Where does a Natural Sense of Self come from?

A great deal of understanding about this question is available from reading the page on ‘The Development of Sense ofSelf’. On this page, there are more specifics about what a child needs to experience in order to develop a Natural Sense of Self.

A Natural Sense of Self is an abiding, unshakeable, subconscious awareness and sensation of being an autonomous human being, ultimately independent of others – especially having independence from the primary caretaker. The ability to develop that awareness and sensation of ‘being real’ can be facilitated (or hindered) starting at birth, by the person who is continuously around and functions as a primary caretaker.

The actual behavior of the caretaker towards the baby, toddler and young child is of utmost importance. The role of the significant other (usually the father) of this caregiver (usually the mother) is also of major importance as it can temper or reinforce effects of the caregiver’s behavior.

This Theory has identified a number of important behaviors which can facilitate the development of a Natural Sense of Self:

  • The presence of the baby (and then the toddler and then the young child) is to be acknowledged through listening and actually hearing what it has to say; through watching it and actually seeing it as opposed to using the child for or directing it to function to adapt to one’s own emotionally needs. The specific purposes can vary, but the common denominator is that whatever is done (so-called) ‘for’ the child, underneath is not only serving the parent but is not truly done for the benefit of the child.
  • The child should be given a voice to express herself as soon as she is able to have something to say – as opposed to being dealt with as an object that has to comply to the family rules or the rules of the house. These often times seem to be of a much higher priority than the actual wellbeing or feelings of the child. I refer to a case in which the house rules are part of a mother’s Ego-References (and thus of service to her personal Hidden Agenda). In that case, the rules are not just rules, they are life-or-death matters to the mother and become those to the child.
  • The child is to be encouraged to form their own opinion and taste at an appropriate age, as opposed to being blamed for having any personal taste or opinion, let alone one that differs from the parent’s.
  • A mother can never be a good parent if she is putting herself in the center of attention and the child needs to bend over backwards to get some attention (narcissistic parent.)
  • The best-case scenario is a parent who has an eye and an ear for the very essence of the child so the task of ‘drawing out’ of the young child its potential and helping it develop as an independent human being can be achieved easily in the normal time of development as opposed to the parent ‘glomming on’ to whatever about the child pleases the parent, which is usually geared to either creating a copy of the parent or an extension of her, or compensating for her own lacks.

You now have a good idea about what kind of parental behavior enables the natural flow of development toward instilling in their offspring a sense of ‘being a Self’ who is separate from other beings, in other words, what kind of parental behavior results in a healthy and Natural Sense of Self of their children.

This question is answered more extensively on the pages on ‘Natural Sense of Self versus Substitute Sense of Self’.

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