Everyone likes to believe that they think for themselves, but that’s actually something quite difficult to do. Nobody is a blank slate. From the moment we are born, we have ideas pushed onto us about what it means to be a good child/sibling/friend/employee/spouse…you name it.
There are a couple of powerful systems that act on our ideas about these things right away: our families and society. As children, we pretty much believe that whatever our parents say, or however our parents do things, is the right way. Then, we go out into the world, and we want to fit in. We want to make friends, be liked, and succeed. We naturally look around us to see what others are doing – particularly those who appear to be popular and successful. We follow their lead because what else have we got to go off of?
There is one major thing we’re overlooking when we do things the way our parents did them, or the way society tells us to do them: they’re all just following someone else’s lead, too. And so is that person. Nobody is really in charge here. There is no all-knowing power when it comes to the right way to handle, well, life. The only person who can come close, actually, is you. When it comes to figuring out the right way to do things for your life, only you can really know. But you only begin to listen to yourself when you unlearn some of the things you’ve picked up from society, your family, and other systems throughout your life. We spoke with a licensed psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist Dr. Catherine Jackson about the unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors many people need to unlearn. You can sign up here to pre-order Dr. Jackson’s book The Couch Experience.
Old-school parenting techniques
“Old school parenting emphasized spankings. In fact, there was a common saying, ‘Spare the rod and you spoil the child’ to support the use of spankings. No studies have actually found spankings to have any long term positive effects. In fact, the opposite or negative effects have been found instead,” explains Dr. Jackson.