Friday, November 19, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the psych ward...

(Excerpt from my latest book, "Help I'm raising kids while doing ministry" by Josh Mayo)

"David Roshenhan illustrates this principle in a study he conducted with a group of psychiatric patients: Eight mentally stable people, including three psychologists and one psychiatrist, were asked to pretend to have symptoms so they could gain admission into the psychiatric wards of several hospitals for treatment. During the initial interview, they falsified only three pieces of information: their name, their occupation, and the admission of hearing voices. All other questions about their personal background were answered truthfully. All were successfully admitted.
Once diagnosed and admitted, the eight people stopped faking all symptoms, but the staff never detected their deception. They continued to relate to the eight volunteers as bona-fide psychiatric patients. Embarrassingly enough, many of the real patients could tell the difference. At times they voiced their suspicions strongly: "There's nothing wrong with you; you must be checking up on the hospital."
Rosenhan's point was clear. Once a diagnosis was made, even normal behavior was reinterpreted to match the clinical diagnosis. The people who evaluated the disturbed patients labeled them incorrectly. In the same way, prejudices regarding P.K.'s (Pastor's kids) can result in them being treated as if they are going to rebel, whether or not it is a reality. These labels can come from other pastors, teachers, leaders, and parents. Usually those closest to a P.K. know the truth, but it's hard to convince the rest of the world."

This particular chapter was SO interesting and full of good information for parents in full time ministry! As a P.K. or just a ministry kid prejudices and labels are most definitely put on the kids and false expectations are also part of that deal. Why can't people understand that pastors and ministry leaders are human too and no one is perfect and everyone WILL make mistakes? By EXPECTING a child to act a certain way or do certain things you speak over their life -for words have the power of life and death so as a Youth Pastor and a Parent do me a favor and speak life over your ministry leader's kids. Please.