One of the harder clients I have had to work with, one I vowed to never work with again, has made a re-insurgence into my life.. Damn money!
The individual in question is actually very intelligent, however one of the parents guilt is completely out of control and in attempts to absolve their guilt, do very inappropriate things like hand feed the individual, put on child cartoons for them, establish no limits or boundaries essentially meaning anything can and will happen, clean up entirely after the individual not allowing the individual to participate in clean up meaning service providers are perpetually cleaning up after the individual, lets the individual ‘Flick’ freely (flicking is a common way that individuals with anxiety escelate from regular behaviors into more extreme ones) and the parent has a very hard time saying “No” to the individual and allows the individual to have a ridiculous amount of sugar.
Vice versa, the other parent is very vigilant with their attempts, making sure the individual cleans up after themselves, feeds themselves, watches age appropriate shows, sets limits and boundaries and tries to reduce the individuals sugar intake, making the individual flick less.
Flicking with this particular individual often leads to self harm, so avoiding flicking is very important. One of the main reasons the individual begins to flick is from their intake of sugar, meaning the individual has either had too much sugar or not enough sugar, each side of the equation ending in flicking. Essentially, the incompetent parent will pacify the individual with sugar and will actually get the same results as the parent who is very vigilant with their actions, until the service providers come along..
The service providers are not aware of the exact sugar intake of the individual and so when their sugar level is off balance, or unregulated from its normal amount, the individual becomes irritated, almost like an addict not getting their fix. This leads to flicking. The Mom realizes giving the individual this much sugar is bad, so she lies about how much sugar the individual is actually getting, while the dad tries to monitor, usually unsuccessfully. This leads the service provider to an individual who will just begin flicking, if they are not pacified, through sugar, or begin flicking, if given too much sugar or even get sick.
This rift between the styles of parenting also causes a multitude of other issues, but pacification seems to be the root of it.
Pacification, as a function of parenting, or a lack of parenting, I should say, is an interesting concept, usually not found like this case, which is an extreme version of it. It has made me wonder over the years what role pacification plays in parenting today, if parents are actually engaging in parenting practices or pacification practices.