TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.
If you are a parent reading this and feeling guilty about your
past or present parenting, please consider the possibility of
being guilt-free (see chapter 9). You did the best you knew how
at the time, but you may now want to rid yourself of guilt by
developing a new spiritual system (Earth School compatible) as
described in Chapter 11. It is your growth opportunity now to
find a way to move beyond the guilt.
Most trauma inflicted upon children is not the obvious abusive
kind in which the child gets beaten or molested, or hears "you
are dumb" or "you are stupid." Instead, most trauma is less
obvious. Its craftiness does not mean that it is not important!
In fact, it causes most of our unhappiness, our hangups, our
symptoms and our problems. There are four particularly damaging
parental strategies that regularly and consistently create
less-obvious trauma in our children. Two of these (those
associated with sex and anger) tend to be inflicted more often
on girls. The other two (those associated with sadness and
sensitivity) tend to be inflicted more often on boys. The trauma
message received (though not necessarily consciously) by the
children is: "my anger, sexuality, sadness or sensitivity is not
OK." The most common response of children so traumatized is to
deny these aspects of themselves. This denial usually propels
them into a search for others' approval (discussed later). If
these four areas of trauma were even partially eliminated, our
society would be incredibly and wonderfully different!
|Families in therapy together? Yes, often the most effective treatment for some or all family members is family therapy.
Today, many parents are doing OK with the above issues of sex,
anger, sadness and sensitivity but fail to see the necessity for
some authority. Children receiving this type of parenting
(parenting without authority) are often either fearful or
narcissistic (i.e., insensitive to others). Later as adults,
they often: (1)blame others, (2)believe in conspiracy theories,
(3)fear, hate or look down their noses at all signs of
authority, or (4)"do their own thing" without awareness of how
they affect others. As adults they also will be more insecure
and more violent than those who have taken in authoritarian
Let me give an example of why I think this new-style parenting
cannot succeed with a significant percentage of children (30%,
60%?). Consider Bobby who just yanked his sister's hair. "We
don't do that, Bobby. That is not nice, Bobby. Be kind, Bobby.
Consider how she feels, Bobby." What Bobby learns from these
parenting messages is that Mommy and Daddy will stop him if they
are present. But he does not necessarily learn (actually take
in) that his behavior is not OK and that morally it is wrong to
pull hair. Further, what he may learn from that parenting style
is that it is OK to do that, provided he doesn't get caught.
(This skewed learning happens often today, because many parents
are obviously disobeying laws of all sorts [55mph, inflating
deductions or "forgetting" income on income tax returns,
"enhancements" on resumes and credit applications, cheating the
phone company or the grocery store, etc.]) The parents
rationalize their actions without considering what their
children are learning. Many children, like Bobby, are not
capable of empathy for others, so the suggestion that they
consider the feelings of others is lost upon them. Thus, a
parenting style that lacks authoritarian messages is harmful to
|Those who frequently use the words sexism, racism or homophobia are often stuck in the blame game, waiting for others to change so that they can finally be happy.
More Excerpts This Chapter
ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
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
This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents
Sexual Education Psychology
Self Help Free Read - Book Online
TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM? © 1995-99