Showing posts with label Touch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Touch. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 May 2019

LONELINESS




Mortal : 
If You were gonna DO something, 
you shoulda done it when we NEEDED You! 
Where were you THEN? 
 Huh?

God :
I Was Dead.

Mortal : 
Yeah, well... 
Maybe so... 
But you still shoulda DONE somethin’!













Tony, 

I'm glad you're back at the compound. 

I don't like the idea of you rattling around a mansion by yourself. 

We all need Family. 
The Avengers are yours. 
Maybe more so than mine. 

I've been on my own since I was 18. 

I never really fit in anywhere, even in the army. 

My faith's in People, I guess. Individuals. 

And I'm happy to say that, for the most part, they haven't let me down. 

Which is why I can't let them down either. 

Locks can be replaced, but maybe they shouldn't. 

I know I hurt you, Tony. 

I guess I thought by not telling you about your parents I was sparing you, but I can see now that I was really sparing myself, and I'm sorry. 

Hopefully one day you can understand. 

I wish we agreed on the Accords, I really do. 

I know you're doing what you believe in, and that's all any of us can do. 

That's all any of us should. 

So no matter what, I promise you, if you need us…

If you need me…

I'll be There.



ALL PROBLEMS ARE INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS

YOUTH: Wait a minute! I’m supposed to just let that one slip by? 

‘To get rid of one’s problems, all one can do is live in the universe all alone?’ 

What do you mean by that? If you lived all alone, wouldn’t you be horribly lonely? 

PHILOSOPHER:  
Oh, but being alone isn’t what makes you feel lonely.

Loneliness is having other people and society and community around you, 
and having a deep sense of being excluded from them. 

To feel lonely, 
we need other people. 

That is to say, it is only in social contexts that a person becomes an ‘individual’. 

YOUTH: If you were really alone, that is, if you existed completely alone in the universe, you wouldn’t be an individual and you wouldn’t feel lonely, either? 

PHILOSOPHER: I suppose the very concept of loneliness wouldn’t even come up. 

You wouldn’t need language, and there’d be no use for logic or commonsense, either. 

But such a thing is impossible. 

Even if you lived on an uninhabited island, you would think about someone far across the ocean. Even if you spend your nights alone, you strain your ears to hear the sound of someone’s breath. 

As long as there is someone out there somewhere, you will be haunted by loneliness. 

YOUTH: But then, you could just rephrase that as ‘if one could live in the universe all alone, one’s problems would go away’, couldn’t you? 

PHILOSOPHER: In theory, yes. As Adler goes so far as to assert, ‘All problems are interpersonal relationship problems.’ 

YOUTH: Can you say that again? 

PHILOSOPHER: We can repeat it as many times as you like: all problems are interpersonal relationship problems. This is a concept that runs to the very root of Adlerian psychology. 

If all interpersonal relationships were gone from this world, which is to say if one were alone in the universe and all other people were gone, all manner of problems would disappear. 

YOUTH: That’s a lie! It’s nothing more than academic sophistry. 

PHILOSOPHER: Of course, we cannot do without interpersonal relationships. 

A human being’s existence, in its very essence, assumes the existence of other human beings. 

Living completely separate from others is, in principle, impossible. As you are indicating, the premise ‘if one could live all alone in the universe’ is unsound. 

YOUTH: That’s not the issue I am talking about. 

Sure, interpersonal relationships are probably a big problem. That much I acknowledge. 

But to say that everything comes down to interpersonal relationship problems, now that’s really an extreme position. 

What about the worry of being cut off from interpersonal relationships, the kind of problems that an individual agonises over as an individual; problems directed to oneself. 

Do you deny all that? 

PHILOSOPHER: There is no such thing as worry that is completely defined by the individual; so-called internal worry does not exist. 

Whatever the worry that may arise, the shadows of other people are always present. 

YOUTH: But still, you’re a philosopher. Human beings have loftier, greater problems than things like interpersonal relationships. 

What is happiness, what is freedom? 

And what is the meaning of life? 

Aren’t these the themes that philosophers have been investigating ever since the ancient Greeks? 

And you’re saying, so what? 

Interpersonal relationships are everything? 

It seems kind of pedestrian to me. 

It’s hard to believe that a philosopher would say such things. 

PHILOSOPHER: Well, then, it seems there’s a need to explain things a bit more concretely. 

YOUTH: Yes, please do! If you’re going to tell me that you’re a philosopher, then you’ve got to really explain things, or else this makes no sense. 

PHILOSOPHER: You were so afraid of interpersonal relationships that you came to dislike yourself. 

You’ve avoided interpersonal relationships by disliking yourself. 


These assertions shook the youth to his very core. 

The words had an undeniable truth that seemed to pierce his heart. 

Even so, he had to find a clear rebuttal to the statement that all the problems that people experience are interpersonal relationship problems. Adler was trivialising people’s issues.  
The problems I’m suffering from aren’t so mundane! 








LEIA: 
Luke. 

LUKE: 
Leia. 

REY: 
I'd rather not do this now. 


KYLO REN: 
Yeah, me too. 

REY: 
Why did you hate your father? 

Do you have something, 
a cowl or something you can put on? 

Why did you hate Your Father? 

Give me an honest answer. 

You had a father who loved you, 
he gave a damn about you. 

KYLO REN : 
I didn't hate him. 

REY : 
Then why? 

KYLO REN : 
Why, what? 
Why, what? 

Say it. 

REY : 
Why did you... 

Why did you kill him? 
 I don't understand. 







KYLO REN: 
No? Your parents threw you away like garbage. 

REY: 
They didn't! 

KYLO REN: 
They Did
But you can't stop needing them. 

It's your Greatest Weakness. 
Looking for them everywhere.... 
In Han Solo.... now in Skywalker. 

Did he tell you what happened that night? 

REY: 
Yes. 

KYLO REN: 
No. 

He had sensed my power, 
as he senses yours. 

And he feared it.





REY:
Liar. 


KYLO REN: 
Let The Past Die. 
Kill it, if You Have to. 

That's the only way to become 
What You Were Meant to Be. 

REY: 
No! No! 

FEMALE VOICE: 
Rey? 

REY: 
I should have felt trapped or panicked. 

But I didn't. 

This didn't go on forever, 
I knew it was leading somewhere. 

And that, at The End, 
it would show me what I came to see. 

FEMALE VOICE: 
Rey. 

REY: 
Let me see them. 
My parents... please. 


I thought I'd find answers here. 
I was wrong. 
I've never felt so alone 

KYLO REN: 
You're not alone. 

REY: 
Neither are you. 

LUKE: 
Rey? 

REY: 
It isn't too late. 

LUKE: 
Stop! 

REY: 
It is True? 
Did you try to murder him? 

LUKE: 
Leave this island now! 

REY: 
Stop. Stop! 
Did you do it? 
Did you create Kylo Ren? 

Tell Me The Truth. 

LUKE: 
I saw darkness. 
I'd sensed it building in him. 
I'd see it at moments during his training. 

But then I looked inside... 
And it was beyond what I ever imagined. 
Snoke had already turned his heart. 

He would bring destruction, and pain, and death... and The End of Everything I Love 
because of What He Will Become. 

And for the briefest moment of pure instinct... 
I thought I could stop it. 

It passed like a fleeting shadow. 
And I was left with shame... 
and with consequence. 

And the last thing I saw
were the eyes of a frightened boy,
whose Master had failed him. 

Ben, no! 

REY: 
You failed him by thinking his choice was made - 
It wasn't. 

There is still conflict in him. If he turned from the dark side, that could shift the tide. 

This could be how we win. 

LUKE: 
This is not going to go the way you think. 

REY: 
It is. Just now, when we touched hands... I saw his future. 
As solid as I'm seeing you. 
If I go to him, Ben Solo will turn. 

LUKE: 
Rey... don't do this. 

REY: 
Then he is our last hope.



LUKE: 
Master Yoda. 

YODA: 
Young Skywalker. 

LUKE: 
I'm ending all of this. 
The tree, the text, the Jedi. 
I'm going to burn it down. 

YODA: 
Hmm. (laughs) 
Ah, Skywalker, missed you, have I. 

LUKE: 
So it is time for the Jedi Order to end. 

YODA: 
Time it is. 
For you to look at a pile of old books, hmmm? 

LUKE: 
The Sacred Jedi texts! 

YODA: 
Oh. Read them, have you? 

LUKE: 
Well, I... 


YODA: 
Page-turners they were not. 
Yes, yes, yes. 
Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess. 

Skywalker, still looking to the horizon. 
Never here, now, hmmm? 
(pokes Luke with his walking stick

The need in front of your nose. Hmmm? 


LUKE: 
I was weak. Unwise. 

YODA: 
Lost Ben Solo, you did. 
Lose Rey, we must not. 





LUKE: 
I can't be what she needs me to be. 




YODA: 
Heeded my words not, did you? 
Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. 
But weakness, folly, failure, also. 
Yes, failure most of all. 

The Greatest Teacher, Failure is. 


Luke, we are what they grow beyond. 
That is the true burden of all masters.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

TOUCH




RIMMER: 
I suppose you're right, Lister.  
I've got to pull myself together.  
But you've got to help me.  
You've got to be my hands, my touch.

LISTER: 
I know the sort of things you like to touch.  
No way, Rimmer. Forget it.




“The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. 
Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. 

Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. 
He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. 

The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.”











“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!”

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

It held up its chain at arm’s length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

“At this time of the rolling year,” the spectre said, “I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!”
Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly.

“Hear me!” cried the Ghost. “My time is nearly gone.”

“I will,” said Scrooge. “But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery, Jacob! Pray!”

“How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.”

It was not an agreeable idea. Scrooge shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

“That is no light part of my penance,” pursued the Ghost. “I am here to-night to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer.”
“You were always a good friend to me,” said Scrooge. “Thank’ee!”
“You will be haunted,” resumed the Ghost, “by Three Spirits.”
Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done.
“Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob?” he demanded, in a faltering voice.
“It is.”
“I—I think I’d rather not,” said Scrooge.
“Without their visits,” said the Ghost, “you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls One.”
“Couldn’t I take ’em all at once, and have it over, Jacob?” hinted Scrooge.
“Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!”
When it had said these words, the spectre took its wrapper from the table, and bound it round its head, as before. Scrooge knew this, by the smart sound its teeth made, when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. He ventured to raise his eyes again, and found his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude, with its chain wound over and about its arm.
The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little, so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open.
It beckoned Scrooge to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Marley’s Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stopped.
Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night.
Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. He looked out.
The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

Whether these creatures faded into mist, or mist enshrouded them, he could not tell. But they and their spirit voices faded together; and the night became as it had been when he walked home.
Scrooge closed the window, and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. It was double-locked, as he had locked it with his own hands, and the bolts were undisturbed. He tried to say “Humbug!” but stopped at the first syllable. And being, from the emotion he had undergone, or the fatigues of the day, or his glimpse of the Invisible World, or the dull conversation of the Ghost, or the lateness of the hour, much in need of repose; went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep upon the instant. 








Was it Destiny?
I don't know yet
Was it just by chance?
Could this be kismet?
Something in my consciousness told me you'd appear
Now I'm always touched by your presence, dear

When we play at cards you use an extra sense
(it's really not cheating)
You can read my hand, I've got no defense
When you sent your messages whispered loud and clear
I am always touched by your presence, dear

Floating pass the evidence of possibilities
We could navigate together, psychic frequencies
Coming into contact with outer entities
We could entertain each one with our theosophies
Stay awake at night and count your r.e.m.'s when you're talking with your super friends
Levitating lovers in the secret stratosphere

I am still in touch with your presence, dear
I am still in touch with your presence, dear
I am still in touch with your presence, dear, dear, dear, dear, dear










Harlow’s Classic Studies Revealed the Importance of Maternal Contact

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Harry Harlow’s empirical work with primates is now considered a “classic” in behavioral science, revolutionizing our understanding of the role that social relationships play in early development. In the 1950s and 60s, psychological research in the United States was dominated by behaviorists and psychoanalysts, who supported the view that babies became attached to their mothers because they provided food. Harlow and other social and cognitive psychologists argued that this perspective overlooked the importance of comfort, companionship, and love in promoting healthy development.

Using methods of isolation and maternal deprivation, Harlow showed the impact of contact comfort on primate development. Infant rhesus monkeys were taken away from their mothers and raised in a laboratory setting, with some infants placed in separate cages away from peers. In social isolation, the monkeys showed disturbed behavior, staring blankly, circling their cages, and engaging in self-mutilation. When the isolated infants were re-introduced to the group, they were unsure of how to interact — many stayed separate from the group, and some even died after refusing to eat.

Even without complete isolation, the infant monkeys raised without mothers developed social deficits, showing reclusive tendencies and clinging to their cloth diapers. Harlow was interested in the infants’ attachment to the cloth diapers, speculating that the soft material may simulate the comfort provided by a mother’s touch. Based on this observation, Harlow designed his now-famous surrogate mother experiment.

In this study, Harlow took infant monkeys from their biological mothers and gave them two inanimate surrogate mothers: one was a simple construction of wire and wood, and the second was covered in foam rubber and soft terry cloth. The infants were assigned to one of two conditions. In the first, the wire mother had a milk bottle and the cloth mother did not; in the second, the cloth mother had the food while the wire mother had none.

In both conditions, Harlow found that the infant monkeys spent significantly more time with the terry cloth mother than they did with the wire mother. When only the wire mother had food, the babies came to the wire mother to feed and immediately returned to cling to the cloth surrogate.

Harlow’s work showed that infants also turned to inanimate surrogate mothers for comfort when they were faced with new and scary situations. When placed in a novel environment with a surrogate mother, infant monkeys would explore the area, run back to the surrogate mother when startled, and then venture out to explore again. Without a surrogate mother, the infants were paralyzed with fear, huddled in a ball sucking their thumbs. If an alarming noise-making toy was placed in the cage, an infant with a surrogate mother present would explore and attack the toy; without a surrogate mother, the infant would cower in fear.

Together, these studies produced groundbreaking empirical evidence for the primacy of the parent-child attachment relationship and the importance of maternal touch in infant development. More than 70 years later, Harlow’s discoveries continue to inform the scientific understanding of the fundamental building blocks of human behavior.

References

Harlow H. F., Dodsworth R. O., & Harlow M. K. (1965). Total social isolation in monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC285801/pdf/pnas00159-0105.pdf

Suomi, S. J., & Leroy, H. A. (1982). In memoriam: Harry F. Harlow (1905–1981). American Journal of Primatology, 2, 319–342. doi:10.1002/ajp.1350020402

Tavris, C. A. (2014). Teaching contentious classics. The Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/teaching-contentious-classics




”Observing the consequences of teasing and taunting enables chimp and child alike to discover the limits of what might otherwise be a too-unstructured and terrifying freedom. Such limits, when discovered, provide security, even if their detection causes momentary disappointment or frustration. 

I remember taking my daughter to the playground once when she was about two. She was playing on the monkey bars, hanging in mid-air. A particularly provocative little monster of about the same age was standing above her on the same bar she was gripping. I watched him move towards her. 


Our eyes locked. He slowly and deliberately stepped on her hands, with increasing force, over and over, as he stared me down. He knew exactly what he was doing. 

‘Up yours, Daddy-O’ —that was his philosophy. He had already concluded that adults were contemptible, and that he could safely defy them. (Too bad, then, that he was destined to become one.) 

That was the hopeless future his parents had saddled him with. To his great and salutary shock, I picked him bodily off the playground structure, and threw him thirty feet down the field. 


No, I didn’t. I just took my daughter somewhere else. But it would have been better for him if I had

Imagine a toddler repeatedly striking His Mother in the face. Why would he do such a thing? 

It’s a stupid question. 

It’s unacceptably naive. 

The answer is obvious. 

To dominate His Mother. 
To see if he can get away with it. 

Violence, after all, is no mystery. It’s Peace that’s The Mystery. 

Violence is The Default. It’s easy. 

It’s Peace that is difficult: learned, inculcated, earned. 

(People often get basic psychological questions backwards. Why do people take drugs? Not a mystery. It’s why they don’t take them all the time that’s the mystery. Why do people suffer from anxiety? That’s not a mystery. How is that people can ever be calm? There’s the mystery. We’re breakable and mortal. A million things can go wrong, in a million ways. We should be terrified out of our skulls at every second. But we’re not. The same can be said for depression, laziness and criminality.) 

If I can hurt and overpower you, then I can do exactly what I want, when I want, even when you’re around. 

I can torment you, to appease my curiosity. 

I can take the attention away from you, and dominate you. 

I can steal your toy. 

Children hit first because aggression is innate, although more dominant in some individuals and less in others, and, second, because aggression facilitates desire. 


It’s foolish to assume that such behaviour must be learned. 

A snake does not have to be taught to strike. It’s in the nature of the beast. 


Two-year-olds, statistically speaking, are the most violent of people. 

They kick, hit and bite, and they steal the property of others. 

They do so to explore, to express outrage and frustration, and to gratify their impulsive desires. 

More importantly, for our purposes, they do so to discover the true limits of permissible behaviour. 

How else are they ever going to puzzle out what is acceptable? Infants are like blind people, searching for a wall. 

They have to push forward, and test, to see where the actual boundaries lie (and those are too-seldom where they are said to be). 


Consistent CORRECTION of such action indicates the limits of acceptable aggression to the child. Its absence merely heightens curiosity—so the child will hit and bite and kick, if he is aggressive and dominant, until something indicates a limit. 

How hard can I hit Mommy? 
Until she objects. 

Given that, correction is better sooner than later (if the desired end result of the parent is not to be hit). 

Correction also helps the child learn that hitting others is a sub-optimal social strategy. 

Without that correction, no child is going to undergo the effortful process of organizing and regulating their impulses, so that those impulses can coexist, without conflict, within the psyche of the child, and in the broader social world. 

It is no simple matter to organize a mind. 


My son was particularly ornery when he was a toddler. When my daughter was little, I could paralyze her into immobility with an evil glance. Such an intervention had no effect at all on my son. He had my wife (who is no pushover) stymied at the dinner table by the time he was nine months of age. He fought her for control over the spoon. “Good!” we thought. We didn’t want to feed him one more minute than necessary anyway. But the little blighter would only eat three or four mouthfuls. Then he would play. He would stir his food around in his bowl. He would drop bits of it over the high chair table top, and watch as it fell on the floor below. No problem. He was exploring. 


But then he wasn’t eating enough. Then, because he wasn’t eating enough, he wasn’t sleeping enough. 

Then his midnight crying was waking his parents. 

Then they were getting grumpy and out of sorts. He was frustrating his mother, and she was taking it out on me. The trajectory wasn’t good. After a few days of this degeneration, I decided to take the spoon back. 

I prepared for war. 

I set aside sufficient time. 

A patient adult can defeat a two-year-old, hard as that is to believe. 

As the saying goes: “Old age and treachery can always overcome youth and skill.” 

This is partly because time lasts forever, when you’re two. Half an hour for me was a week for my son. I assured myself of victory. He was stubborn and horrible. But I could be worse. We sat down, face to face, bowl in front of him. 

It was High Noon. He knew it, and I knew it. 

He picked up the spoon. I took it from him, and spooned up a delicious mouthful of mush. I moved it deliberately towards his mouth. He eyed me in precisely the same manner as the playground foot monster. He curled his lips downward into a tight frown, rejecting all entry. I chased his mouth around with the spoon as he twisted his head around in tight circles. 

But I had more tricks up my sleeve. 

I poked him in the chest, with my free hand, in a manner calculated to annoy. He didn’t budge. I did it again. And again. And again. Not hard—but not in a manner to be ignored, either. 

Ten or so pokes letter, he opened his mouth, planning to emit a sound of outrage. 

Hah! His mistake. I deftly inserted the spoon. He tried, gamely, to force out the offending food with his tongue. But I know how to deal with that, too. I just placed my forefinger horizontally across his lips. Some came out. But some was swallowed, too. 

Score one for Dad. I gave him a pat on the head, and told him that he was a good boy. And I meant it. 

When someone does something you are trying to get them to do, reward them. No grudge after victory. An hour later, it was all over. 

There was outrage. There was some wailing. My wife had to leave the room. The stress was too much. 

But food was eaten by child. My son collapsed, exhausted, on my chest. We had a nap together. 

And he liked me a lot better when he woke up than he had before he was disciplined. 

This was something I commonly observed when we went head to head—and not only with him. 

A little later we entered into a babysitting swap with another couple. All the kids would get together at one house. Then one pair of parents would go out to dinner, or a movie, and leave the other pair to watch the children, who were all under three. One evening, another set of parents joined us. I was unfamiliar with their son, a large, strong boy of two. 

“He won’t sleep,” said his father. “After you put him to bed, he will crawl out of his bed, and come downstairs. We usually put on an Elmo video and let him watch it.” 

“There’s no damn way I’m rewarding a recalcitrant child for unacceptable behaviour,” I thought, “and I’m certainly not showing anyone any Elmo video.” 

I always hated that creepy, whiny puppet. He was a disgrace to Jim Henson’s legacy. So reward-by-Elmo was not on the table. 

I didn’t say anything, of course. There is just no talking to parents about their children—until they are ready to listen. 

Two hours later, we put the kids to bed. Four of the five went promptly to sleep—but not the Muppet aficionado. I had placed him in a crib, however, so he couldn’t escape. But he could still howl, and that’s exactly what he did. That was tricky. It was good strategy on his part. It was annoying, and it threatened to wake up all the other kids, who would then also start to howl. 

Score one for the kid. 

So, I journeyed into the bedroom. “Lie down,” I said. That produced no effect. “Lie down,” I said, “or I will lay you down.” 

Reasoning with kids isn’t often of too much use, particularly under such circumstances, but I believe in fair warning. Of course, he didn’t lie down. He howled again, for effect. Kids do this frequently. 

Scared parents think that a crying child is always sad or hurt. This is simply not true. 

Anger is one of the most common reasons for crying. Careful analysis of the musculature patterns of crying children has confirmed this. 

Anger-crying and fear-or-sadness crying do not look the same. 

They also don’t sound the same, and can be distinguished with careful attention. 

Anger-crying is often an act of dominance, and should be dealt with as such. 

I lifted him up, and laid him down. Gently. Patiently. But firmly. He got up. I laid him down. He got up. I laid him down. He got up. This time, I laid him down, and kept my hand on his back. He struggled, mightily, but ineffectually. 

He was, after all, only one-tenth my size. 
I could take him with one hand. 

So, I kept him down and spoke calmly to him and told him he was a good boy and that he should relax. 

I gave him a soother and pounded gently on his back. He started to relax. His eyes began to close. I removed my hand. 

He promptly got to his feet. 

I was impressed. The kid had spirit! 

I lifted him up, and laid him down, again. “Lie down, monster,” I said. I pounded his back gently some more. Some kids find that soothing. He was getting tired. He was ready to capitulate. He closed his eyes. I got to my feet, and headed quietly and quickly to the door. 

I glanced back, to check his position, one last time. He was back on his feet. I pointed my finger at him. “Down, monster,” I said, and I meant it. 

He went down like a shot. I closed the door. We liked each other. Neither my wife nor I heard a peep out of him for the rest of the night. 

“How was the kid?” his father asked me when he got home, much later that night. 

Good,” I said. “No problem at all. He’s asleep right now.” 

“Did he get up?” said his father. 

No,” I said. “He slept the whole time.” 

Dad looked at me. He wanted to know. 
But he didn’t ask.  And I didn’t tell. 

Don’t cast pearls before swine, as the old saying goes. And you might think that’s harsh. 

But training your child not to sleep, and rewarding him with the antics of a creepy puppet? That’s harsh too. 

You pick your poison, and I’ll pick mine.