Educational Psychology: What place does Personal Identification occupy in the teaching paradigm?



9a iv). Analyze the place of personal identification in the teaching environment.

Personal Identification

Identification is a Freudian concept.

        • It refers to the child’s wish to become like the father for the boys or
        • To become like the mother for girls. If the boy becomes like the father, he assumes the male gender role while the girl assumes the female gender role if she becomes like the mother.
        • Mostly, a child will identify with family members he respects and loves.
        • He /she consciously or unconsciously imitates that person. The big question here is;
        • Is the father at home to give the boy the model for identification?
        • Is the mother at home to give the girl the model for identification?

We are concerned about parental absences from the home because each parent has specific contributions towards rearing children, which nobody else can deputize.

          • The mother’s role is very specific. She should be there to provide nurturance as well as female role modeling.
          • The father should provide discipline as well as the male role model.
          • The absence or non-participation of one parent in the child’s life leaves deficits or gaps, which could be easily filled by, many negative influences. When we complain that our children are,
          • Using indecent language,
          • Are lacking in respect,
          • Are lazy
          • Are dressing badly and so on we should be concerned about the kind of influences they are exposed as a result of our absences or non-participation in their lives.

Methods of Behavior Control

The Methods used by parents to control the child’s behavior are very important. These refer to the incentives the parents put in place to induce good behavior, the frustrations and punishments they mete out to discourage unacceptable behavior.

        • Many times some parents leave children’s discipline to chance. They hope that the children will pick up all the desirable behavior by and by. These parents are usually shocked when the children turn into monsters that nobody can tame.
        • Other parents are conscious of their role in instilling discipline in their children but they do all the wrong things in this endeavour.
        • When they beat their children they do it with a vengeance that leaves children physically and psychologically damaged.
        • When they deprive children favours, they deny them food and other basic requirements leaving the children hungry unloved and damaged.
        • Parents should know that even when they must discipline children it should be love oriented discipline.
        • The child should never feel unloved or rejected during the formative years.
        • Child discipline should be accompanied by love acceptance, unconditional positive regard.

Security of Environment

Every child needs to feel secure. For this reason, the home should be that secure environment where the child should go with his joys and success as well as with his sorrows and defeats without feeling unwanted, inadequate or unhappy.

        • The home should provide the child with a firm ground that gives him anchorage.
        • If the child is well anchored his development moves in the direction of self- actualization.

Emotional climate of the home

The emotional climate of the home is very important. Children need a healthy emotional climate. This is aided by empathy, communication, respect for each other, togetherness and appropriate methods of coping with disagreements. These conditions are conducive to the development of psychological health in children.

        • However, in many homes, these condition are utopian and unattainable as the order of the day in many homes is the
        • Lack of feelings for one another,
        • Lack of communication
        • Disrespect and
        • Inappropriate methods of coping with disagreement.
        • Many children are treated to rude shocks by night and by day when parents “offer free for all entertainment” in the neighbourhood as they hurl verbal barrage of insults mixed with some physical actions of flying kicks and fists at each other.
        • The unfavourable frictional home climate affects children negatively.
        • The children from such homes develop hostility, antagonism and they grow to resist authority.

Negative home influences

There are negative home influences, which damage the developing personality. We may not be in a position to mention all of them but offer a few examples.

1. Favourism

This refers to the condition where the parents prefer some children openly in their words and actions. Parents are known to openly talk about the children they like and those they dislike. They will, o out of their way to extend favours to the “good” children while the ‘bad’ ones don’t get to visit exiting places nor have nice things bought for them. The favoured child gets new things while the “bad” one gets the old ones. This practice promotes sibling rivalry, which could at one times cause dire consequences leading to death or injury. It causes insecurity and inferiority.

2. Another negative home practice is experienced when a parent shows feelings of inadequacy.

A parent who is feeling inadequate for their role may be because they lack basic resources or

    • Maybe because they have misused or mishandled resources becomes a very dangerous person.
    • Many men and women will not accept their shortcomings. They will use defense mechanisms.
    • They may become too harsh and blame the other parent or children to the point that no one will dare approach them for anything.
    • A woman or man who comes home and starts finding fault in everything around him fortifies herself/himself against any questions.

3. Cheating Parents 



    • Resources,
    • Extramarital affairs,
    • Jobs,
    • Other children,
    • Sicknesses and so on.

Parents who cheat use a lot of psychological energy to cover up the things they want to keep hidden. They also must use resources and they institute some unexplained restrictions.

    • They become difficult and complicated and sometimes fearful.
    • They don’t want you to meet their relatives or people who know them.
    • They go places alone and won’t entertain questions.

4.Maladjusted Family Members

Sometimes a family has someone who is maladjusted. For example,

    • A known thief,
    • A drunk or
    • A known criminal,

Mostly teachers and other children make it their business to keep reminding the child about their defective family member.

    • The child is made to feel inferior and unaccepted because of a father who is in jail or a mother who crawls home drank or a brother who steals and so on.
    • This child feels insecure and rejected, which are not recipes for the development of psychological health.

5. Authoritarian Control

There are parents who are known to rule the family with an iron fist. The child is supposed to be seen and not to be heard, to obey every command without questioning. A child raised in this kind of family background never learns to be resourceful and neither does he learn to be autonomous. Parents are therefore requested to be authoritative and not authoritarian. Being authoritative means allowing children room to ask questions and reason out while at the same time being firm and loving while dealing with discipline issues.

6. Marital Maladjustment

Marital maladjustment refers to the situation where the married couple discover that the marriage is not working yet they still share a roof amid fights, insults, separate lives and public dramatic scenes or pretenses. In many cases where there is marital maladjustment, the child suffers a great deal. There are instances where the parents decide to use the child as a weapon to fight the other partner. In other cases a partner can gang up with the child against the other partner or the child could go through a great deal of suffering torn in between the two parents.

NOTE: The family factor is recognized as the single most important influence on cognitive devleopment, emotional devleopment adn the devleopment of self-concept.

Question: What is thecriticall factor determining psychological health or ill health?

It is noteworthy to point out that if one or two aspects of the home are psychologically unfavourable they may not cause personality development problems. No home can pride itself to be ideal-each home has its shortcomings and challenges, therefore the one critical factor in determining psychological health is the experience and the feelings of security. As long as the home can make the child feel secure it is alright.

Question: What causes insecurity in children?

When children are rejected they feel both insecure and nervous and they are likely to become non compliant.

Rejected children may be abandoned, beaten up or starved. These children build up hate and hostility, which they vent through retaliation against people and property. These children are likely to become unsocialised, aggressive and who fear neither man nor beast. They take on everybody in a compulsive desire to revenge.

7. Child over protection

Over protection refers to cases where parents insist on prolonging a child’s infancy or childhood. They feed and dress up a child who should have outgrown being fed. The parent over restricts the child’s activities saying that he should not play with other children or do anything that can cause him injury.

The over protected child develops feelings of insecurity jealousy, nervousness, submissiveness and even enuresis. Enuresis is night bed wetting after age three.

8. The over- demanding parent

When the parents demand more than the child is capable of achieving children react differently, one child may become submissive and work hard to attain parental standards. In the process of pushing oneself so hard this child could develop neurotic symptoms.

    • When another child is driven too hard he may result to cheating to give the parents the false belief that he is achieving.
    • A third child may become outrightly rebellious and refuse to be driven.

9. Defective home discipline

When home discipline is defective children become poorly adjusted, aggressive, delinquent or even neurotic.


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