The wounded child – misunderstandings about

Although I set this up and edit this blog as very tech-centered and tech-related, from time to time I feel moved to write something about life, our perceptions or our attitudes.

This blog post is one example.

For some time now there has been a lot of talk, especially in psychological, spiritual and self-help circles about the wounded child. The wounded child refers to the part in us, that did not get its need met in childhood, when we were dependent upon others to fulfill them, in a timely and judicious fashion, and so remains stuck at some level of development, often recreating the dysfunctional dynamics later in life.

It’s unanimously agreed that we repeat these patterns so we can grow concious of our past hurt and then move on, thereby healing ourselves and the dynamics, that otherwise get passed down from generation to generation in a family.

Often, the dynamics are seen as logical conclusions, patterns of behaviour that the child had to adopt in order to survive in a dysfunctional family.

Here is where I disagree. Yes, most of us did not – at some point in their childhoods – get their needs met. Yes, many of us had experiences with shameful /shaming mothers or fathers, critiquing parents or simple neglect, in one form or another.

But: the behaviour the child then established is its own choice, it had many options and it chose that one. Now you might say: Yes, but had the parents recognized this, they could have educated the child. Since we assumed that the beaviour was the response to some kind of neglect / critique or shaming, it is safe to assume that the responsible parent did not do so from the consious, self-reflected and loving part in itself and therefore will have a hard time assessing the behaviour as a response.

My point is: today we underestimate how willful, resourceful and active / present children are. My point is not to condone neglect, but for ourselves to see that we were the architects of our behaviour from day one on. Then it becomes easier to own up, and move on, and not get sucked into a circle of victimhood, and bleeding-heart storyline.



2 thoughts on “The wounded child – misunderstandings about”

  1. I´m not sure if I agree with your point.

    While I also tend towards the free will fraction (against determinism!) and see the importance of responsibility for growth and personal development I still want to make the point that a child which is totaly dependent on the parents has actually very limited behavioral options to choose from (i.e: crying, anger, defiance. supression, and so on). It also lacks the knowledge to even see other strategies.

    If it is neglected, abused or shamed by the parents it can not simply “abandon” them. Since it is totaly dependent it has to stay and will still strive for their love and search the fault for the injuries within itself. To cope with this pain it has to adapt certain strategies which prevail until adulthood and can be detrimental for its psychological health and wellbeing.

    To shift responibility from the parents to the children is imho more than questionable, since the parents have way more “options” to choose from than children and should have the accumulated knowledge and wisdom to make the right decisions for their children.


    P.s.: Nice Blog! I will come by here regularly from now on! 🙂

  2. Well, the point is not to condone abuse or neglect.

    Of course a childs options are limited, but not to a single path of action.
    And even then it’s perception of that path of action is entirely within it’s own power.
    My point is that we should keep our power where it is: within us, and not with our circumstances.

    To abandon a situation is a choice, that in my opinion, is very undifferntiated or “childish”.
    Children, most of the time, do exactly that when abused or neglected, they “sign off”, fly, elevate themselves, stop to feel, make believe that they don’t care.

    An adult would confront the situation, connect still deeper within, to his own power or her own feeling, and work, fight, struggle and ultimately resolve the matter.

    The focus on walking out, abandoning or quitting in todays psychological mainstream is more a sign of an increasingly consensus-dependent and passive population than of maturing humanity.

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