posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 09:21 AM
I believe behavior modification is overrated. I grew up in a mentally abusive household.
I was born shortly after my mother got out of high school. She left my biological father because he was physically and mentally abusive and sold and
used drugs when I was two. She maried my step-father when I was three. He was also mentally abusive. To give you an idea of a minor argument with
my step dad; he once yell at me for four hours non-stop because I did not close a potatoe chip bag in a way he considered to be right. Once again
this was a minor argument. It was not uncommon to have at least one if not more of these arguments, literally, every day. I spent a lot of time in
my room so I would not get yelled at as much. This did not stop him. He would always find something to yell at me about. When I turned thirteen I
realized that I was stronger, faster, and smarter than him. This led me to say to myself, "Why should he control me with his rules?" In our
society, two things hold rules together: fear and respect. At this point I had absolutely no respect for him. In addition to this, I did not fear
anything he could do to me. Shortly after first realizing this I was yelled at again. I started toying with his mind. Making a game out of our
arguements. I wanted to see just how mad I could make him. If he punished me by grounding me or taking away a privilage I would simply ignore him (I
would do whatever he forbid me to do just as I would usually do them). Through all of this my mother knew that what he was doing to me was unfair,
yet she did nothing to help me. I was alone.
The point of this is that from an outside perspective when I was young, I could be seen as a classic future drug addict/abusive
spouse/suicidal/homicidal/mentally ill child. When I was a teenager, I could have been viewed as depressed, rebellious, and in need of military camp.
What people don't see is that occasionally, the child is in the right. The system does fail for these childeren. It is essentially flawed because
it almost always jumps to the conclusion that the parents are right and the child needs discipline. Had I recieved any more discipline in the mannor
that my step-dad used it, I would have probably become violent towards him.
Childeren do not need behavior modification in the was society commonly uses it. They need to be understood. If you can then get the child to
understand the reason they behave as they do then you truely have a chance at positively changing their behavior or possibly removing the problem
behind their behavior.