So today I have learned, all by myself, how to add “child” pages under a “parent” page on this blog. Note my spiffy work by clicking “Excerpts” on the header. This “learning” only took two hours. I say this to encourage any illiterates like me that learning is possible. Plus, if the WordPress help menus and forums fail to inform, the “Happiness Team” is always there to help.

As I read more (and more) “child” and “parent” instructions, my mind skittered back to when I taught Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis theory of communication. About how we communicate from three ego states: parent, adult, and child. The parent in us can be “critical” or “nurturing.” The child can be “natural” or “adapted.” The adult mediates, or is the rational problem solver of, the activities of the parent and child.

We all know (or have been) the “critical” parent, the parent who is bossy and punitive. The parent who says, “You should…,” or “How many times have I told you…?”

The same with the “adapted” child–the child who had to learn to get along with parents, so became somewhere between compliant (too sweet) and rebellious (too defiant). And carried these patterns into adulthood.

So, my goal has always been to try to talk from my adult self to the adult part of the person with whom I’m talking. As soon as my critical parent jumps in or my adapted child, I can safely know I’m headed for trouble! (My kids can vouch for this.)

All of this parent/adult/child theory leaped back from my past today only because I’m learning how to blog! And I’d like my former nursing students to know that the theories they learned may surface at the most unexpected and delightful times.