August 6, 2010, Newsletter Issue #296: Children and the Pleasure Principle

Tip of the Week

Sigmund Freud had a theory on infants and toddlers. It seems he had a theory on just about everything, but this particular theory seems to have a considerable amount of merit. He believed children are born in an innate state called the Id. This natural state for any child is of course driven by a very primitive urge – an immediate satisfaction without any regard of consequences. This immediate need for satisfaction without total regard of consequences is what Freud called the pleasure principle. I’m sure you’ve heard of the colloquialism “if it feels good, do it,” well that pretty much sums up Freud’s theory on infant and toddlers. My point is some infants continue to exude predominate Id characteristics all the way through adulthood, and some, even further into their lives. How can we stop the Id from ruling our children’s minds?    
We can thwart the Id by consistently teaching children rules and boundaries. I know we do this every day, but how do we go about doing this? Are we a strict authoritarian or an authoritative parent? There’s a distinct difference: an authoritaritarian is an overpowering perfectionist that demands their rules to be followed without question and an authoritative sets boundaries and rules as well, but enforces them with love, kindness, and respectfulness. An authoritative also will be democratic in their rules as children grow into adolescents. So fight the Id with guidance, love and kindness.      

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