Discuss transactional analysis and an extreme child

Discussion: Extreme "Child" Experience


Hello Class,

After reviewing the background readings and videos, I chose to discuss Transactional Analysis and an extreme "Child" behavior I seen in a coworker recently. So far in my career, I have never seen nor witnessed this extreme of a behavior up until this point. This individual was brand new to the Air Force, straight from technical school, and had just arrived to my Flight. From day one, he made it very clear to everyone that he did not want to be a part of the Flight nor the Air Force. But, he went about trying to get early separation all wrong. He was extremely defiant, deviant, and very unruly. Any communication we had with him, his behavior was always at the "child" ego state. It did not matter which ego state we tried, his behavior never changed. Even responding as an "adult" and hoping that he would respond back as an "adult" got us nowhere. We could not get our conversations to become complementary transactions and sent by the same ego states (McKay, Fanning, & Davis, 2009). He was adamant that he wanted separated at any cost. Unfortunately for him, the military does not just give you what you want, when you want. After a few long months, a lot of paperwork, some non-judicial punishment, and lots of headaches, we were finally able to separate him. It was so frustrating trying to keep our communications clean with him while he was acting like that.

Any suggestions on how you would have dealt with this type of situation?

- Joe

McKay, M., Fanning, P., & Davis, M. (2009). Chapter 7: Transactional Analysis. Messages: The Communication Skills Book. Oakland, Calif: New Harbinger Publications

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