[an error occurred while processing this directive]




ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


(In This Book: Neurotic = Skewed = Mild-to-Moderate Dysfunction)

In an earlier chapter I baldly said that 97% of us grew up in dysfunctional families. That 97% statistic has circulated widely in recent years, although its accuracy has not been free of controversy. Given our skewed society, the truth is that all of us learned neurotic ways in our growing-up years: skewed thinking, skewed communication patterns, skewed emotional responses and skewed ways of treating our bodies. We learned dysfunction and became more or less dysfunctional depending upon how dysfunctional our role models and parenting figures were.


Millions of mothers are as sexist about childrearing as their husbands are sexist about job roles.

For most of us, our parenting figures were our most important teachers of dysfunction. They traumatized us with their abusive actions. They also gave us trauma knots with their demands, both subtle and overt, that we learn to stuff our feelings such as anger, tears, love and sexuality. Their demands upon us to remain silent, to not talk back, to take care of their feelings, to act strong when we felt weak, etc., increased our dysfunction. Their oft-repeated failures to meet our needs for love and affection skewed us immensely, as did their continued lack of respect for our individuality. The felt lack of caring from them traumatized us, whether it was caused by their addictions, by the dreadful parenting skills they acquired from our grandparents or by their adherence to "correct" child-rearing manuals of the times.


There are adults who honestly believe that their parents traumatized them not one bit. They claim most happy childhoods. In most of these cases denial is present. Their current claim of childhood perfection is contradicted by their addictive behavior such as smoking or drinking, their excess weight, or their unhappy relationships. Until such adults really look at what happened back then, it has been my experience that they continue a downward life course in terms of happiness. Potentially some are perhaps the healthiest among us, for their childhoods were generally good. Others claiming childhood perfection, of course, are in complete denial about a truly horrendous childhood, and they need their denial to protect themselves.


As I write this in the mid-1990s, there are many parents who have left most of the neurotic parenting behind. They accept the feelings of their small children, even hatred for girls and tears for boys. Instead of finding that their children are spoiled if their needs for affection are met, it seems the children are satisfied with enough. They don't become insatiable as do many adults, who are neurotically trying to make up for childhood lack of love. (Only by resolving that old trauma knot of kid-neediness will today's insatiable adults likely change their current never-ending neediness.)


If societal parenting is getting better, then why the increased violence among children? The reason is that parents have thrown out an important baby with the old neurotic parenting bathwater. The discarded baby is authoritarian messages, which will be discussed later in this chapter. Authoritarian messages are crucial if we are to change our society's violent trends.* The media unknowingly support these violent trends with constant faultfinding of authority figures.

Next Excerpt  

Emotionally healthy adults are comfortable saying the words I love you to men, women, and children in a feeling way.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
   TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
   ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
   EFFECTIVE PARENTING
   OUR CURRENT FAMILIES BRING OUT OUR SKEWNESS
   MOTHERS CAN BE SEXIST TOO
   MANY MEN STILL ABDICATE THEIR PARENTING ROLES
   WORKING MOMS - ARE THEIR KIDS OK?
   LATCHKEY CHILDREN DON'T DO AS WELL
   THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
   THE ELDERLY


This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents  
Sexual Education Psychology
Self Help Free Read - Book Online

ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC? © 1995-99