How to Effectively and Accurately Parent Your Problem Child

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When Love Inhibits Parental Leverage

Over the past several years, I've found myself making the same suggestions or recommendations to hundreds of parents, hoping to create an awareness that their situations are not necessary, not normal, and are completely backwards.

I've offered the same strategies designed to help them wrest control over their households, re-empower themselves, appropriately discipline their children, and stop being afraid of their children. It got to the point where many parents asked me if I'd written a book about this. This is that book.

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I became board-certified in psychiatry over thirty years ago and have practiced in the private and public sectors for almost as long. I have treated thousands of patients, from three to ninety-three (“womb to tomb”), and have continued to use psychodynamically oriented therapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups.

I’ve seen many changes in the practice of psychiatry. A fabulously persisting explosion in the field of psychiatric medications is occurring, allowing psychiatrists to deconstruct mental illnesses into their component parts, thereby more effectively targeting specific symptoms without causing unwanted side effects. While this is undoubtedly a wonderful thing, many psychiatrists have found themselves to be little more than pill-pushers, lacking both the time and energy to do much more than monitor a patient’s response to medications. But through the years, I have continued to make use of my training in psychodynamics in order to do more than merely medicate. Old-school theories, such as those of Freud, Jung, and Erikson, continue to have their place in helping a person, a couple, or a family live a happier life.

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Tyranny book Chapter 1

Sample Chapter

You’ve read the books. You’ve attended the lectures and the parenting classes. Family therapy addresses the love your child needs and the limits you must logically set. You know you love your child. And you still like and enjoy your child, don’t you? But you’re here in the principal’s office with Joey, your fourteen-year-old son, who applied Ben-gay to an older student’s jockstrap. Retaliating to an in-school suspension, he hoarded lunch meat for two weeks so that it would spoil, and then he slipped it into the lunch pot. Half the school is thinner now. He flaunts his defiance at authority and bullies younger kids. He targets others with arrogant ridicule and disrespect.

And Joey shows no remorse.

The latest event—which triggered your current visit to the principal’s office—involved Joey’s attacking another student, wrestling him to the ground, choking him until he was unconscious, and then preparing to jam a pencil into the boy’s eye…when a teacher happened to turn a corner at just the right time and (with great effort, you’re told) pulled Joey off the other boy. The teacher claims Joey then tried to drive the pencil into her eye. It took another teacher, the high school football coach, and the PE instructor to wrestle Joey off her, during which he grabbed her crotch and severely bruised her. The police were called; Joey is on his way to jail again, claiming that he was assaulted by the other student and sexually molested by the female teacher. After your bailing him out last night, not only does Joey not show remorse, but he is also furious about what he alleges happened to him! Despite four adult witnesses who share the same account of what happened, Joey denies his behavior, insists he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and now accuses others of victimizing him.

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Tyranny book Chapter 1


The Tyranny Of Unconditional Love And other Myths By Rydie on March 7, 2014

Parents who read this book should not be faint of heart, should be open to unconventional approaches to parenting difficult children, and must be willing to consider approaches which may seem antithetical to other methods of parenting being marketed today.

Dr. Freda uses explicit examples of managing deteriorated child-parent relationships and explains the origin of many conflicts, paying close attention to the developmental stages applying to each case. Beyond the eighteen month old marker of potty training when unconditional love is a legitimate entitlement for all children, unconditional love is mythology and when applied allows the parent to retreat from the role of managing, directing, and providing consequences. For the child it robs them of their right to proceed to adult autonomous status and to assume responsibility for their age-appropriate increments.

In the Doctor's perspective unconditional love beyond the potty years is a cop out and begins to accumulate emotional debt and hardship for both parent and child. Expectations and consequences are part of the world parents hurl their children into, never to receive such indulgence from anyone again. The theory of mythical unconditional love has many applications in adult relationships as well. Unconditionally loving an alcoholic and not offering clear options for dealing with the issue robs the alcoholic of the same right. Very few if any marriages are truly based on unconditional love as well. "Honey, I don't like it when you have affairs. Dear, you're over-spending the budget."

Every child and every adult for that matter thrives on environmental feed-back and the structure it offers for change and growth. Dr. Freda's methods for managing unwanted behaviors in our children is essentially simple. and essentially difficult. Until you get the hang of it. It will seem counter intuitive at first reading. Read it again. And again if you have to. Try to remember no one in your adult life life loves you unconditionally, so why set your kids up for such foolish expectations.

Get the book. Perhaps be sitting down when you read it the first time.

John Klein

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