The vision for “Teddy Bear” came when reading “Running on Empty” by Jonice Webb & Christine Musello. This book is an informative guide that helps its readers to identify and heal from childhood emotional neglect. The authors do a great job of educating the reader of emotional neglect, as well as, giving tools for how to be more emotionally present and to move forward with more connected relationships.
Childhood Emotional Neglect: Childhood emotional neglect is a failure of parents or caregivers to respond to a child's emotional needs. This type of neglect can have long-term consequences, as well as short-term, almost immediate ones. Understanding why childhood neglect happens is important for parents, teachers, caregivers, and more.
In “Running on Empty” there are 12 parenting styles that lead to Childhood Emotional Neglect. In "Teddy Bear" there is a clip of the clock at 12:00p and there are 12 cupcakes. The first section by our adult performer, Devon, is her movement through parenting styles she connects to. These are all our artistic nods to the 12 parenting styles. Do any of these resonate with you or anyone you know?
Narcissistic Parent: Positive image above all else
Authoritarian Parent: Demanding & controlling
Permissive Parent: Struggles with boundary setting
Bereaved Parent: Lost in grief
Addicted Parent: Caught up in numbing own pain
Depressed Parent: Disconnected from feelings of self and others
Workaholic Parent: Avoiding intimacy & connection because of excessive work
Parent Caring for Someone with a Special Need: Focused deeply on this need
Achievement Focused Parent: Expecting more consistently
Sociopathic Parent: Unable to empathize & connect with others’ feelings
Child as a Parent: Needing inappropriate emotional support
Well Meaning but Emotionally Neglect Parent: Harmed by their own experience of their neglect
In “Running on Empty” they explain signs that help the reader connect to what Childhood Emotional Neglect looks like as an adult. Do any of these resonate with you or anyone you know?
Feel empty inside
Avoid dependence on others in any form
Over or under estimate yourself in relation to others
Low set esteem
General feeling of being disconnected, living life on the outside, looking on other’s experiences
My favorite part of “Running on Empty” is that they encourage you to heal and grow from the Childhood Emotional Neglect you may have experienced. Our adult mover is shown at the end of the video unpacking her teddy bear. This is a representation of her working through the healing process from her childhood emotional neglect. Do any of these seem like habits you should incorporate into your life?
Name & understand the problem. Get in touch with your emotions that may have been pushed down.
Take an emotional training course.
Be aware of positive and negative emotions as you are feeling them.
Accept that your feelings, desires, & wants matter just as much as everyone else’s.
Express your needs.
Practice self- soothing.
We live in a broken world. We are broken people doing life with broken people. There is hope in the knowledge and understanding of emotional neglect. I hope that this video, story, & journal prompts help you to find a deeper connection to this concept of Childhood Emotional Neglect.
Resources with information about Childhood Emotional Neglect: