Worrying as a Part of Human Being

Published: 2021-09-11 06:30:10
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Developmental Lines
Worrying is a healthy developmental stage. Without the ability to worry how could one be observant? The two go hand in hand. To observe something unpleasant or uncertain results in concern. There is also a great deal of importance in voicing discomfort. When looking at Anna Freud’s psychological perspective you can’t help but see it’s brilliance, and its applicability. Many of Anna’s concepts are abstract, but can be applied to very specified cases. Unlike her father, her writing doesn’t seem to contain very many loopholes. Her theories are broad enough that you can see their truth in wide varieties of situations. Let’s see how they apply to a privileged seventeen year old boy and two crying three year olds. Knowing that actions have consequences doesn’t seem to be on the mind of seventeen-year-old Larry. Larry has been in several car accidents speeding while sober. The description of this scenario describes Larry as “well-protected” and “well-cared for” by his parents. Larry has lost his license and has lately been getting rides from his friend, Moe who is “chronically suicidal” but a good driver. His parents are concerned and get in contact with Miss Freud to ask if he is safe with Moe or if they should just start driving Larry everywhere. Miss Freud says “Please whatever you do, don’t drive him everywhere: he is safer with Moe” Independence is vital to living a healthy lifestyle. In parenting, there is a fine balance between being a helicopter parent or a no rescue parent. In looking at Larry you can make the assumption that his parents baby him to an extent. The danger of this Anna says, “Fear, guilt, castration, anxiety, of course, may motivate any child to be careful (i.e. fearful) for the safety of his body. But when not under the influence of these, normal children will be remarkably uncompromising and obstructive in health matters. According to their mothers’ frequent complaints, they behave as if they claimed it as their right to endanger their health while they left it to their mothers to protect and restore it, an attitude which lasts often until the end of adolescence and may represent the last residue of the original symbiosis between child and mother.”(pg.77) Looking at this quote you can’t help but associate it to Larry. When someone is sheltering you and keeping you “well-protected” especially, as a teenager, you are going to want to test that method. For the curiosity of the unknown. However, it’s the job of the parents to make sure there are constructive consequences for such actions, especially if it’s reoccurring. By having to ask Moe for a ride it forces Larry to be independent and advocate for what he needs rather then just getting rides whenever he wants, which is vital to his development as an adult. This quote also corresponds to Moe. Clearly, Moe must feel some “anxiety” if he is “chronologically suicidal”. However, Moe’s safe driving might contribute to his upbringing which would explain his level of caution. Anna explained “the well-mothered child leaves these concerns largely to the mother, while he allows himself attitudes of indifference and unconcern, or, as a weapon in a battle with her, downright recklessness. It is only the badly mothered or the motherless who adopt the mother’s role in health matters and play mother child.” (pg.76) The unconcerned child unaware of cause and effect is easily Larry while the emotionally unstable yet responsible one is Moe. Having a good ratio of comfort and self-sufficiently within a parental relationship is pivotal to developmental milestones. Anna Freud is clearly helping all parties involved. Not to mention, it’s healthy that Moe has a friend around him given his state, it’s a good thing he isn’t spending all his time alone. Miss Begala is a new nursery school teacher working with kids around the age of three. She sees that many of her students line up at the door at 11:45 when the program ends at 12. However, two students burst into tears when their mothers appear. She immediately assumes these kids are victims of child abuse. Why would they be upset to see their mothers? Wouldn’t the typical response to be happy? Miss Begala get in contact with Anna Freud, what does Anna say about the child abuse referral? Anna Freud reiterates many times that development is not necessarily solely based on age. For example, when she says, “no general answers which fit all children, only particular ones to fit a given child; to warn against basing solutions on chronological age, since children differ as much in the rate of their emotional and social growth as they differ in their physical milestones and their mental ages; or even to assess the developmental level of the child.”(pg. 57) Not only does this quote speak to development but also how there are no general answers that fit every child. I would imagine that Anna would say to absolutely not report these mothers on the behalf of child abuse. Leaving your mother and going to day care for the first time can be hard, especially if there are other things happening in the home. When I was about three, my parents were in the process of getting a divorce. I apparently exhibited many of the traits that Anna describes as “the ideal nursery child” (pg. 91). However, on more then one occasion I was known to cry when my mom came and picked me up. My experienced nursery school teacher knew vaguely of the divorce and explained to my mother that I felt vulnerable around her, and comfortable enough to cry, especially after not seeing her all day. I would say I honestly have some of the best parents in the world, but as a young child divorce can have a lot to do with the childhood concept of egocentricity. Thinking somehow “it was my fault” and feeling like I had to make up for it in other ways, like being well behaved in the classroom. Anna even reiterates at the end of her chapter on developmental lines “No young child should be expected to maintain his best level of performance or behavior for any length of time. But such temporary declines in the level of functioning, even if they occur easily and frequently, do not affect a child’s eligibility for nursery school entrance.”(pg.92) Verbally, three year old me couldn’t completely grasp what words would suffice in explaining how I felt, but crying sure could. It’s important to understand the child’s perspective and their capabilities. When looking at these two cases through the lens of Anna Freud, it’s impossible not to recognize what a gifted and intelligent thinker she was. She knew how to come up with methods that would be helpful in a multitude of varying situations.

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