Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-05-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 59

2 AT HOME NOVEMBER 8-14, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION Children's feelings should not rule the home One of my favorite rock songs of all time ("Hello, I'm John, and I'm a rock 'n' roll addict") is "For What It's Worth," written by Stephen Stills and originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield. It begins, "There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear…." That lyric occurred to me as I contemplated the ever- increasing number of stories I am hearing of young chil- dren with clothing and food "issues." Specifically, these kids complain that their clothing itches or feels tight or their food tastes or feels "funny." Reports of hysteria and throwing up are com- mon. These complaints and over-the-top behaviors often result in a diagnosis of Sensory Integration Disorder, concerning which there is zero hard evidence verifying the pseudo-scientific claims being made by diagnosing professionals. When they say things like "your child's brain has difficulty receiving and processing sensory informa- tion," and "your child experi- ences things like taste and texture differently than does a normal child," they are throwing darts blindfolded. These claims are unprovable, to say the least. I don't particularly rel- ish the taste of some foods but will eat them without complaint if someone else prepares and serves them to me. Does this mean there's a problem with the wiring in a certain part of my brain? No, it means I am considerate. When it comes to consuming certain foods, the setting, not my tongue, dictates whether I eat them or not. When making those decisions, I take other people's feelings into consideration. (And by the way, a couple of my sweaters have itchy collars. I pull them on and force my mis-wired brain to get over it.) Young children are by nature self-centered, mean- ing they rarely, if ever, take other people's feelings into consideration. To a young child, nearly everything is all about "The One and Only Almighty Moi." Furthermore, children are soap-opera fac- tories. It is an act of love for one's neighbors for parents to teach children that their feelings do not rule other people's behavior (beginning with theirs). But many, if not most, of today's parents are not impressing that under- standing on their children. Instead, they regard their children's feelings as valid, meaningful expressions of inner psychological states that they must strive to understand and affirm. In their view, failing to do so may bring on a psychological apocalypse. Ironically, because they try to understand and affirm what is essentially irratio- nal – their children's self- centered and hyperactive emotional expressions – said well-intentioned parents wind up bringing on one psychological apocalypse after another. (For the record, a child's emotional expres- sions are not all irrational… only most.) Because of mental-health propaganda, today's par- ents take this stuff seriously. And so, instead of saying, at the first complaint of itchy clothes or "funny-tasting" food, "You're going to wear/ eat it anyway, end of discus- sion," today's parents begin jumping around like manic marionettes trying to make life perfect for their little dar- lings. This is, after all, what good parenting is all about in the new millennium. The following is axiom- atic: When parents assign credence to every emotion a child puts out there, he will quickly develop what I call "Affective Basket-Case Disorder." He learns, after all, that if he acts like he is having an ABCD episode, his parents will change their behavior and revise their expectations. Under the circumstances, the child suffers because people who are driven by emotion are not happy people. His parents also suffer because living with a person with ABCD – no matter the person's age – is highly stressful. Invariably, the child's parents begin acting like emotional basket- cases, about which they feel significant guilt, thus further overloading their already- overloaded emotional bas- kets. Yep, there's something happening here all right, but I happen to think it's per- fectly clear. Fifty or so years ago, the mental health com- munity persuaded parents that children had a right to express their (mostly irra- tional) feelings freely. It's been an increasingly chaotic downhill ride ever since. Family psychologist John Rosemond:, . Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Valley Breeze - The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-05-2018