Behaviorism’ed [bɪˈheɪvjərɪz(ə)md] : Taught to beat yourself up over mistakes and devalue yourself for not being perfect.
credit to Steeps&Stims
I’ve got many thoughts right now. See, I’ve been writing about this stuff for quite a few years now. I write about parenting, and take a strong stance against Behaviorist tendencies. I think focussing on behavior is a very devaluating approach since people are so, so much more than what they do. And yes, children are people too. Behaviorist parenting is scratching the surface so you like what you see, ignoring the deeper layers, the inner workings of the child. And the child might adjust, showing you what you like to see even if it takes a few dislocated cogwheels; or bleed. Which isn’t pretty, so more harsh measures are sometimes inflicted (‘she’s acting out, so we need bigger punishment’).
I think ignoring all that is going on inside a child, the thousands of possible reasons and causes for behaving a certain way, is bad for all children. Children want to be loved for who they are, feel parents trust them to be a good person at their core. All children need to be given room to get into the arena and try new things, make mistakes, be loved if they fall down, be given a hand to get if they need it. Without being made to feel bad.
Some children get hurt more by being behaviorism’ed than others. When you’re made to feel a bad person for behavior you can’t help, especially. See, I’ve been writing about this stuff for years, but only in the past year I learned I’ve got ADHD. So the Steeps&Stims blog resonated with me. Children with ADHD get a lot of negative feedback, from parents, teachers, children at school. A lot of this feedback is of the ‘you just gestured to all of me!’-kind, which isn’t helpful and hurts. So maintaining a positive self-image is difficult enough as it is. But being behaviorism’ed on top of that creates a situation where getting into the arena means biting the dust often, being told off for that and feeling really, really inadequate. Or you’re stopped entering the arena because, well, inadequate! You just might end up doing all of this to yourself later, when you’re having a go at adulting. Beating yourself up over mistakes, or just stop trying. That’s a really big one to tackle, when you’ve learned to distrust yourself.
What you really need is someone by your side. Helping you find your strengths, helping you up when needed but only then, teach you to shrug it of and laugh when you’ve misplaced equipment or got distracted. Again. Love you. Love YOU, not a polished surface.
Now I’ll be getting back to what I was planning to do, before I got sidetracked. Being sidetracked is nice sometimes, not sure if I’ll feel this way today. But it’s a lot better than lying in the sand all day like yesterday, not knowing how to get up.