I wrote an essay a while ago concerning the #1 parenting mistake people make. It seemed relevant this morning after hearing the news that a congresswoman was shot. The media is of the opinion that this incidence might be related to the negativity and blame that has become the style de jour of politics in our country.
The government is in a position of responsibility to the American people thus essentially is in the role of parent to us all. Given their position, the rules of good parenting should apply to our governmental leaders. Currently we are functioning under a dysfunctional family model the same as if our parents were fighting. “We The People” are traumatized no differently than the children of a dysfunctional fighting couple. Humans learn through role modeling. That is why it is important how our leaders behave in their personal lives and why it is so important that they communicate effectively.
The current role model behavior of Congress is bullying. It is ironic that the federal government has an anti bullying campaign going on when they basically just bully each other around.
You cannot separate the philosophy from the philosopher if you expect validity in the eyes of others. Here is the parenting advice I hope they read and follow it:
A serious mistake parents make is looking at a child’s behavior as separate from their own. Developmentally, a child must reflect all observations, feelings and insights on to their parents. The parent’s reaction to this becomes what the child learns and remembers. A child is born with their own nature; curious, rambunctious, sedate… but anything after the general temperament is completely learned from the environment they grow up in. A parent can either reinforce / strengthen their temperament or dampen / moderate it.
For the first three years of a child’s life, they record everything, and then they play it all back as soon as language comes in. If, during this time, there was ‘high expressed emotions’ (yelling and screaming or physical hitting) then they will mirror those same behaviors and tones. If you as a parent are angry and reactive, your children will grow to be a force to be reckoned with.
You will see yourself in a mirror, the mirror being your child. The problem is that most people have no clue about who they are; so when their kid mirrors them, or their spouse, they don’t get it. Instead they react to it in kind, and thus cement these behaviors permanently. The irony is that your kid will be better at being you than you are, as your child has studied you longer. They will be a formidable contender. So the greatest thing you can do for your kids is be aware of who you are and who your mate is. If you don’t want to reproduce either personality, don’t have the kid in the first place. Your child will not be your ally against your mate if that was what you were hoping. Your child will not be your friend; they will always be your kid, no matter how much you need a friend. After the age of about 25, when they are an adult, hopefully they will be your friend. But that is not what they need as a child. They need a parent and role model. You reaffirm their reality. Learn corrective role modeling! It’s not smart to go head to head. You will win for a while but not for long. Kids always win eventually, as they have endless time on their side.
‘As the parent so is the child. As is our government so are the people.’
If our government only solves problems with blame, violence, skapegoating and non cooperation, how can we expect anything different from the rest of the country?
Dr. Brilliant Cliché