In-School & Play: How Can You Help Your Kids’ Healthy Development?

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

I don’t have human children, but I’m a lover, a life-long learner, and an observer. I was pushed by life to develop my critical thinking skills to the highest levels, and I am grateful for this!

Two years ago, I almost killed myself following horrible psychological abuse. I happened to be the victim of a malignant narcissist/psychopath with no antisocial traits.

(Unl)earning and learning again made it possible to spot manipulators easily, including the most brilliant of them who could be recognized as helpers on an international scale.

After rewiring my subconscious program and reconnecting with my purest gut again, I am even able to sense the duplicity from the facial expressions and feel the toxic energy of the manipulators without a filter. But this is between you and me! 😁

Please educate yourself around the art of manipulation

Unfortunately, many of the puppet-masters belong to the educational system directly or indirectly through driving empowering programs and are impacting the sanity of your kids.

Let me give you an example: I once listened to a podcast discussing some common challenges observed at schools and how to guide teachers in understanding and managing them.

One of the two guests was talking about a safe place for kids and then about formal authority. Making use of this kind of authority or encouraging it is a Win-Lose paradigm.

It is one of the most common patterns between narcissistic personalities. A rule to always keep in mind in such a context would be:

Even when it comes to the most intelligent manipulators, they talk about what they believe deep inside despite doing their best to hide their ugly truth using numerous strategies.

The person was promoting “safety” and then implicitly speaking “fear”. Do you think people follow others because they are afraid of them?

This mindset is the root cause of so many mental and psychological health problems. People follow who they trust. Can we trust with fear? Heck no!

We trust trustworthy people. Those who are principle-centered and modeling their talk. Those who make consistent deposits to elevate the Emotional Bank Account as Stephen Covey liked to call the trust reserve.

Those who can build healthy relationships that are fueled by love instead of fear. Those servant leaders genuinely inspire people around them, but not through formal authority. Rather compassion and moral authority.

The major problem which could occur is that without being able to pay attention to it before it is too late, many manipulators could be sadly confused with kind-hearted leaders. How come? They are masters at psychological mirroring.

When someone mirrors us, they are doing a range of things. They may mimic us, emulate us, be interested in us, share our interest, point out our strengths, gently point out our weaknesses, and simply reflect us. Healthy mirroring involves a person who sees us accurately, and who allows us to see them as well. It is safe. It is reciprocal. It is honest. It is kind. Having this sort of holistic mirroring leaves us feeling safe. Narcissistic mirroring is a whole other game. The process is less about seeing you in some meaningful way than it is about data gathering. — Dr. Ramani Durvasula

That is those antagonists can not only mirror servant leaders' behavior and practice their outlook but also give anybody they are interacting with the impression of being seen and listened to through their fake empathy.

More to the point, if we did not learn to question anything, including our thoughts, chances are high to be fooled by manipulative individuals.

This logic applies to adults; needless to talk about kids who are still building their identity and craving others to see them. When kids open up to manipulators, it makes them victims of future gaslighting and invalidation.

This behavior is called psychological abuse, and it takes a toll on your kids’ sanity.

To come back to the podcast, the person gave an example about an emergency happening in an airplane to support her idea about the student's need for a strong teacher who does not have to be their friend. They need a savior in critical situations who would engage from a place of formal authority.

It is the narcissists’ limiting belief you need to spot! It is like saying, “Poutine or Hitler is a good leader!”

Interestingly, servant leaders are the most resilient individuals in the room. Consequently, they always make the right and quickest resolution in dangerous situations.

And people would follow them in any decision they take even when it sounds nonsense. Why? Because they know how much their leaders care.

Moral of the story: To all the parents in the world, I am aware of how much work you are already putting in protecting your kids from any physical harm.

I know you are doing your best — sometimes even at your expense — to grant them access to the most prestigious schools in terms of academic results. What I am suggesting here is that protecting their mental and psychological health is equally important — if not more!

Thus, I am gently inviting you to educate yourself around antagonistic and high-conflict personalities and manipulation in general and to make sure you check with your kid(s) what happens during their day in detail.

The importance of play

I attended a networking event once. I was silently crying when listening to the success story of one of the panelists. The guy was bragging about the exponential growth of his video games company, and the audience was impressed and clapping.

Here was my internal talk: “You must be kidding me… What are you applauding? Are you satisfied with slowly destroying your kids’ imagination?”

It was sad for me to witness such a lack of awareness. Every single kid has the right to be raised as a kid and stay connected to their original greatness. It is possible through real play instead of killing their creativity with the different entertainment forms, among other factors:

  • Having emotionally present caregivers consistently,
  • Being helped to build healthy boundaries and encouraged to have their own identity,
  • Staying connected to their intrinsic worth; in other words that they will unconditionally be loved no matter what they do,
  • Having their abundance mentality nurtured: making them willing to grow and thrive without any need to compare themselves to their peers, etc.

If only that healthy parenting style was the rule followed by all parents, we would have been living in a completely different world. Interestingly, the balance would not be fully reached to be realistic.

How come? There will still be psychopaths whose brain was proved to function abnormally unless science could decorticate the abnormalities in detail and probably find a way to treat them in the future.

Most of this evidence has come from brain imaging studies examining activity levels in certain regions of the brain, the results of which have caused many to speculate that there might be abnormalities in the basic brain ‘wiring’ of psychopaths that make it difficult or impossible for them to develop a normal sense of concern for the welfare of others. — Dr. George Simon

We also need to be honest and admit many character-disturbed parents would never be able to elevate to such a noble mission. The only thing they care about is themselves. They would rather be a source of abuse as previously discussed here:

So, assuming you are not part of this group, you have two options:

  • Keep your kids connected to their gifted talents and the potential they would be progressively developing, and using as contributions in our interdependent world. Those passions can create miracles if combined with the friendly program you would be writing for them in alignment with the principles.
  • Slowly killing them from the inside when hijacking both who they are and what they can offer to the world in terms of ‘dos’ requiring all their creativity and a magnificent synergy between their left and right brains.

I hope you will choose the first option. More importantly, you will become knowledgeable and work on your invasive program so that the choice could be possible in the first place.

I don’t only believe you can: I know you will also do all that it takes for your kids!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Myriam Ben Salem🦋

Myriam Ben Salem🦋


A fur Momma, animal lover & advocate, lifelong learner, storyteller, edutainer, and published author. I write personal stories and essays.