Tiger moms and permissive society, and hope ‘they will just grow out of it’ whatever ‘it’ might be.
early childhood and never mind … Do we listen … All the time … Or just get on with it. Either way seems to be a trap.
The trap is well defined by Joan Raphael Leff when she considers the reaction – unthinking response – to regulation as a child care process. Once considered ‘old-fashioned’ regulation is making a frightening come-back, at least on TV. BUT, permissiveness doesn’t seem to be ok either. Raphael-Leff shows that facilitation, an attempt by those who have listened to take away the child’s pain, may be just the opposite face of regulation and although different can be equally as unhelpful as ignoring the felt need of the child (which is what regulation does). She identifies another way she calls reciprocation. In other words the child’s pain is heard, but not just absorbed by the adult as if it will then go away, as this takes away the capacity to grow through experience. As The quote above says, the experience is returned with understanding attached, so that it remains belonging to the child but can be transcended in growth. It is the child who now masters his own pain, and is able to tell himself ‘Never mind – Get on with your life’.
To think about how this happens is something I am working to express. It is unconscious. It is an emotional process, it is generative, not a therapy to correct something which previously took a now unwanted path (maybe through mistaken regulatory or facilitative intervention). Not in this post.