I referred particularly to the words, 'it's not fair' words in an earlier blog.
One of the exercises I have done with clients, is to make a personal snakes and ladders board. It helps a person observe that life is full of ups and downs, but we don't give up, we carry on. Another day, another throw of the dice and see where we land. As much as there may be something unpleasant around the corner, so there will be plenty of uplifting moments too. It's a cliche, but, 'that's life'...and it isn't fair.
A friend was telling me about a 17 year old she was giving music lessons to. The student was bright and had had no trouble passing exams, music or otherwise, through life. One day, the student arrived and said that they didn't want to carry on with the music exam. It was so out of character, that my friend delved a little deeper. It turned out that the student had just failed their first driving test. They were devastated. They had never failed anything in their lives before. My kind friend explained that failing their driving test was probably the best thing that had happened to them, as it wasn't of great importance in the scheme of things and would prepare them for the failures that would come their way in their future life.
So many sixth formers leave their schools as a high flyers, only to realise that they are only a pebble on the beach of bright students when they get to university. It can be a struggle for them.
The best lessons are often learnt by failure. I will return to what happens when we don't learn from failure, a little nearer Christmas.
When I first started focusing my work on emotional maturity, I explained to some colleagues that it was fascinating to observe adults morph physically and verbally into children, as they entered particular emotional states. It gave me, the therapist, a true insight into their emotional state at the time and therefore clues as to where the roots of the problem may be. I was therefore astonished when a colleague told me in no uncertain terms, that they had never seen an adult behave like a child. As they worked in a major mental health charity, I felt they was missing something valuable.
NB: I am a short term, solution focused therapist. The roots can be revealed very quickly and dealt with very quickly. No need for masses of expensive/toxic digging around, with possibly unhelpful and sometimes tragic consequenses.
Perhaps you don't think this is relevant to you and people you have contact with. Have a look at the list below and think again.
If you ever feel like saying any of the following to an adult or perhaps used one of the expressions to describe someone, it means that at that moment and however grown up they may look, they are behaving like a child. Probably feeling like one too, if what I've heard is correct. If you've ever had these words said to you, then whether you like it or not, you're not behaving in a mature way at the time.
- Oh grow up.
- You’re behaving/acting like a child/2 year old.
- That’s so childish.
- Act your age.
- That’s so juvenile.
- You’re so infantile.
- It’s babyish.
- Throw teddy out of the pram
- Taken his ball home.
- Spit the dummy out.
- Daddy's little princess.
- Mummy's boy.
- There are three children in this family and you're one of them.
- Throwing a tantrum.
- Slamming doors.
- Throwing things in a temper.
- Spoilt brat.
- You’re so immature.
- It’s not fair.
- Peter Pan.
- A stroppy teenager.
- I feel so childish.
- Behaving like a spoilt brat.
- Behaving like a stroppy teenager.
- My mother makes me feel like a child of 6.
- My father treats me like a 9 year old.
- The children are more mature than the adults.
- They act as if they're still in kindergarten.
Childlike can be okay, childish is never okay. There's a difference? Oh yes, but that's for another day...or my podcast No: 11.
PS: Two hours after posting this blog, I read the following headline in the Independent: ' First woman chaplain tells laddish MPs: it's time to grow up.' Sadly, I'm not surprised.