Is there really a side-effect to childhood?
Our experiences as children, and the way we were told – or forced – to see the world has a lasting effect well into adulthood, so much so that the most famous satirical line about psychologists will always be: ‘So… tell me about your childhood!’
Here’s how five simple experiences could be shaping your present:
Clothes – If your parents didn’t allow you to pick out your own clothes as a child, then chances are you’ll grow up into a codependent person. You will seek relationships where the partner has control and power, and you’ll be less likely to be single because you constantly need someone to validate your choices.
Television – Did your parents let you watch TV as a baby? Then you’ll probably turn into an adult who doesn’t have great communication skills. Research has shown that, since, in this case, television would be reducing interaction time between parents and children, babies who watch TV are likely to have their communication skill-learning hindered.
Dress Up/Imitation – When a child is allowed to imitate others, repeat others’ actions, dress up as something which they’re not, then they’re more likely to become adults who are able to accept those who are different to them. The unknown becomes less scary to them. Interestingly, the research had adults show children how to open a box using sticks, which they repeated even though opening the box with their fingers would have been simpler. Other primates, however, like chimpanzees, didn’t do this because they found using their fingers easier. This shows that, as humans, we are more open to things.
Spanking – Corporal punishment – in the form of spanking and not abuse – actually makes children turn into sneaky adults who do just enough work not to get into trouble, or who try to hide evidence of their wrongdoing. In fact, research published in a book called Drive showed that spanking won’t stop children from misbehaving but will, rather, teach them to cover their tracks better.
Fathers – Children who had a loving relationship and an emotional connection with their father are more likely to be in a healthy, intimate relationship as adults. Surprisingly, children whose paternal figure was missing – their fathers were not in the picture or the children were orphaned – showed higher levels of intimacy in relationships as adults, simply because a father not being physically there is better than a father who is there physically but not emotionally!
Of course, this is really watered down in essence, but the truth is that the experiences we have as children do shape our view of the world.
Inspired by an article on Business Insider.
How do you think you’ve been affected by your childhood?
Let us know in the comments section below.