The Drama of the Alienated Child

Karen Woodall

This week I have been re-reading the Drama of Being a Child by Alice Miller. For any readers not familiar with her writing I would urge you to find out more about her thinking, which is rich in empathy and full of close observations about the inner world of children.  Additionally,  Miller writes widely about how we become alienated from our true selves by everyday parenting practices. When I read her writing, I become ever more conscious that what happens to alienated children is a malfunctioning of what could and should be empathic attunement to the individual needs and feelings of a child. It is a disruption of the child’s right to grow to feel their own feelings and an imposition of adult responses to the world onto a vulnerable, virtually helpless being. Which makes me angry and then sad, at the way in which normalised parenting practices trample on…

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