Psychological Self-Help

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844
defeating behavior in the child (who passes it on to the next
generation). No doubt, both happen. 
It is a humbling experience to have been a kid when everything was the kid's fault and a
parent at a time when everything is the parent's fault.
Several well-known therapists (Bradshaw, 1985; Forward, 1989;
Miller, 1983) describe harmful child rearing practices, called
"poisonous pedagogy." When parents suppress a child's emotions--
anger, fears, dependency--and needs--fun, sex, love--the true nature
of the child is lost. The child is so preoccupied with getting Mom and
Dad's love by doing what they want him/her to do, that the child
looses sight of his/her own feelings and desires. In short, the children
never get to know their true selves. Thus, such children are
programmed to act out childhood roles ("games" and "scripts"), rather
than become their real self. Such children also latch on to compulsions
that help them deny or control their suppressed emotions and
awareness, thus, the attraction to drugs, music, TV, socializing,
exercising, romantic love, sports, etc. (Another consequence is that
people who lack self-awareness project their "bad" qualities on to
others who are different, such as Blacks, Mexicans, Jews, welfare
recipients, etc. See prejudice in chapter 7.) 
A psychologist (Caplan, 1989) found that mothers are blamed for
over 70 kinds of psychological problems. Until very recently, fathers
were blamed for very few problems (except in the areas of alcoholism,
physical or sexual abuse, and abandonment). This wide-spread
mother-blaming is not fair or valid. Phares and Compas (1992)
reviewed the relationships between "sick" fathers and psychopathology
in their children, and basically found that it doesn't make much
difference which parent is maladjusted. That is, an alcoholic, a
hyperactive, or a brutal father affects his child in the same way a
similar-behaving mother does. (An exception may be depression:
depressed kids tended to have depressed mothers but not depressed
fathers.) 
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the
old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one I was astonished at how much the old
man had learned in seven years.
-Mark Twain
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