Mothers are the most important and most powerful people in the world related to solving our childhood obesity epidemic. The only way an obese child can change is if the home and family changes, and that will only happen when mom says it will.
I have so convinced myself that my parents are disappointed in me for being gay that I keep pushing them to confirm my suspicions. I seem unable to accept that they aren't disappointed in me or ashamed of me. You know what that might mean? That I'm disappointed in me.
Shame has been called the "master emotion" because so much of our experience is filtered through this lens. In addition, it warps and confounds our understanding of ourselves and others in a way that makes sustainable resolutions extremely difficult if not impossible.
A love-based perspective proceeds as if what people do or feel is an expression of a profound and deep intelligence -- trying to make changes can only occur when this intelligence is discovered and supported.
Take Madonna's Kabbalah study. Most folks see the pop icon's immersion in this obscure wing of Jewish mysticism as another narcissistic celebrity accoutrement, like Paris Hilton's dog or Angelina Jolie's children. But hold up: Could this judgement stem from our own spiritual insecurity?
Shame survives in the darkest recesses of one's insecure, self-loathing and self-doubting mind. Shame needs fear and negativity to survive. These "dark" forces are no match for the "light" of love, acceptance, self-respect and, most of all, courage.
Go back to what it what like growing up -- both in and outside the home. Think about school, social life, etc. Even in your young adult life and into adulthood, what were experiences that happened to invoke these emotions? Why?
I come from a generation -- and more specifically, a family -- for which this "parenting method' is unheard of. I put "parenting method" in quotations because what these parents are doing isn't parenting at all. It's bullying.
Shaming punishments -- sometimes called Scarlet Letter sentences -- are making something of a comeback in recent years, raising not only legal but psychological questions as well, most notably: Do they work?
If the goal of opposing workplace bullying is indeed to promote more humane workplace environments, decrease workplace aggression, and reduce the potential for workplace violence, shaming targets or shaming bullies is counterproductive.
The experience of tens of thousands of dieters shows that despite all the negatives that get heaped on people who are heavy or obese -- health problems, inner criticism and shame, outer criticism and prejudice -- the hungers that drive people to eat are even more powerful.