We continue with Paul Meier,M.D. book "Christian Child-Rearing
and Personality Development."
THOSE FIRST SIX YEARS
Many psychiatrists estimate on the basis of their studies
that approximately 85 percent of the adult personality is already
formed by the time the individual is six years old. Imagine that!
A brand new baby, born in America today, will probably live to be
seventy-five years old, and with new scientific discoveries, that
may end up being extended to eighty-five or ninety. But how that
baby's parents train him or her during those crucial first six
years will determine how that individual will enjoy and succeed
in life during the other seventy or eighty years. God has given
us parents a tremendous responsibility! Dr. Gary Collins,
Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Counselling at Trinity
Evangelical Seminary, states:
Developmental psychologists have conducted literally
thousands of studies, and the results of these
investigations have substantially increased our knowledge
and understanding of the nature of childhood. A survey of
some of these psychological conclusions could be of value to
church leaders and Christian parents as they seek to "vain
up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6).1
The Communist Party and the Roman Catholic Church have
emphasized the importance of those early years. I believe that
those of us in the evangelical community must also be aware of
[1. Gary Collins, "Man in Transition," p.82.]
important responsibility God has given those of us who have
children, especially if they are under six years of age.
God's concern for children is quite evident throughout
Scripture. Mark records, "And they brought young children to him,
that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that
brought them" (Mark 10:13). The disciples obviously thought
Christ was too busy talking to adults to waste His time with
children. They must have thought that "children should be seen
and not heard." Mark goes on to record that "when Jesus saw it,
he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little
children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the
kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not
receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter
therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon
them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:14-16). God's concern for
children was also made evident by Matthew:
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a
little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and
said, Verily I say unto you. Except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself
as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of
heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my
name receiveth me. But who,, shall offend one of these
little one, which believe in me, it were better for him that
a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were
drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because
of offences! - Matt.18:1-7
I would like to share with you one more warning God has
given us about children. It is a warning that changed my whole
outlook on the vast importance of child-rearing. It is a warning
that has given me more determination as I carry on my work in
family psychotherapy as a Christian psychiatrist. It is also a
warning that was influential in stirring up my desire to practice
some preventative psychiatry, especially among my fellow
Christians. That crucial warning front God is worded as follows:
"For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth
generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to
thousands of those who love me and keep my commandment" (Exod.
This passage troubled me when I first read it. I knew that
the Bible is without error, and yet I simply could not understand
how a loving God would punish three or four generations of chil-
dren for the sins of their parents. It didn't seem consistent
with those passages about Christ's love for children as recorded
in the Gospels. But when I went into psychiatry and extensively
studied about healthy and unhealthy parent-child relationships,
and saw scores of mentally disturbed children and had to deal
with their parents and grandparents, the meaning of this passage
became quite obvious to me. It simply means that if we, as
parents, live sinful lives-meaning lives that are not in accord
with the health producing principles of God's Word - there will
be a profound effect upon our children, and our children's
children, to three or four generations. God is not punishing our
offspring for our sins, we are-by not living according to His
In my review of the scientific literature on parent-child
relationships, and from my own experiences as a psychiatrist, I
have learned a great deal about which types of families produce
which types of mental illness in their children. During one full
year of research at Duke University, I also uncovered much
information on which types of religious backgrounds produce which
types of mental illness, and which types of religious experiences
produce good mental health. I think the best way I can
effectively share these findings with you, without using
psychiatric jargon and terminology, is to tell you how to produce
various types of mental illness in your children. It will be a
novel, more enjoyable way of learning some important principles.
I'll be teaching you how to produce various types of mental
illness in your children so you will know what not to do if you
want them to be emotionally and mentally healthy. I will share
with you some easy steps for producing ten common types of mental
illness or personality disorder. I will then discuss some of the
most recent psychiatric findings on emotionally healthy families
Before I begin, however, I want it understood that there are
exceptions to every rule. Some children have been brought up
under the most adverse circumstances, only to attain greatness as
adults. Others have been reared in relatively normal Christian
homes, but developed manic-depression, schizophrenia, or some
other mental illness because of a strong inherited predisposition
or some other transparent factors. The human brain, with its 20
billion cells, complicated biochemistry, interconnecting
circuits, and electrical activity, is far too complex for us to
be overly simplistic in our approach to mental illness. But at
the same time, there are definite trends that have been observed
over and over again in the families of various types of mentally
disturbed children. God wants us to know the truth. The Bible is
absolute truth. But God didn't print the entire body of truth in
the Scriptures. If He had, our Bibles would be bigger than ocean
liners, and it would be quite difficult to carry them around!
They would also be quite expensive! So I think God would have us,
as Christians, take a sceptical but open-minded look at the truth
man learns from scientific investigations. If we do, we will have
a definite advantage over non-Christians, who know many
scientific facts but don't have the absolute standard of
authority we have in the Scriptures. With these warnings, I will
now proceed to share with you some of these definite trends.
How to Develop
Emotionally Disturbed Children
A. Ten easy steps for developing your normal, healthy baby into a
drug addict or alcoholic.
These steps are the same for both drug addiction and
alcoholism, since a majority of cases of both drug addiction and
alcoholism stem from the same type of personality disorder.
l. Spoil him; give him everything lie wants if you can afford it.
2. When he does wrong, you may nag him, but never spank him
(unless he is showing signs of independence).
3. Foster his dependence on you, so drugs or alcohol can replace
you when he is older.
4. Protect him from your husband and from all those mean teachers
who threaten to spank him from time to time. Sue them if you
5. Make all of his decisions for him, since you are a lot older
and wiser than he is. He might make mistakes and learn from them
if you don't.
6. Criticize his father openly, so your son can lose his own
self-respect and confidence.
7. Always bail him out of trouble so he will like you. Besides,
he might harm your reputation if he gets a police record. Never
let him suffer the consequences of his own behavior.
8. Always step in and solve his problems for him, so he can
depend on you and run to you when the going gets tough. Then when
he is older and still hasn't learned how to solve his own
problems, he can continue to run from them through heroin or
9. Just to play it safe, be sure to dominate your husband and
drive him to drink too, if you can.
10. Take lots of prescription drugs yourself, so that taking non-
prescription drugs won't be a major step for him.
In my opinion - as a psychiatrist who has worked with scores
of drug addicts and alcoholics-drug addiction and alcoholism are
not "drug" or "alcohol" problems, as they are frequently
mislabelled. And they are not an inherited disorder, even though
in some cases there are some inherited tendencies. They are a
choice, and this choice is usually made by people with severe
dependent personality disorders. They generally come from
families where there were a weak fattier and an over-controlling
mother who spoiled them excessively. A disproportionate
percentage of the alcoholics and drug addicts I have worked with
have been the youngest or only boy in the family, a factor which
gave their mothers added temptations to spoil them. Many times,
they were the only alcoholic or drug addict in an otherwise
normal family, and considered themselves the black sheep of the
The only cures I have seen have come about when the addict
himself has chosen to mature and work on his dependency problem,
preferably switching his dependency to God instead of alcohol or
drugs. When I work with them, I never mention drugs or alcohol,
and I refuse to listen to their stories about drugs or alcohol.
This would only encourage them to continue their habits, so they
could brag about them. I also refuse to become their "mother."
Most of them try very hard to get me to do things for them that
they ought to be doing for themselves. Then they try to make me
feel guilty when I refuse to do these favors for them. The best
way for me to show them genuine Christian love is to be
indifferent as to whether or not they like me, then to proceed to
do the things that I know will have the most beneficial effects
on them in the long run. Don't give them money. You'll just be
supporting their habit. Don't help them get out of trouble with
the law. They need desperately to suffer the consequences of
their behavior, since they never did when they were growing up.
The best thing you can do for them is to help them to become
aware of their severe dependent personality disorder and
encourage them to go out of their way to do things for
themselves. I think the ideal treatment for an alcoholic or drug
addict would be to send him out into a jungle somewhere for a
month or two with a Bible, a compass, and a jackknife, and nobody
around for several hundred miles-especially his mother. This
would produce independence, maturity, and increased
self-confidence, and I'm sure would cure many of them. The U.S.
government spends billions of dollars treating alcoholics in V.A.
hospitals, but about 95 percent never choose to quit drinking.
The hospital merely becomes a mother-substitute where they can
dry out and avoid responsibilities. The cure-rate for drug
addicts is even lower. 1 have never cured an addict, and I never
will. But some of the addicts I have worked with have matured and
decided to cure themselves-with God's help.
I never treat an alcoholic without treating his wife as
well. The reason for this is that when alcoholics are cured and
become responsible husbands and fathers, many of their wives have
nervous breakdowns. The wives are nearly always remarkably like
the alcoholic's mother-domineering, perfectionistic, and
masochistic. So the wives need help accepting their new role as
subservient wife instead of substitute-mother. Without such help
many of these wives would divorce their cured husbands and marry
another practicing alcoholic.
B. How to develop your normal child into a homosexual.
1. Start out by using the ten easy steps followed by the
alcoholic's mother, but this won't be enough.
2. Show your love for your son by protecting him very carefully.
Don't let him play football or baseball with the other boys - he
might get hurt! Don't let him be a newspaper boy or patrol boy;
he might catch pneumonia out in the bad weather.
3. Be sure he spends lots of time with you and very little with
his father (or any other adult males).
4. Teach him to sew and cook, and how to knit too. After all,
sexist attitudes about chores are out of dam nowadays. 2
5. Walk him to and from school so none of the bullies will beat
little Johnny up.
6. Let him play consistently with the little neighborhood girls
or his sisters and their friends. There just aren't any boys his
age in the neighborhood that you would want him to play with.
7. Joke with him about the feminine name you gave him, and tell
what a cute girl he would have been. Tell him that you really had
wanted a girl and dressed him in his big sister's clothes when he
was little. That was, when he reaches puberty and his
contemporaries start falling in love with the opposite sex, he
can too - with boys, since he thinks of himself basically as a
If your baby is a girl, just follow the same principles in
reverse: call her Jack, never make her wear a dress, and don't
spend much time with her, since she prefers playing football with
her father anyway. Homosexuality is on the rise in today's
society. And with the Women's Liberation Movement, more and more
weak men are feeling threatened by women and choosing homosexual
rather than heterosexual relationships. The practice of
homosexuality, just like drug addiction or alcoholism, is a
choice, not an inherited disorder. And it is a sinful choice at
that. God inspired Moses to write specific commandments about
homosexuality, labelling it a sin and calling on the Jewish
community to kill anyone caught practicing homosexual acts (see
Lev.18:22; 20:13). Even men dressing as women and women dressing
as men are declared to be acting contrary to the will of God (see
[2. Actually, it is fine for our sons to share in any chores.
even feminine chores, from time to time. However, many of the
homosexual males I have treated grew up in homes where they did
feminine chores almost exclusively, while their brothers did the
chores most Americans would consider masculine. Their mothers
wanted a girl, so they created these boys like girls in many
ways, including giving them primarily feminine chores.]
God's attitudes toward homosexual acts are recorded in the
New Testament as well. Paul writes:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or
give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and
their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they
became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God
for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and
four-footed animals and trawling creatures. Therefore God gave
them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their
bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the
truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature
[secular humanitarianism] rather than the Creator, who is blessed
forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them over to degrading
passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that
which is unnatural [lesbianism], and in the same way also the men
abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their
desire towards one another, men with men committing indecent acts
and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error
[homosexuality]. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge
God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do
those things which are not proper, being filled with all unright-
eousness, wickedness, greed, malice; full of envy, murder,
strife, deceit, malice [the desire to hurt others or get even];
they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant,
boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without
understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, although
they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such
things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also
give hearty approval to those who practice them. - Rom. 1:21-82,
I have yet to see any psychiatry book that describes
homosexuality in such a unique way.
Paul also records, "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor.6:9-10,
NASV). Here God makes it quite plain that even being an
effeminate boy is a sin in His sight. Boys become effeminate when
they grow up identifying with their mothers instead of with their
fathers. At Duke University I had a teenage male patient who was
a Christian, but was struggling against strong desires to commit
When taking his psychiatric history, I noted that his
father, also a Christian, spent most of his free time playing
with his older son, leaving the younger boy home with his mother.
When my patient got to elementary school, he said he found
himself naturally wanting to play with the girls instead of with
the boys. When he turned thirteen and entered puberty, he started
to have crushes on boys, as did the girls with whom he played,
and to imagine homosexual acts with the boys he liked. His older
brother turned out normal. Fortunately, this boy is doing things
for himself to become more masculine and to change his way of
thinking, and is not allowing himself to commit such acts or even
to dwell on them in his mind. I'm sure he will marry some day,
raise a family, and live a relatively normal life-maybe even an
exceptional Christian life, but he will always carry around some
Paul taught his spiritual son, Timothy:
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man,
but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the
ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those
who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral
men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers,
and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching. -
1 Tim.1:8.10, NASV
Homosexuality was rampant in the cities of Sodom and
Gomorrah. Lot had to bar the doors of his house to keep the
homosexuals from raping his male visitors. The Book of Jude
refers to this:
And the angels that did not keep their own position but left
their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal
chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great
day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities,
which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural
lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of
eternal fire. - Jude 6-7, NASV
The United States is rapidly becoming more and more like
Sodom and Gomorrah, and I believe some portions of our major
cities already are like Sodom and Gomorrah. And the liberals are
running around telling everybody that its all right. I know a
godly man who recently served on a steering committee for one of
the largest denominations in America. He had to debate some of
his more liberal religious peers who argued that their denomi-
nation should accept homosexuality as a normal practice and not a
sin. Fortunately (and with God's help, I'm sure) , the liberals
were defeated this time. Moreover, many liberal psychiatrists are
asserting that homosexuality should no longer be considered
abnormal, although a majority of psychiatrists are probably still
against such a motion. But I think the day is coming when both
religious denominations and psychiatry will accept homosexuality
as normal and not a sin; and I would guess that the religious
groups will probably beat psychiatry to it, since psychiatrists
understand in greater depth the many other developmental
deviations that have occurred in the homosexuals they have had as
patients. I may be wrong about who will win this race, however.
When Christians feel homosexual temptations, and some do,
they should resist (just as they would resist the temptation to
other sins). The temptation itself is not a sin, but dwelling on
it or yielding to it is. And in spite of the temptation they can
choose to be heterosexuals and to practice heterosexuality
rather than to practice homosexuality. Every human being has both
male and female sex hormones. Accordingly, homosexuality might be
more of a temptation physiologically for those people who have a
nearly even balance of those hormones. At any rate it will be
more of a temptation for those who have not had a strong parent
of the same sex to identify with, especially during the first six
to ten years of life.
C. How to develop your normal child into a sociopathic criminal.
1. As usual, start with the ten easy steps the alcoholic's mother
uses, with the following exceptions and additions:
2. Never spank your child. Physical punishment is a thing of the
past. In fact, spanking is now considered immoral and is even
against the law in Sweden (which just happens to have the highest
teenage suicide rate in the entire world).4
3. Let your child express himself any way he feels like it. Hell
learn foam your example how to behave-he doesn't need any
[4. Sweden, once a Christian stronghold and now a
twentieth-century model of permissiveness, is the only nation in
the world that I know of where Christians have to spank their
children in the privacy of their homes for fear that their
neighbors will turn them in to the police.]
4. Don't run his life; let him run yours. Let him manipulate you
and play on your guilt if be doesn't get his own way.
5. Don't enforce the household rules-if there are any. That way
he'll be able to choose which laws of society he will break when
lie is older, and lie won't fear the consequences, since he has
never suffered any.
6. Don't bother him with chores. Do all of his chores for him.
Then he can be irresponsible when he is older and always blame
others when his responsibilities don't get done right.
7. Be sure to give in when lie throws a temper tantrum. He might
hit you if you don't. Don't ever cross him when he is angry.
8. It will help if you choose to believe his lies. You may even
want to tell a few yourself. Cheat on your income taxes too.
9. Criticize others openly and routinely so he will realize that
lie is better than everyone else. Don't let him associate with
those overly religious Jones kids-he's too good for them.
10. Give him a big allowance and don't make him do anything for
it. He may get the idea that he'll have to work for a living
later on if you make him work for it. If he does do anything
worthwhile around the house, be sure to pay him richly for each
and every good deed. You wouldn't want him to think that a
feeling of responsibility is its own reward .5
Most of the sociopaths I have worked with-and I have worked
either directly or indirectly with hundreds of them-have come
from this type of home background. The first patient that comes
to my mind is a teenage boy whose mother followed every one of
these steps all his life. His parents both taught at a small
Christian college, where the boy's father was dean of men. I
remember the boy as being outstandingly handsome. This may have
been a contributing factor, since teachers, relatives, and
parents tend to especially spoil good-looking children. The
mother brought the boy to me because lie was getting into so much
trouble with the law, and she was running out of ways to bail him
out. She probably thought that if I had a few sessions with him,
I would write a
[5. For many extensive case studies of sociopaths, see H. M.
Cleckley, "Mask of Sanity"]
letter to the judge asking that he not suffer the consequences of
his illegal acts. Well, she brought him to the wrong psychiatrist
for that! She told me how she had tucked him in when he went to
bed a couple nights before. As she was leaving the room, he said
to her, "I didn't give you permission to leave the room, did I"
So she apologized to him and sat beside him until he gave her
permission to leave. Actually he never did give her permission
-she stealthily left when he finally fell asleep at 4 a.m. Almost
any child would turn out sociopathic with that kind of mother.
His father, the dean, was weak-kneed and apologetic, saying
strong things occasionally, and threatening the boy
occasionally,. but never following through. I recommended to the
mother and father that they set definite limits, discipline the
boy every single time he broke one of the limits without
listening to any of his excuses, give him a few chores, let him
earn his own spending money, and let him suffer the consequences
of any of society's laws that he chose to break. I told them that
if they couldn't do this, they should transfer the boy to a youth
home or foster home where someone would do this, for the boy's
sake; and 1 told them that I would make these recommendations to
the judge if he wanted my psychiatric opinion (which is the usual
case). I told them that if this program were not enforced
immediately, I saw no hope for the boy other than spending most
of his life in prison. The boy's parents then thanked me
politely, told me they would do this, set up another appointment
with me, and never returned. I have a good notion as to where
that boy is today. His parents loved themselves too much to do
what was right for their son, because doing what was right would
make him angry at them, and they weren't willing to tolerate his
Another comment I would like to make is that although most
of the sociopaths I have worked with come from this type of home,
many sociopaths come from homes where they were severely beaten
over and over, frequently by alcoholic fathers or by mothers
prone to child abuse. These children look down on their parents
and become so bitter toward them that they transfer these
feelings to society in general, hating society and thinking
themselves to be better than society, with a strong desire to
"get even." Some psychiatrists have reviewed prison records and
found this to be quite common. So either extreme is harmful to
the healthy development of a child. Another finding is that
sociopaths have a higher incidence of alcoholism and
homosexuality .6 This is easy to understand since in most cases
sociopaths are reared by parents similar to those of alcoholics
D. How to develop your normal child into a hysterical daughter.
In reviewing all the cases I have had as a psychiatrist,
approximately 25 percent have been hysterical females, meaning
that they either had a hysterical personality disorder or a
hysterical neurosis, the two of which are related. I have also
had a few hysterical males, although this particular type of
disorder is more common in females. Here are twelve easy steps
for producing one:
1. Use the same ten easy steps the alcoholic's mother used, point
by point; but in addition, do the following:
2. Spoil her; always let her get her way, especially if she pouts
3. Marry an immature husband and never meet his natural sexual
needs. For warmth and affection lie will become very close (too
close, in fact) to his daughter instead.
4. Lie to yourself a lot, so she can learn to use the technique
of denial for herself.
5. Always praise her for her looks, never for her character. Put
a mirror on every wall, so she can continually admire herself.
(This is one of the most important rules for producing hysteria.)
6. Whenever she runs away-and she'll probably do this frequently
- be sure to run after her and apologize for not letting her have
her own way in the first place.
7. Whenever she pretends to be sad and feigns a suicide attempt
by swallowing a couple dozen aspirins or sleeping pills, be sure
to save her dramatically and show her how guilty you feel for not
letting her have her own way in the first place. This will be
easy, since she will never overdose unless you or her boyfriend
is nearby to rescue her. (Note: In the United States, less than
one out of every twenty suicide attempts by females
[6. In "Psychiatry," a standard textbook, Merrill T. Eaton and
Margaret H. Peterson rate that sociopaths usually prefer
heterosexual relationships, but that because they want immediate
gratification, "most histories include some homosexual
relationships and often relationships with animals' (p.251)].
that get recorded end in actual death. In my own experience, I
have seen and talked to some, of females in emergency rooms after
they have made a suicide gesture, and I have never yet seen one
of them die from it, even though they almost all claim they were
really trying to die. I even saw one lady from up in the
mountains who overdosed on four iron tablets after an argument
with her husband! Seven times as many women as men attempt
suicide in the United States, but twice as many men die of it.
The reason for this is that men usually use guns or other violent
means, and half of them die as a result of their attempt)7
8. Encourage her to become a movie star. By now she is so
dramatic that acting would be quite natural for her.
9. Get divorced and remarried two or three times, so she can
learn what you already know: that all men are good-for nothing,
but you might as well live with one anyway.
10. Encourage her to wear the most seductive clothing. Actually,
you won't need to encourage her much, because she will do this
naturally to please her father, who keeps on praising her for her
good looks rather than for her character. (Note: Over one-third
of the hysterical females I have treated have even had sexual
intercourse with their fathers or stepfathers. Frequently their
fathers or other adults in their environment took advantage of
them when they were young by some sort of sexual abuse. Five
percent of American women and 2 percent of American men have
experienced incest while growing up.)
11. When she comes home from a date two hours late, you and your
husband should scold her for such behavior. Then with a curious
smirk on your face ask her for all the titillating details and do
enjoy every minute of it. But try not to be aware of how much you
are enjoying her adventure, even though she can tell that you
[7. Even though suicide attempts by females rarely end in death,
this sort of immature behavior should not be taken lightly.
Professional counselling should besought. Including both men and
women in die statistic,, 10 percent of Americans who survive a
suicide attempt die of suicide within ten years (see Thomas P.
Detrie and Henry G. Jarecki, "Modern Psychiatric Treatment," p.
12. Reward her whenever she plays sick. Then she can somatasize
all her future emotional conflicts rather than face up to them,
running from physician to physician but never finding out what's
wrong, and getting angrier and angrier at those male chauvinist
M.D.'s. (She continues to spend hundreds of dollars getting their
According to the Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual, which is the
bible of psychiatry throughout the world, individuals with
hysterical personality disorders are "characterized by
excitability, emotional instability, over-reactivity, and
self-dramatization. This self-dramatization is always
attention-getting and often seductive, whether or not the patient
is aware of its purpose. These personalities are also immature,
self-centered, often vain, and usually dependent on others."9
Hysterics also have a higher than normal incidence of what we
call passive-aggressive personality traits, which include
"obstructionism, pouting, procrastination, intentional
inefficiency, or stubbornness."10 These are ways of getting even
with the person they are dependent upon without being openly
hostile. Lest we become overly introspective, most of us have
behaved in some of these ways some of the time, but individuals
with true hysterical personalities behave in almost all of these
ways almost all of the time. Its a matter of degrees.
I would like to tell you briefly about one female hysteric I
treated for several years, and one male hysteric-a Roman Catholic
priest-whom I treated for a couple of months. Since I am sworn to
secrecy by my Hippocratic Oath as a physician, and for the good
of my patients, I will follow the usual procedure of changing
their names for my illustrations. Jane was a fourteen-year-old
girl when I inherited her as a patient. She had been admitted to
a psychiatric ward of a general hospital after repeatedly running
away, some minor drug abuse, and some bizarre behavior patterns.
For example, she cut up her back with a razor blade in the school
bathroom, then ran into her classroom, telling her female teacher
- whom she
[8. Most hysterics I have treated have also been hypochondriacs.
By the mere power of suggestion, I have 'cured" hysterics of
blindness, paralysis, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and
many other illnesses they thought they had. See bibliography
references 168, 175, 188, and 286 for research data on hysteria.
9. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, p.43.
10. Ibid., pp.48-44.]
had a crush on-that her sister had cut her. Jane would do almost
anything to get attention When we saw her talking to the juice
carts on the ward, we thought she must have been completely out
of her mind, but we found out later that even this was a dramatic
attention-getting device. After psychotherapy with her for six
weeks in the hospital, I followed Jane with weekly outpatient
psychotherapy sessions for two years. During that period Jane ran
away once more for half a day, overdosed half a dozen times or so
in an attempt to manipulate her mother, smoked marijuana
occasionally, and had about a hundred temper tantrums. All of
this was a dramatic improvement over her previous behavior. By
the time she was sixteen, she went to live in a youth home for
girls and had matured quite a bit. When I inherited her as a
patient at age fourteen, she was operating at about the
three-year-old level of psychological maturity, even though her
I.Q. was tested out at 135. By the time she was sixteen, she was
behaving like a ten to twelve-ear-old most of the time.
Parents sometimes bring in a teenager whose rearing they
have bungled for fourteen or sixteen years, and expect the
psychiatrist - since he has that magical "Master of Deity"
degree-to correct all their mistakes in a few weeks of therapy.
It doesn't work that way! All we can do is help the parents to
find some ways to modify the 5 or 10 percent of that teenager's
personality that isn't already formed. In reviewing Jane's first
six years of life, I discovered that she was born into an
upper-class family in which the mother was extremely Victorian
and the father financially successful, but psychologically very
weak and immature. The boss of the family was a very domineering
maternal grandmother, who was also a business executive. Since
Jane's father was immature, and Jane's mother never satisfied him
sexually-thinking sex was somewhat vulgar-Jane's father turned
all of his attention to Jane. He completely ignored his wife and
the other children. He praised Jane over and over again for how
cute she was, and wouldn't think of disciplining her for
anything. Whatever Jane wanted, Jane got. Her father and mother
slept in separate bedrooms, and Jane slept every night with her
father. During her preschool years, Jane was molested at least
once by her maternal grandfather, who was becoming somewhat
senile and had never gotten sexual satisfaction from his
When Jane was five, she and her father were lying in bed
together when, all of a sudden, her father had a heart attack. An
ambulance was called, and as he was being carried out of the
bedroom, he told his frightened daughter, "Don't worry, Honey,
I'll be back." But he died at the hospital, and Jane refused to
believe that he was dead. For months she would look for him in
closets and behind doors. He was her whole life. With her vivid
imagination, she would conjure him up and imagine him walking
into her room to talk to her several times a day. She finally
quit doing this when she was sixteen, though she may still be
doing it on rate occasions. Using her strong denial, she would
actually believe he was there sometimes. In her childish way of
understanding, she blamed her fattier for leaving her when she
needed him so much. In reality, she probably would have been much
worse if he had lived and continued to treat her the way lie did
like a substitute wife. So she loved her fattier and hated him at
the same time. She became bitter towards men in general, and more
and more seductive as she grew older. She developed a very
hysterical personality with all of its characteristics. When I
served as her therapist for over two years, she learned to trust
and identify with an older male who would not yield to her
seduction and manipulation, but who showed her genuine Christian
love in a matter-of-fact way. During the course of therapy she
did put her faith in Jesus Christ, and she tried off and on to
grow in the Lord. But she found herself trying to manipulate God
in the same way that she had manipulated tier father. As most
people do, she thought God must be a lot like her father, and had
difficulty accepting His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence,
and His divine mixture of genuine love and perfect justice. I
spent scores of hours trying to teach Jane's mother how to handle
her at home. But her mother, who had arthritis and a heart
condition, simply could not force herself to discipline Jane in
the way she needed to be disciplined, so Jane went to live in a
youth home for girls in a nearby city. The last letter I received
from Jane let me know that she was doing quite well there, even
though she was still trying to play on my guilt for having
recommended that she not live at home with her mother any more.
Not all hysterics are women. If you apply the same
techniques I have listed to your son, you can just as easily make
a male hysteric out of him, and there are quite a few male
hysterics around. Some of you may know one. I hope none of you is
married to one.
One male hysteric that I treated was a Roman Catholic
priest. He came to me complaining about all of his superiors, who
were constantly misinterpreting his actions. Whenever his
superiors would walk into the church and find him caressing a
female parishioner, they would accuse hum of being overly
seductive. Of course, in his view he was only showing her
sympathy for her marital and other problems. He complained that
his bishop kept harassing him because of his liberal ideas about
women's liberation and other women's rights causes. I ordered
complete psychological testing for him, so I could find out what
was really going on. I wrote my own predictions down, and when
the psychological tests -including the Rorschach ink-blot
test-came back, they supported my predictions 100 percent. He was
a male hysteric who unconsciously hated women. When he saw a
feminine ink blot, he would think it was an atomic bomb. It all
stemmed back to his relationship with his neurotic mother, who
pampered him all his life and continually praised him for his
appearance rather than his character. She also followed most of
the other steps listed above.
Hysterics traditionally seduce persons of the opposite sex,
either consciously or subconsciously, so they can put them down
and prove that they are good-for-nothings like everyone else of
the opposite sex. Many prostitutes are hysterics. Many a female
hysteric seeks a good man to bring down sexually, so she can tell
everyone that he seduced her, thus ruining his reputation. Many
of them even make up stories of ministers and physicians who
supposedly have seduced them. The Book of Proverbs describes
hysterical females and males better than any book on psychiatry I
have read. Solomon describes the hysterical male: "A naughty
person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh
with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his
fingers; Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief
continually; Ire soweth discord" (Prov.6:12-14). Solomon calls
hysterical females "strange women" and says that they seek out
the precious life, to bring him down. He warns godly young men
The lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her
mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as
wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to
death; her steps take ]cold on hell. Lest thou shouldest
ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable [unstable],
that thou cans[ not know them. Hear me now therefore, 0 ye
children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove
thy way far front her, and come not nigh the door of her
house: Lest then give thine honour unto others, and thy
years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy
wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And
thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are
consumed [probably referring to the devastating effects of
syphilis], And say, How have 1 hated instruction, and my
heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my
teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed mel
I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation
and assembly. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and
running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be
dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in tire streets. Let
them be only thin, own, and not strangers' with thee. Let
thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy
youth. Let lie, be as tire loving hind and pleasant roe; let
her breasts satisfy these at all times; and be thou ravished
always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished
with a strange woman, and em- brace tire bosom of a
stranger? For the ways of man are before tire eyes of the
LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. - Prov.5:3-21
E. How to develop your normal child into an adult schizophrenic.
All of the literature I have reviewed indicates a strong
genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, more so than most other
mental illnesses. Many childhood schizophrenics come from quite
normal homes, as do some adult schizophrenics. And then again,
many people have inherited a genetic predisposition for
schizophrenia yet never develop the disease, because they were
reared in loving healthy homes that were based on principles
consistent with what God recommends in Scripture. As a matter of
fact, many of those individuals who would have become
schizophrenic under adverse circumstances instead become very
creative. On the other hand, some individuals do not inherit a
strong genetic predisposition for schizophrenia, but become
schizophrenic anyway because they were reared in
schizophrenogenic (schizophrenic-producing) homes. I'm going to
give you five easy steps for producing a schizophrenic
environmentally. But first, let me tell you what schizophrenia
is. Schizophrenia is defined as a
mental disorder of psychotic level characterized by disturb-
ances in thinking, mood, and behavior. The thinking
disturbance is manifested by a distortion of reality,
especially by delusions and hallucinations, accompanied by
fragmentation of associations that results in incoherent speech.
The mood disturbance is manifested by inappropriate affective
responses. The behavior disturbance is manifested by ambivalence,
pathetic withdrawal, and bizarre activity.11
Here's how to produce a schizophrenic:
1. Again, use most of the same basic rules as the alcoholic's
mother, with the following exceptions:
2. Tell your child you love him, but never hug him or show any
genuine warmth. When you have to carry him as a baby, put him on
your hip, facing away from you, rather than snuggling him up
close to you and facing you.
3. Promise him you'll do things with him, but always think of
excuses when the time comes; encourage your husband to do the
4. Husbands should be seen and not heard, and they should be seen
only when they have permission from you. The weaker your husband
is, the easier it will be to make a schizophrenic out of your son
or daughter, especially if you are cold and impersonal whenever
you lie to your child by telling him that you love him.
5. In contrast to the alcoholic's mother, be very weak and in.
effectual yourself. If you and your husband are both psycho.
logically weak and ineffectual, it will help a great deal.12
I had one patient who was a ten-year-old schizophrenic boy.
He was reared by a weak, ineffectual mother who would not
discipline him. She was very cold and impersonal. She had
divorced her husband many years earlier. He was a chronic
paranoid schizophrenic himself, and spent most of his adult life
in V.A. hospitals. When the boy was admitted to the hospital, at
the insistence of social workers, he had a wild appearance-torn
clothes, long claw-like fingernails, a glaring stare-and very
little body movement. He hadn't had a bath in several weeks. The
mother said she simply could not get him to take a bath. I told
the mother that the hospital policy was for the parents not to
visit the children on the
[11. Alfred M. Freedman, et a., "Modern Synopsis of Psychiatry,"
12. See bibliography references ...]
psychiatric ward for the first three days after admission, so
they can adjust to being away from home. She accepted this
readily, but when I asked her to tell her son that she wouldn't
be back for three days, she just stared at him. She was so
ineffectual that site couldn't even tell him that, for fear he
might not like her. We treated him with major tranquilizers and
behavior modification, and he got a lot better. He could laugh
again, and play with other children. We recommended to the courts
that he be placed in a foster home or a boys home, rather than go
back to his schizophrenogenic mother. The last I heard, she was
suing the social work service to get him back.
Another schizophrenic patient that I evaluated at Duke
University was an eighteen-year-old girl. Her mother was
borderline schizophrenic herself, and her father was neurotic.
Her parents had used most of the above rules for developing a
schizophrenic - they were quite ineffectual, cold, and so on.
They were also ultra-charismatic, claiming, for example, to have
seen the Holy Spirit in person and to have cast out demons. The
schizophrenic girl was especially disappointed to find out I had
never spoken in tongues. Her conversation went from one subject
to another; she would break off in mid-sentence, not remembering
what she had been talking about. Her thoughts constantly went
back to sexual things, and her mood changed rapidly back and
forth from elation to tearful sadness. She seemed to think the
world revolved around her, and she had the answers for any
question. I have seen many like tier get a great deal better
after two or three weeks on the proper medications, but when I
recommended that she take medications, she refused and the mother
was too ineffectual to insist that she take them. So they never
came back, even after several telephone calls asking them to.
One of the saddest things in psychiatry is knowing you could
help someone, then having them refuse your help. Solomon, the
wisest human counsellor, said, "if you rebuke a mocker, you will
only get a smart retort; yes, he will snarl at you. So don't
bother with him; he will only hate you for trying to help him.
But a wise man, when rebuked [or given insights], will love you
all the more. Teach a wise man, and he will be the wiser; teach a
good man, and he will learn more" (Prov. 9:7-9, LB). And so in my
psychiatric practice, I share with my patients observations and
insights which are sometimes painful (rebukes). What they do with
those insights is their responsibility. I can only hope and pray
that they will use them to change their behavior and improve
their mental and spiritual condition.
F. How to develop an obsessive child.
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-II),
obsessive-compulsive personality is the diagnosis for individuals
who are "excessively rigid, over-inhibited, over conscientious,
over-dutiful, and unable to relax easily.13 If this progresses to
a neurosis, the condition is characterized by
the persistent intrusion of unwanted thoughts, urges, or
actions that the patient is unable to stop. The thoughts may
consist of single words or ideas, ruminations, or trains of
thought often perceived by the patient as nonsensical. The
actions vary from simple movements to complex rituals such
as repeated hand-washing. Anxiety and distress are often
present either if the patient is prevented from completing
his compulsive ritual or if he is concerned about being
unable to control it himself.14
Here's how to produce an obsessive child:
1. Talk all the time, but don't be very active physically, and
never listen to what your child has to say.
2. Expect perfect etiquette and manners from your child from his
clay of birth on. Don't tolerate any mistakes.
3. Be an introvert. Don't let him see you interacting in a
healthy manner with other human beings.
4. Be very critical of the people around you-this includes your
minister, your neighbors, your husband, and, most importantly,
5. Be a real snob.
6. Be sure to domineer your husband as well as your children.
This is very important.
7. Emphasize instrumental morality as a way of being superior to
other children, or of getting to heaven.
[13. Manual of Mental Disorders,p.43.
14. Ibid., p.40.]
8. Don't make any serious commitments to God yourself, and be
critical of the religious convictions of your child's
9. Tell your child that his father is the boss, but in reality,
allow your husband to be nothing but a figurehead.
10. Expect your child to be completely toilet-trained by the time
he is twelve months old. Then, when he grows older, he can get
even with you by being constipated much of the time.
11. Be a real miser with your money. Always save for the future,
and don't let that future ever come.
12. Emphasize the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the
law. Make your rules quite rigid, and never allow any exceptions.
13. Practice the Victorian ethic. Shame your child for being a
Research has shown that these are the kinds of principles
the parents of obsessive children follow. This is quite
consistent with my own findings. Actually, a degree of
obsessiveness can be very beneficial in life. It can help a
person to be hard-working, conscientious, and genuinely moral.
Almost all of the physicians and medical students that 7 have
given personality tests to have several obsessive-compulsive
traits. If they weren't organized and industrious, they would
never make it through the grinding demands of medical school and
private practice. Not all doctors have the nice hours and
independent wealth of Marcus Welby, M.D. Many seminary students
and ministers are quite obsessive - compulsive also. This can
help them to accomplish great tasks for God, provided they also
know how to relax and enjoy life at the same time. I'm sure the
Apostle Paul had some healthy obsessive-compulsive tendencies,
and lie may have had to overcome some unhealthy ones. But
obsessive-compulsiveness can get out of hand if we, as parents,
use the thirteen rules listed above. I've seen obsessive children
who literally hate themselves for not being perfect, even though
most of them are superior in intelligence and in many other ways.
If they go to a
[15. Paul L. Adams, "Family Characteristic, of Obsessive
Children." See also bibliography references 176, 188, 338.]
Christian party and start having a little fun, they feel guilty.
They think its not right to have fun, especially if they could be
at home in their room doing their homework over for the third
G. How to develop an accident-prone child.
1. Be somewhat neurotic and marry a neurotic husband.
2. Get into serious hassles with your husband, especially over
your child. That way the child can blame himself and react to
family stresses by hurting himself to relieve his guilt.
3. Ignore your child, especially when he shows confidence or good
character traits. That way, tie will be noticed only when he gets
4. It will help if you and your husband are both gone most of the
time. Just leave him at home with his older brothers and sisters.
Be too tired and busy to notice him when you do get home, that
is, if he's not in bed already.
5. Overreact with extreme sympathy when he does get a scrape or a
bruise, since you feel guilty for ignoring him the rest of the
The average age when accident-prone children are seen by a
psychiatrist is about seven or eight. Usually they have been
accident-prone for several years. The tendency appears to be
slightly more common in girls than in boys, and in the youngest
child of the family. The accident proneness frequently goes away
when the psychiatrist finishes treating the child's parents.
H. How to develop an obese child and anorexic teenager.
This syndrome may sound strange to many of you. It's known
as anorexia nervosa, and used to be quite rare. But there has
been a fivefold increase in the incidence of anorexia nervosa in
the past generation.17 Hundreds of research studies have been
done on anorexia, but none have been conclusive about the reason
[16. Peter Husband and Pat E. Hinton, "Families of Children with
17. "Epidemiology of Anorexia Nervosa," p.556; also G. F. M.
Russell, "Clinical and Endocrine Features of Anorexia Nervosa;"
dramatic rise in the incidence of this disease in the past
generation. The mothers of anorexics are frequently women of
achievement or career women, frustrated in their aspirations,'-
so I think that there is a good chance that some of the
philosophies of the Women's Liberation Movement and the rapidly
changing roles of women in our society may be partially
Over 95 percent of the adolescents who develop anorexia
nervosa are females, frequently overly dependent females with
pent-up hostilities toward their parents.'- Most anorexics were
somewhat obese in childhood, are above average in intelligence,
are from the upper socio-economic class, and are the daughters of
professional parents, many of whom are in the nurturing
professions.-" They frequently have fears about growing up, and
especially about becoming a woman. Many have sexual guilt,
sometimes for unfounded reasons.21 They frequently get along
quite well until they start changing from a little girl into a
young woman. Then, all of a sudden, they develop a phobia of
food, especially fattening foods. Their menstrual cycles cease.22
At first, the parents think their daughter is on a typical
teenage diet-until she keeps on losing, and losing, and losing.
About 15 percent of anorexics become increasingly emaciated until
they die of starvation and its effects.23 I had one
twenty-two-year-old anorexic who got down to thirty-eight pounds.
She didn't improve very much, and I assume that she has probably
died in the past few years. On the other hand, one of my best
patients was a sixteen-year-old girl who got down to sixty. six
pounds, responded quite well to psychotherapy and spiritual
encouragement, recovered completely, and has done excellently
ever since. She still sends me occasional postcards. Many
anorexics recover, but continue to have sexual maladjustments and
difficulty becoming intimate with a man.
The results of some research studies (e.g., abnormal EEG's)
[18. Hilda Bruch, "Family Transactions in Eating Disorders."
20. Arthur H. Crisp, "Premorbid Factors in Adult Disorders of
Weight, with Particular Reference m Primary Anorexia Nervosa."
21. Arthur H. Crisp, "Reported Birth Weight and Growth Rates in a
Group of Patients with Primary Anorexia Nervosa (Weight Phobia)."
22. See bibliography references...
See bibliography references...]
indicate a genetic predisposition for this disease?24 The parents
of anorexics are quite similar to the parents of children who
become obese and simply stay obese. Perhaps the genetic
predisposition may make the difference. Anyway, the rules I am
about to give are based on general trends that have been observed
in the families of both obese children and anorexic children.
1. Start out by using most of the rules used by the drug addicts'
mothers, so you can create a super-dependent child. (Note: The
thirty-eight-pound patient I told you about was so dependent upon
her mother that she used her emaciated condition to manipulate
her mother into carrying her around like a baby wherever she
wanted to go. The mother did this willingly in spite of our
warnings that it was very detrimental to her daughter's
2. Be a frustrated women's libber.
8. Give your children lots of food instead of lots of love.
4. Fathers should be passive in the home, intelligent, and
financially successful, preferably teachers or doctors or members
of some other nurturing profession.25
5. Mothers should be overweight and neurotically overprotective.
They should also wear the pants in the family.26
6. Don't show much respect for your husband.27
7. Be dominant, restrictive, and oversolicitous. Also be sure
your family lives near your own mother, so she can dominate your
life a little too.28
8. Marry an obsessive-compulsive, Victorian husband who doesn't
[24. William P. Wilson, ed., Applications of
Electroencephalography in Psychiatry, p.268. See also
bibliography references ...
25. See bibliography references ...
27. Bruch, "Eating Disorders."
28. Patricia Wold, "Family Structure in Three Cases of Anorexia
Nervosa: The Role of the Father."]
like women much because his mother bossed him around quite a
9. Direct your husband's pent-up hostility toward your daughter,
so he will be more accepting of you.30
One of the world's leading authorities on anorexia. and
obesity problems is Dr. Hilda Bruch, a prominent woman physician.
In her research studies (several of which are listed in my
bibliography) she notes that women who feel a conscious or
unconscious rejection toward their children frequently compensate
for it by excessive feeding and overprotective measures. Food
thus has an exaggerated emotional value and becomes a
love-substitute. She also notes that these mothers are frequently
frustrated career women who don't respect their husbands.31
I would like to divert our attention here briefly to some of
the research findings, and some of my own personal opinions, on
the Women's Liberation Movement. First of all, I think many of
the complaints of the Women's Libbers are quite legitimate. One
of our best friends is a female lab technician who gets a couple
hundred a month less than male lab technicians with the same
amount of training and experience. I don't think that's right.
And I personally believe that God calls many women to make great
contributions to society through professional careers. However, I
really get angry when I hear Women's Libbers criticize and
downgrade other women for choosing to be housewives or for
submitting to their husbands' authority. I think being a
housewife is a calling from God that is just as worthwhile as any
other calling, and frequently a lot more difficult. Take John
Wesley's mother, for instance. He was the fifteenth of nineteen
children, and his mother didn't have the modern conveniences
American mothers have today. And yet, on top of all her other
chores, she managed to spend at least one hour each week with
each child individually for devotions. No wonder God was able to
use John and Charles Wesley to bring about a revival that reached
around the world. Look at the godly mother they had. This story
has been repeated over and over again
30. Ibid. For an award-winning article an the treatment of
anorexia nervosa, see Ronald Liebman, et a., "An Integrated
Treatment Program for Anorexia Nervosa."
31. Bruch, "Eating Disorders."]
in history, but the books are written about the great sons, and
their great mothers are frequently neglected. I thank God over
and over for the godly mother I had and still have. I also thank
Him for the elderly unmarried woman in my home church who prayed
for me in her closet every day when I was in high school. What an
impact that had on my life! ....
Many people are surprised to find out that the ideal godly
woman described in Proverbs 31 had servant girls help her at home
so she could have time to invest in a little real estate (v.6),
do a little farming (v.16), and make girdles to sell commercially
(v.24). But she also "watches carefully all that goes on
throughout her household, and is never lazy" (v.27). Moreover,
she is a great help to her husband and richly satisfies his needs
Edith Schaeffer, the wife of author Francis Schaeffer, has
written an excellent book for women, entitled "Hidden Art," in
which she shows numerous ways in which godly women can be
creative in the home, making good use of their God-given talents.
She says that much of the impetus for the Women's Lib movement
comes from frustrated housewives who aren't expressing their
creativity in the home. I wish every Christian woman would read
I think the Women's Libbers have some legitimate complaints,
but I am also aware of some morally corrupt trends within the
movement, such as the call by some to make war against God's Word
and God Himself. As a psychiatrist, I don't like their
denunciation of male authority in the home, since the vast
majority of neurotics I see come from homes that are dominated by
women. Janet Zollinger Giele, of Radcliffe Institute in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently published an article in which
she stated that our young people "have been steeped in the new
morality, the new psychology, the experience of mechanization and
the interchangeability of personnel. It took only a small step to
extend these principles to sex roles."32 She states that "recent
demographic trends indicate a shift in the parental and marital
roles of both men and women.... The nature of the family is being
transformed as the worlds of women and men increasingly
overlap."33 This is
[32. Janet Zollinger Giele, "Changes in the Modern Family: Their
Impact on Sea Roles," p.757.
especially true of women born after the great depression. 1 hope
God won't have to bring us through another depression to bring us
to our senses. Karl Marx taught that "the patriarchal family must
go because it is the chief institution in contemporary society
that oppresses and enslaves women."34 Dr.Henry Greenbaum is a
psychiatrist and Freudian analyst who is pro-Women's Lib in
general. But even Dr. Greenbaum states that the Women's Lib
movement is attacking marriage, family, and parenthood, which are
essential human needs. He states that these trends will "lower
the quality of life."35 He also makes the rather astute
observation that "whatever form our evolving institutions do take
will depend to a great extent on our moral value systems and the
quality of people."36
Research studies show that over 40 percent of American
mothers with children eighteen years of age or under are
presently employed.37 These studies indicate that maternal
employment is some times beneficial and sometimes harmful to the
family, depending on various circumstances. Maternal employment
was found to be generally harmful if the mother's job lowered her
self-esteem, if she was working against the wishes of other
family members, or if her children had to be kept during the day
in inadequate facilities.38
I. How to develop an enuretic (bedwetting) or encopretic
Occasional bedwetting and soiling are quite normal in young
children. Research studies show us that, in the case of
bedwetting, 88 percent of children quit by about four and
one-half years of age, 93 percent by age seven and one-half, and
98 percent by age seventeen. It may surprise you to find out that
from 0.5 to 2 percent of our American servicemen continue to wet
their beds occasionally.40 It has been estimated that about 10
percent of bed
[34. Alive S.Rossi, "Family Development in a Changing World,"
35. Henry Greenbaum, "Marriage, Family and Parenthood."
87 Mary C. Howell, "Employed Mothers and Their Families."
83. Alfred M. Freedman and Harold I. Kaplan, eds., Comprehensive
Textbook of Psychiatry, p.1880.
wetting in late childhood is organic, meaning the child may have
a small bladder or some other physical difficulty. If this is the
case, teaching him to hold in his urine longer can frequently
serve to stretch his bladder and eliminate bedwetting. Ninety
percent of bedwetting in children five years or older, however,
is felt to be psychologically caused, usually an expression of
hostility toward one or both of his parents. So if you, as
parents, stay calm and matter-of-fact, and have the child clean
and change his own wet bed without scolding him, you'll be doing
the right thing. If he's doing it to express hostility and to get
you upset, or to give you extra work to do, this reaction on your
part will take all the fort out of it-especially since lie has to
clean his own bed. And if in fact he does have a small bladder,
you're still doing the right thing because you're not scolding
him, and cleaning up his bed himself will help him to feel more
responsible and independent, and less guilty. If it continues to
be a problem, there are medications, like low doses of Tofranil,
that will usually eliminate the problem within a week or two.
Then the medications can be stopped a month or two later to see
if they are still needed:41
Occasional soiling is also quite common in young children,
but after age five or so, it is generally considered more serious
psychiatrically than bedwetting is. It can also be treated with
low doses of prescription psychiatric medications, but family
counselling is generally recommended as well.
Here are some general rules for increasing the likelihood of
producing an enuretic or encopretic child of the psychological
1. Mothers should be divorced or married to husbands who are
almost always gone. (Note: In one study of fourteen encopretic
children, for instance, eight lived with a divorced mother and
the other six had fathers who were gone all [e.g., overseas
military assignments] or most of the time [e.g., two jobs].)42
2. Be ambivalent toward motherhood (Women's Libbers again).
[41. Paul M. Bindelglas, et a., "Medical and Psychosocial Factors
in Enuretic Children Treated with Imipramine Hydrochloride."
42. Jule, C. Bemporad, et a., "Characteristics of Emopretic
Patients and Their Families."]
3. Show the rejection you feel for your child by being
domineering, over-intruding, and over-protective.
4. Openly criticize your husband for being stupid, socially
inept, and gone all the time.
5. Isolate your feelings and show a real lack of warmth.
6. Nag a lot.
7. Be preoccupied with your child's intestinal functions.
8. Mother and father should argue openly and frequently about how
to raise the child.
9. If and when the fathers are home, they should be weak and
10. It will help if you force toilet-training on your child
before he is neurologically ready for it. (Note: Children vary in
neurological readiness for toilet-training anywhere from eighteen
months to four years of age, with the average being about two and
one-half years of age.)43
I have treated a number of enuretics and encopretics, but
one ten-year-old boy especially sticks out in my mind. He had a
divorced, borderline schizophrenic mother who was cold and inef-
fectual and felt strong rejection toward the boy. His mother
would wrap up his stools to show the doctor. She had delusions
about their being as big as horse manure and constantly plugging
up her sewer system. We hospitalized the boy and he did very well
in the child psychiatry unit. Only one time did he put a stool on
the floor, and that was out of anger at me for not letting him
have his own way about something. When I suggested to the mother
that her son might do better at a Christian home for boys, she
jumped at the chance to get him out of her home, but pretended
that she didn't want to lose him. He did a lot of growing up at
that new home, where he felt accepted and loved. In the meantime,
I treated the mother with major tranquilizers and arranged for a
female therapist to see her regularly, in hopes that in a year or
two mother and son might both be ready to live together again,
but this time without psychologically damaging the boy for life.
[43. Ibid. See also Jean Marie Hoag, et a., "The Encopretic Child
and His Family."]
J. How to develop a hyperkinetic (hyperactive) child.
Before giving you some easy steps to follow, I want to say a
few words about hyperactive children. I have evaluated and
treated a large number of them. During the initial evaluation, I
talk to the child, watch him awhile, watch him interact with his
parents through a one-way mirror, and do an extensive
neurological exam. Here is what I usually find, and the
literature will bear me out. The most common finding is that the
boy-and I say boy because about nine out of ten hyperactive
children are boys-isn't really hyperactive at all. He's just
wired at a high normal level of activity. The higher androgen
level in boys makes them generally more active than girls. Many
of these parents had a girl first and, surprised to find out how
active their boy is, just want to know if this is normal.
During the evaluation I also ask the parents quite a few
questions about their manner of discipline in the home. The
mothers, and sometimes even the fathers, are simply unwilling to
give their child a good healthy spanking when he gets out of
hand. These mothers are usually quite ineffectual. They have weak
egos and are so selfish in wanting the child to like them that
they are unwilling to spank him, even when they know. in their
hearts that it would be best for him. So in effect the child has
no real limits. But children can't stand to be without limits.
Children with no limits will be constantly misbehaving and
running around in order to get limits put on them. When limits
are established, children will try these limits. If the parents
reinforce these limits with good solid discipline, the children
will quit testing, sit back, and relax. It gives them real
security. And they know their parents care about them enough to
set limits. In my opinion, the lack of physical discipline and
limit-setting in Sweden is the reason Sweden has the world's
highest teenage suicide rate. Limits bring real security.
There's another group of hyperkinetic children, perhaps 10
to 20 percent of the so-called hyperkinetics that I evaluate.
This group stands out because they have some minor abnormalities
on their neurological exam. Their intelligence is normal or
frequently even better than normal, but in comparison with other
children their age they are somewhat clumsy with fine finger
movements. They have more trouble skipping, consistently get
their letters backward when writing, and do a number of other
things that mark them as having a minor neurological problem.
They have what we call late maturation of the nervous system.
I'll explain it briefly. During the first six years of life or
so, a fatty sheath is being formed around a child's nerve cells.
This is similar to the insulation we put around electrical wires
and is what I mean by neurological maturation. Pathologists who
have studied electron-microscope slides of the brains of children
who have died have noted that this maturation is completed
earlier in girls than in boys -about age five or six in girls,
and about age six or seven in boys. That's why neurologically
girls are more ready for school at age six than most boys. In
some boys, and in a few girls, this neurological maturation does
not become complete until the age of twelve or thirteen.
Sometimes it never does. Children with late maturation have a
number of neurological problems which generally clear up when
maturation is complete. They are more rest. less and definitely
hyperactive. Some have specific learning difficulties, especially
in reading and writing. These difficulties also frequently clear
up at a later age. But in the meantime these children are often
misunderstood. They are labelled as having behavior problems or
as being retarded (even though they have normal intelligence),
and as a result they generally develop a poor self-concept.
Over 90 percent of these children can be treated medically
with dramatic results. I have had a number of them come into my
office, run around the room, spin around in my chair, even climb
up drapes. I give them a low dose of Ritalin, and fifteen or
twenty minutes later they're sitting in a chair answering
questions with ,.yes sir." They calmly go to the testing room
next door and do well on I.Q. tests. They go home and behave;
when they go to school, they can sit still and concentrate
better, and their grades usually come up. They're a joy to treat
because their parents think I'm a miracle-worker. Of course, it
is just the medicine affecting their nervous system to work as
though it were myelinated already. Every six months or so, we
stop the medications for about a week to see if the child still
needs them. When maturation is complete, he will be as calm off
medication as he is on medication, so we leave him off it from
then on. Actually, Ritalin is a type of amphetamine. Amphetamines
speed up adults, making them more active and nervous. They are
also habit-forming. That's why I never prescribe amphetamines for
adults. But I give hyperkinetic children very low doses. I've
never seen a child become addicted to Ritalin, although I'm sure
its possible. Nor have I ever seen adverse reactions to stopping
it all at once. If Ritalin doesn't work, there are several other
medications which probably will. Some researchers say Ritalin
works only in children with late neuronal maturation, but I
disagree. I've given it to a number of hyperactive children who
had no neurological abnormalities and came from homes that lacked
discipline. It worked fine for most of them too. I would have
therapy sessions with the parents for several weeks, get them
into some parent-training classes on how to discipline, and take
the children off Ritalin when the parents were finally ready to
give discipline and love a real try. If they did, the children
got along fine without any medication. Many parents think their
child has hyperkinetic syndrome secondary to late neuronal
maturation when actually all the child has is a lack of limits.
And the opposite is true sometimes too. I know of some parents
who kept beating their child excessively to get him to quiet
down, when in reality he had this neurological syndrome.
Most family doctors know very little about this syndrome or
how to treat it, so if you suspect it in one of your own
children, or a neighbor's child, I would recommend that the child
be seen by a child psychiatrist or by trained people at a child
study center. It really wouldn't matter, in all probability,
whether the child psychiatrist were a Christian or not to
evaluate something like this. Listed here are a few easy steps to
follow if you want to produce hyperkinesis (hyperactivity) in
your normal child.
1. Don't spank him when he needs it.
2. Nag at him occasionally, but don't ever force him to stay
within his limits-that is, if there are any limits.
3. It will help if you are divorced, or if your husband is gone
much of the time.
There! These three easy rules should be enough to do the
trick in your son or daughter!44
[44. Roscoe A. Dykman, et a., "Experimental Approaches to the
Study of Minimal Brain Dysfunction: A Follow-up Study." See also
John E. Peters, et a., "Physicians' Handbook: Screening for
To be continued with "Five Factors Found in Mentally Healthy
Entered on this Website July 2007