Child-ego, Development I

The basis for our life scripts which determine our success or failure is formed in childhood. When a child is born it is initially helpless and at the total mercy of all other people in its environment. This naturally results in a feeling of “I’m not OK’. There has been discussion as to whether this feeling is innate or taught by circumstances.

It is not likely that this will ever be resolved unless our children start being born in a condition where they are not helpless and dependent.

It is largely irrelevant because of the physical facts around the nature of human beings and we can accept that this results in such an initial life position and the actual behaviour of the parents is irrelevant.

Given this it is remarkable that many people do not have “I’m not OK” as the basic premise of their life scripts, although many do. This is where the parents and older siblings as well as the personality of the child may play a significant role in determining how important this attitude is in the developing life script

When born the baby is in the Natural Child state, which is normally uninhibited, spontaneous and fun-loving as well as loving.

Under the influence of the parents and siblings the stage of the Adapted Child is formed. This is the Child ego which has learnt to be obedient and submissive and to do what is expected. It is eager to please in return for strokes.

The third Child ego state to develop is the “Little Professor”. In this the Child is learning adult behaviours and has learnt to manipulate and to connive to get its way. This is done with very little moral inhibition and from a naturally selfish survival perspective. This is understandable as the Childs primary concern must be its own survival.

In addition to this from my own observation of their reactions, babies seem to emerge from the womb with predisposed attitudes – some are placid, some are restless or extra-demanding, some are born angry or resentful. I think I can say that other parents share this observation of their children, and that insufficient attention is paid to this in the literature. This predisposition also plays an important part in how the Child ego develops and why different children may react differently to similar circumstances and events and ultimately in the emphasis of the life script towards a particular position.