Instinctive Parental Behavior


Instinctive Parental Behavior


In marked contrast to the more  or less vicious non-social  instinctive tendencies  arises the tendency to tender, protective behavior toward the helpless. It  is  known as  instinctive parental behavior and though  it  is most markedly manifested in the relations  of parents to their children,  the  responses may arise  in the very young child toward any helpless or beloved person, pet  or toy.   The tendency is not  limited to girls by any means,  for the  crudest,  most pugnacious boy may sometimes  react most generously tender when the occasion stivalates such a response.

The ring leader in a group  of boys who  derive   a great  deal  of pleasure  from tantalizing and actually hurting a smaller boy is the  first one to throw his  arms protectively around the  little  chap and soothingly dry his  tears when the younger child
finally admits his  helplessness. Since  it  is  the  only  innate  tendency with which the  emotions  of tenderness  and sympathy  are  associated,  exercise and cultivation of the  responses which thus naturally  arise,  will make  a definite contribution to  social progress. This tendency to protect  and help the helpless  is  the  source  of altruism and philanthropic  endeavor.

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Instinctive Parental Behavior

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Instinctive Parental Behavior  (2)

topic : MATING 

The mating or  sex instinct  is  one of the  strongest original tendencies  of man and is  the  foundation of society’s greatest  institution–the home. It  is  often confused with that  of parental behavior though they are  quite distinct  and may be present  in very different  degrees  of development  in the  same person.   Because  of the  ban formerly placed upon open and  free discussion of matters pertaining to sex, there is much disagreement on many outstanding points. Some writers believe  that there are evidences of  the presence of the sex instinct at birth, while others believe that its appear.with physical maturity  of adolescence.

Writers have  expressed the  opinion that maturity occurs  on the  average before adolescence,  and that  the appearance  of the  sex instinct  does not  depend upon physical signs which accompany maturity. By some  it  is believed that  the beginning of the development  of the  sex instinct  occurs before a child is  eight years  old and  continues though not  constantly to  increawe  in strength until maturity. Norsworthy and Whitley give  two processes  of development which  combined make up the “sex impulse.”          “The  first  set  of processes  go  on in the physical  realm wholly,and  consist  of the various  sensations,  nerve disturbances,  reflexes,  secretions and the  like,  which together are  called the phenomena of detumescence.

The  second set  are  in the psychic realm,  and include the various  attractions, fallings  in love  and kindred emotions,  also the  sentiments  of disgust,  shame and modesty which together make the phenomena of concentration. In the normal  adult the two  sets  of impulses  are  coordinated and synchronized;  but during the  long development  of childhood and early adolescence  either set may occur  independently of the  other.”

Up to  about  eight years  of age,  there are  experienced no  “contrectation impulses” and what  “detumescence processes” which may  occur are not  accompanied by marked sex consciousness  or localization of  sensations.

To  insure normal and natural development  of the instinct,  care needs to be given even during the earliest years  that  no physical  or psychical element  enters  to  overstimulate its growth or to debauch the wholesome beauty of sexual matters. The  first  questions pertaining to  sex and reproduction should be  answered directly, simply and honestly so that  sex is from the start approached openly and without  excitement.



Instinctive Parental Behavior  (3)

Topic : Gregariousness

Gregariousness is  another specifically social  instinct,  for it  is  the  impulse to  seek the  company  of other people.                    G.  Stanley Hall says that  “no  creature  is  so  gregarious  as man.”

To be  alone  for  any length of time  is  to  the normal person distinctly unpleasant.   Even the baby protests violently to being shut  away alone  in a room and responds with evidences  of satisfaction and comfort when reinstated as  a member of the group.

At  first the  child shows  a preference  for adult  companionship,  but by the time he  is three years  old desires  companions  of his  own age. It  is  important  that  every child have  associates who are near his  own age  in order that the  instinct may develop naturally and the  child may  learn to  cooperate,  give and take,  and live  in harmony with  other people.

Later,  at  about  nine years  of age,  the tendency takes  on a new turn which is  called the  “gang instinct,”  or the desire to belong to  a specific group, participate  in its activities  and loyally defend  its  ideals.

The  instinct  is  the  foundation of much of social progress but  “the administrative authorities have shown of late years  a disposition to encourage  in every possible way the  gregarious  tendency. On the  slightest occasion they  organize  some  show which  shall draw huge  crowds,  many thousands of people  from their work to  spend the day in worse than useless  idleness, confirming their already  over-developed gregarious  instincts. There  can  be no doubt that  the  excessive  indulgence of this  impulse is  one  of the greatest demoralizing factors  of the present time.”


Instinctive Parental Behavior Article Source ; The Psycology of preschool child Submitted by Iris Coldwell Frampton


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