Emotional Memory


Imagine that you pick up your child at the daycare and you arrive home only to find your house has burned to the ground.

Imagine your response.

On average, an adult will respond hysterically:

“What will I do now?  I have to call someone! My pictures! My mother’s quilt! My cat! My penny jar! I’m ruined! Where is my mailbox?”

Whereas a child may look at the wonder of the smoldering embers and ask, “Can I get a new Nintendo?”

“Can we make a tent out of blankets and live in it?”

“Can we live with Joey?”

“You and Daddy are going to have to get back together to fix this.”

“You don’t have to cry.  We can live in the car.”

As the caregiver and child go further into the process of resolving the tragedy, the child will learn from the adult how to respond to future unfortunate events.   This example of experiential emotional memory can be applied to nearly any event in a child’s life.  Children develop an emotional memory based on how their caregivers teach them to behave and emote.

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4 responses

  1. Pingback: What kind of crackpot was this? | eitheory.com

  2. Pingback: Emotional Memory | eitheory.com

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