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(p. 31) Saying ‘No’ 

(p. 31) Saying ‘No’
Chapter:
(p. 31) Saying ‘No’
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271381.003.0002
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date: 19 November 2019

This radio broadcast forms part of a series of discussions between a group of mothers, with a brief comment from Winnicott in response. Winnicott suggests that when the mother says ‘No’ to her child, she, together with her husband, introduces an external reality and the idea of limits to her child. Infants learn first about their own aggressive impulses, and, at a slightly later stage, links to their destructiveness. The parent’s responses create complex feelings for the baby as regards himself and the mother. Both parents have to manage their own feelings in response to those of their baby and not retaliate. The mother’s version of morality has to do until the infant develops a personal morality through coming to know that of the mother and the father.

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