“Parenting, Children and ‘Bad Seeds’” Comments, Page 1

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8 Comments (2 Discussion Threads) on “Parenting, Children and ‘Bad Seeds’”

  1. “Good parenting” requires looking at one’s part in the problem. Parents may not cause the problem in the child. Yet, a parent’s anxiousness about the problem can have an impact on the duration and intensity of the child’s problem. It can be hard for any parent to see their part, especially when all the focus is on the child. This is where “good coaching” can help give a new way to think and relate to your child.

    Great topic!

  2. Hi Marci, I hadn’t thought of the parent’s anxiety having an impact. Thanks for adding this thought. Do you have particular kinds of coaching that you would recommend? If so could you leave it as another comment – I think there is not nearly enough of this and other people may be looking for this information. Many thanks for your comment.

    1. Depending on a therapist’s style, I think a counselor can be a coach. I view my role as a counselor as sharing my thinking, while “coaching” the client to discover their own part in the problem.

      I wasn’t referring to a particular resource. Just my thinking about the role of a counselor/coach.

  3. I’m not clear on what you’re saying here Evan, you stress that kids are individual, different, and therefore react differently to the same treatment, yet do not agree that it is possible for children to ‘turn out bad’ without it somehow being the parents’ doing?

    I conclude from looking around me that it is perfectly possible for empathic, skilled parents to have damaged kids.

    1. Hi Sarah, what I think I was saying was: I’m impressed by our ability to learn. I do think children have temperaments. I do think they are influenced by their environment. I don’t think the environment is only their parents.

      I trust this clarifies, if not please get back to me. Thanks for your comment.

  4. The most current scientific studies appear to be concluding that personality disorders are due to a genetic predisposition, in combination with an extremely hyper-sensitive temperament that causes the individual to perceive that her environment is invalidating. A hyper-sensitive, highly reactive temperament (temperament is a genetically determined condition) would account for one child out of several siblings turning out to be a “bad seed” even though the parents are not abusive or cruel, particularly if the genetic component(s) are recessive and have only a one in 4 or less chance of occurring per conception. The child born with “no emotional skin” would perceive normal, average, non-abusive parenting as rejecting, abandoning, and negligent and be very distressed about it, demanding more attention, reassurance and soothing than a more averagely sensitive child.

    I belong to an internet support group for those with personality-disordered relatives and spouses, and in the section for the parents of personality disordered children, the anguish and guilt these parents express is heart-rending. Some of these parents report that their child had difficulties with difficult, harmful or destructive behaviors from birth, and some parents indicate that everything seemed OK with their child until puberty hit. But in no case do any of these parents indicate that personality disorder magically poofed into existence at age 18; in every case there were precursors to that diagnosis.

    Equally heart-breaking are the posts of the adult children of personality-disordered parents who had to endure horrifically abusive childhoods, including emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse, and yet these adult children haven’t turned vicious and cruel themselves. They are mostly just bewildered, crushed with misplaced guilt and feelings of responsibility and trying to escape further emotional abuse.

    So, I personally give more credence to the theory that some kind of recessive genetic component (or possibly a genetic mutation) is mostly the cause of personality disorder and the so-called “bad seed.”

  5. Hi Annie, thanks for your input. Could you leave the contact details for the support group if you think this is appropriate? Some readers may want to get in touch.

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