I just had this really great discussion on the life of Aileen Wuornos and what lessons we can take from her life to improve child care institutions 🙂
And here’s a google doc of notes I had going into the discussion if you prefer to read:
So Aileen’s reaction to abuse in her childhood was to strive to get to chose her own road, and to be constantly on the move. And it’s interesting to note how fairly unique that is, like lots of people will have the desire for agency and a kind of financial independence, but often that presents itself in people being hyper-conformists in competing against others and playing the game to win a piece of the pie.
But that image of her running through the woods, with guard dogs on her tail and security coming after her, and being menacing towards her for her not being appreciative enough of the life and education she’s being offered. It’s the picture that speaks a 1000 words.
Because at least in some therapeutic care homes we have started to move past that age of the behavioral approach, of simply trying to threaten kids, then punish or reward behaviors, which caused a lot more kids to run away.
To much more now focusing on re-parenting kids, to teach kids to be able to form healthy attachments they can trust and learn to develop the emotional intelligence they need to stay on the right path in life.
We used to think it was just naughty kids ignoring their moral compass, but most people are using lessons from early childhood that we’ve forgotten we’ve even absorbed, which some kids simply haven’t had access to.
And neuroscience research is showing the way in how re-parenting and developing those attachment needs is vital in building those neural pathways, like the ability to deeply empathize with another person.