THE UNIVERSE OF PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION
The "Universe" is an assessment tool whereby parents, teachers, therapists, and other managers of children can correctly diagnose their own behavior and that of children. I find that I can group adult-child interactions into two categories, protection and control. Protection is basically the nurturing and caring factor, and control is taking charge of child compliance. The goal for parents and other adults is balanced caretaking in which adults find the middle ground between too little or too much nurturing of children and too little or too much control. By determining the imbalances in parenting and adult caretaking, adults can correct the way they deal with children and thereby train the children to be more responsible, self-directing, and content.
The Child Terrorist is a child who has been raised by an overprotective, undercontrolling parenting style. This child becomes chaotic, i.e., confused and disorganized and enmeshed, i.e., entangled in relationships with adult caretakers to the point of not having an independent identity. The Child Terrorist is given excuses for behavior and opposes and defies legitimate, reasonable adult requests.
The Victim is a child who is raised by an overprotective, overcontrolling parenting style. This child becomes rigid, i.e., afraid to experiment, and enmeshed. The Victim is compliant, and doubts himself, tries to overly please others, tends to develop psychosomatic symptoms, e.g., stomaches and headaches, and is insecure in peer relationships.
The Self Destroyer is a child who is raised by an underprotective, overcontrolling parenting style. This child will become disengaged, i.e., withdrawing from caretakers who fail to protect him or her from hurtful experiences, including the neglectful or abusive behavior of the caretaker himself or herself. This child does not feel loved and will oppose adult authority in a passive-aggressive way. He or she will also tend to forget things, procrastinate, and have accidents, e.g., with cars.
The Sociopath is a child who is raised by an underprotective, undercontrolling parenting style. This child is chaotic and disengaged. He or she feels unloved and is allowed to defy authority with impunity. The Sociopath respects no authority, has little concern for anyone but him/herself, and could commit crimes, including murder. For further explanation of this assessment, see UNIVERSE OF PARENT & CHILD article.
For appointments and scheduled consultations, please contact Dr. J. Brien O'Callaghan at 203-740-2595 or write to him at J. Brien O'Callaghan, Ph.D., 246 Federal Road, C-24, Brookfield, CT 06804