Am I that broken child?

Dr Gaisie Dr. Annie Gaisie

Wed, 6 May 2020 Source: Dr. Annie Gaisie

Is It curiosity that is causing you to read such a topic or an inner part of you is still searching for answers to questions you haven’t even asked or shared with anyone.

Or you are thinking, “Maybe this one will have something to do with why l do things the way l do”.

Sometimes we are not even aware we are asking or probing within.

As Africans, most of us were brought up to be resilient. Everything should be the way they are. We are not allowed to question anyone or any situation. Even as adults some of us are still struggling to find a balance.

Our subconscious mind is busy searching for answers but we suppress it by feeding our brain with whatever will keep us going ( this may even include Alcohol to cope).

How well are we ensuring that children around us are not being subjected to the same culture?

In their early years children collect information about themselves and the world from their parents and the people they come in contact with.

We all know that children are born without any information about the world. They tend to accept whatever they get told.

If l brought you a pen and told you that its a ruler, you will never believe me simply because you already have some information about pens but what if you have never seen a pen before?

Most probably you will believe me even if l was wrong.

This is exactly what happens with children who get criticised often by the people they come in contact with.

Lets look at some of the effects of criticism on children:-

1. It affects their attachment style: When children get criticised in a way that makes them feel worthless they might question the love of their parents. In other words some children might end up feeling unloved and as a result they might start to look for love elsewhere, mostly wrong places

2. Shame complex: When a child is criticized often they start to feel ashamed of themselves. As time passes the criticism this child gets subjected to, makes them believe that something is wrong with them. This kind of shame might force that child to become socially withdrawn.

3. When a child gets told that they are lazy, or stupid everyday, they tend to believe in these words and to consider them facts. Later on when that child is older they might unconsciously try to prove the beliefs they learned earlier was right.

4. Development of emotional wounds & over sensitivity If you label a child as fat (obolo), skinny, ugly, too short or any other humiliating word- they might develop an emotional wound that lasts for their life time. Whenever someone says any word that unconsciously reminds that child of their wound.

How to raise healthy children

It's better to avoid criticism all together because children are usually too fragile to handle them. However if criticism is a must, then you must make sure that the child understands the purpose behind it instead of letting them think that you are telling them that they are different in a negative way.

People form their personalities in their early years then live with these personalities throughout their life. That's why you need to be cautious while raising your children.

It costs nothing to raise a healthy child with a healthy critique.

A broken Adult is difficult to mend.

By: Dr. Annie Gaisie, Psychologist - Addictive Behaviour.

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Columnist: Dr. Annie Gaisie