From Depression by Dorothy Rowes

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From Depression by Dorothy Rowes

Regarding an upbringing of people pleasing.

The first is a childhood where the parents love the child simply because the child exists. Their love is unconditional and totally accepting. They do not criticize or chastise or discipline the child but instead they listen to the child, they encourage and praise, not indiscriminately but in ways which help the child to become aware that every action has consequences, and that consequences must be taken into account in making decisions. Provided that no chance disaster strikes the family bringing hardship and loss, the child in such a family is very likely to be happy, a happiness emanating from a strong sense of self-confidence and worth.

The second kind of childhood is one where the child very quickly identifies what will please the parents and becomes proficient in producing that kind of behaviour, and the parents consistently reward the child for being good.

Knowing what pleases his parents usually enables the child to identify what will please his teachers, and so the queue of adults lining up to be horrible to him is relatively short. However, happiness based on being good is not secure.

In childhood being able to please parents and teachers by being good is very simple compared to the impossible task in adulthood of please family, friends, colleagues, society and God being good. Then every day becomes a struggle to be good enough. Sooner or later disaster strikes, and it can be a hard lesson to learn that no amount of goodness prevents disaster. Only good people get depressed, and people stay depressed because they cannot accept that they need to make fewer demands upon themselves in order to satisfy themselves that they are good."

I think she over-idealises the first childhood (EVERY family, parents will discipline their children at some time or another- evidence for me, is my neighbours who have very normal kids) Anyway her distinction of childhoods is very interesting for me. One where there is people-pleasing (I recognise doing this with teachers), and one where there is more based (as my interpretation) on normal self-expression. (I've interpreted this in my own way, but other people may interpret this otherwise).


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