A few basic signs [of reliability]:
- Keeping one’s word about the small things – time home, calling as had been agreed, being (pretty) honest about who’s around in others’ houses.
- Your internal feeling that what your child says makes sense – pay attention when it doesn’t add up – you’re probably onto something. The truth usually flits across your mind and you ignore it.
- Both you and your partner get the same – or at least a similar enough story. Kids can only play us against each other if we don’t bother to talk to each other.
- Giving you enough time to truly think about a decision – feeling less like a hostage to time pressure makes you feel more trusting.
- Owning their behavior – without torturous explanations or excuses.
- Your child is not afraid to tell you the truth – even if it’s not something you don’t want to hear. This is a hall-mark of mutual trust – in your child and your being a reasonable, firm parent.
- Your child has a couple of good friends, regular playdates and receive calls – a sign of trustworthiness with peers.
- Other parents are truthful around you – and do not hold back important information you then hear about later. This openness usually indicates your child is acting within acceptable bounds when you’re not around.
- Your own growing sense of trust – be clear-eyed, but be open to seeing and enjoying your child’s maturation.
Ron Taffel – Childhood Unbound p.175
The flip side of the new freedoms was a new anxiety. It was infused by endless access, early decisions about high-risk behavior, the ability to do “whatever” without concerns about being seen, and by the overwhelming reach of technology and the warp-speed of life itself. The free-est generation began to shimmer with neon-bright anxiety. This was different than internal neurotic anxiety, by which I mean symptomatic, psychological conflict, thought to be the result of guilt between “right” and “wrong,” the struggle between “id” and “superego,” and the fear that “bad” thoughts meant being a bad person. In children this anxiety can lead to a raging battle between pleasing parents and pleasing oneself, and even to feeling personal responsibility for the very lives, health, and well-being of one’s parents. This type of internal conflict had been the bread and butter of psychoanalysis during the time of the greatest generation and its boomer children.
No, by the second millennium, the kids of older boomers and post-boomers were suffering from a different breed of anxiety, generated by real-life forces: intense social, academic, and techno-driven pressures.
Ron Taffel – Childhood Unbound p.42
In his work, moment after moment, an analyst lives intimately with the human passions. Lust, greed, envy, hate – the seven deadly sins and more; love, charity, faith – the heavenly virtues and all the beatitudes; these assail him endlessly. While he is not to be caught up in the emotional tempest that storms about him unremittingly, it is in such an atmosphere that he must exist. One consequence of this incessant exposure must be satiety, a feeling of fullness, of overripeness, the defense against which is the antagonistic feeling of monotony. Only a “surprise,” only a sudden, unpredictable event, can restore to the analyst who has reached the satiation point that quickening of interest, of zest, necessary to refresh his senses and render him once more sensitive in the way he must be if he is to perform efficiently. Fortunately, such “surprises” are not lacking.
By confinement, I refer to the actual physical fact of enforced immobility that is the condition of work for people such as I. Everything we do takes place in the consulting room. Activity, movement, is denied to us. The great dramas of which we partake, the tremendous conflicts, the shattering experiences – these come to us, come to the rooms in which we sit and listen. Eternally, we are spectators – rather, auditors. Sometimes, it cannot be denied, one chafes against the sheer physical constriction of such a life; one longs for movement; one becomes physically restless, hungering for the air of the outdoors, for the vigorous employment of the limbs and for the distant use of eyes against horizons rather than walls. Finally, one tires of words, words, words. The long vacations habitual with analysts are one antidote, and it is to be observed how they drift to the mountains and the sea in an annual effort to feed their appetites for mobility and space.
Robert M. Lindner – The Fifty Minute Hour p.277