Chapter 7: Emotional Responsibility and Learned Helplessness

This chapter arose from the workshops. One of the most frequently asked questions after the initial explanation and discussion of attention and its effect on behavior was in regards to emotional fragility and learned helplessness. It became more effective to address this topic as a specific issue in terms of helping parents realize that these behaviors were just another form of gaining attention.

Though very subliminal and hard to see as a separate issue from a personality trait, these behaviors respond well in terms of attention. One can see how a child affecting an “over sensitive nature” will gain more time and attention from parents who naturally try to ease the distress the child is in. This chapter goes though a step by step handling of this issue, in terms of attention; guiding parents though one of the hardest issues to get one’s mind around. Everyday reality becomes re-analyzed in terms of which is first: the chicken or egg, is the child naturally emotionally sensitive or did he/she “become” more sensitive as a result of the increased attention from parents when they perceived emotional distress in their child?