TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE UNHAPPY

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


How many times have you seen a two-year-old in the supermarket demanding something and then throwing a tantrum when it was not instantaneously provided? Supermarket onlookers often blame today's parents "for doing something wrong to that poor little two-year-old. That poor child is so unhappy, so obviously the parent is wrong. Are you abusing that child?"


As regards conscience, God has done an uneven and careless piece of work..... Sigmund Freud

The truth of the tantrum is that it is phony. It is manipulative behavior. We are teaching the two-year-olds that the proper response when you don't get what you want is to get unhappy. This causes both us and them untold unhappiness. Life is full of not getting what we want. We have a choice to be happy not getting what we want or to be unhappy about it. (See Chapter 8 for more on this.) Today, most of us are unhappy when things don't go our way. Do you want that unhappiness? This unhappy thinking process is one important root cause of the added violence in our society today. (When coupled with a lack of conscience about another's rights, this thinking will allow me to steal your new car, just because I want it.)


The two-year-old is a well-known pinnacle of anti-authoritarian behavior. We have changed our responses to them. Instead of swatting them, we are now trying to reason with them or to elicit their compassion. Many two-year-olds are incapable of either reason or compassion. Nor is swatting them the best answer for most. There are several possible solutions, depending upon the parents and children involved. One possible approach is that two-year-olds can be taught that they choose their responses in the supermarket. "You can choose to be unhappy and throw a tantrum or you can choose to be happy thinking about where we are going next." (Of course, they will test out such a change in parenting strategy with several tantrums.) Giving in to the manipulative tantrum, on the other hand, sets them up for future unhappiness and tendencies toward violence.

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   VIOLENCE: HOW DO I CONTRIBUTE TO THE ADDED VIOLENCE?
   TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE UNHAPPY
   OUR VALUES & SPIRITUAL BELIEFS HELP CAUSE THE VIOLENCE
   THE NUMBING PROCESS
   HOW DO WE CONTRIBUTE TO THE HOMELESS PROBLEM?
   VERBAL BASHING CAN LEAD TO VIOLENCE
   OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE THE VIOLENCE
   HOW INGRAINED IS THE VIOLENCE?


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