Hypnotizing Your Kids Into Submission Is Not A ‘Parenting Style’

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Hypno-parenting is the creepy new “parenting style” that uses mind control to get kids to behave

Would you hypnotize your kids if you knew how? One L.A. mom thinks it’s an effective parenting tool.

According to a story on ABCNews, Lisa Machenberg, a licensed hypnotherapist and mother of three, has taken her work home with her. That’s right, she hypotizes her children. It’s called hypno-parenting, and she swears by it.

“Hypnosis and parenting is a natural solution,” Lisa Machenberg, a hypnotherapist and mother of three, told ABC News. “You naturally influence your child anyway, let’s learn how to do it with intention.”

I love L.A!

I’m torn between thinking hypno-parenting is the greatest idea of all time and thinking it’s incredibly damaging and a gross exploitation of a child’s trust in their parents. Leaving aside any ethical concerns inherent in serving as a therapist for your own children, hypnotizing them into behaving seems pretty damn extreme.

“I hypnotize my children and my husband to do things for my benefit all the time. We have a household to run. Many times, I exert influence so my children are able to get their chores done, so this house runs efficiently,” Machenberg admits to the Parent Herald, and suddenly I’m terrified. It sounds to me like she’s using her professional skills for some sketchy purposes.

Machenberg says she the treatment to help her children focus and relieve stress, and apparently her kids are okay with it. Or so they say…

“Being able to push back on stress and think about it deeply and do self-reflecting was a skill that I’m really grateful that my mom taught me,” explains Rayna, Machenberg’s 17-year-old daughter. “I think it still influences me a lot today and helped me develop into the person I am right now.”

I’d like to believe you, Rayna, but that sounds suspiciously like something your mother hypnotized you into saying.

Apparently, Machenberg’s son isn’t quite so susceptible to his mother’s mind control techniques. “It could get a little crazy when she tries to kind of hypnotize us at every single possible situation that she can. It could get a little overbearing ― she gets in your head,” he told Barcroft TV.

Hypnotizing your children into being good kids not only seems like a massive cheat, it also feels artificial. How can you trust anything they do when it’s a result of straight-up psychological manipulation? Don’t you want your kids’ good behavior to be organic? Something that develops from and is nurtured by your strong relationship and based on mutual love and respect?

I get it, as children get older, parental influence can be hard to come by. I don’t have teenagers yet, but I know when I do I’ll be looking for all the help I can get. I’ll employ every method and style I can find to ensure they are not only prepared for the future and grow up to be decent, respectful, hard-working young adults, but also to keep them in line and out of trouble. Hypnotizing children may help parents achieve those things, but can we really call it parenting? Invading their brain space is a bridge too far.

As appealing as it sounds to be use a psychological shortcut to hack my children into behaving and studying and getting into the Ivy Leagues, I want to earn that the old-fashioned way. I don’t want to raise Stepford children.

Besides, if and when my kids get into good schools and turn out to be good people, I want the bragging rights that come with accomplishing that the with the same techniques as everyone else: through communication, honesty, trust, threats, bribes, and a shitload of yelling.

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