Because I Said So!

Challenging the Foundations: A Radical Rethink of Psychology and Parenting

September 05, 2023 John Rosemond Season 1 Episode 23
Because I Said So!
Challenging the Foundations: A Radical Rethink of Psychology and Parenting
Because I Said So! with John Rosemond
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America's mental health industry marches to the steady beat of Test, Diagnose, Medicate, Test, Diagnose, Medicate, Test... The tests are bogus, the diagnoses are bogus, and the medications are bogus (and harmful). Why states' attorney generals don't investigate these schlemiels for deceptive business practices is a mystery appropriate to these confused times.

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Speaker 1:

Well, hello and welcome to yet another exciting episode of Because I Said so the only podcast on the entire worldwide web I mean the entire worldwide web, the universe-wide web where you will hear the truth about psychology, children and what is now called parenting, the strange process that people my age scratch their heads about. So I'm going to begin this podcast with invitations, two to be exact. First, I invite any psychologist who disagrees with my assessment of psychology to tell me why they disagree. If you're a psychologist or a mental health professional by any other designation and you take issue with me concerning the thoroughly, unmitigatedly unscientific nature and deceptive practices of the profession of psychology, let me know, please. You can let me know by going to my personal website, johnrosmancom, where you'll find an email link or links that will get your message to me.

Speaker 1:

To summarize, I accuse psychology of administering tests that lack even a semblance of scientific validity. I accuse psychology of dispensing diagnoses that lack scientific validity. I accuse psychology of giving out false information concerning problems of thinking, emotion and behavior, especially when said information concerns a child or children. I accuse psychology of recommending medications that do not reliably outperform placebo and properly controlled clinical trials. I accuse psychology of dispensing therapies that have failed to demonstrate reliable efficacy. I accuse psychology of failing to adhere to and enforce meaningful practice standards and, for all those reasons, I accuse psychology of engaging in deceptive business practices. Deceptive business practices, that is a crime, ladies and gentlemen and maintain that psychology does not qualify to be a restricted enterprise, meaning it should not require a license. Oh, and I further believe that the Federal Department of Justice and State's Attorneys General should investigate the profession of psychology for engaging in said deceptive business practices.

Speaker 1:

It's fascinating to note that, over the course of my controversial career, numerous psychologists have complained about me to their local newspapers. Their complaints often contain the word dangerous, I am dangerous. Question then becomes how am I dangerous? In what specific way or ways do I present a danger to people? Supposedly, according to said psychologists, I am dangerous because I advise people to not submit themselves, and especially their children, to the mental health pharmaceutical complex. That's a true accusation. By the way, according to said psychologists, I am dangerous because I give permission to parents to abuse their children. Okay, well, that is so completely outrageous that it doesn't even deserve rebuttal. Let me point out that, during my 47 years of writing, a weekly syndicated newspaper column that, at its peak was appearing in over 500 newspapers in the United States alone, and some overseas. By the way, not one abusive person has claimed he did what he did because of reading my column. Should a person have so claimed, I would have been contacted for comment. Never happened. In short, the word dangerous means more about psychology than it does yours truly. But having said all that, if you're a psychologist or some other mental health sort and you disagree with the previous assessment, please let me know.

Speaker 1:

My sole caveat is that by responding to me, you give me permission to use your comments on this podcast in my sub-stack or in any other way I see fit. I will not, however, under any circumstances use your name, unless I guess there is one circumstance. You are already a known public figure, like, say, jordan Peterson, who recently told a friend of mine that he'd never heard of me. How outrageous, unacceptable even. Come on, jordan, wake up. I love you, man. Actually, I know Jordan Peterson to be one of the relatively few intellectually honest individuals left on planet Earth, so I don't think you'd disagree with me in any sort of significant oppositional way. By the way, other intellectually honest people include Dennis Prager, Mark Levin, any who. If you're Jordan Peterson, and despite the fact that you don't know who I am, outrageously so you respond to me. I will use your name.

Speaker 1:

My second invitation is to my readers and listeners. If you out there in listener land, if you have personal experience with psychology's deceptions in general Disrepute, especially concerning child matters, let me know Again if you communicate with me. I won't use your name, give out information that what I identify you, but I reserve the right to use whatever information you provide in any way I see fit. And so here we go. Once upon a time now it's a very long ago psychologists counseled people concerning problems of living, behavior and emotion. That is what I was trying to do in graduate school, which I attended in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was trained to counsel parents concerning difficulties they were encountering with their children. More specifically, I was trained to help parents solve such problems.

Speaker 1:

Today, 50 years later, most psychologists don't know how to help parents solve discipline problems with children. They don't know how to solve discipline problems because they fail. Refuse is more like it. They refuse to recognize the fact that misbehavior, especially persistent, egregious misbehavior, requires punishment. Furthermore, there are instances of misbehavior that require big punishment. Parenthesis for more on effective discipline, including more on the validity of big punishment Read my book the Well-Behaved Child and Parenthesis.

Speaker 1:

Generally speaking, psychologists don't like disciplinary punishment. They think it's psychologically harmful, which is more evidence that psychology is not science. It's an ideology, and a deceptive one at that, a deceptive philosophy. Parenthesis for more on deceptive philosophies, see Colossians 2.8. And parenthesis, anyway, psychologists in question, most psychologists in my estimation, believe that behavior problems arise because a child suffers from some issue Issue is a word psychologists use a lot An issue that is causing the child emotional angst of one sort or another that he expresses by misbehaving. These same psychologists contend that the child can't help acting the way he's acting and therefore punishment will only make matters worse. There's stock recommendations, especially concerning a young child, as play therapy, which costs a lot and accomplishes nothing and may make matters worse. In other words, psychologists most of them, in my estimation, not all, but most, most psychologists believe misbehavior isn't bad, but they believe misbehavior means something bad in the child's life as producing the child's morally neutral misbehavior.

Speaker 1:

In effect, psychology denies that children are capable, of their own free will, of their own initiative, of being evil evil. Ironically, psychology believes adults can be evil, especially white, male, conservative Christian Adults like yours truly. They believe adults can be evil, but by some form of convoluted thinking. Psychologists do not believe children can be evil. Children simply respond to evil forces in their lives. What a crock.

Speaker 1:

The parents of a three-year-old boy got in touch with me a few years back. The boy was throwing monstrous tantrums when he didn't get his way, as in, screaming like a band, she thrashing about on the floor, throwing things, hitting, kicking, biting his parents mostly, and generally acting like the village berserker. Before coming to me, the parents had seen another psychologist who told him the child was angry at attention, formally his and his alone. He was angry that attention that formally went to him and him alone was no longer exclusively his since the birth of a sibling. He was angry about this. The psychologist had told the parents that when they began giving most of their attention to the newborn, it caused the older child confusion and insecurity, to which he responded with tantrums, wild, monstrous, demonic, satanic tantrums, which were actually said. The psychologist cries for help. That is nothing but blah, blah, blah. What a crock ding dong, hogwash.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to point out several features of that explanation which keep in mind is par for the course. First, an explanation of that sort for a child's misbehavior cannot be verified, it cannot be proven, it cannot be disproven. It is purely speculative. How does the psychologist know that the child's monstrous tantrums are expressions of angst over the attention going to his infant sibling? He doesn't. He didn't sit down with the child and say tell me, child, why are you throwing these monstrous tantrums? Nor did the child say to him well, I'm throwing these monstrous tantrums darker. I'm glad you asked, by the way, because my parents, ever since the birth of my younger sibling, have been giving more attention to the younger sibling than to me.

Speaker 1:

No, the idea that the child's tantrums are expressions of angst over the attention being now given to the infant sibling is merely a Freudian narrative he learned in graduate school. He simply inserts the appropriate information in the narrative and voila, he fools people into thinking he knows what he's talking about. Besides, the narrative is so abstract and out there that very few people are able to figure out how to tell the psychologist that he's nothing but a mount bank. A mount bank, it's a great word. Look it up. The entire profession of psychology is a mount bank, anyway. So the first characteristic of the psychologist's narrative regarding the child's tantrums is unverifiable, unscientific, irrational, crazy even.

Speaker 1:

And toddlers have a reputation for throwing maniacal, demonic, insane berserker tantrums. Thus the so-called terrible twos, during which pure unbridled evil attempts to subvert the child, as did pure unbridled evil subvert our first parents, any. For some of you, some of these toddlers have siblings, some don't. In some of the former cases, the siblings are older. In other words, toddlers don't throw tantrums because they're angry at having to share attention. That's a bunch of hoo-ha. Toddlers throw tantrums because they believe they're entitled to whatever they want. Toddlers are little sociopaths in the making who need a major altitude adjustment. My sincere apologies to those of you out there at Listener Land who hold to a romantic view of children.

Speaker 1:

Third, note that, instead of providing the child's parents with a solution to the tantrums, the psychologist's explanation made them feel guilty for doing what they had no choice but to do, which is give the newborn lots of attention. Fourth, let's assume for the moment, for the purposes of argument, that the psychologist's explanation, however wacky and unverifiable, is correct. Let's just assume it's correct. In that event, the question becomes so what? So what if the older child doesn't like it that his new sibling is getting lots of attention? Does that justify berserker tantrums. No, it does not. Nor does it justify a psychologist telling the parents to jump through hoops to keep the child in question a most demonic child at that happy. The child in question needs to learn for his own good. Yet he does not sit at the epicenter of creation, nor will he ever. He is not the almighty I am. The psychologist's explanation, on the other hand, implies that the child is a victim of circumstances and should be catered to, and it's that very sort of blah blah, blah, blah and on and on explanation for child misbehavior that has led me to conclude that psychologists often make matters of child misbehavior worse rather than better.

Speaker 1:

The idea that positive attention was some sort of psychic balm, that it prevented problems from developing and cured those that had already developed, became embedded in the psychological narrative in the early 1970s. Around that time I was working as a journeyman psychologist in a community mental health program in western North Carolina. Part of my responsibilities involved answering phone calls parents made to a parenting hotline. As I listened to what other staff psychologists were telling parents who called the hotline, I began to realize that their stock solution to any discipline problem was to give the misbehaving child more positive attention, including lots of praise. Oh, billy, I like it when you look at me when I talk to you. Tantrum's meant the child in question needed more positive attention. Defiance meant the child needed more positive attention. Aggression towards siblings and parents meant the child needed more positive attention. And on and on the positive attention. Who he went? Supposedly every behavior problem could be solved by giving the child in question more positive attention.

Speaker 1:

I also realized that none of the psychologists who served on the hotline ever recommended that misbehavior be punished. In fact, when parents brought up the issue of punishment for bad behavior, they were routinely told that punishment would make the problem, whatever it was, worse. So I became the counterpoint to this nonsense. My newspaper column was in the early stages of national syndication and I was receiving a good number of invitations to speak to parent and teacher groups around the country, and so I began speaking publicly about the need for parents to be what I called benevolent dictators, as in loving authority figures who made it perfectly clear to their children, by punishing if it seemed necessary, that misbehavior would not be tolerated. The backlash was stunning.

Speaker 1:

On one occasion, after speaking to a group of preschool parents, I was told by the director of the preschool that if she had known I was going to encourage parents to quote Lord it over their children, end quote. Those are the exact words she used. I was going to encourage parents to quote Lord it over their children, end quote. She would never have invited me to speak. I didn't want to get into an argument with the woman, but her chiding me for encouraging parents to Lord it over their children was fascinating. That's just nonsensical. But fascinating because I happen to believe parents should make it clear to children from early on, as in year one of a child's life, that they are in fact the lords and lordettos of their home.

Speaker 1:

Historically, the British Lord from which this all comes, you know Lord over people, the British Lord was not a tyrant. He was to care for the people in the manor's village. He was to tend to their needs, provide them with opportunity, services when they need them and so on. But his word was law. It was the final word on any subject. Too significant a degree that describes the role of parent to a T. A parent is to lovingly care for a child's needs and provide the child with opportunity.

Speaker 1:

But the child should understand early on that obedience and respectful behavior are not optional and that stepping out of line will result in punitive consequences. Children need both unconditional love, both unconditional love. I'll say it again, both unconditional love and unequivocal authority from their parents. Authority properly conveyed is not a matter of using proper consequences although consequences sometimes need to be used but authority properly conveyed is a matter of projecting a proper attitude, which can be summed thus from parent to child you, child, you'll do what I tell you to do, not because I threaten you, not because I offer you reward, not because I give you good reasons. You'll do what I tell you to do simply because I tell you to do it.

Speaker 1:

It isn't a child's best interest to obey adults who occupy positions of legitimate authority. Teachers, for example, consistently report to me that the best students are not necessarily the smartest. The best students, according to professional teachers and I've never had one disagree with this or tell me otherwise the best students according to professional teachers are the most obedient and respectful students. Furthermore, research has discovered what common sense will confirm, to wit, the happiest kids are also the most obedient. So, yes, I am a guy Way out there on the limb who believes parents should lord it over their children. Parents should act as loving lords of their households. They should put their marriage up front. They should let their children know they are husband and wife first, mom and dad second. They should act in front of their children like their marriage is full time but being a parent is part time.

Speaker 1:

I started this podcast by saying that once upon a time, psychologists were trained to help people parents solve problems. They were trained to give direction to parents who needed it. History has since lost all sense of its mission. Today, psychologists test, diagnose and recommend medication. Test diagnose medicate. Test diagnose medicate. Next Test diagnose medicate. Next Test diagnose medicate. It's a factory like approach. Quite simply. People deserve more than that. That's more, especially when they're paying a lot of money for it. And that's a wrap.

Speaker 1:

You've been listening to yet another exciting episode of Because I Said so, the only podcast on the entire universe wide web where you will hear the truth about psychology, children and child rearing, now called parenting. I'm your host, john Roseman. Our website's at parent gurucom. Please go to substackcom. Find my substack. It is also fascinating on a consistent basis. Yes, it is. Please subscribe to it. Please tell all your friends. We are a great, if I do say so myself, talking about my coaches, the people who work for me. We are a great resource to parents who yearn for a font of common sense. Folks keep on rockin' in the free world. Hope to see you figure to these people next week.

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