What seems to be the easiest to do? Get Mad at someone or something or tell someone that you care about them or tell someone that you care about something? We are like growing plants that need the nutrients in the soil, and sunshine and water. What is tragic is that if all we get is anger and criticism, it soon substitutes for love and affection and compliments. What happens to a child is that the parent finds that all the child does is get in trouble to get “negative” attention which is better than no attention at all.
Negative behaviour seems to be a remedy for the “Forgotten Child Syndrome”. If there is a little “Miss Princess” or a Dashing Prince in the house or a “Star Athlete” (male or female)” or “Precious Scholar” (also either male or female) in the house, it can lead to the family focusing all their attention and often all their time and energy on that child. The other child in the household may become the Brat in order to get recognition and time and attention because he or she is a problem and to get a chance to take his or her anger out on the overeager parents who focus their attention mainly on the Good Child.
Another possibility is that praise does not usually lead to behavior change and the topic of the person’s misbehavior does not lead to emotional upheaval and/or becomes a fruitful topic for discussion and/or gossip. Also it directs other people attention away from the person who is being critical onto the person who is being criticized. Surprise, surprise, the source of the criticisim is often revealing more about him or her self than they are about the person they are criticising. In this case, offense is a good defense. In other words don’t look at me look at them. This can lead to the person witnessing these behaviors to becoming very confused as it is not very clear what is going on.
Surprise, surprise, the source of the criticism is often revealing more about him or her self than they are about the person they are criticising. In this case, offense is a good defense. In other words don’t look at me look at them. This can lead to the person witnessing these behaviors to becoming very confused as it is not very clear what is going on.
Another even more confusing example occurs when a child whose parents are divorced seems to treat the “good” parent worse than the “not-so-good” parent. Once a child is secure in the love of a parent he or she might find it easier and safer to “let it all hang out ” with the parent whose love they are assured of than with the parent with whom they don’t feel securely attached. Ah, the not so sweet mysteries of life!