Imaginative, curious and self-reliant kid
How about doing everything the wrong way?

How is a child affected by watching his parents constantly argue?

[ 4 min read ]

Such questions are, in my opinion, similar to the question How is a child (human being in general) affected by life happening to him / her?

I think we can equally, and legitimately, ask a bunch of different questions, like:

As they grow up, how are children affected by not being able to watch their parents argue at all?

As they grow up, how are children affected by watching the parents of their best friend argue all the time?

As they grow up, how are children affected by having to deal with an asshole teacher?

As they grow up, how are children affected by not having to deal with an asshole teacher?

As they grow up, how are children affected by knowing people who cheat on other people?

As they grow up, how are children affected by not knowing people who cheat on other people?

As they grow up, how are children affected by knowing people who are different than them?

As they grow up, how are children affected by not knowing people who are different than them?

On and on the list can go.

What’s my point?

We ask all those questions because we want to know what went wrong in childhood/ in the life of this person. We want to nail it. We want the answer to the question What shouldn’t have happened to that person, for him or her to be “OK”, “normal”?

How do we know that our notion of how it should go is the correct notion? In other words, how do we know that what we imagine as perfect / ideal circumstances really are perfect / ideal circumstances? We don’t. We believe that what we imagine as perfect / ideal circumstances really are perfect / ideal circumstances.

That’s the mistake on which, in my opinion, most human being development theories are based. We assume that something shouldn’t happen in this or that stage of our development, but how do we know that the assumption that it shouldn’t happen is the right assumption?

We believe it’s the right assumption. That’s all. That’s all we’ve got. Our assumption which is based on our belief. And this belief is based on our life philosophy, our values, our definitions, our knowledge — by the myths we’ve bought into.

We don’t know whether not seeing our parents argue is better than seeing our parents argue. We believe it’s better.

But what choice do we have if our parents do argue (fight) with each other?

Will we need a therapist? Because what? Because we’ve seen what the relationship of two people (in a marriage) shouldn’t look like and we’re doomed?

How come do we know what the relationship between a man and a woman or between two men, or between two women should look like? What is the ideal and who decided that it should be the ideal?

Besides, we fool ourselves that if we took this one piece (this unfortunate event) out from a person’s life everything would be much better, or even perfect.

That’s the greatest bullshit ever! It’s ludicrous to assume that everything would be just fine if only we took this or that out. It’s the most vivid example of our wishful thinking.

It’s far more likely that if we changed that one piece in that story (little or big, doesn’t matter) other things would change too. Some pieces would remain the same but some wouldn’t. And we have no idea what the reality would really look like if we changed only this one small piece. We fool ourselves that everything would be better. Because what? Because the universe knows what would be better for such and such a person and it would make sure that only good things would happen to that person?

Are you kidding me? If the universe knew what is good and bad for us and if it cared that we shouldn’t experience the bad, would we have the bad (would we ask questions how this bad thing or that bad thing affects us)?

We want to believe that everything would be better because it’s nice to at least know what went wrong and what the reality would be like if it didn’t.

So we never assume that instead this person could die at birth, or later in a car accident leaving three children and a wife who was the love of his life, or become the next Hitler, or go to the next Vietnam War or something, or be born with a disability, or be shot dead in school, or be killed by some weird disease spread by mosquitos at the age of 7, or be kidnapped or raped, or go to jail for 10 years without having done anything wrong (legal system failed), etc.

No, none of it would happen. Why would it happen?

If only father hadn’t yelled at mother. If only mother had been emotionally stable. If only mother and father stayed together. If only he hadn’t been raised by a single mother. If only he had been born five years earlier (or later).

Bullshit.