The child who adopts this directive is always trying to grow up. And once he becomes an adult, he can’t relax at all because he feels guilty, considering his desires and needs as “childish”. These persons have great difficulty communicating with children.
6. Don’t grow up. This injunction may manifest itself in phrases such as: “Childhood is the best time of your life, don’t be in a hurry to grow up”, “Play now, while you’re young, because when you’ll grow up…”. Or it appears when the father tries to prevent his daughter, who has reached puberty, to manifest herself as a woman (put on make-up, date etc.), doesn’t touch or hug her anymore.
Thus, the child deduces that when he’ll grow up, he won’t be loved by his parents anymore. And he can make the unconscious decision to stay small and helpless because that’s the only way he’ll be loved by his mother or father. Once he grows up, he’ll be afraid to follow his dreams, to do what he likes, to have his own family, just because he wants to be loved by his parents.
7. Don’t make it. When the father, who usually beats his son at Ping-Pong, stops playing because the son has started to win, the child can interpret this as: “Don’t win or I won’t like you anymore”, which becomes “Don’t make it”.
The same message is transmitted through the constant criticism coming from a perfectionist parent: “You can’t do anything right” is interpreted as “Don’t make it”.
Other situations: “We couldn’t go to college, but we make sacrifices so you have a higher education”, “Don’t do that, you won’t succeed and you’ll be sorry!”.
Usually, this child is a good student, does his homework but, at the critical point of the exam, either falls inexplicably sick or he freezes in the middle of the exam and can’t finish it.
Once an adult, he notices he is chased by bad luck. Everything he invests his energy into breaks down due to factors independent of him. And he fails to finish anything he starts.
8. Don’t be you. This injunction is transmitted by parents when they say things such as: “Why can’t you be like…”, “Why did X get a good grade and you didn’t?”, “You have to become perfect” etc. The child will always have a feeling of doubt in himself and will envy stronger and more successful people, the perfect ones. The main consequence is a lack of self-esteem, he’ll always be unhappy with himself, he’ll want to be like someone else and will be extremely self-critical. He’ll live with an excruciating feeling of inner conflict.
This directive can be given by the parents of a child who has the “wrong” sex, when one of the parents really wants a daughter, but has a boy, or vice versa.
9. Don’t belong. For example, when parents act like they should be somewhere else, in another country or region, the child has a hard time knowing where he belongs and can feel like he doesn’t belong to that community either.
Kids may decipher this message like this: “Don’t belong to anybody but me, because you’re different”. The person that subjects to this parental injunction always feels like a stranger among people and others may consider him as introverted and shy.
But he’ll always be attracted to his family because he’s lonely and uncomfortable among other people.