Professional Development

8 - The free vs adapted Child
Two differentiated parts are distinguished within the Child: one is the Free Child and the other the Adapted Child. Two subparts are seen in the latter: they are the cooperative adapted Child and the resistant adapted Child. The free Child is the first ego state that appears and contains authentic, spontaneous emotions such as love, happiness, sadness, fear and all that the individual felt spontaneously as a response to what was going on around him. On the other hand, the adapted Child is that component of the Child that has programmed itself to respond to the expectations of its elders. That is why we have the subdivision, because if the programming is adapted we have the cooperative adapted Child, which is that which accepts the will of its elders, while if the programming is rebellious we have the resistant adapted Child and conduct of lack of acceptance of and opposition to demands. Perhaps an example will illustrate this aspect: imagine that we go to an opera performance and that the person next us makes us laugh. Well, the free Child would laugh without taking into account the context in which they find themselves, while the adapted Child would want to laugh, would know that they were in a place and at an event where it was not correct to disturb everyone else and would choke back their laugh and, probably, express it through a smile. On the other hand, the resistant adapted Child, conscious of where they were and the demands of the context, would want to laugh and would do so out loud and kicking because their approach is to rebel against the demands of the setting, to oppose it. These are the three components of the Child ego: the free Child, the cooperative adapted Child and the resistant adapted Child.