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child development

Shame The Great Manipulator, The Great Trap Of Unworthness

I was raised on shame.   It was my claim to fame.  I was not recognised for what I did well, but for those things I did not do so well.  I was also convinced over time that I could not do them well and when that happened that people would give up on me.  I thought there were only so many things in life that other people would approve of and that I was not capable of doing them well enough to make other people proud of me.  I was recognised for what or where I could not meet up to other people’s standards and I felt like I was a great disappointment to my family so much so my relatives did not want other people to know that I was related to them.

I was so easily made to feel shameful that I was bullied, I was suicidal, and I was made to feel that I could never meet up to other people’s standards (of which there was only one set) and I would ultimately be rejected and thrown out on the street if that was possible.  There was only one person to blame and that was me and I didn’t know any different.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Worse yet I realized that in sexually inappropriate situations the victim (that was me) was always the one who should feel ashamed and had something to hide instead of the reverse.  Getting caught in a sexually compromising situation was something I should cover up, sneak out of, and pretend didn’t happen even though I now know it qualified as sexual abuse.   It was something to be covered up and forgotten if possible.

Brene Brown with her doctorate in Social Work found that we have three shields that we can use as shields against shame.  We can forget or not talk about what we see as a shameful situation.  Men will tell you that they are not comfortable talking about certain things that happened to them as they were growing up or even later in life such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and even had pushed these things so far out of mind that they did not remember them.

Another shield against shame mentioned by Dr. Brown was appeasement.  If someone is dissatisfied with you or something you have done, you try to make it up to them or make them so happy or satisfied in another way that they will forget that you did not or might not make them happy.  Another word for this might be “brown nosing”.

Another possibility would be going towards or against the person or situation that makes you feel shameful and take it out aggressively toward them or it.  This is the third shame shield mentioned by Dr. Brown.  Could the liberal Democrats’ behaviour after the election of President Donald Trump be an example of this?  Are they ashamed that their candidate did not win over such an unlikely candidate?

Sometimes our entire life can be motivated by shame and others can get what they want us to do by shaming us and can feel better about themselves by winning over us in this way.  I have often felt that being a woman, especially a woman professional, made me a target for this sort of thing.  If a woman can do it (what I did) it must be something easy to obtain and therefore not worth much.  The step between someone with a Masters degree and a Ph.D. must be pretty easy if she can do it.  I did not attend the graduation ceremonies when I received my doctorate (because it was not such a big deal)?

Things That Children Absolutely Need (Which Usually Cost Nothing)

Children are like African violets.  (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.)  They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted.  Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of.  Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.

As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support.  When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant.  The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.

Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child.  Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.

Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction?  Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.

Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another,  This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling.  This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.

The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling.  Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive

Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases).  Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.

Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right.  The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought.  They often cost more time than money.  First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.

Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support.  A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian.  The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!

Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored.  “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed.  Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.

Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children.  Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost.  Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well.  The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.

 

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Bullying The New Sport

(Rough Draft) As a victim of bullying, I have felt like the bull in the ring at a bullfight. Poked and prodded until he is exhausted, extremely angry, and unable to do anything about it but die.  There have been attempts to outlaw bullfights for humanitarian reasons, but they never get it done.

This seems to be the same way with bullying as the victim continues to suffer and is expected to fight back in his or her own defense against a more powerful foe or gang of bullies.  This seems to be shameful.  Where does it seem fair to gang up on someone like that who has no defenders and is seen as weak by his or her foes?

rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpgBullying hurts.  It is not funny.  Doing this to a person who is already down.  If a group demands that you join them in bullying.  Remember it is a hate crime.  It can result in vicious mob behavior.  Sometimes persons who should be supervising this group, egg it on and join the “fun” instead.

Sometimes people create a separation between what they call just teasing and bullying.  They say it is all in fun and that the victim is thin skinned and needs to toughen up and to learn to take it without being a wimp.  These people do not see or care that the person’s self-image is being reinforced as negative when teased or name-calling.  Is it just in fun when the victim is being degraded and starts to carry around a nickname that is not flattering and really not funny to the victim?

rp_Send_It_On.pngHas overreaction to bullying and teasing that is not funny led to creating safe places and even offering play therapy where persons can go and take part if the behavior of others upsets them even though it is the right of others to have differing opinions and to share them in public.  Now have we created wimps like these?

Taking responsibility in dangerous or difficult situations can create a type of toughness and self-pride that does the person well in future situations where they must take charge of things or do something difficult.rp_1753458_5bbf0fa664_m.jpg

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Children Are Our Most Precious Resource, Don’t Waste Them

rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg Children are our most precious resource.  Don’t waste them.  This subject is worth repeating.  They need love and affection to thrive.  Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have.  Nor should they lack support.  Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry.  These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer.  For some kids, all the food they get is in school.  How can one study and learn when they are hungry?  Security and safety are another need.  Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime.  Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too. 
rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg

Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people,  the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong.  History is a necessary  part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes.  Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture.  Those who take on the responsibility of providing for  their or other children’s needs.  Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this.  Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind.  Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights.  Custody determinations often forget this.  I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases.  Yuck!!!  Children are not property!

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Once a child forms an attachment to an appropriate parental figure, it should not be broken unless abuse occurs.  Natural parents should not be allowed to slip in and out of a child’s life threatening his or her security and sense of trust.  Often such unattached children will attach themselves to anybody almost instantly as he or she is so needy.

 

Life Doesn’t Come With An Instruction Manual!

rp_375649339_150_150.jpgLife doesn’t come with an instruction manual even though you deserve one.  You have to write your own!

Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance.  Even though others say it is for your own good,  sometimes it isn’t.

rp_363849983_150_150.jpgReality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.

Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways.  Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgHow hard is it for a person to change his or her mind?  This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table.  Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box.  Many inventions were created this way.

Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not.  Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures.  What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

 

 

Precursurers to Domestic Violence

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgThere are some things a woman should look out for when establishing a new relationship with a man.  Don’t believe that his last girlfriend or wife deserved to be labeled as the “bad” one in the relationship.  Be careful if either you or he came from a family where violence was common or accepted if a woman or child did not do the right thing according to the man of the house.  Be aware too that men or women can come from families where violence was common among the women of the family.

There is no real excuse for violence.  When anger is considered “justified” because the person who is angry thinks that someone or something made him or her feel that way and that is enough to justify acting it out.  This can lead to a very explosive situation.  Add alcohol to this in some people and the situation becomes even worse.

Anger Controls People

Anger Controls People

Being the only man in the family, besides my elderly grandfather, my dad was called upon to “handle” his brother-in-law when he was in an alcoholic rage in order to protect my mom’s crippled sister and kids.  My dad had been quite an athlete in his youth but this did not always help when my uncle was threatening them with a butcher knife.  Also, my younger brother was still at home and had to witness this.  I don’t think Police usually made domestic violence calls back then.

Women and children and even some men are not punching bags and it can leave a strong impression on some children even if they themselves don’t get hurt.  “Don’t hit him; hit me” was a brave statement made by a sister when her brother got hit, not her.  How helpless does a child feel when they watch their sibling or parent get hurt on purpose when the other parent has a “mad fit” and takes it out on him or her?rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpg

 

Why Children Are Easy To Use And Abuse

  1. Children believe what they are told because they don’t know anything else.
  2. Children think that almost everything is fun.
  3. Children usually don’t refuse an invitation to do something they think might be fun.
  4. Children are easily frightened.
  5. Children can go with someone they don’t know if they think that he or she is removing them from possible danger.
  6. When children are kept sheltered, this might make them more vulnerable.
  7. Ignorance is not always bliss.
  8. When an adult tells children something that they don’t know they usually believe the adult.
  9. Children, when faced with a new request, might not know it is wrong
  10. Children are naive and are easily shamed if they do something that was wrong but didn’t know it.
  11. Children learn early that if they do something they later found out was wrong, they don’t tell to avoid punishment.
  12. Children can be forced to repeat something they feel is wrong because they think they might be physically punished, their parents might get hurt, or no one would believe them.
  13. Children can also block memories from their minds because they are too painful.
  14. Often children often don’t know any better.
  15. Children are gullible.
Prevent Child Abuse With the Truth

Prevent Child Abuse With the Truth

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Why Do We Avoid Calling Child Sexual Abuse Rape?

(No pictures were used in the context of this discussion of whether or not child abuse is actually rape; because any pictures used of children might be considered sexualized.)

In thinking about Child Sexual Abuse , I realized that we hardly ever talk about  it as childhood rape.  When a man has anal sex with a boy, what is he really doing? It surely is rape. When a man manipulates a girl’s sexual parts into to have an orgasm, is this really rape?  When a woman initiates intercourse with a boy or adolescent male, isn’t she raping him?  Having a girl touch her sexual parts (whether her own or the girl’s) in order to achieve sexual excitement and/or orgasm, do we consider that rape of a child by a woman.

For purposes of discussion here is the new FBI definition of rape:   (https://www.fbi.gov/…/new-rapedefinitio…)  The new FBI Summary definition of Rape is: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”  But how about rape by proxy?  

My definition of rape for the purpose of  this discussion consists of using an innocent victim in order to achieve orgasm or high levels of sexual arousal.  If the child’s sexual feelings are aroused and/or the child actually comes to orgasm, the child is not considered old enough to give consent.  Also, what adds to the heinousness of this behavior is that it is kept secret and hidden to avoid detection and create undeserved guilt in the child or adolescent.  The latter is often why the victim often suffers in silence.  Also, does the child or adolescent know what he or she is actually doing or that he or she is not responsible for this illicit behavior?

Could child pornography also be considered as rape by proxy?  The offender self-stimulates himself or herself to orgasm using what is essentially an unwilling victim.  When we don’t call it rape, we make it seem less harmful.  It involves an adult using a child to come to orgasm without his or her consent.  How are the children treated when these pictures are taken?  If the children are encouraged to see the filming as a game, what happens when the children learn what they were used for? 

Are Private Parts Not Private Anymore?

Viewing Private PartsRemember when you were not supposed to share your private parts with anyone, but a parent, or with someone else usually a medical person when your parents were present.  Later you were told you could choose to share them when you were an adult; but not with someone you didn’t want to share them with.

Now we can view others’ private parts anywhere on the street, in magazines, on the internet, and in advertisements.  It is hard to say, “No, I don’t want to look at that, I don’t want to see you that way, and if you are going to do that either you must leave or I will leave myself.”

It is still alright to feel icky and to refuse to view things that you don’t like.  As a long-time psychologist, I thought I had seen everything and nothing surprised me or offended me.  If viewing something does not have to be done in the line of duty, I still can say it is inappropriate and switch channels or walk away or if it is my space, tell someone to leave and possibly not to return.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Private parts are your personal possessions and they are there for your satisfaction and enjoyment.  This can be spoiled when someone tries to use another person’s private parts for their satisfaction and enjoyment only and will say anything or do anything to make it happen.

Feelings can become detached from the event and the victim may not remember what happened.  This is a form of self-defense and possibly a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  This makes it difficult for the victim to bring up from inside him or herself what happened in order to digest it properly.  This also can interfere with a person’s appropriate sexual development.

The victim has a large price to pay.  What about the offender? Usually as long as he or she can do it, he or she will do it to more and more victims and in worse and worse ways.  It could be called an addiction.  It usually has to do with what an offender needs to do to get sexually excited and to reach orgasm.  Like alcoholics need more and more alcohol, the offender takes more and more risks and does more and more damaging things to his or her victims.  The frequency and intensity of the abuse also can increase.