8 Feb 2013

Lateral enmeshment

Parents and Children: Towards a Healthy Relationship, Part II | Clarissa's Blog

In Africa, it was different. One basically leaves home in grade one, although the test for this is nursery school, at the age of three and four. Grade one is when military discipline descends on you. You learn rules like walking in single file, being quiet during class and always standing up when a teacher enters the room. There are heavy punishments for insubordination, even unintentional acts. The kids tend to form a lateral allegiance under such circumstances, where they identify as "one" against the hierarchy. That's basically how I grew up -- with lateral enmeshment and parental distancing.

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