tantrum" then I'll get what I want. The Little Professor may
help us be good or it may be a trouble-maker.
Your "child" is probably in control when you:
act on feelings and/or act impulsively and/or make an
use words such as won't, can't, hate, love, give me, now,
damn, and so on.
get upset with other people or when something gets in your
look for and do whatever seems to be the most fun (rather than
what you should do in terms of common sense or morals).
notice that people are playful and comfortable with you and
enjoy being around you (at least at a party).
These three sub-parts of the "child" are responsible for much of
our personality and interaction with others. The key questions to ask
are: Is my "child" happy or unhappy? Is it free and having fun (part of
the time)? Is it suppressed and angry? Has it felt forced to adapt by
being sickly (and complaining) or weak or disruptive or rebellious or
deceptive? Later in this chapter we will study the "games people play;"
these "games" are devised primarily by the unhappy adaptive "child"
to get some pay off to replace the love and attention it can't get by
straight-forward interactions .
The superego or the "parent"
Early in life we start to realize that all of our pleasure, love, and
sexual needs can not be satisfied. Some desires may be impossible to
fulfill; other urges are taboo; still other urges anger people who are
important to our survival. Thus, a part of us starts to say, "You can't
do that" or "You shouldn't think about those kinds of things; they are
bad." This internal voice becomes the superego or "parent" part of our
personality. Freud gave detailed explanations of how the superego
developed. For instance, in chapter 5 we have already learned how the
scary Oedipus and Electra Complexes are resolved by identifying with
the same sexed parent. For example, for girls: "If I ally myself with
Mommy--become like her--then she will like me and not hate me."
Thus, the parent's values, morals, and attitudes are absorbed as part
of this identification process. Furthermore, parents, baby sitters,
relatives, and older siblings have morally guided the young child by
repeatedly encouraging good behavior and reprimanding bad behavior,
so that the superego of the child takes over that controlling role.
Freud recognized two aspects of the superego: the conscience and
the ego-ideal. The conscience is learned through criticism and
punishment by parents and others. The ego-ideal, a perfectionistic
ideal (often a glorified image of the same sexed parent) held up for
the ego to strive for, is acquired by being rewarded for being good.
Likewise, Berne divided Freud's superego functions into two "parents:"