means less than the way the message is delivered, because in actuality, the way the message is delivered, IS the message. How we treat any being less powerful than ourselves, is a startlingly clear window into our personal nature.

— Bryant McGill

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