Survival is the exception while extinction is the rule with every species on the planet earth, including civilisations and societies. And the key to survival lies in adaptation; but often as it is the case with conservative societies based on rigid traditions and the adamancy to adjust with changing trends, conflicts tends to arise between the ever-changing trends of modern society and people fixed on firmed cultural revivalism or traditions.
This is rather a threat to the survival of the society with the rise of dysfunctional families with twisted traditional cultural concepts of what a man and what a woman affecting children who are regarded as ‘Future Pillars of the Society’.
It was only a few days ago that the country celebrated Children’s Day, but there was no focus or emphasis on the distorted and almost comically bloated stereotypes of what masculine and feminine really are. When men as role models are not allowed to cry or express fear while women are not expected to have feelings of anger or being aggressive in regard to situations, that is emotional dishonesty. Not only that, when the standards of a society deny the full range of the emotional spectrum and label certain emotions as negative, it also creates emotional disease. If a culture is based on emotional dishonesty with emotionally dishonest role models then that culture is also emotionally dysfunctional, because the people are set up to be emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional in order to get their emotional needs met.
Like Robert Burney observed in his book “Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls,” dysfunctional families are the product of an emotionally dishonest, shame based, patriarchal society based upon beliefs that do not support loving self or neighbour. And the most serious impact of these traditions regarded as normal parenting in the society which are emotionally dishonest falls upon innocent children since they learn who they are as emotional beings from the role modeling of their parents. “Do as I say – not as I do,” is never affective on children, and emotionally dishonest parents cannot be emotionally healthy role models; ergo they cannot provide healthy parenting.
This is especially true in regard to Manipuri society where the father is supposed to physically harass
or beat up their wives on the illusion that it would create harmony in the family, along with the rising number of families of an alcoholic or drug-addicted parent But often is the case with children who are naïve followers of actions of their parents, they adopt different roles in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems which subsequently adverse their psychological states. Some children are not able to heal at all without help.
While some maintain the role of adulthood, others switch from one role to another in accordance to changes in the family dynamics. For example, when the oldest leaves home, an only child may play all of the roles at one time or another. In other circumstances, a child may also take on the role of Placater with responsibility for the emotional well-being of the family. They become the families‘social director’ who attempts to diverts the family’s attention from the pain and anger while they are not even aware on how to get their own needs met. The child becomes an “adult” who cannot receive love but only give it robbing them of their childhood and growing into adults with low self-worth.
Often what happens with the role children adapts according to family dynamics, is that they get a twisted, distorted view of who they are supposed to be. This is dysfunctional because it causes them not to see themselves clearly. And as adults, the childhood wounds cannot make them get in touch clearly with who we really are.
So, it is vital that the society especially parents need to take care that children adapt to the roles that are best suited to their personalities. The clearer children can see themselves the easier. It becomes easier to find some balance some happiness, fulfillment, and serenity in their lives.
Leader Writer: Danny Haobam