Alice Miller: The Drama of the Gifted Child

“Children who are respected learn respect. Children who are cared for learning to care for those weaker than themselves. Children who are loved for what they are cannot learn intolerance. In an environment such as this, they will develop their own ideas, which can be nothing other than human since they grew out of the experience of love.”

-A. Miller, “The Drama of the Gifted Child”


Be careful with what voice you’re talking to your child. Your voice will sound in his head all his life.


The voice of Alice Miller

The voice of Alice Miller – the world’s largest specialist on child abuse – almost did not hear her contemporaries. At this time, it was too radical views. Miller had to go against her colleagues and the community to uphold a simple idea:

The Drama of the Gifted Child

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Adults must respect the child as well as they would like him to respect them.


In this book, you will find Alice Miller experience with her own self-therapy and other recent methods, her knowledge of thousands life histories who have written to her. She examines the consequences of repression at the personal and social level, the causes of physical and physiological harm done to children and how to prevent this.


A child injured as a child, whose parents humiliated. If a person from childhood feels free and strong, then afterward he will not have the need to humiliate others.


Without exception, all children  gifted from birth with many talents and abilities, and perhaps most important of them are the ability to live, to experience life and work in their lives.


The true gift refers us to the ability to empathize and meet the needs of a parent and the loss of you. While ones can survive his childhood, the gifted child needs to express without fear her true feelings and wishes, otherwise he stops growing.  Because he is not able to develop his true self, he feels empty and emotionally isolated. Growing up he will not stop trying to please his parents for approval.


The drama of the gifted child is the talents that his behavior, his feelings and his life itself just means that serve certain needs of his parents. So it is becoming more and more well-bred, gradually losing his true self and exchanging it for “love”, “recognition”, “praise”, “caring”, “focus”, etc. However, he loses his own life, his experiences, his actions – he loses himself.


“Many people suffer all their lives from this oppressive feeling of guilt, the sense of not having lived up to their parents’ expectations. This feeling is stronger than any intellectual insight they might have, that it is not a child’s task or duty to satisfy his parents needs. No argument can overcome these guilt feelings, for they have their beginnings in life’s earliest periods, and from that they derive their intensity and obduracy.”

-A. Miller, “The Drama of the Gifted Child”


The injured children remain forever tied to their parents and do not reach emotional maturity.


The ability to adapt quickly to the newborn needs of parents leads to the child’s need for love, respect, responsiveness, understanding, participation, empathy is often pushed into the unconscious. The same she said about the emotional reactions to the situation fraught with grave consequences in which the child deprived of something vital. As a result, people in childhood and in adulthood deprived of many emotional experiences (such as jealousy, anger, envy, feelings of loneliness and powerlessness, fear).


The human soul is almost indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body breathes.


A person shall be entitled to their own true feelings and to express them. For most people, the idea that their parents did not like, simply unbearable. Most people find it easier to die (literally) than to feel again the helplessness from which they suffered as children.


The body uses depression as a way to protest against the betrayal of our own selves.


The freer we express our feelings, the stronger our personality. Calling to mind a sense of early childhood and then experiencing a feeling of helplessness, we end up feeling much more confident.

“The grandiose person is never really free; first because he is excessively dependent on admiration from others, and second, because his self-respect is dependent on qualities, functions, and achievements that can suddenly fail.”

-A. Miller, “The Drama of the Gifted Child”


The child is completely defenseless against the manipulation. The tragedy lies in the fact that parents are also helpless as long as refusing to look closely to his own life story. Unconsciously, they suffer the tragedy of his own childhood in the relationship with their children.


Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the person and unique history of our childhood.


Parents need to be sensitive to their kids, their dreams and feelings. It is a delicate balance between realizing our children’s talents and their potential.


“The drama of the gifted child” is excellent not only for better understanding our kids but also to better understand ourselves. How we become the way, we are. What are the possible causes of emotional difficulties we may have? It will help you better understand your child’s needs, yourself and people around you.

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