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Being childish and not childlike.
August 28, 2012

This week is a follow on to the theme of the last two week,- on the thesis of Clive Bromhall that as a society we are becoming more child like. This week I am applying this to us and attempting a little bit of DIY psychotherapy.

My point is simple – that it is not always the case that the child within us should be in control. For as a child we often felt sad, scared, angry, and/or bewildered. And the situations we found ourselves in – at school or at home required us to find ways of coping that we were not yet capable of fulfilling.

And then as an adult, we attempt to “make it better” for the child. The simple truth is that our child cannot get its needs met today, no matter how hard we try.

The adult strives endlessly for the ‘unattainable’ and in the process, feels out of control, because control is in the hands of a child. This leads to immature behaviour with self destructive thoughts and behaviours.

So there is a big difference between childish and childlike behaviour. The latter is desirable at times, the former is not ever.

Try this exercise on yourself.

  1. Identify a habit, behaviour or thought process that you may recognise in yourself or has been suggested to you, as immature, childish or juvenile.
  2. Think about when you first behaved or felt like that.
  3. If you have identified a child, what state of mind is that child in? How old are you?
  4. Now work out why you are still thinking or behaving like that as an adult? What are you trying to achieve?
  5. The next time you feel like that, before you open your mouth or take action, just say to yourself, “Am I ? ” (your adult age) or “Am I ? ” (your child age).
  6. The emotionally mature adult will respond with rational clear thinking. Left unchecked, the child will cause an emotional hijack.

You can now choose to behave as a fully functioning adult, engaging all your mature resources, to produce a well considered, rational outcome. Start to notice changes in yourself. It will become strikingly obvious.

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
Feelbetter Counselling East London

94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

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