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Equanimity in action

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #219799

    Prash
    Participant

    There is awareness that what I do is in line with my values and I am good as I am. Yet there seems to be a need for a pat on the back. An absence of that is not a permanent de motivator. Yet the goal of action for the sake of action without consideration of the fruits thereon seems to be distant.

    Appreciate any inputs and insight.

    Thank you

    #219827

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Prash:

    My thoughts: we are born to please our parents. The child acts with “consideration of the fruits”, and the fruits, are various forms of that “pat on the back” you mentioned.

    Here are a couple of scenarios:

    1. A child tries and tries to please the parent, the parent is not pleased, will not pleased, the child gives up.  As a teenager and adult he is angry, confrontational.

    2. A child tries and tries to please the parent, the parent is almost always not pleased; here and there, a bit pleased, only it is fleeting. But, oh how good those fleeting successes are! As an adult he tries to please those who will not be pleased, or those who will be pleased too little and too rarely, driven by the hope to feel that feeling (the italicized). He is anxious, hopeful, and depressed.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    #219837

    Prash
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your response

    A few questions related to that

    1. What of the child who pleases the parents all or most of the times

    2. What of the child who is told that he or she is the best

    3. How much of an influence are the others in a child’s life – his or her grandparents, playmates and teachers

    4. How should parents go about things

    looking foward to your reply

    Regards

    #219839

    Prash
    Participant

    *Re-posted

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your response

    A few questions related to that

    1. What of the child who pleases the parents all or most of the times

    2. What of the child who is told that he or she is the best

    3. How much of an influence are the others in a child’s life – his or her grandparents, playmates and teachers

    4. How should parents go about things

    looking foward to your reply

    Regards

    #219855

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Prash:

    You are welcome. My answers to your questions:

    1. “What of the child who pleases the parents all or most of the times”- I don’t think there is a case in reality where a child experienced pleasing a parent all of the time. Regarding most of the time, if a parent expresses being pleased a 100 times in a month and at the end of the month the parent expresses displeasure in an aggressive way one time, that one aggressive  time cancels the benefit of the other hundred other times.

    A parent’s frown alone, an prolonged angry look, these things by themselves distress a child. These don’t get neutralized by smiles: it is not like in math where negative two plus positive two equal zero (neural). In the field of emotions, negative two plus positive two equal negative 1.5. Something like that.

    2. “What of the child who is told he or she is the best”- depends, if the parent also tells the child at other times that he or she is not good enough at other times.

    It also depends what it is that the parent praises. If the parent praises the child for being smart but then shames the child for feeling angry at times, the child  will grow up confident regarding his intellect but shameful because he can’t not feel angry at times. Such shame will bring about dysfunction in relationships, a dysfunction that cannot be undone by confidence in one’s intellect .

    3. “How much of an influence are the others in a child’s life- his or her grandparents, playmates and teachers”?- it often happens, unfortunately that children are abused by strangers or other family members. And it often happens repeatedly because the parent is not protecting the child, not paying attention.

    When there is a praising of the child by a teacher, let’s say, it is nice but not enough to make up for lack at home.

    4. “How should parents go about things”? –

    most important: a zero aggression policy with  the child. Nothing injures a child more than aggression. When a parent feels anger, it will show, that is natural and unavoidable. But what is important is that the parent notices his or her anger, notices that his voice got a bit louder, that his facial muscles contracted, and then relax the face, soften the voice. The child needs to see that the parent is able to contain his anger, to not proceed into aggression.

    The parent needs to pay attention to the child, to supervise, to observe how the child  feels, to ask, to mirror and to comfort the child when the child is fearful or sad.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    #219859

    Prash
    Participant

    Wow, Anita. Thank you so much for your insight. It was like a masterclass. To borrow your term – a tuition fee less class.

    If the parent has shown aggression, harm has been done. The parent realizes that mistake but what’s done cannot be undone. What would you recommend as the next steps that the parent can take?

    I am referring to a verbal and facial expression of anger here not physical aggression.

    #219863

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Prash:

    Will be back in a couple of hours or so to reply.

    anita

    #219897

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Prash:

    You are welcome. I did write before that this is where I learn, tuition free.

    To clarify, if needed/ a repeat: Parents cannot and should not pretend they never feel angry. They can’t avoid feeling it and they can’t prevent anger from showing on their faces, in their body posture and movements as well as in their voices. What parents should do is be aware when they feel anger and then contain the anger so it doesn’t devolve into aggression.

    You asked: if a parent has shown aggression, harm has been done, what is the next step the parent can take, but you added that you are referring “to a verbal and facial expression of anger here not physical aggression”.

    The question is not clear to me. Do you mean what should a parent do if she expressed anger non aggressively as in the ways I listed above, in the beginning of my post, in a way anger naturally and automatically registers in our faces, or do you mean words have been said, abusive words perhaps or disrespectful words?

    * It looks like I will be away from the computer for a while, perhaps for the next 15 hours or so.

    anita

     

     

    #219899

    anita
    Participant

    * didn’t reflect under Topics

    #219935

    Prash
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes I was referring primarily about anger in the voice and facial expressions resulting from impatience on the side of the parents or from a need to make the child do something that he or she should be doing. No abusive words but maybe disrespectful words or labels to some extent eg careless, lazy, unfocussed etc.

    Hope all is well at your end.

    Take care

    #219967

    Prash
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Some more thoughts/queries on parental influence.

    we are born to please our parents…A child tries and tries to please the parent, the parent is not pleased, will not pleased, the child gives up. As a teenager and adult he is angry, confrontational.

    Being angry and confrontational originates from that. If a person is calm, kind and gentle; does that also originate from parental influence? What kind of parental influence does that?

    A child tries and tries to please the parent, the parent is almost always not pleased; here and there, a bit pleased, only it is fleeting. But, oh how good those fleeting successes are! As an adult he tries to please those who will not be pleased, or those who will be pleased too little and too rarely, driven by the hope to feel that feeling (the italicized). He is anxious, hopeful, and depressed.

    Where does joy and confidence arise from? I mean what kind of environment in childhood is needed for that?

    Are every single thing that we experience and feel a consequence of parental influence? Where do “we”- our initiative and freedom start?

     

    #219997

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Prash:

    When a parent gets impatient with the child, anger registers in her voice and facial expression, no abusive or disrespectful words said, and then the parent contains her anger, takes a slow breath in, relaxes and proceeds to direct the child to clean his room, let’s say, with a calm but strong voice, then no harm done. The child noticed the parent was angry and that he, the child, is safe with the parent.

    If the parent in the same circumstance uses “disrespectful words or labels to some extent eg careless, lazy, unfocused etc.”, no other aggression done, then I hope the parent somehow understands, by noticing the affect on the child, that it was wrong and ineffective to label the child, and next time, choose to not use those labels and say those words. Instead of saying for example: you didn’t clean your room, you are lazy! She can tell the child next time he doesn’t clean his room: you didn’t clean your room. As we discussed, this means you will not be watching your (particular) TV show this evening.

    You asked,  “If a person is calm, kind and gentle; does that also originate from parental influence? What kind of parental influence does that?”

    My answer: a calm parental influence does that. Calm, kind and gentle. The best thing a parent can do for a child, other than the most important No Aggression Policy I suggested, is to appear calm in the presence of the child, it feels safe for the child to know his parent is calm, in control, predictable.

    You asked, “Where does joy and confidence arise from? I mean what kind of environment in childhood is needed for that?”

    My answer: a calm environment where the child observes that the parent is calm, in control, predictable and not in need of the child to take care of the parent. When this is the environment provided in childhood, the child is free to explore, and to feel the joy in (properly guided and supervised) explorations.

    You asked, “Are every single thing that we experience and feel a consequence of parental influence? Where do ‘we’- our initiative and freedom start?”

    My answer: because the child is so very dependent on the parent, the parent has a massive amount of power over the child. The child is born to explore, experiment and learn, this is an inborn drive. The parent has the power to allow this drive, properly guiding and supervising the child, or to discourage this drive.

    When the parent effectively discourages this drive to learn, the child and adult child does not learn much and therefore he or she is very much “a consequence of parental influence”.

    When a parent allows this drive, guide and supervise the child effectively, then the child and adult child learns on his own and  is way less of a “consequence of parental influence”.

    anita

     

     

    #220003

    Prash
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you very much. Communicating with you is a pleasure.

    Will be in touch again as and when my thoughts reach a dead end.

    Thank you again.

    Regards

    #220007

    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Prash. Till next time, take good care of yourself.

    anita

    #225311

    Prash
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I read one of your posts and felt the need to renew our communication here. If you are uncomfortable please feel free not to reply here.

    It may interest you to know, so I will share it with you: when I read your sentences, “I’ve been thinking about you… What I’m about to say..” I was filled with dread. I was expecting that what you are about to say would be something hurtful to me, something really bad. What happened is that some neuropathways were activated in me, in them the emotional memory, the fear of what my mother is about to tell me. Oh, how unpleasant those things were, what she did tell me. I felt the dread and wanted to stop reading but kept reading, and what you wrote were good things. What a relief. This activation is nothing new to me. It is interesting how we expect what we already experienced, the same old, same old from long ago.

    It is so true that neuropathways get activated in this manner. Like you wanted to stop reading, I find myself wanting to run away from situations that feel uncomfortable.  With mindfulness, with awareness I am able to brave it through. How do you handle this kind of activation? For example here if instead of “what you wrote were good things” it was something unpleasant how would you have dealt with it?

    As I understand it, neuropathways can probably never go away but with conscious thought they can be weakened or transmuted to more nourishing ones.

     

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