As a young child, it is hard to grasp the reasons by your behaviour, you simply deal with the consequences of your actions, in terms of being ‘told off’ or ‘disciplined’. So at what point should a bad behaviour be looked at more closely for the reasoning behind it?
I can remember some of my early ‘dysfunctional behaviours’ pretty clearly. One day I was in the form room at school, in year 4 (so must have been about 8 to 9 years old) banging my head repeatedly on the desk, then going to the matron to tell her I had a headache and proudly display the swelling on my forehead, telling her I had fallen over. Another incident at school included me trying to run into a wall in the changing room, in order to knock myself out. I remember a few years later, being in the playground (it was a large field with a wood at the top), hiding in a bramble bush and asking a fellow pupil to go and get a teacher so that she would see me in the brambles and ask why I had been doing it. I can clearly remember by thought processes, I wanted attention. After years of going over this in my head I have come to some conclusions, as a child growing up my father had a high powered job in a computer company leading him to travel all over the world for weeks at a time, my mother ran her own company and I frequently stayed with a childminder, both my half brother and sister had grown up and ‘flown the nest’ so to speak. Perhaps my lack of attention had caused this – but I wonder was I genetically determined to require more attention in the first place?
I don’t specifically remember the treatment after I recieved after these incidences and I’m sure there were plenty more, but I know that it was a negative response and I was punished rather than one that questioned my behaviour in the first place.As an adult looking back on the situation, I would have asked myself, ‘Why is this child acting like this’ rather than punishing them for doing so. I firmly believe everything has a reason, or a cause. So what was my reasoning for behaviour I now believe I could not control at the age of 8 or 9 years old? Surely I was not so manipulative at that age that I could control it?
I do remember finding a letter written by my mother to my primary school headmaster, informing him that since I had gained entry to my secondary school (I was privately educated and needed to take an entrance exam) she trusted that the ‘matter was closed’ and that any referral to a psychologist could be cancelled. I have never questioned her about the letter in question but I can only presume there were plans in place to assess my mental stability – maybe if these had not been cancelled I would not be in the position I am in today.
Take care. x