The power between parents and children has always been a delicate balance. Children in the early part of their lives are totally dependent on their parents. The way this power is handled by the all powerful parent instils attitudes to power and authority in their children for the future.
Now in the present the power shifts between men and women have changed. Making relationships and the children from those relationships more equal and complex. Women can have kids despite men: not controlled or bullied by them.
In some families one or other parent is not present leaving the role open for children to fill. In some families the children outnumber the parents, so there becomes an inverse us (kids) and them (the parents) dynamic.
Parents can feel very guilty if there is an illness, trauma or breakdown of the parental relationship. This can allow the children to develop more colleague like relationships with their parents where boundaries are more challenging to set.
Parents may feel anxious about their children – not believing or trusting them. This can create frustration and anger for the kids who are trying to independently make their own way in the world. Parents can get into the habit of trying to fix everything for their children. Unintentionally taking away their autonomy and learning to make their own mistakes.
These traits can also be in the kids. Anxiety in children can cause a bullying behaviour. They want to hold onto the parent and reject them at the same time. This process is normal but can be fuelled by an insecure attachment. Self reliance becomes difficult so the kids feel they cannot leave home. Motivated particularly in the UK by a housing market beyond the reach of young people in their first jobs. Insecure parents can be open to being coerced into doing things by tantrums and manipulation. If the parent is afraid of the kids’ anger the kid will learn how to use this to their advantage.
Parents still hold an authority of age, experience, and some wisdom. If this is not demonstrated to children parents become children, and children parents.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2017
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique