Vulnerability in childhood

Men have a passion to conquer.

Men have a thirst for knowledge.

Men are curious and seeking answers.

Men are doing the hard work to be masterful.

Men are displaying a strong desire to improve their lives.

Men are learning to be vulnerable and are becoming powerful.

Sometimes the pain and fear we experience is associated with our inability to understand how helpless we were as a child. When we were children, we could not express our needs because it made us vulnerable to being hurt more. We were often put in situations where we experienced negative emotions and were not allowed to express them. We had to keep these negative emotions buried inside in order to please our parents. If we expressed unhappiness we were made to suffer with more punishment. There was no explanation of how we should express ourselves in a healthy way. There was only a demand of compliance. This is the start of emotional abuse in the home.

Numerous studies show that spanking doesn’t work and overtime the level of severity increases in order to get continued compliance. Over the last fifty years, these studies have revealed only long term negative effects in child development. Resorting to this method of parenting is not the behavior of a man with self control.

Click to access corporal-punishment-gershoff.pdf

We will struggle with this same process in our home as a parent. We become adults who get easily frustrated by our own child’s unrelenting behaviors. This is usually a sign of how unaware and disconnected we really are with ourselves. We become angry, aggressive, and often spank our child when they don’t listen. This feeling of being helpless has nothing to do with our own child and is an indicator that we still struggle with our own true identity. We are not angry with our child. We are angry with our parents.

“Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”

Epictetus 

There is an understanding that from failure we can grow stronger. The same is true with understanding our own weakness. We make excuses to avoid the truth. The truth that we had no say as a child. The truth that we were not considered a priority to the parents we needed love from the most.

Avoiding the abuse that was done to us is reflective of how society is shaping up. With all the serious problems that are specifically threatening men in society these days, I believe breaking this abusive pattern in childhood will help men be better equipped with solving difficulties in adulthood. As you take responsibility for your own parenting you will have anger fill your mind. This anger will allow you to stop making excuses for those who wronged you. Anger is sometimes needed to grow.

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