Bonding, Innate Trust & Mutual Respect
Joseph Chilton Pearce

We look at the child through this pattern and rarely see the child for who they really are. Sensing this child responds to the implicit false image as rejection, not being seen for whom they are but what others project they should be. The adult routinely using shame to modify the child’s behavior. Whereas, shame is the great crippling force of all life. Aren’t’ you ashamed of yourself? The parent is expressing rejection which is psychological atonement

I remember the mother of my first family said to me that the one behavior in our child that would drive me up a wall quicker than anything else would be if I saw one of my own weaknesses displayed by the child.  We find that we really are rigging up in our mind’s eye an ideal child behavior pattern.  We do this almost unconsciously.  And we limit our child through that behavioral pattern to see if they’re matching it.  And so we are never looking to see who the child is as themselves but who they are as a fulfillment of our own idea of what the child should be.  And the child again, picks this up as in effect a film of rejection.  We are rejecting who they really are and are demanding from them behavior according to the parent’s notions of who they should be.  And this isn’t just with the toddler, it’s strongly with the toddler period but then throughout childhood and when it comes to the teenager of course it grows quite, quite acute and critical.

You find this in a number of developmental psychologists looking into the shame factor, the acceptance of shame as a critical need for socializing the child.  There were editorials in our newspapers a few years back about the nation’s critical lack of shame and how what we need is a good dose of shame.  

I can tell you that shame is a great crippling force of our life.  I’ve received a lot of books from various people about the world on being crippled by shame, healing our shame, hiding our shame within us, all these various topics.  Shame is the principle tool by which parent’s enculturate or socialize their child.  Aren’t you ashamed of yourself is a real powerful, powerful thing to a child, because it’s always coupled with some action they have made and a look of rejection on the part of the parent.  The parent is expressing the rejection from them which is the same as abandonment of the little child.  If you behave like this we’d be ashamed of you and abandon you is the signal the child picks up.  You will not be loved.  You will not be nurtured.  

So shame and negativity in general, no don’t, you’re a bad child if you do this, you’re a good child if you do that and so on, all of these judgments leveled against the child simply allow shame and burning into the child a sense of guilt concerning their own actions.  

This does several things to the child, for one thing, instead of an exuberant automatic spontaneous response of acceptance of their world, from that point on they’ll never make a spontaneous response to their world, they’ll react from a negative cautious standpoint. Do I respond to this or will it cause me shame and guilt?  So we find instead of an open interaction with their society and their world they have a cautious, timid, defensive response to that world.  They’ve have, in effect, retreated to their defensive networks of the brain and are trying to defend themselves against the world that is liable to reject them and doesn’t really accept them until they prove their worth according to that society’s standards or sets of expectancy of them.  

We hear, ‘you must win your place.  You must win your wings and win for yourself a place under the sun,’ etc.  The child gets that right from the very beginning which means in effect, they themselves intrinsically are worthless.  They must win their worth in the eyes of their culture and their parents by modifying their behavior along very restricted lines.