They used to be referred to as “non-traditional students,” but adult students are the fastest growing group pursuing a college education. Whether their parents were alcoholic, dysfunctional, or abusive people, or they exhibited this behavior without the liquid substance because they themselves were exposed to it during their own upbringings, their children fielded, reacted to, and just downright survived it without choice, recourse, defense, or protection.
Adult education – sometimes referred to as “on-going education” – might resemble classroom learning in that you may register for, pay for, and attend a presentation or seminar in a formal classroom setting. If you wish to take up these educational programs directly from their respective centers, you can do so. Otherwise many distance education programs are also conducted which can be of great use for people seeking further education.
Following well-worn neuropathways and filtering people and situations through the primitive brain’s amygdala, which controls a person’s fight or flight response, adult children subconsciously transpose their childhood circumstances to those of their adult ones, having no reason to doubt that, if their “loving” caregivers treated them in such detrimental manners, that those in the outside world who have far less invested in them will assuredly do the same.
Mirroring of children and appropriately responding to their needs, wants, feelings, actions, and emotions, yet another manifestation, is impaired. You are not willing to acknowledge the intensity of feelings that children are bound to have when the bond between them and their parents is threatened.
There is more emphasis on lifelong learning and adult education these days. Adult children of alcoholics have to avoid being fully aware of the potential explosiveness of their parent’s alcoholism in order to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their daily lives. There are many famous universities worldwide that offer online education programs for adults.
Many of these adults who were dropouts from the schools in their childhood yearn to continue their education at a later and more convenient time. Cermak, Timmin L,, M.D. “A Time to Heal: The Road to Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1988.
Because they learned what they lived, as do all children, they saw others through unresolved wounds and adopted distorted realities, believing that their parents were representatives of them and were left with little choice but to pursue their paths with distrust and survival-augmenting traits and characteristics, never having understood why they were so treated nor having emotionally extricated themselves from the circumstances.
The teaching of adults differs considerably from children because of the background knowledge of students and the fact that they are usually eager to learn of their own accord, instead of it being mandatory to be taught. When the government started these adult education programs, initially there was not a lot of response to such programs from most people. These adult education programs come as a boon to those adults looking to complete what education they’ve left incomplete.
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