Understanding the Child

One of the most influential and interesting states among the three explained by Berne, the father of the theory transactional analysis is the Child ego state. It is not only the most developed ego state but also happens to take over without any apparent motivation. Child ego analysis also shows that they are the easiest to handle in terms of transaction/ communication.

If the contact is with the Natural Child ego, you placate the person by becoming the Parent and helping them to relax and throw in a few treats and they would start acting the way you need them to. Like a Child would insist on sleeping with his favorite toy and his favorite person to tell him the bed time story and you let them have it so that they would sleep on time.

Similarly, when a employer in the Child ego state demands impossible things, you need to call upon your Parent state and placate him in the same manner although it’s not the toys that would get him to relax but there is always something that can get a Child calmed down and listen to reason.

On the other hand if you are dealing with an adapted Child, try to rile him up a little so that he may give in to the temptation to express his own opinions although one must consider the circumstances before doing this as any reminder of bad experience may throw the Child back into his reserved, selfless state.

However, the best approach to deal with an Adapted Child is to talk to him as an Adult and explain the here and now approach and help him to come out of his cocoon, through reason and logic and a little appreciation because even if the Child does not respond to logic he may react to gentle admiration.

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