I can’t instruct people in how to access their emotions. They are used to giving precedence to their intellectual reckonings. How should I go about explaining DOLF when parents and educators, steeped in their beliefs about the supremacy of DNA, believe their children were simply “born that way”, or “take after” their parents and relatives? “He’s just like his father!” – (in a bad way of course!). How can I tell them its not a matter of teaching, discipline, or that it has little to do with heredity?
Let’s put all we know in perspective. How is it that good families and upstanding citizens raise children who become criminals, drug addicts and ne’er-do-wells? On the other hand, how come down-and-outers and people from low socio-economic backgrounds can bear and raise fine quality children who become lawyers, teachers, judges, police officers and guardians of our communities and social values?
When I talk with people, first I try to work into the conversation the notion of a Prime parent. I tell them there must be one parent who was more a provider of LOVE in their Family of Origin, than the other. Then I say I assume the other parent is the Additional Love Giver. I say I know this before they tell me how their family functioned, and I insist they search in their heart and gut the answers. Many find they know the difference instantly, but others resist. Through no fault of their own they search, but many times come up with the wrong answer. They base their belief on the time they spent with one parent as opposed to the other, the fact that one was passive and seemed to be doing nothing at home while the other did all the work, or the fact that one, usually the father, spent a great deal of time away from home because he had to work hard to make a living.
Then they offer their explanations. “Oh, my mother was the one we always went to. She was always home, you see, and we had the most time together. My father was always at work. And passive. Yes, he was very, very passive. He didn’t get involved in anything we did. We had to look for him and usually found him in his study. He was always either at work or in his study.”
So after a long discussion about everything they think I might be looking for,nI ask about my client’s, personality as compared with their next-born sibling. More than the Prime and Additional parent split, the divergent personality of the two first-born adjacent siblings is the key, the main indicator of Favor and Disfavor. “Yes of the two of us, my older/younger sister/brother is much more high-strung than me. S/he was always the black sheep, while I was close/not-as-close with our mother/father. Finally some hints!
It’s an extended conversation and always ends by blaming other factors that entered the children’s lives: “We moved around a lot. I/my sibling left home at an early age. My parents split up when we were young and we had a hard life because our step-parent was abusive. He had ADHD and we didn’t find out ’til later. She had a learning disability. He was bipolar, she was a drug addict, and so on.
But regardless of the surrounding circumstances, the DOLF paradigm is firm and absolute. It just takes time to sink into people’s ways of thinking. Resistance sets in merely because people are so accustomed to classifying right and wrong behavior, fuzzying the picture with emotions they believe to be important, steeped in current psychology with the facts of their lives (which are never of concern to children) and adamant about putting people into predetermined and diagnostic categories. Thinking on an intellectual track rather than the instinct-driven emotions of a young child, they are stuck in their belief that heredity and the events of their lives were the main influencers and determinants of their children’s personalities and behavior today.
It is admittedly an uphill battle, but if you have some patience and put the method to use, just wait and see!