(Note: I am not finished with this post, but I wanted to push it out. Please check back later on in the week for more content.)
Yes, this is a site that wants to focus on showing love and affection to our children. I can practically smell the chocolate chip cookies and am blinded by all the shiny glitter. But sometimes, it’s necessary to go a little Dark…
Yes, it’s the holiday season and all thoughts are on celebrating and happy times. However, sometimes heightened emotions with all those expectations of recreating a Norman Rockwell moment can create a lot of pressure and ultimately backfire. Especially if there’s been a little dipping into the giant punchbowl of “Holiday Cheer.”
So while everybody’s hyper-focused on trimming the tree, wrapping presents and forcing everybody to wear matching outfits for their yearly festive family photo that gets uploaded onto their Facebook page, please allow me to throw a little reality into the mix.
I thought it important to actually run down a list of dysfunctional parenting techniques and their consequences. Perhaps some of them may sound familiar because you grew up in this situation. If so, then you may already have some insight and be making adjustments so you don’t repeat the cycle. The also may strike a chord because you realize your child is already displaying certain behaviors listed below; in that case, you can look deep into yourself or any other authority figure in their lives to identify the source and then make adjustments accordingly.
We’re all human and flawed. This list is not to name, blame, and shame. It is to serve as a resource toward kinder, more loving choices. Please take it in that spirit.
Also, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: I am NOT a licensed therapist. My knowledge comes from years of teaching, extensive personal research from a variety of reliable sources, and my own life. They are in my own words, from my own perspective. I also cannot possibly list where I got my information, as it is common knowledge within the psychiatric community. For more information, I suggest you consult the DSM5.org website. Also realize that there are no physical tests for any psychological/psychiatric disorders- the only criteria is that enough boxes are checked in a list of symptoms. This ambiguity causes much controversy, as one therapist may diagnose a patient with one disorder and another therapist may assess in a very different way. Additionally, some people will want to label typical “normal” behavior as a disorder, while others may normalize, or downplay, toxic behaviors. There is also a lot of “bleeding” from one disorder to another due to the similarity of conditions, either causes or effects. Comorbidity, or multiple disorders, may also occur. Furthermore, the DSM is constantly changing, expanding, or collapsing their conditions (presumably for insurance coding purposes or in response to political lobbying or legislative changes). Finally, it is important to realize that there are some emotional/mental disorders that are physical (chemical) in nature not caused by any learned patterns and may require more extensive treatment.
Additionally, some patients seek out medication, while others only seek behavior modification or both. This post is not meant to be a diagnostic tool. Rather, it is meant to create awareness and mindfulness regarding healthy relationship decisions in the future to foster an affectionate environment, enabling children to thrive.
The following list is a general list of maladaptations that may be the result of dysfunctional parenting, in alphabetical order. Check back from time to time, as I will update as I think of more and expand my descriptions.
*Borderline Personality (BPD) and its variations
*Dependent Personality Disorder
****Dissociative Personality Disorder, fka, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)
Eating Disorders (Anorexia/Bulimia)
*Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
***Not Otherwise Specified (NOD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
**Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
*Reactive Personality Disorder
You may want to revisit this post from time to time as a gentle barometer to see if the behaviors of either you or people around you seem to be aligned with any of the above patterns. If so (or even the need to re-read this list), you may want to seek out some professional support.
So when you find yourself getting caught up with the pressures of life — be it something like the holidays or just daily routine business — keep the 153Promise to yourself and your loved ones to be mindful and aware of the fact that everything you do has a ripple effect of reactions, and act only from a position of L.O.V.E.