Whose Child Is This?
“Whose child is this?” I asked one day
Seeing a little one out at play.
“Mine”, said the parent with a tender smile
“Mine to keep a little while.
To bathe his/her hands and comb his/her hair,
To tell him/her what he/she is to wear,
To prepare him/her that he/she may always be good,
And each day do the things he/she should”.
“Whose child is this?” I asked again,
As the door opened and someone came in.
“Mine”, said the teacher with the same tender smile.
“Mine, to keep just for a little while.
To teach him/her how to be gentle and kind,
To train and direct his/her dear little mind,
To help him/her live by every rule,
And get the best he/she can from school”.
“Whose child is this?” I asked once more,
Just as the little one entered the door.
“Ours”, said the parent and the teacher as they smiled.
And each took the hand of the little child.
“Ours to love and train together.
Ours this blessed task forever.”
Author Unknown

I love the above poem...my only concern is the "rules"...I think we must know what rules must be abided by,and what rules(others belief's,dogma's,ideology)

..my thought is the child must be taught to see the world fresh and new,,as free from the constraints of past beliefs

Unconditional positive regard is where parents, significant others (and the humanist therapist) accepts and loves the person for what he or she is. Positive regard is not withdrawn if the person does something wrong or makes a mistake.
The consequences of unconditional positive regard are that the person feels free to try things out and make mistakes, even though this may lead to getting it worse at times. People who are able to self-actualize are more likely to have received unconditional positive regard from others, especially their parents in childhood.

T.V set was publishing in Quad-City Times...back in late 90's...I believe our society is only getting worse in the regards to ,why I wrote this..sadly

Need for Roots

...Simone Weil knew very well,for a better Society..this is Essential

John Stuart Mill

“It still remains unrecognised, that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society; and that if the parent does not fulfil this obligation, the State ought to see it fulfilled, at the charge, as far as possible, of the parent.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

"Expectations"............a fatal spell,........what waiting to be told,.....a young mother waits for a new life nothing more,.......being told,..........cant tell,......which way to go,............no,.........others thought,......maybe not so clear,.......want,.....is want,....dont make it real,....when the small child passes for her womb,.......does it wonder of time,.........like is it night or day,........not,......it seeks to breath,.....now on it own,.......it will cry to make it's self be know,......in a way it's sense so free,.....not expecting,....just being,......cant be let down,.....not tell at least it is taught what to expect,..........and by whom,......if nature has it's way ,...will be right,......it knows all,...me or you must just see in this night,........things are beyond our control,....by Michael S Emery (I truly believe in birth,the mother hopes for that child to survive,,it proceeds all else)

On beliefs

.......................Personally I think it would be most favorable to raise our children to be as open-minded as possible,,times now demand this for a safer world. For example on the Topic of religion(yet on every aspect of belief's/culture etc.)...Raise the Children,to see the World as many different cultures,within these cultures the other children have been raised learning to speak using a different Language,different way of seeing God...these children where raised by their parents whom taught them..pasted on the religion/belief of their culture..and there are many ways to believe in God

I often think,my generation has lost it's chance at Self-Actualization,at least to,any high degree,yet I believe that we can help the next generations evolve,to be better and better @ "Being Human"

I thought the following writing by Dr. Arthur Janov, would be appropriate


Many parents make the mistake of not picking up their child sufficiently out of fear of "spoiling" him. By ignoring him, this is precisely what they do, and later they will be swamped by the child's insatiable demands for symbolic substitutes — until the day they crack down on him. The consequences of that are both inevitable and dreadful.

by Dr. Arthur Janov

We all are creatures of need. We are born needing, and the vast majority of us die after a lifetime of struggle with many of our needs unfulfilled. These needs are not excessive — to be fed, kept warm and dry, to grow and develop at our own pace, to be held and caressed, and to be stimulated. These Primal needs are the central reality of the infant. The neurotic process begins when these needs go unmet for any length of time. A newborn does not know that he should be picked up when he cries or that he should not be weaned too early, but when his needs go unattended, he hurts.

At first the infant will do everything in his power to fulfill his needs. He will reach up to be held, cry when he is hungry, kick his legs, and thrash about to have his needs recognized. If his needs go unfulfilled for a length of time, if he is not held, changed or fed, he will suffer continuous pain either until he can do something to get his parents to satisfy him or until he shuts off the pain by shutting off his need. If his pain is drastic enough, death may intervene, as shown in studies of some institutional babies.

Since the infant cannot himself overcome the sensation of hunger (that is, he cannot go to the refrigerator) or find substitute affection, he must separate his sensations (hunger; wanting to be held) from consciousness. This separation of oneself from one's needs and feelings is an instinctive maneuver in order to shut off excessive pain. We call it the split. The organism splits in order to protect its continuity. This does not mean that unfulfilled needs disappear, however. On the contrary, they continue throughout life exerting a force, channeling interests, and producing motivation toward the satisfaction of those needs. But because of their pain, the needs have been suppressed in the consciousness, and so the individual must pursue substitute gratifications. He must, in short, pursue the satisfaction of his needs symbolically. Because he was not allowed to express himself, he may be compelled to try to get others to listen and understand later in life.

Not only are unattended needs that persist to the point of intolerability separated from consciousness, but their sensations become relocated to areas where greater control or relief can be provided. Thus, feelings can be relieved by urination (later by sex) or controlled by the suppression of deep breathing. The unfulfilled infant is learning how to disguise and change his needs into symbolic ones. As an adult he may not feel the need to suck his mother's breast owing to abrupt early weaning but will be an incessant smoker. His need to smoke is a symbolic need, and the essence of neurosis is the pursuit of symbolic satisfactions.

Neurosis is symbolic behavior in defense against excessive psychobiologic pain. Neurosis is self-perpetuating because symbolic satisfactions cannot fulfill real needs. In order for real needs to be satisfied, they must be felt and experienced. Unfortunately, pain has caused those needs to be buried. When they are buried, the organism goes into a continuous state of emergency alert. That alert state is tension. It propels the infant, and later the adult, toward the satisfaction of need in any way possible. This emergency alert is necessary to ensure the infant's survival; if he were to give up hope of ever having his needs fulfilled, he might die. The organism continues to live at any cost, and that cost is usually neurosis — shutting down unmet bodily needs and feelings because the pain is too great to withstand.

Whatever is natural is a real need — to grow and develop at one's own pace, for example. This means, as a child, not being weaned too soon; not being forced to walk or talk too early; not being forced to catch a ball before one's neurological apparatus can do so comfortably. Neurotic needs are unnatural ones — they develop from the nonsatisfaction of real needs. We are not born in this world needing to hear praise, but when a child's real efforts are denigrated virtually from birth, when he is made to feel that nothing he can do will be good enough for him to be loved by his parents, he may develop a craving for praise. Similarly, the need to express oneself as a child can be suppressed, even by the lack of anyone listening. Such denial may turn into a need to talk incessantly.

A loved child is one whose natural needs are fulfilled. Love takes his pain away. An unloved child is the one who hurts because he is unfulfilled. A loved child has no need for praise because he has not been denigrated. He is valued for what he is, not for what he can do to satisfy his parents' needs. A loved child does not grow up into an adult with an insatiable craving for sex. He has been held and caressed by his parents and does not need to use sex to satisfy that early need. Real needs flow from inside out, not the reverse. The need to be held and caressed is part of the need to be stimulated. The skin is our largest sense organ and requires at least as much stimulation as other sense organs. Disastrous consequences can occur when there is insufficient stimulation early in life. Organ systems may begin to atrophy without stimulation; conversely, as Krech has shown,1 with proper stimulation they may develop and grow. There must be constant mental and physical stimulation.

Unfulfilled needs supersede any other activity in the human until they are met. When needs are met, the child can feel. He can experience his body and his environment. When needs are not met, the child experiences only tension, which is feeling disconnected from consciousness. Without that necessary connection, the neurotic does not feel. Neurosis is the pathology of feeling.

Neurosis does not begin at the instant a child suppresses his first feeling, but we might say that the neurotic process does. The child shuts down in stages. Each suppression and denial of need turn the child off a bit more. But one day there occurs a critical shift in which the child is primarily turned off, in which he is more unreal than real, and at that critical point we may judge him to be neurotic. From that time on, he will operate on a system of dual selves; the unreal and real selves. The real self is the real needs and feelings of the organism. The unreal self is the cover of those feelings and becomes the facade required by neurotic parents in order to fulfill needs of their own. A parent who needs to feel respected because he has been humiliated constantly by his parents, may demand obsequious and respecting children who do not sass him or say anything negative. A babyish parent may demand that his child grow up too fast, do all the chores, and in reality become adult long before he is ready — so that the parent may continue to be the cared-for baby.

Demands for the child to be unreal are not often explicit. Nevertheless, parental need becomes the child's implicit command. The child is born into his parents' needs and begins struggling to fulfill them almost from the moment he is alive. He may be pushed to smile (to appear happy), to coo, to wave bye-bye, later to sit up and walk, still later to push himself so that his parents can have an advanced child. As the child develops, the requirements upon him become more complex. He will have to get A's, to be helpful and do his chores, to be quiet and undemanding, not to talk too much, to say bright things, to be athletic. What he will not do is be himself. The thousands of operations that go on between parents and children which deny the natural Primal needs of the child mean that the child will hurt. They mean that he cannot be what he is and be loved. Those deep hurts I call Primal Pains (or Pains). Primal Pains are the needs and feelings which are repressed or denied by consciousness. They hurt because they have not been allowed expression or fulfillment. These Pains all add up to: I am not loved and have no hope of love when I am really myself.

Each time a child is not held when he needs to be, each time he is shushed, ridiculed, ignored, or pushed beyond his limits, more weight will be added to his pool of hurts. This pool I call the Primal Pool. Each addition to his pool makes the child more unreal and neurotic.

As the assaults on the real system mount, they begin to crush the real person. One day an event will take place which, though not necessarily traumatic in itself — giving the child to a baby sitter for the hundredth time — will shift the balance between real and unreal and render the child neurotic. That event I call the major Primal Scene. It is a time in the young child's life when all the past humiliations, negations, and deprivations accumulate into an inchoate realization: "There is no hope of being loved for what I am." It is then that the child defends himself against that catastrophic realization by becoming split from his feelings, and slips quietly into neurosis. The realization is not a conscious one. Rather, the child begins acting around his parents, and then elsewhere, in the manner expected by them. He says their words and does their thing. He acts unreal — i.e., not in accord with the reality of his own needs and desires. In a short time the neurotic behavior becomes automatic.

Neurosis involves being split, disconnected from one's feelings. The more assaults on the child by the parents, the deeper the chasm between real and unreal. He begins to speak and move in prescribed ways, not to touch his body in proscribed areas (not to feel himself literally), not to be exuberant or sad, and so on. The split, however, is necessary in a fragile child. It is the reflexive (i.e., automatic) way the organism maintains its sanity. Neurosis, then, is the defense against catastrophic reality in order to protect the development and psychophysical integrity of the organism.

Neurosis involves being what one is not in order to get what doesn't exist. If love existed, the child would be what he is, for that is love — letting someone be what he or she is. Thus, nothing wildly traumatic need happen in order to produce neurosis. It can stem from forcing a child to punctuate every sentence with "please" and "thank you," to prove how refined the parents are. It can also come from not allowing the child to complain when he is unhappy or to cry. Parents may rush in to quell sobs because of their anxiety. They may not permit anger — "nice girls don't throw tantrums; nice boys don't talk back" — to prove how respected the parents are; neurosis may also arise from making a child perform, such as asking him to recite poems at a party or solve abstract problems. Whatever form it takes, the child gets the idea of what is required of him quite soon. Perform, or else. Be what they want, or else — no love, or what passes for love: approval, a smile, a wink. Eventually the act comes to dominate the child's life, which is passed in performing rituals and mouthing incantations in the service of his parents' requirements.

It is the terrible hopelessness of never being loved that causes the split. The child must deny the realization that his needs will never be filled no matter what he does. He cannot live knowing that he is despised or that no one is really interested in him. It is intolerable for him to know that there is no way to make his father less critical or his mother kind. The only way he has of defending himself is by developing substitute needs, which are neurotic.

Let us take the example of a child who is being continually denigrated by his parents. In the schoolroom he may chatter incessantly (and have the teacher come down hard on him); in the schoolyard he may brag nonstop (and alienate the other children). Later in life he may have an uncontrollable craving for and loudly demand something as patently symbolic (to the onlooker) as the "best table in the house" in an expensive restaurant.

Getting the table cannot undo the "need" he has to feel important. Otherwise, why repeat his performance every time he eats out? Split off from an authentic unconscious need (to be recognized as a worthwhile human being), he derives the "meaning" of his existence from being greeted by name by various maitre d'hotel in fancy restaurants.

Children are born, then, with real biological needs which, for one reason or another, their parents do not fulfill. It may be that some mothers and fathers simply do not recognize the needs of their child or that those parents, out of a desire not to make any mistakes, follow the advice of some august authority in child rearing and pick up their child by the clock, feed him by a timetable an airline would envy, wean him according to a flow chart, and toilet train him as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, I do not believe that either ignorance or methodological zeal accounts for the bumper crops of neurosis our species has been producing since history began. The major reason I have found that children become neurotic is that their parents are too busy struggling with unmet infantile needs of their own.

Thus a woman may become pregnant in order to be babied — which is what she has actually needed to be all her life. As long as she is the center of attention, she is relatively happy. Once delivered of her child, she may become acutely depressed. Being pregnant would serve her need and have nothing to do with producing a new human being on this earth. The child may even suffer for being born and depriving his mother of the one time in her life when she could make others care. Since she is not ready for motherhood, her milk may dry up, leaving her newborn with the same raft of early deprivations which she herself may have suffered. In this way the sins of the parents are visited on the children in a seemingly never-ending cycle.

The attempt of the child to please his parents I call the struggle. The struggle begins first with parents and later generalizes to the world. It spreads beyond the family because the person carries his deprived needs with him wherever he goes, and those needs must be acted out. He will seek out parent substitutes with whom he will play out his neurotic drama, or he will make almost anyone (including his children) into parental figures who will fill his needs. If a father was suppressed verbally and was never allowed to say much, his children are going to be listeners. They, in turn, having to listen so much, will have suppressed needs for someone to hear them; it may well be their own children.

The locus of struggle shifts from real need to neurotic need, from body to mind, because mental needs occur when basic needs are denied. But mental needs are not real needs. Indeed, there are no purely psychological needs. Psychological needs are neurotic needs because they do not serve the real requirements of the organism. The man in the restaurant, for example, who must have the best table in order to feel important is acting on a need which developed because he was unloved, because his real efforts in life were either ignored or suppressed. He may have a need to be recognized by name by the maitre d' because early in life he was referred only to by category — "son." This means he was dehumanized by his parents and is trying to get a human response symbolically through others. Being treated as a unique human being by his parents would obviate this so-called need to feel important. What the neurotic does is put new labels (the need to feel important) on old unconscious needs (to be loved and valued). In time he may come to believe that these labels are real feelings and that their pursuit is necessary.

The fascination of seeing our names in lights or on the printed page is but one indication of the deep deprivation in many of us of individual recognition. Those achievements, no matter how real, serve as a symbolic quest for parental love. Pleasing an audience becomes the struggle.

Struggle is what keeps a child from feeling his hopelessness. It lies in overwork, in slaving for high grades, in being the performer. Struggle is the neurotic's hope of being loved. Instead of being himself, he struggles to become another version of himself. Sooner or later the child comes to believe that this version is the real him. The "act" is no longer voluntary and conscious; it is automatic and unconscious. It is neurotic.

1. D. Krech, E. Bennett, M. Diamond, and M. Rosenzweig, "Chemical and Anatomical Plasticity of Brain," Science, Vol. 146 (October 30, 1964), pp. 610-19.

This article was originally published online at The Primal Therapy website as part two of the series, What Is Primal Therapy? (http://www.primaltherapy.com/pages/04whatis2.htm). It is also part of Dr. Arthur Janov's book, Why You Get Sick, How You Get Well, which can be obtained directly from Dr. Janov's Primal Center.

Copyright ©1991 by Arthur Janov

. read some more .

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When Mothers Work
Loving Our Children Without Sacrificing Our Selves


Read the Review

The Millenial Dilemma:
Our Children or Our Lives?

We, along with other Western societies, are unique in the exclusiveness of the mother's role as infant caretaker and in our emphasis on her importance in the development of a child's attachments.


Soaring with joy at the birth of her first child, many a mother also finds herself with an unsettling premonition: this cherished infant, his skin so new the very air would seem too rough to touch him, his gaze more trusting than any she has known before, might someday glare at her and say, Look what you did to me. You: Mother. She may also know that however much he blames her, she will blame herself more.

Mercifully, this scene is set in some distant hazy future. But in a startlingly short time every mother realizes that should something go wrong, should the baby's father want to flee the relentless crying of a colicky child, should the snowsuit be insufficiently insulated or the stairwell gate be left ajar, all will hold her responsible.

Yet there she is, as new to mothering as her child is to the world, as eager, as innocent, filled with the same awe her infant's eyes express, more delicate in her handling than a museum curator with a Ming dynasty vase. The child molds to her body, his breath on her neck. Nothing has ever felt so warm. The snuggling infant, the smiling baby, the toddler rushing into her arms, the child who can say, "I love you, Mama." That your children love you back is nearly as miraculous as their birth. That you witness so intimately the unfolding of a human being--a stage play moving from a single emotional tone to the complexity of a Shakespearean drama by the time they reach five. By ten they are the history of civilization, by twenty a cosmos.

Such social opprobrium has grown in these times of transition from woman as housewife to woman as equal partner in marriage, and with it has grown maternal guilt. Instead of reducing her maternal responsibility, a woman's new economic obligations have increased it. We now presume that the common cause of all children's woes is their mother's work, which prevents full-time nurturing. Meanwhile, we ignore the more complicated root cause: our failure to modernize motherhood, to restructure family and change society along with the changing character of women's lives.

We aren’t wrong to be wary of self-censorship.

Even in its most mild forms, self-censorship means not saying what you want to out of fear. Fear of being scolded by a parent or teacher, fear of being rude, fear of being seen as stuck-up or stupid or any number of things. As a society, we recognize the value of self-censorship, even if we don’t think of it that way. We call it “manners,” “code-switching,” or “following the style guide,” and generally accept that different situations call for different forms of speech. Maintaining a civil society requires a little self-censorship to grease the wheels of communication. Even the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer requires that writers follow certain standards when crafting genocidal screeds (not to avoid legal hassle, but to give violent bigotry an inviting facade).

Fear of saying the wrong thing may be part of the social fabric, but the fear associated with self-censorship is a different beast. This is the fear of actual censorship and the fate of those who were censored. It is — as Corey Robin writes in New Republicpolitical fear, intended “not to quell one individual, but to make an example of her, to send a message to everyone else that they should be careful, or they might be next.” In this way, self-censorship is inextricably linked to censorship.

excerpt from ; Evolved Nest ↑ " Every animal has a nest for its young that matches up with the maturational schedule of the offspring (Gottlieb, 1997). Humans too! The Evolved Nest (or Evolved Developmental Niche; EDN) refers to the nest for young children that humans inherit from their ancestors. It's one of our adaptations, meaning that it helped our ancestors survive. Most characteristics of the evolved nest emerged with social mammals more than 30 million years ago. Humans are distinctive in that babies are born highly immature (only 25% of adult-sized brain at full-term birth) and should be in the womb another 18 months to even resemble newborns of other species! As a result, the brain/body of a child is highly influenced by early life experience. Multiple epigenetic effects occur in the first months and years based on the timing and type of early experience. Humanity's evolved nest was first identified by Melvin Konner (2005) as the "hunter-gatherer childhood model" and includes breastfeeding 2-5 years, nearly constant touch, responsiveness to baby's needs, multiple responsive adult caregivers, free play with multiple-aged playmates, positive social support for mom and baby. Calling these components the Evolved Developmental Niche, Narvaez and colleagues add to the list soothing perinatal experience (before, during, after birth) and a positive, welcoming social climate. All these are characteristic of the type of environment in which the human genus lived for 99% of its existence. "

I thought this ironic“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”


  I just watched the above discussion on parenting verse innate genetic traits in forming a childs psychological out come..I would say it to be a must watch video.

 I do favor the innate, yet I think the child needs the support of the Parent, especial to guard them against Cultural dogmas, Ideaologies. which have been clearly wrong through out history, a example being "Slavery", the condemning of a child, because their sexual identity is different then a given Culture accepts. Why is it in my research on non-conforming gender identity, I have not seen any Parents defending their child, yet so many condemning,dis-owning, Thus Parents to be great parents, their primary role is to teach life skills, how to best be Human, not to judge them if they are different then Society's set Standards, Because hopefully a Parents wants their child to be a individual and not a conformist.

    I always liked this quote of Picasso's-  " My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."