In this episode, we explore the early school years, from Pre-school to Elementary, where the child leaves home, steps into the social world, and begins to access their creative gifts. This magical time can be fostered or diminished by parents, teachers, and cultural assumptions. We continue our discussion of Erikson’s stages of development, particularly on Initiative and Industry. We discuss:
- How language and behavior impact your life
- The influence of peers groups v. parents
- What causes a person to feel inferior?
- Exploring the end of childhood
- Why children experience depression/anxiety
- How to cultivate the awakening mind
Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let’s begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:27
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Soul Sessions. I’m Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado. We’re excited to continue our series on relationship with our mother and Erickson’s stages of development, the impact it has on our lives, those root years, formative years. But before we get started today, I wanted to remind you to please subscribe to our channel, if you’re watching us on YouTube, or for our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or any other podcast services, we don’t want you to miss a single episode. This is my favorite stage of development, two stages we’re going to go through today. It has to do with imagination and creativity, where it begins or gets suppressed in that stage.
Robert Maldonado 01:20
Last time, we started with those early years from zero to about three years of age, which a lot of people think are not important. But as we saw, there’s a lot of stuff going on internally, especially in the child’s brain. Now we get into this magical time, 3 to 6, then 6 to 12. It is where we’re really kids, that age where we get to experience childhood, all its terror, magic, beauty, incredible imagination.
Debra Maldonado 02:00
So much magic. That’s where we believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny for some people, depending on what religion you are. This magical place, we were very imaginative, anything is possible. Everyone would ask you when you were that age “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “I want to be an astronaut”, and it’s just okay to speak those dreams.
Robert Maldonado 02:28
Those first three years are the foundation — neurologically, psychologically, emotionally. The next few years are really the walls, the construction of the house, on a solid foundation hopefully. We really start to think, especially in our relationship with our mothers. Who is this person that I depend so much on, who loves me so much and cares for me? Or vice versa, who is this person that doesn’t like me but is my mother, punishes me, is cruel, critical, etc? Or somewhere in between. Most of us didn’t have a perfect mother, of course, because no one’s perfect. There’s always a mixture of that. Then there’s different periods of our development also where the relationship changes.
Debra Maldonado 03:41
Sometimes when the mother is younger, she has other things happening in her life, she can have an illness, she’s dealing with a child who had an illness, a divorce, moving, financial difficulties that could impact the child but has nothing to do with the child. A lot of our clients, when they’re older, say they have a great relationship with their mother now. That’s great but that doesn’t mean the core of that relationship is not still impacting us unconsciously.
Robert Maldonado 04:12
We have language development which really kicks in around this time, early on, three years, four years of age. I’ve seen three year olds that are telling stories already, creative stories, they’re making up stories. It’s an incredible feat that the brain does because we’re born with no language at all. We have language centers, we know there are specific areas of the brain designed for language processing.
Debra Maldonado 04:47
What happens in development is the child hears the language and then is able to speak it because you hear it so much? There’s a file that happens in your brain. A lot of mothers read to children so that they will speak, expand their language or their vocabulary. Is that true?
Robert Maldonado 05:05
Absolutely. There’s been research done on reading, kids that are read to, that grow up in homes where there’s books, they see people reading, see the value of books, do a lot better in the long run. Kids that are deprived of those rich environments do a lot poorer in language skills, cognitive abilities, all what we call intelligence. As far as IQ, we measure IQ, language ability is the biggest predictor of intelligence. If you know someone’s language ability, you can pretty much guess or bet their IQ is going to be high.
Debra Maldonado 05:56
Is the language they use, the breadth of their language versus a simplified language where they repeat the same basic words, versus someone who speaks in more eloquent ways?
Robert Maldonado 06:11
Articulation, vocabulary, diction, syntax, all those things, porosity, meaning the singsong quality of language. Some kids that don’t have it, they have very simple intonations they use.
Debra Maldonado 06:30
That also relates to if you’re able to communicate, speak, ability to make friends and be in a circle, it impacts relationships. Even the teacher at school is going to see you differently than if you were quiet and have little language.
Robert Maldonado 06:51
There’s something new in current society, and that’s technology. There’s no good research as to what the impact of technology is on the brain. There’s a few research studies, but no real comprehension because most people assume technology, computers must be good for kids. They give them iPhones and computers because the parents mean well, they want their kids to be competitive and do well in school, they know, part of it is understanding computers and technology. But what it’s doing to the kids’ brains is not really clear so far. There’s some idea that it’s shortening attention span. We can certainly see that from social media. There’s TikTok disorder which creates ticks in the kids where they start to have almost like a Tourette’s syndrome manifestation.
Debra Maldonado 08:06
The adults we know didn’t have technology growing up, we had other issues. Sitting in front of the TV.
Robert Maldonado 08:15
I must have logged 2 million hours of TV by the time I was 12. In the beginning, our brain overproduces neural connections. At this stage, it starts to prune them saying “I’m going to focus on these abilities that are important to my life.” It gets rid of the other stuff. It’s the use it or lose it principle. We have an overabundance of neural connections, then it says “I don’t need a lot of stuff, let’s preserve some energy and focus on what I’m experiencing and what appears to be in my environment.” If books are in your environment, you’re going to develop those abilities or skills because your brain is going to keep those neural connections and get rid of the other ones. But if you’re spending a lot of time on video games, computers, it’s going to keep those neural connections that are important for that, which are usually visual, hand-eye coordination, imagination for play.
Debra Maldonado 09:45
This is the stage 3 to 6, where, he says, we have initiative.
Robert Maldonado 09:53
Initiative versus guilt, meaning “Do I have a sense of going out into the playground, school, kindergarten, wherever I’m at and feel confident enough to take the initiative with things, initiate play, initiate friendships? Or do I feel guilty like I’m doing things wrong, feel incompetent?” Maybe there’s a little bit of shame leftover from the previous stage. “I’m not sure of who I am. I’m not confident.”
Debra Maldonado 10:41
Would the guilt be you feel bad that you can’t do it or you feel guilt that you tried? I did it and now I’m disappointed, now I feel guilty.
Robert Maldonado 10:54
Let’s look at what Erickson says. Guilt is expressed this way: tendency to get depressed easily, puts themselves down. Of course, this is coming from earliest stages where maybe the mother or the parents are putting the kid down.
Debra Maldonado 11:24
Even praising another child who might be more sports-oriented than the other one or more talented in some way. “Jimmy did that in five minutes, why are you taking so long?” Or comparing the siblings.
Robert Maldonado 11:42
Slumped posture, you can see it in the body language, poor eye contact, the ability to look at somebody in the face, in the eye and say “I am who I am and I’m okay with it.” Low energy.
Debra Maldonado 12:05
It feels like “I don’t belong here”, you feel guilty even for existing, you’re doing everything wrong, really self-critical. That age, three to six, to start that young feeling that way because you’re tested in a lot of ways: with your peers, leaving your parents for the first time going to school on your own. There’s a lot of intense changes. It’s almost like throwing a kid in a pool and seeing if they could swim. And if they’re drowning, it’s almost like they blame themselves. Is that the thing that happens to them?
Robert Maldonado 12:47
I worked a lot with kids who had dyslexia, learning disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, Tourette’s. You can imagine their sense of inadequacy compared to other kids because often all around them there were typically developing kids.
Debra Maldonado 13:14
Kids are cruel to them.
Robert Maldonado 13:17
Not all of them, there were great kids that took them under their wing. But let’s look at the other side, a kid that develops initiative at this stage. They’re a self-starter, accepts challenges, assumes leadership roles, sets goals, goes after them, moves easily, freely with the body, is comfortable in their own skin. Nobody is completely this way or completely the other way. It’s a spectrum. Don’t self-diagnose. When there are real problems, it’s a much larger picture than just isolated characteristics. But the stages of development, think of climbing a ladder, if the first couple of stages went okay, you got what you needed, you do well in this stage. If you had trouble in those early stages—
Debra Maldonado 14:37
The one we talked about last week, trust, autonomy. It’s becomes like a domino effect.
Robert Maldonado 14:45
Now you’re challenged with another level of development, and you haven’t mastered the previous one.
Debra Maldonado 14:53
When you’re born, you have the challenge of trust. Then you have the challenge of autonomy. Now you have challenge of initiative. What’s the difference between autonomy and initiative? Autonomy is that you can do it on your own, initiative is that you actually begin to do things fresh, more on your own but also new. I can just do it myself versus I’m going to do something new.
Robert Maldonado 15:19
I think what Erickson was getting at is that you need this broader sense of autonomy to take initiative, to develop that skill of initiative.
Debra Maldonado 15:31
Because if you’re following the crowd, you wouldn’t take initiative. In this stage too, you have your first music class or drawing, the teacher sees “Jimmy’s good at drawing, Mary’s good at math, Becky’s good at music, she has a beautiful voice.” Your gifts are cultivated at that stage. This is where the kid starts to maybe explore who they are as a person, an independent person versus the baby.
Robert Maldonado 16:14
If you think about what it means to go to school, kindergarten, first grade, you start to see there’s a whole world out there, outside of your family unit. That experience is profound, it gives you a sense that there’s a huge world, so many people.
Debra Maldonado 16:39
I feel like everyone remembers their first day of school. It’s very profound, a pathway in life, that milestone that you’re stepping from being a baby to being an adult.
Robert Maldonado 16:59
You’re not a baby or a toddler anymore. You’re a kid now. You have first experience of friendship, you connect with them, you can talk to them, you can play with them. It’s such a magical age because the imagination kicks in. Through play, you’re experiencing all these other worlds, the imagination comes to life through play. Right now kids have play deficits. They’re not getting enough play.
Debra Maldonado 17:41
Because they’re in front of the tablet?
Robert Maldonado 17:44
In part, but also because culture is so different now.
Debra Maldonado 17:49
It’s not safe. We would go play in the neighborhood, go in different houses. When the streetlights come on, you come home for dinner. Now it’s a more dangerous world for kids to just roam off on their own. It was dangerous then too but we didn’t think about it that way.
Robert Maldonado 18:10
I was watching a documentary, this tribe in the Amazon, the kids from maybe around 3 or 4 would gather in a little group and go off into the jungle by themselves. They wouldn’t come back until dusk. They were allowed to explore and experience the world through their senses. That experience is so important. For you parents out there, if you can give your kids at least a piece of that, take them to nature, take them to parks, to camping, to rivers, where they can climb trees, do all these wild things. It’s incredibly nourishing and beneficial for their brain and body. Because we evolved in those kinds of environments, our mind-body recognizes those environments, it feels good, it develops in great ways.
Are you looking for a satisfying career as a life coach? If you are seeking a deeper path of training and growth, CreativeMind University offers an ICF accredited life coach training program that goes beyond surface positive thinking and into a powerful process of real transformation. You can start your new career as a certified life coach trained in a unique methodology based on Jungian theory, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Get the tools to become your true self, change your life and the lives of others. Visit creativemindlife.com, click on Apply and speak with one of our team members today to discuss your future and possibilities of becoming a certified life coach. That’s creativemindlife.com.
Debra Maldonado 20:18
As the child also notices, maybe a little older, like 6 to 12, where we start to move into what Erickson says is industry versus inferiority. It’s the end of childhood, I think it’s seven when everyone has their first crush in a way, right that age of “I think Jimmy’s cute. I’m gonna write them a Valentine”, but nothing sexual, more like that idea that boys and girls even split more, like the boys and the girls are more strangers to each other. You’re ending that childhood.
Robert Maldonado 21:04
It’s a more elevated form of childhood. You’re still kid but different levels of awareness start to kick in. Teachers have a big impact on us as well. People that teach us early on, first, second, third grade, they are getting in at such an early age. A lot of people think they’re not teaching anything huge but it’s you observing them, learning from them directly. It is important because they’re modeling how you learn.
Debra Maldonado 21:48
They replace the mother, most of them are female, but replace the parent, the adult figure in their life.
Robert Maldonado 21:57
They’re certainly mother figures or father figures, parental figures that we identify with powerfully. The personality of the mother at this stage, around three to six, the child starts to notice what the mother’s personality is like. How does she treat other people? How do other people see her? How does she relate to the father? How does she relate to other kids? All that the kid is taking notes.
Debra Maldonado 22:39
Even feeling how she feels, a mother that feels confident and in control of her will versus a mother who feels victimized and uncertain. The child will pick up that from the mother.
Robert Maldonado 22:53
In developing the child’s own persona, that’s an important piece because they ask this question “Do I identify with my mother or do I reject her style of being?”
Debra Maldonado 23:12
Even if she’s loving to you, if you don’t see her as having power, you may reject parts of her personality, the nurturing or the caretaking may be something you repressed because you see that as weak. When I talk to my clients, a lot of them mention when we talk about the persona shadow, did your mother have a career, did she have a purpose, was there something she loved? A lot of people I worked with said their mother was a dancer in college or was an artist but she put that aside for the family. What did the mother have to sacrifice? As an adult they feel this conflict of “My mother sacrificed herself for me, do I do that to my kids? Do I not have kids?” It’s forming the “Do I make my own choices in life? Do I take initiative in my dreams and my purpose? Doing things I love? Is there a guilt there?”
Robert Maldonado 24:21
Of course, there’s gender differences here, depending on how the child identifies, as male or female. For girls, their identification with the mother’s persona is really important because they’re the same gender, sex that they are going to either emulate, I’m going to be like my mother, or I’m going to move away from that completely to the opposite end of the spectrum.
Debra Maldonado 25:05
You don’t know how many times I’ve heard “I am nothing like my mother.” Then after working together it’s “I’m kind of like my mother” in those ways, you can’t even see it because we absorb both parts of the personality, the parts we like become a part of us and the things we don’t like become our shadow.
Robert Maldonado 25:26
You have the genetics, you have 50% of your mom’s genes. She’s the one teaching your language and culture and all these skills. She’s going to have a big influence on you, whether you like it or not. People that push their mother into their shadow, meaning they reject the mother — she didn’t go anywhere, she simply went into the personal unconscious, as Jung would say. There she is going to have a powerful influence on the way you see yourself in the world because you’re rejecting her. Anything you reject, will persist. Like Jung says “What we resist, persists.” That’s what he means. It has power over you if you’re running away from it. Therefore, it’s a big part of your psychology.
Debra Maldonado 26:27
Do we want to move on to the next phase, 6 to 12? The years where we start to edge toward puberty? This is a strange stage, maybe 7-8-9 but at 10 you’re starting to not feel like a kid anymore. Some women or girls are developing already, some girls are having their periods at 10 or 11. It’s really like the childhood is ending for a lot of women.
Robert Maldonado 27:06
Especially when there’s a lot of chaos in the family. There’s actual research that kids develop faster when there’s that pressure. They’ll have their periods earlier. Males will mature earlier.
Debra Maldonado 27:26
Is it to prepare them to escape the house, get out of the house?
Robert Maldonado 27:30
If you think in terms of survival, it makes sense because you want to escape, you want to be able to be independent of that environment.
Debra Maldonado 27:41
This is the stage where Erikson talks about industry versus inferiority. Is that where Adler came up with the inferiority complex?
Robert Maldonado 27:50
No, Adler was before Erickson, he’s an older theoretician, but certainly the idea of inferiority is important. It’s an important aspect of our human nature, we’re always comparing ourselves to others. When you throw kids into the classroom, that experience of being with a group of kids, something incredible happens. They all start to create a hierarchy, a packing order. You have the alpha, male and female, and then down the line, and everyone knows where you’re at in that hierarchy, instinctively.
Debra Maldonado 28:39
In some cultures, the hierarchy is based on intelligence. In some cultures, it’s based on pretty. In some cultures, it’s that personality, charisma, skill, like the football player, the sports person. Even the bullies sometimes can be superior because they run the room.
Robert Maldonado 29:04
What I’ve seen with bullies is that they’re often kids that have learning problems and try to compensate, because they know they don’t belong that far down on the hierarchy, but because of their learning disabilities, they have to use other mechanisms to get up to where they belong.
Debra Maldonado 29:28
There’s a lot of research that kids are getting anxious, they’re depressed. How does the mother’s role play with this stage? The mother went back to work because the kid’s now in grade school, the latchkey kid, she’s not there for them. What do you think happens in that mother-child relationship at that stage?
Robert Maldonado 29:59
It depends on the mother because kids are okay as long as you cue them in as to what’s going on. But the parents in trying to protect the kid often leave them out of the conversation. That’s a mistake. You want them on board, they want to be on board, they want to know what’s going on. If you don’t explain to them what’s going on, even if it’s bad, they think the worst. Usually, what they can imagine is a lot worse than what’s going on. They imagine the worst instead of simply dealing with it, saying “It sucks. But it is what it is.”
Debra Maldonado 30:42
They don’t know if mom’s gonna be there or not, and if she’s there, is she nurturing. I’ve worked with people whose mothers were alcoholics, they come home from school, the mother’s drunk, or gone, or sleeping passed out. The kid has to take care of themselves. In a way, they could have that initiative because it’s like “I’m going to have to figure this out for myself.” They can get strong from it. It comes to the individual’s biology as well their genetic predisposition. Can I be resilient in this situation or am I going to fall apart? What does Erickson say about the difference between industry and inferiority?
Robert Maldonado 31:34
Let’s look at the list of traits and how these are expressed. In inferiority, the child might be timid, withdrawn, overly obedient. That’s an interesting one, they’re too obedient, they never break the rules. Some perfectionistic tendencies, procrastination obviously. If you’re afraid of making a mistake, often procrastination is safer. They’re an observer, not a producer. They question their own abilities. This has to do with self-efficacy, meaning the sense that you can do something is low.
Debra Maldonado 32:37
Even facing challenges, sometimes when things are tough, they give up really easily because they can’t do it, or they don’t think they can do it, where someone who has industry “Let me figure this out, I’m going to take that challenge.” It’s very different. The mother wasn’t available, or she was depressed, or whatever was happening, that child can make that choice. It’s not like the mother did this to me. The situation is one thing, but the child can make a choice of what would be best for me, I’m going to make the best of this. I’m going to build a fort inside my room, I’m going to use my imagination, I’m going to write, I’m going to do something, or I’m going to sit there and feel sad or wonder what to do.
Robert Maldonado 33:25
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the child is in the state of competency, they wonder how things work, they’re curious, they finish what they start, they like projects.
Debra Maldonado 33:45
Love learning new things, love a challenge. Like someone who loves a puzzle.
Robert Maldonado 33:52
Likes to experiment. It’s a spectrum. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, no big deal. But to know some of these things, to understand where they come from, they come from these early years, 3 to 6 — initiative versus guilt, and 6 to 12 — industry versus inferiority. Remember, the neurological foundations were laid on in those first three years of life. In the second stages, we start to build our personality.
Debra Maldonado 34:35
More of a social personality at this point. We’re now relating to not just our parents and siblings, but our peers. We’re starting to establish ourselves with the age group we’re going to basically spend most of our life with. Our early life, the first 10 years, are with the parents, and late 80 of our years are with our peers. We forget that’s such a big part of it. Would you say the foundation of a lot of your ability to relate to others in a deeper way, I know the core is there, but this is cultivating those social skills at that age.
Robert Maldonado 35:14
It’s like scaffolding, these stages work to create the infrastructure on which we build our life. They’re no big deal. If you understand what you went through at what time in your life, you experienced these things, you can always develop them now in a conscious way. That’s what people forget. They think “If I had those bad experiences early on, I’m doomed. I’m stuck with it.”
Debra Maldonado 35:51
We hear all the time “This is the way I am because my mother was this way, or my father was this way, or this thing happened to me. That’s why I am the way I am.” But we have to break that narrative, we have to break that story. If you’re gonna keep saying that story, it will always be true for you that you’re speaking your limitations. You’re saying “I’m limited, this is why, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” The whole idea of behaviorism is you can’t change it. But in psychodynamic model, there is an ability to evolve and change. You’re not stuck with any of these experiences.
Robert Maldonado 36:32
Therapy model is incredibly good at helping people that had severe difficulties in those stages. But most of us didn’t have these terrible, horrible experiences. We simply had difficulties. A coaching model is more appropriate for most people. We simply need to go back and rework some of these elements.
Debra Maldonado 37:03
Bring them to consciousness. Why am I afraid to take this risk? Why am I afraid to learn this new thing? It’s because at this age, I remember what happened. Specifically though, what is the mother’s influence at this age from 6 to 12? Like I was saying, the mother wasn’t there when you’re home from school but what other ways can the mother be there or cultivate that industry for the child? Is it the mother that takes the kids to soccer or helping them take ballet classes and encouraging them to pursue their gifts? Would that be something? What’s the dynamic with them?
Robert Maldonado 37:39
In general, and again, we can’t make blanket statements about any of these family dynamics — but in general, the mom that models these qualities for the child, they embody that initiative, when things go wrong, when there’s stress, when there’s problems, they’re able to work through them in a logical way, they don’t freak out. They don’t despair, they don’t fall into depression, they don’t get angry, they are able to be flexible in their reaction, their response to life. The kid is picking all this up. Through observation the kid’s brain records all this stuff at the cellular level. It gets hardwired. It’s modeling. Because language plays such a big role in human affairs now, it always has but it’s especially important now that the mom communicates to the kid what is going on. Because in trying to protect the kid, often the children are left out. A lot of parents would tell me “We never argue in front of them. We never show them our problems.” I would ask the kid right in front of them “Do you know what’s going on?” They would say “Yes, Mom is angry, Dad is depressed.” They knew exactly what was going on, you can’t hide stuff. It’s better to simply include them in your everyday life.
Debra Maldonado 39:44
Parents tell me they’re trying to quit drinking or quit overeating. There’ll be little kids making comments “You’re going to have dessert again, mom?” or “You having wine today?” It normalizes it. One quote I love from Jung, he says that the most impact you can have on a child is the unlived life of a parent. If your parents aren’t pursuing their purpose, if they don’t see life as initiative and the world is friendly, anything’s possible, try things, be willing to fail, if the parent doesn’t model that, and most of us didn’t have parents like that, for us to wake up at midlife saying “I want to live my purpose”, we didn’t have a model for that. As adults, we have to basically cultivate it ourselves. How do I become innovative? How do I become unstoppable? Where do I get that from because it wasn’t modeled for me?
Robert Maldonado 40:55
That’s a whole other episode. If you think about the schools, especially now, they’re not doing a very good job of cultivating this natural imagination in the child. On the contrary, they do everything in their power to suppress that imagination, that creativity. It’s not fostered, it’s not cultivated.
Debra Maldonado 41:22
When I was really young, I used to handwrite stories. Then I asked my mom if I can have a typewriter, so she bought me a typewriter. My aunt had all this paperwork from work, computer paper, that I would use the back of because it was blank and just recycled. They encouraged me to write, it was so nice. If you’re a parent, cultivate the child’s curiosity, watch what they’re interested in, help encourage them to go for what they want. Right now in the schools, there’s no room for dreams. You know more about schooling, but they track kids to go into technology. “What do you want to do?” “I’m gonna be an artist.” “No, you have to be a nurse, be a doctor, be an accountant, do something practical.” When we’re kids in that age, we were so imaginative, we had so much possibility. Then it gets conditioned out of us, it gets suppressed in us. But it doesn’t mean it goes away. That’s the key, that seed is still there. As an adult now, if we had the feeling “I want to dance, I want to take a writing class, I want to take a painting class, I want to do something different with my life”, that seed has always been there, you just have to cultivate it. It’s just like a garden, you give it water, time, and patience. You can actually give birth to your dreams as an adult. Nothing is ever taken away. It’s delayed sometimes, but never taken away.
Robert Maldonado 43:15
I read a quote somewhere, it says it’s never too late to have a great childhood. We can always cultivate all those skills we missed out on. The other thing to keep in mind is that, especially in relationship with our moms in the stages, it’s our interpretation of the relationship. It’s not really our mother we’re seeing and experiencing, but it’s our interpretation. How do we know that? Because our siblings have a completely different experience of the same mother at the same time.
Debra Maldonado 43:59
I had a client who went to her mother’s funeral, she said her and one kid and the other two kids, it was like they had two different mothers. They saw her one way, we saw her another way.
Robert Maldonado 44:12
It’s very much our own experience that we’re working and dealing with. A lot of people believe that because they experienced it that way, it must be true and real. Of course, it’s a real experience. But it’s still the subjective interpretation of that experience you’re holding on to.
Debra Maldonado 44:35
A lot of times I hear they assume their mother is a certain way. Then they find out she was that way to them, they were unconsciously conditioned, but also the mother was going through a difficult time. She didn’t tell the child she had breast cancer at that formative age, or her mother was dying and she was depressed. The kid takes it personally, makes it about themselves, we internalize that narrative. It becomes a real thing that the mother is that way to them, ignored them, wasn’t there for them.
Robert Maldonado 45:13
Or worse, I hear a lot of people say “I had a narcissistic mother.” Unless she was really psychiatrically diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, I wouldn’t say that. It’s a very hard diagnosis to make. It’s rare in women actually, compared to men. There are these fad diagnoses that go around, people start labeling their parents in a certain way. It’s not a good way to treat each other as human beings, we always give each other the benefit of a doubt.
Debra Maldonado 46:02
Even if they did have narcissism, it’s more reason to have compassion if they had a mental illness because they can’t help themselves.
Robert Maldonado 46:10
Not to let anybody off the hook, we all expect to be accountable and take responsibility. But it’s a harsh way to relate to each other by the labels.
Debra Maldonado 46:26
I fee if we could have compassion for the people who raised us, it’s a tough world, we were growing up in a tough world, we have a lot going against us as an ego. We survived, having compassion just for the human experience, we all have had tough things happen in our life. Most importantly, compassion for ourselves. The people around us didn’t know any better, again, not to get them off the hook, but it’s not personal, it’s not that you’re unworthy or bad, it didn’t happen because of something you are, or you’re not lovable, you’re not wanted. It’s just circumstances that show up. But having compassion for people in general because we’re all fighting this battle of life. This is a really great stage for a child to cultivate creativity, start realizing their gifts, create social patterns that are going to carry the rest of their life, a sense of purpose, competence in their abilities to take initiative, have a little autonomy, create something new. Love learning, love projects, love to change. Again, whatever happened to you when you were that age, it’s never too late to have a good childhood. Next time we will go older, this is going to be an interesting age, the adolescents age where everything starts to really stir up in our life. A big shift from being child to adult.
Robert Maldonado 48:24
Erickson’s model goes all throughout the whole lifespan.
Debra Maldonado 48:30
We’ll get to whatever age you’re at and go through it. Thank you again for joining us for Soul Sessions. We hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please don’t forget to subscribe. Click on the button in the corner if you’re watching YouTube, or hit Subscribe on podcast service, Spotify, iTunes, or any service you’re listening to. We’ll see you next week for another episode. Take care.
Rob Maldonado 48:58
Thank you for joining us and don’t forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Sessions. See you next time.