The author examines the conditions for transmission, using a clinical history to explore its prerequisites: the generation gap, an ability to face up to loss and otherness, the activation of the exogamous process, and the organization of a third function.
Adolescence, 2017, 35, 2, 277-287.
For this French and Ivory Coast couple, stuck in a great social and elaborative isolation, parenthood was a painful experience, marked by traumatic ethnic mix that was crying out for transcultural space. This space enabled the parents to think about each one’s life history, migration, confrontation of cultural representations (having to do with children, parenthood, couplehood…) but also links and places within the family.
Adolescence, 2014, 32, 3, 521-530.
An HIV infection is a matter of blood, sex and death which thus focuses real and imaginary fears, and constitutes a surface onto which our fears may be projected. HIV is one of the agents of transgenerational transmission, an organizer of family bonds
Adolescent sexuality has become an overriding concern : it seems essential, these days, to guard against its unfortunate consequences, the foremost of which is pregnancy. At the same time, motherhood and adolescents’metamorphosis into virtual procreators are among the favorite subjects of American television series aimed at this age group. The feminine reproductive function is presented in these series as a potentially deadly, parsitic phenomenon, a demonic force that threatens humanity. The redeeming hero is a female and the path she follows is comparable to an initiation
The family’s reconstruction occasions numerous individual and group changes. These changes touch particularly upon parenthood. In the past family reconstitution occurred after a death and achieved a substitute family. Now it achieves an additional family and the child finds himself confronted with a real « parental constellation ». It often induces him to play an active part in the complex games the grown ups are practicing.
So when he leaves one parent to live with the other, the adolescent revives the old game played between the separated partners. At the same time, his new presence within the reconstituted household strongly tests the marital life of the new couple.
A crisis develops all the more in that the tensions are more often acted than thought. It has consequences on the therapeutic interventions, which are essentially based, at least initially, on a relational classification which must be quick and brief. In fact there is a great risk of the family shattering and of a new separation.
The clinical experience of facilitating support groups for parents of adolescents leads to thoughts which, starting from the group dynamic and what settles into it, allows us to formulate a range of hypotheses about the psychical impact produced in the parent by his child’s attainment of adolescence. Here the group is conceived of as a possible place for opening and symbolization where the protagonists question each other and carry on a common psychical work on these implications.
Human beings have a natural ability for raising children, otherwise humankind would cease to exist. But it is true that recent social evolution makes this role more complex, if not more difficult. The permissiveness of western society has partly removed a certain consensus about the disciplinary rules that once intervened as a third party between the desires of the parents and those of the children. This loss, while in many ways beneficial, has the disadvantage of giving rise to an incestual type of closeness between the partners and fostering a narcissistic investment between them, blurring the limits. What differentiates the child from the adolescent then is what escapes the parents’ desire, that is everything having to do with opposition, dissatisfaction, provocation and, potentially, destructiveness. « This is me », the youngster can say, because it puts the adult in a position of failure and impotence, allowing the youngster to escape from the anxiety of abandonment, because he causes worry, and from the anxiety of fusion and intrusion that shared pleasure can give rise to.
However, this invitation to the parents to « understand » their emotional relations with their children must not paralyze them in their action and their spontaneity, and reinforce the situation wherein the children are expected to dictate their upbringing to their parents, whose place they would then take, in a way. It appears more favorable to free their confidence in their own capacity for being parents, while dissuading them from wanting to control everything and from blaming themselves as soon as any problem arises. On the other hand, any lasting difficulty that arises which prevents the youngster from feeding on what he needs to develop, thus reinforcing a pathogenic dependence on the adult and the necessity of opposing in order to differentiate himself, to the detriment of the development of his abilities, cries out for both a firm limit set by the parents on destructive behavior and an opening towards a third party as a way out of this sterile confrontation.
The notion of « parenthood » is seen here as a mostly unconscious process, beginning in archaic and primordial foundations and ending in the establishment of social bonding. While avoiding the risk of a parasitic bonding system, « parenthood » allows for the development of interrelations between partners, the Oedipal triangulation and the construction of a sexual identity. In addition, at its most organized level, through sublimation, this process fosters socialization and creativity.
This article tries to show that the notion of parenthood emerges in the context of an historical evolution where the social bond tends to reproduce itself, beyond traditional kinship systems. This should be brought seriously into the discussion, insofar as the psychoanalytical concept of drive conflict and the centrality of interpreting the transference are in danger of being forgotten. The first part describes the current modes of « culture and its discontents ». Afterwards, we will study some avatars of borderline subjectivation who rationalize themselves within a discourse on parenthood. In conclusion, parenthood and kinship are put into a dialectical relationship by being put into anthropological perspective.
The concept of parenthood is debatable, because it does not take into account the difference between the specifically maternal and specifically paternal parental crises that the two parents go through at the moment of childbirth. The content of these two crises is described in broad outline.