Review of:Why You Do The Things You Do
Clinton, Dr. Tim & Sibcy, Dr. Gary. (2006). Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret of Healthy Relationships. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Relationships are in our everyday life all around us, but the most intimate relationships we have include God, our parents, our children and our spouse. God implanted the desire for intimacy or relationship within us when He created Adam and Eve. God hardwired the desire for relationship in us because He desires relationship. Adam and Eve had the perfect relationship with each other and God for a while. God continued to desire relationship with Adam and Eve even after their disobedience. When our relationship with God is lacking, we will try to fill the hole created with other relationships to give ourselves meaning, purpose and value. These other relationships might include addictions, shopping, work, or entertainment. Our parents begin the heart of the relationship cycle when we are born. They determine, as their parents before them, whether we are secure in our relationships, or if we are avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized. Our relationship style influences most of life’s important issues such as how we deal with grief, marriage, and parenting. Our view of ourselves and those we hold most dear begin to be formed as we connect with our mothers. Mothers are thrust into emotional, relational and physically challenging environments where she must do the best she can while molding her child’s self-image daily. Human children are totally dependent on their mothers for survival. Children’s earliest relationships shape the chemical processes in the brain that determine how we control our emotions, impulses and even develop memories of our early family life; therefore, mother-child relationships are vitally important in a child’s development physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This relationship molds the ability to form healthy relationships later in life. Dr. Clinton and Dr. Sibcy illustrated separation anxiety by using John Bowlby and James Robertson’s development of attachment behavioral system when they studied the patients in an English children’s tuberculosis ward in 1948. These children expressed distress and anxiety, then anger at being left alone in the hospital by their parents. The children all typically went through three stages after admittance: protest, despair, and detachment. Due to the repeated abandonment, the patients tended to develop a calloused self. They all developed a system of replacing things for relationships. This helped them wall off their emotions so that they no longer expressed their feelings to anyone, even themselves. Dr. Bowlby’s attachment behavioral system brought the proximity principle to light. The proximity of a parent determines if the child feels safe and secure. If he/she does feel safe, they will be willing to explore the world around them, always looking back to check Mother’s proximity. If mother is not close enough, the child will run back closer to her. Children do not have to learn this behavior. Seeking closeness during times of stress is a survival mechanism in humans and animals. As children grow and mature, they do not feel the need to always be visually connected to mother but knowing she can hear his/her cries for help is enough. Fear of abandonment is the fundamental human fear. There are several efforts of self-protection children might develop if parents fail to respond to their child’s behavioral and verbal cries for connection. Ambivalence occurs when the child begins to cling to her parents but then strikes out as if to punish them. Avoidant relationship style is exhibited when the children becomes an island unto themselves. They isolate themselves from their own feelings as well as from the feelings of others. These children usually replace their need for others with a need for possessions. The children with a...
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