On Parenting

The analyst says that great psychological harm is caused to children by chaotic environments. Unpredictable mealtimes and bedtimes, unpredictable emotional reactions on the part of the parents, chaotic personal lives of parents, all that kind of stuff. 

This is all obvious and barely needs to be pointed out.

However, there’s another type of chaos that is just as damaging but not as obvious to the naked eye. A child’s life can look very organized and orderly, yet one or both parents can have disordered, chaotic minds, and that is something that the child will perceive and feel anxious. 

When both kinds of chaos – the external and the internal – come together, that’s where the worst damage is done. 

Also, important advice that I got: if you are OCD (I am, obviously), make sure your child doesn’t see your OCD rituals. That creates a lot of anxiety for a kid. I didn’t know this, and it was really useful.

Another piece of advice: never connect your emotional states with the child’s actions. (e.g. “I’m sad because you did this.”) Of course, this one I already knew. 

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