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  1. 22 Nov '13 22:44
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where does confidence come from? I would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
  2. 23 Nov '13 03:05
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where ...[text shortened]... nterested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
    We were the only white family in Questa New Mexico. Was brutally beaten and picked on nearly daily behind the school and on the bus. Enough so I still wonder why my parents had us living there for two years. The good thing is I understand how it feels to be a minority. Also got good at standing up to bullies.
  3. 23 Nov '13 03:10
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where ...[text shortened]... nterested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
    The reaction of people facing adversity can be totally different. Some give up. Others learn to flee or fight. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
  4. 23 Nov '13 03:14
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    We were the only white family in Questa New Mexico. Was brutally beaten and picked on nearly daily behind the school and on the bus. Enough so I still wonder why my parents had us living there for two years. The good thing is I understand how it feels to be a minority. Also got good at standing up to bullies.
    I grew up in a Boston area that was pretty much White Irish, save that it bordered a black area. In kindergarten I learned my vision was almost nonexistent and I got metal framed coke bottle lenses, which made me the brunt of lots of name calling, and bullying. I was gifted with other abilities, mainly being able to outrun everyone in my neighborhood. By the third or fourth grade I also could outfight anyone my age.

    Sometimes, in fact more often than not, bullying isn't based on race.
  5. 25 Nov '13 15:17
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I grew up in a Boston area that was pretty much White Irish, save that it bordered a black area. In kindergarten I learned my vision was almost nonexistent and I got metal framed coke bottle lenses, which made me the brunt of lots of name calling, and bullying. I was gifted with other abilities, mainly being able to outrun everyone in my neighborhood. ...[text shortened]... outfight anyone my age.

    Sometimes, in fact more often than not, bullying isn't based on race.
    No race has the market cornered on bullying. Racism is another thing they all have in common. The thing to remember is that it is only a few people in each race that behaves that way. I did notice my oldest brother who was in high school at the time was not treated nearly as bad. Perhaps racism is nothing more than a manifestation of adults refusing to grow up?
  6. 25 Nov '13 15:46
    Different people react to things in different ways. Many people end up with huge psychological problems due to adversity (they'd call it abuse).
  7. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    25 Nov '13 15:48
    Interesting that you would start this thread; I've thought about starting one similar.

    It depends on the type of adversity, doesn't it? There's performance-based adversity that comes from pushing a kid's limits, either physical or mental. That to me can reveal a kid's drive and determination. Then there's environmental adversity.

    It seems that if a kid has loving, supportive parents who are encouraging them to push their limits, that's (almost) always a good thing. I'm around an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old on a daily basis, and they both just brought home excellent report cards. Academic high performance is important to them, because their mom and I make sure that they know academic performance is important to us. Sports - they're not they're yet, although the ten-year old is already five feet tall and projected to go over six. It would be nice to save that wad of cash for college if she really likes basketball.

    Then there's environmental adversity. This is where I think kids waste a lot of energy today. My girlfriend's ex - let's just say he hasn't watched too many John Wayne movies, and as a result, was not then and is not now much of a man. So, this past weekend, the ten-year-old was crying at her mother's house about how her dad doesn't love her because he caught her texting her mother on his weekend, got mad at her, asked her how she thought that made him feel, and wouldn't talk to her - concentrated his attention on the eight-year-old instead. (I can't make that up; I'm not that creative.)

    There are far worse examples of environmental adversity too, right? And these are some of the things that make us really uncomfortable, and cause us to explore the dark corners of our minds. Not having a father home at all. Watching a mother with nine kids let her kids run wild in public places. Kids growing up without the electricity on every day, or maybe the only solid meals they get are at school. Parental drug use.

    This second type of adversity, I think, causes kids to think about survival, and not about fulfilling their potential. So the second type consumes mental energy on meeting basic needs that could have been used to develop more advanced skills. I'm going right to Maslow: my girlfriend's kids (and she's a great mother; this is all on him) spend time fulfilling safety and love/belonging that they could be spending on esteem and self-actualization, and this hurts their development.

    That's enough pop-psych babble from me for an hour.
  8. 29 Nov '13 07:08
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where ...[text shortened]... nterested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
    I learned to box/fight. grew up on a reservation,, blonde hair blue eyes.. fighting was an every day thing..
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    29 Nov '13 07:11
    http://sabian.org/alice_in_wonderland6.php

    And with that she began nursing her child again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giving it a violent shake at the end of every line:
    'Speak roughly to your little boy,
    And beat him when he sneezes:
    He only does it to annoy,
    Because he knows it teases.'

    CHORUS.

    (In which the cook and the baby joined):—

    'Wow! wow! wow!'

    While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:—
    'I speak severely to my boy,
    I beat him when he sneezes;
    For he can thoroughly enjoy
    The pepper when he pleases!'


    CHORUS.

    'Wow! wow! wow!'
  10. 29 Nov '13 14:44 / 1 edit
    Not to sound corny or anything, but I think the most important thing is just to show your child that you give a damn about them.

    Then when the world closes in on them and tells them that they are not good enough, not smart enough, or levels out abuse towards them, just smile and tell them that is what it means to be human. It sure beats being an arrogant prick who thinks that they are God's gift to humanity. Usually those are the abusers but their day will come.
  11. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    30 Nov '13 04:47
    Originally posted by whodey
    Not to sound corny or anything, but I think the most important thing is just to show your child that you give a damn about them.

    It's not corny.
    Children are very resilient if they have someone who loves them.
  12. 30 Nov '13 05:28
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where ...[text shortened]... nterested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
    I was born with Asperger's Syndrome, and most people with Aspergers suffer a great deal of abuse, social rejection and humiliation. I'm no exception, and my childhood was full of rape, child molestation, physical and sexual abuse, bullying and social isolation. Fortunately, none of that was caused by anyone within my family.

    Today, I have a Masters degree in forensic psychology, and I'm fit and healthy. My emotional scars have never healed completely, but with each year things slightly improve. I've been in weekly therapy basically all my adult life to date, and will probably always need ongoing therapy to help me function. This is mainly due to the Aspergers itself, though I still need healing on the other material as well.

    I've always been strong, and the abuse didn't make me stronger. I'm strong -in spite of- the abuse, and not -because of- it. The abuse served no useful purpose and was entirely negative. Please, always make sure you protect children from abuse and bullying. Never, ever, ever think it will be good for them to have to stand on their own two feet, while they're still children. That's dangerous thinking and it can leave life-long scars, particularly if your child happens to have an undiagnosed disability.

    Human beings need to be challenged moderately. Challenging children with education is a good thing. If life gets too hard, people tend to just give up because they lose hope, and come to see a positive outcome as unattainable. It's important not to mistake this for laziness and complacency, when it's in fact the opposite. (This applies to welfare beneficiaries, also.)

    I agree wholeheartedly with the point someone else made about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Children need to be insulated from any fears for their survival, so that they can be challenged in a safe way by things like education, and to a certain extent (but with some caution) sports and physical health and fitness.
  13. 30 Nov '13 13:20
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    It's not corny.
    Children are very resilient if they have someone who loves them.
    Arguably, that is all we can really give them.
  14. 30 Nov '13 14:40
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Okay, I've been wondering for a while now about people's thoughts on children and adversity. I 've been thinking for a while now that children who face challenges and struggles throughout their childhood grow up being better able to take care of themselves. More confident in their ability to deal with difficult situations. So I guess my question is: where ...[text shortened]... nterested to hear from anyone who had a difficult childhood and how that influenced their lives.
    i dont think its as clear cut as your op. i think all children regardless of where they live have different levels of confidence. there are as many timid, shy poor children as there are timid, shy wealthy children.
    children growing up in poor areas will on average be better at surviving in a poor environment as they have already gained experience in that world. just a wealthy child would be better than a poor child at 'surviving' in wealthy environment (on average).

    confidence in children i think is initially genetic, but i think the behavior of parents can greatly effect it. confident, supportive, positive parents produce (in general) confident children.
  15. 30 Nov '13 16:37
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    It's not corny. Children are very resilient if they have someone who loves them.
    Speaking from experience, while love may be important for happiness;
    it's not at all necessary for survival. Some children can survive and do well
    in most aspects of their lives even when no one loves or cares for them.