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Posts tagged "Child Psychology"

Nine Year Old Psychopaths and the Limits of Compassion

Nine Year Old Psychopaths and the Limits of Compassion

If you haven’t read Jennifer Kahn’s lengthy piece about child psychopathy in The NY Times Magazine, “Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?,” it’s eye-opening to say the least. Perhaps not recommended for parents of small children…  Ms. Kahn profiles a few of what are officially classified as the “Callous Unemotional” or “C.U.’s”, children whose anti-social behavior includes both an inability to feel empathy and acute rage of the most calculated kind (which distinguishes them from other volatile children, who are more impulsive). It’s pretty chilling. But as gruesomely fascinating as the details are, more relevant to us are the…

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Dorothy Martyn Explains What She Means By "Beyond Deserving"

Dorothy Martyn Explains What She Means By “Beyond Deserving

Taken from the introduction to Dr. Martyn’s now classic child psychology text–a must-read for Mockingbirds everywhere (especially those with children)–Beyond Deserving: Children, Parents, and Responsibility Revisited, here’s a quick word from one of our esteemed 2009 Conference speakers, emphasis hers:

This phrase, “beyond deserving,” may be a bit puzzling at first glance. After all, the idea of “deserving” permeates our language and is taken for granted in much of our daily life, from grades at school to rewards for exceptional performance – such as whether one “deserved” a gold medal or the Nobel Prize – to our ideas of criminal justice….

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Overinvested Parents and Their Unhappy Kids

Overinvested Parents and Their Unhappy Kids

Holy smokes! If you haven’t read Lori Gottlieb’s article in The Atlantic, “How To Land Your Kid In Therapy,” do yourself a favor. She’s put together a remarkable overview of the pitfalls of modern parenting, focusing particularly on the relationship between parental over-involvement and the rates of anxiety/depression in their offspring. A practicing clinical psychologist herself, Gottlieb makes a strong case for the culture of self-esteem having produced a supremely narcissistic generation that has serious trouble dealing with disappointment. It’s almost The Incredibles-argument verbatim: when everyone is special, no one is special – instead, we all become a bunch of…

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The Man In The Yellow Hat, or Grace With Difficult Children

The Man In The Yellow Hat, or Grace With Difficult Children

A few particularly brilliant passages from the final chapter of Dr. Dorothy Martyn’s expert work on child psychology, “The Man in the Yellow Hat: Theology and Psychoanalysis in Child Therapy”. As always, to fully grasp what she’s getting at we must put ourselves in the position of child, lest we turn what is a descriptive project into a prescriptive one:

“Human growth is generally understood to proceed in a line of movement originating in the human subject. In looking back to the children’s journeys [described earlier in the book], I would certainly affirm that forces of growth and maturation are very…

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Good News for Misbehaving Children (and Their Parents, Too): Dorothy Martyn's Beyond Deserving

Good News for Misbehaving Children (and Their Parents, Too): Dorothy Martyn’s Beyond Deserving

A fixture on the Mockingbird Reading List is Beyond Deserving: Children, Parents, and Responsibility Revisited by Dorothy Martyn. Dr. Martyn is a child psychologist, a committed Freudian, and yes, a Christian of the most grace-centered kind. Don’t be put off by the slightly academic cover and title–the real thrust of the book is theological and literary. She uses fascinating case studies (and a whole lot of Emily Dickinson) to illustrate how unconditional love and grace play out in the lives of difficult children.

As is always the case when we touch on the intersection of grace and parenting, the temptation will…

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