Nature verses nurture! Judge the behaviour – not the child!
The world exists in a balance of duality, thus; good has its equal opposite of bad. Love has its equal opposite of hate, happy vs sad, abuser vs enabler! Teacher vs student! The lessons we learn are often, a twist or a paradox of opposites. For every left there will always be an opposite right. For every good deed, an equally opposite evil deed has been actioned. As the doctor and the patient engage in a balance of opposites, so too does this concept stretch into the romantic and domestic sphere including mother and child bonding!
Emotions, are our own individual compass, what directs our emotions – unconscious learnt experiences.
What we live through, during our life, from the cradle to the grave, are opportunities, challenges, changes, chances, obstacles and choices. Every choice, requires an action to carry forward the new change. Our ego, is what damages our journey.
Or does it!
Our ego is a mask, or persona that we present to the world. The ego isn’t a visible concept, it doesn’t have its own organ to associate with, such as the liver, or heart! It doesn’t have a physical identity, yet we the human species have it! Moreover, we understand this!
The ego, is embedded in personality. The personality is built upon experiences throughout the journey that we all navigate and call life. These experiences begin from birth, they can be positive and enriching or negative and disappointing. Both are equal in principle and stored in the subconscious mind – as good or bad. The good is repeated the bad is repressed!
Yet what defines a positive and negative experience, – personal perception and personal perspective! Both concepts are developed through personal experiences. Therefore – Human Behaviour is both nature (innate) and nurture (learnt)!
Behaviour, and the underlining cause, is evidenced in the effects or presentation of the behaviour.
Example: a three year old child, banging a cup on a table causing a noise, which irritates the care giver as they gave a drink to the child five minutes ago, child is asked by the caregiver to stop. The child does the behaviour again, and is told to stop. The child likes the noise and continues to create more noise, the caregiver snaps. They either buckle to the tantrum, and give the child what it asked for, or scold the child, for making a noise!
Child: doesn’t want to stop that noise! So child continues. With no understanding of what was said. Situation escalates and Guardian reacts.
1) gets aggressive physically and snatches the item away,
2) shouts at the child, to stop
3) feels guilt for being unreasonable or abusive even, and gives the child it’s request.
Or alternatively –
4) gives child attention and changes the scene, object or environment.
Child learns – noise brings attention my way. ‘I get heard and seen!’
Guardian teaches obedience – Do as I say!
Which one is the teacher, which one is the learner!
The outcome is a battle of wills where the strongest or more powerful opponent wins.
The adult is RESPONSIBLE for the child.
The child is DEPENDANT on the adult.
The adult is the teacher/guardian!
The child is also the teacher – to the guardian
Is the child, teaching the adult patience? Is the child being ignored by the carer? Is the child being devious? Is the adult ignoring the child? Is the adult abusing their position of authority? Does removing the cup resolve the situation? Is changing the environment for both people the best option!
Apply the same concept to a disabled child, with frontal lobe damage and unable to communicate verbally. The child bangs a cup on the table.
Parent removes cup and gives a toy instead.
Child throws toy and goes and runs to grab the cup
Parent puts cup out of reach.
Child finds a pot and bangs it on the table.
Parent scolds the child, removing the pot.
Child reacts, screams at parent… stamping and jumping up and down. A mini squabble ensues between the child’s aggressive outburst and the parents ignorance.
Child now gets really angry and tries to grab another cup. Again, parent puts cup out of reach. The on verbal child is now going crazy shouting and screaming, the pot went flying across the room and smashed to TV. Child is severely chastised and scolded! However, the TV is now broken and the child is happy, relieved of distress and goes off to play with another toy!
From the child’s perspective, the problem was solved, the music from the TV has gone!
Parent is reeling with anger that the TV is now broken, the noise from the TV upset the child and they were trying to communicate to their caregiver they didn’t like the music! Now the TV is broken, the noise has stopped and cannot upset them anymore, the child is instantly happier and content.
The parent is still raging at the broken TV! Unaware that the their child was upset and they unknowingly punished the child for feeling that way!
Every child is unique and no two experiences are identical. Behaviour is the Child’s language, it gives a voice to the voiceless!
Personal perceptions are shaped by the person’s true experiences and beliefs. These beliefs are passed down from the older generation, to preserve the family history and to enable the child in the family, to cope in the wider world, through cultures, traditions and rituals. All experiences in childhood determine the child’s temperament, personality, strengths and wounds/traumas to the ego, which all impact on their character. Traumas that are experienced, such as a violent incident, can leave a deep impression in the developing child, causing the child much confusion and ultimately leaving a lasting anxiety complex!
Experience is the teacher!
If the trauma that the child experienced is overlooked, the confusion is felt inside, as the child tries to process the event. If the experience is enriching or gave the intended response for the child, the behaviour will be repeated! If the experience is disappointing, or fearful, the experience will be repressed! Denied of existence, this denied experience becomes an emotional trigger! This trigger will determine the behaviour should the situation occur again – add in the repressed emotions, and voila, the effect is seen.
These behaviours can habitually embed into a belief which forms part of the psyche.
The child now uses their behaviour, to get their voice heard and their needs met!
Without communication, the psychological constructs are more visible, as they can now be viewed – through behaviour.
Emotions are observed through behaviour!
Behaviour is the bodies voice, where the psyche becomes animated to the internal story of emotion, this then demonstrates how behaviour is psychologically driven. Behaviour is integral in our interactions, and moreover, behaviour is the tool, that allows us to look underneath the pain, traumas or attitude, to see what’s happening under the surface of the iceberg, within the psyche!
Behaviour – It’s the nature/nurture debate! Is a child born aggressive from a brain impairment, or are they taught to behave that way, through social conditioning! Or, is it the caregivers poor or ignorant parenting!