Why the Genetics of Psychopathy Matters in Child Custody

George Bernard Shaw said,

“We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.”

What is Generational Shame and
How Does it Affect Us?


The concept of shame can often be misunderstood and confused with guilt. The “cliff note” definition is we feel guilty for what we do and we feel shame for what we are. There are basically two types of shame, healthy shame and toxic shame. Healthy shame lets us know when our actions have gone too far (such as alerting us that we are not the center of the universe), it is the foundation of our conscience. Toxic shame is feeling we are defective and unworthy (for example, “You can never do anything right! Why can’t you be more like your brother?!”)

This type of shame has been “given” to you by another. Meaning, we generally shame others as we ourselves have been shamed.

By the time we are an adult we have approximately 25,000 hours of tapes in our heads of repetitive words, actions, and messages about who we are at the core of our being. By the time we are an adult we truly believe we are either adequate or inadequate as a person.

Many experts say shame may play a major role in a host of personal and social problems, such as eating disorders, drug abuse, compulsions, depression, anxiety and rage issues. This powerful emotion has its roots in childhood, but as an adult it becomes a lifelong struggle to heal shame in order to feel worthwhile and good about oneself. The younger we were shamed the more embedded it is in our psyche.

Why have I chosen this topic and how is it related to parenting?

I believe we often go unconscious when reacting to our children for any reason we deem unacceptable or narcissistically embarrassing. This “unconscious” process stems from somewhere, it did not just appear. We are not born “defective”. Hence, the title: generational shame.

As a parent it is paramount that our child experiences our empathy, presence, compassion, and limit setting. So that when they have a temper tantrum and we are exasperated we do not abandon them emotionally. On the contrary, this is when they need you to “hold” them physically and emotionally the most.

This is challenging, especially if we were not treated with the same tolerance and acceptance of our own emotional outbursts as a child. I don’t know about you but I was spanked on occasion and I cannot tell you why I was spanked – I just remember feeling scared, terrified and sore. It taught me to be afraid of adults and authority figures, it did nothing for my sense of self.

As a biased mother of four beautiful children I have been afforded the presence of mind and foresight not to use physical punishment or abusive shame to get my child to “shape up.” And, guess what? They are really good kids, full of opinions and who feel safe in their home. I did not pass the baton of shame.
I may not be perfect, but I’m certainly not abusive.

How can we help ourselves to stay present in our interactions with our children?

I think “mindfulness” and reflecting on what might be going on in your child’s mind is a great start. When you find yourself getting impatient, irritated, exasperated, angry, and irritable, take a breath. Stop interacting. Reflect on your emotional state and how you could respond differently.  Ask yourself what it is that’s being triggered inside of you? What is your child really saying with their words and actions? Why are they behaving the way they are?

These questions are what “reflective parenting” is all about; keeping your child’s mind, in mind.  Reflective parenting is about a conversation and next week I’m going share different ways to engage in that conversation so that all of us have the opportunity to break the chain of generational shame.

Who Knew? Abraham Lincoln Was a Divorce Lawyer

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. Most historians agree, he was one of our nation’s greatest presidents – not only for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, but also for holding the union together during the civil war. He was able to help end slavery and unite our states by standing by the fundamental principal that everyone knows in their hearts – slavery is wrong.

Not surprisingly, Lincoln stood by firm principals before his presidency. I’ve always loved what he wrote in preparing to deliver a lecture to lawyers in 1850, as they show that Honest Abe was just that, and consistent. I think some of his words of wisdom are particularly relevant today, and especially in the context of family law litigation. In custody disputes, attorneys should consider themselves in the business of truth finding, not truth hiding. And, we should never “stir up litigation.”

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President Abraham Lincoln was descended from S...

President Abraham Lincoln was descended from Samuel Lincoln, and was of English and Welsh ancestry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Suicide’s Soliloquy is an unsigned poem, thought to be written by Abraham Lincoln, first published on August 25, 1838, in The Sangamo Journal, a four-page Whig newspaper in Springfield, Illinois.

The poem:

Here, where the lonely hooting owl
Sends forth his midnight moans,
Fierce wolves shall o’er my carcase growl,
Or buzzards pick my bones.

No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
Or where my ashes lie;
Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
Or by the ravens’ cry.

Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart I’ll rush a dagger through,
Though I in hell should rue it!

Hell! What is hell to one like me
Who pleasures never knew;
By friends consigned to misery,
By hope deserted too?

To ease me of this power to think,
That through my bosom raves,
I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink,
And wallow in its waves.

Though devils yell, and burning chains
May waken long regret;
Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
Will help me to forget.

Yes! I’m prepared, through endless night,
To take that fiery berth!
Think not with tales of hell to fright
Me, who am damn’d on earth!

Sweet steel! come forth from your sheath,
And glist’ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!

I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My last—my only friend!

— with Abraham Lincoln in United States.

Stop Emotional Child Abuse
Stop Emotional Child Abuse DAILY TOOL: How do You Convince the Court to Protect Your Rights at Strict Scrutiny? | Fix Family Courts –http://modo.ly/197zbCO
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Family Justice & Child Protection Worldwide Reform Committee
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Lawdiva's Blog

Did you know that America’s 16th President was a divorce lawyer? I didn’t, but according to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War of Middle Tennessee, he was.

And who are they? An organization founded to “Preserve the Memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and our ancestors who fought to preserve the Union 1861-1865″.

The Sons of Union hosted a program in Nashville Tennessee in 2012 that explored how Lincoln’s divorce practice impacted who he was as a leader and offered a glimpse of the society he lived in.

Researcher Stacy Pratt McDermott found that between 1837 and 1861 Lincoln and his three law partners handled 131 divorce cases in 17 Illinois county circuit courts. The state of Illinois was one of the first in America to grant divorces, make custody orders and provide alimony for women.

Grounds for divorce in Illinois included desertion, adultery, habitual…

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