Angie grew up with strict authoritarian parent who did not really care for feelings. There was no compassion or empathy in the relationship. She could be yelled and punished for any small mistake. Angie was a well behaved girl who was good at school, but felt neglected and unimportant. When she had her own children she didn’t want them to be treated like her and she wanted them to feel valued and loved.
She was a loving mother who spent much time with her children. As she wanted her children to feel important and valued, she placed herself on one side and listened to their demands. This was not difficult for her as she had grown up feeling unimportant. She believed that children’s feelings and requirement were more essential. This resulted in Angie becoming a permissive parent.
Angie got authoritarian parenting and she didn’t find herself important as a result her children received permissive parenting and the kids grew up thinking they were very important and did not respect or care for others. In fact neither permissive nor authoritarian parenting is loving parenting as it involves valuing the feels and needs of both children and parents. Loving parents don’t try to control their kids except in safety and health issues, and they don’t let their children control them.
Loving parents are those who have value of themselves and don’t worry about children rejecting them. They are ready to fix strict limits on children’s behavior which is not acceptable and will not be manipulated by them. It is not needed by them to link their identity with their children activities or looks. Loving parents accept their children as individuals, even if they are not like them. They do inculcate the values in the children but don’t dominate them.
We may want to be loving parents, but till we have healed our inner fears, domination and rejection, we will spontaneously act with these feeling without realizing them and protect yourself from these fears in your relationships with your children. This will require you to control your anger or giving up yourself. Fear of rejection can become apparent with children when you try to manage them angrily or by trying to get their love by surrendering yourself up to them. Your fear of domination can manifest through controlling them with anger or violence to avoid being controlled by them. If you are insecure it can become apparent through trying to make your children to do things you like to classify your value.
There have been swings between permissive and authoritarian parenting in our society and both have not shown desirable results. Just look around and you will find several people using anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants or are becoming drug addicts. There is a rise in the number of crime people who are in prison to know that these ways of parenting healthy people.
It is time we accepted that we should start the practice of healing, before we think of becoming a parent.