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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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.
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.
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!
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.
Reality 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.
How 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?
There 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.
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?
How do you define yourself? By what others tell you? By what you think you should be? By what you really are?
Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given? Thus we may never learn who we really are! Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are! Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.
Who are you? In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are. We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.
Even identical twins are not entirely identical. In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.
Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with. Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.
Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so. My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.
I ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology. I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!
Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog. I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense. That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy. I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.
So who are YOU really?
Introducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts). Children do exist in the womb. At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of independent existence. In my lifetime, science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb. The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist. No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.
Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”. I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults. How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.
Here is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state. Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area. This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights. This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.
A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children. One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve. It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do. Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty. Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.
Children at different points in life need different things. Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child. How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.
One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad. Nature requires diversity and that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.
Children also learn at different rates and in different ways. Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this. Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward” and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.
Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences. For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves. Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences. Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.
Do you show affection or is it awkward and uncomfortable if you do or someone else does it to you. It has a lot to do with your upbringing. My family background is German and there were few displays of affection while I was growing up and it remains awkward for me to do this even today.
I have said, “Love you,” to some of my family members whom I truly love and they were shocked and didn’t know what to say. I once tried to give my ailing father a hug and he froze. Anger was easier to express in my family than affection.
Physical contact is an important part of showing affection. We all need to be touched whether it is a back rub or physical contact like curling up on the couch to watch a movie with someone.
There is a story about “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies” that illustrates that people need love and affection and can die without out it. Due to an old witch, people got the idea that the amount of warm fuzzies that a person can give is limited and they were encouraged to use cold pricklies provided by the witch.
In my family anger and criticisms were the cold pricklies that kept me alive. Disappointment was sometimes used too. The warm fuzzies were few and far between and they didn’t feel very warm. They mostly were given at a distance as when I would show my Dad my new dress.
Massages of hands and feet can heal certain parts of the body according to Reflexology, Hands are convenient to use as it doesn’t require removing any clothing. Holding each others hands in a group as we pray or meditate or visualize something and the arms can be stretched out to put some space between people as they do this.
Could this affect someone’s sex life. Very definitely so. With all the bands on physical touching in most places, people don’t get much chance to bond this way or offer support and reassurance this way. Sexual relations can be life getting to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank
Pets often get more love and affection than the human family members and they know how to get it. If love and affection are not encouraged when one is a child how can he or she display these things as an adult?
When I went to Sedona, I had the most beautiful massagre and I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable although I was undressed under a sheet. I was not embarrassed when she touched me intimately in parts that I never had been caressed before.
Do you know that boys especially when they start to mature are considered too old for sissy things like displaying or receiving love and affection. It is amazing that because of things like this, that we don’t wither on the vine.
Frightened young girls get pregnant so they have somebody to love and young boys like to feel studly and see how many babies they can generate. Neither is a good reason to have a child. Nurturing a child is also a full-time process which involves being selfless much of the time. It also requires good judgment which is not fully developed until young adulthood.
Our welfare state facilitates irresponsible parenthood and children often raised without discipline or love. How many children are thrown out on the street and have to learn how to survive there on their own.Then we chastise them (not the parents or the state) for doing this and becoming angry at society and not fitting in there.
No wonder these children don’t trust anybody. Yes, the ghetto (where many of these children end up) doesn’t always teach middle-class values. In order to survive, these children do what they can to live on the streets or with parents and foster parents that don’t care or use them for their own purposes. They often only want the check. Worse yet these parents may have been raised the same way that they are raising their children.
Parents having the right to raise or not raise their biological children as they see fit does not take into account the rights of the children. They also go so far as to often use abortion as the method of choice when it comes to practicing birth control.
I think it is a case of blame the victim (which is the child) for the sometimes irrefutable abuse they sustained whether caused by the system, natural parents, and/or foster parents.
Last, but not least, parents who do a good job of raising their children by giving their kids love, discipline, and values do not get rewarded by the system. There are no rewards for doing a good job, just for doing a bad job.
Child custody also gets handled often by people who do not know what they are doing, what the child needs, and what constitutes a good parent. If they do know these things they are hampered by laws and regulations that often don’t make any sense.
For example in one northern county of my state, only the worst judges, those who are not doing their job in other venues, get “demoted” to doing child custody cases and they receive no training on how to do this in a way that would benefit the child whose custody is being determined.
I have proposed that that county develop special training for these judges determining custody cases. It would include forty hours of hands-on training by professionals in the field of custody determination. Doing it this way ensures that judges would actually participate and not just skim through some information on the subject. It should also be a mixed group so no judge would be swayed in a particular direction.
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Becoming a grandmother has me dealing with usually two or three toddlers at a time (possibly four). I would have more babies to watch but they aren’t out of diapers yet (P.S. I am used to the kind of diapers with pins in them).
Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke. Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions and/or wishes of those being put down. The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.
Nagging can result from such interactions. If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument. Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.
Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope. Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.
Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is. Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer. Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are. Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.
For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types. Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences. For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”). However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.
It often boils down to a whole issue of control. If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like. In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.
Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship. The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”. This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.