Controlling (even suppressing) emotions is simply part of healthy maturity.

John Rosemond’s parenting advice, in The Valley Breeze, offers wisdom of much broader applicability than just raising your kids:

Just as children must learn to behave correctly, they must also learn to think and emote correctly. Contrary to contemporary psychological propaganda, not all feelings are valid or deserving of exploration. “I have a right to feel like I do” is correct, but the pressing question is, does one have a “right” to indiscriminately inflict his feelings on other people? No, he does not, and children should be taught that most feelings are private matters and should remain as such.

Feelings make us human, and it is fine for a person to express certain feelings in certain contexts with certain other people. But feelings are not, in and of themselves, good things. Undisciplined emotion is potentially destructive to self and others.

Therapists and activists’ decades of leading us down the wrong path on these principles are starting to have predictable consequences.  Consider how much Rosemond’s commentary seems to explain in modern America:

If left to his congenital emotional inclinations – impulsivity and exaggeration, predominately – a child begins to view the world as a drama and becomes a drama factory. He believes that a life without soap opera is a life without meaning.

Add in reality TV and social media, and meaning comes to require not only drama, but an audience for drama and approval of the behavior that generated it.

Perhaps Rosemond’s prescription for parents can apply to society more generally.  What we need is a prioritization of guidance toward improvement, rather than affirmation, and a whole lot of plain truth.

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