Google+ Authentic Parenting: Don't They Love Their Children?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Don't They Love Their Children?

When parents do something to their children that seems so completely wrong and unnatural to you, it's very easy to wonder if those people even love their children at all. It's a trap we easily fall into in our dichotomous world of black and white, where parents either love their children, or they don't. I have to admit that I too have fallen into this trap, numerous times, because clearly, some parental behavior proves that some parents just don't love their children. Right?

Wrong! "Don't they love their children?" is something you should really really try to erase from your vocabulary. Most parents, even the most abusive, really do love their children. I think there are in fact a very few who are indifferent to their children, because even parents who hate their children, care for them. One cannot hate someone or something without having feelings for it/him in the first place.
But how? But why? but...

Yes, some things parents do to their children is hideous, incomprehensible, completely strange, but maybe these people don't know any better. Maybe that's how they were parented. If you've always seen the same pattern, growing up and all around you, you'll be conditioned to think that's the only way. Even if it does feel bad.
Maybe they think they are doing the right thing because that's what so-called experts are telling them. These are very confusing times to be a parent, and I bet many a parent is doing something against their hearts, just because he or she was told that's the way it has to be, or they'll be harming their child.
And in the western world, parents are alone with their children, and their subsequent struggles, which doesn't make it any easier. There is little or no social network or support to help them through the hard times.

Then why don't they try to change? Why don't they inform themselves?
Firstly, I think a lot of parents do think they are doing the right thing. Some parents don't see the need to change. Others may want to, but don't know how.
Even in Europe, there are still many mothers who aren't connected and who can't find their way to all this precious informations. Or they are connected, but they don't know it's out there.
The information is indeed not readily available. You need to look for it and you need to know where and what you're looking for.

And even people who actively try to change can meet a lot of road blocks. It is hard work to change the way we parent and thus to change the way we were parented. It gets little support and frankly, few people understand it.

So next time, instead of frowning and asking yourself if these people really love their children, smile at them, see if their is something you could do to help. Even if that something doesn't change what they do but just makes their existence a little lighter.



  1. Just beautiful..xx

    I have sisters who parent completely differently to me. That is why I have not judged others so harshly. In saying that, we still need to keep discussing what we do, because it does make people think about what they do. It is in the way we discuss it that makes a difference. My sister last week said to me " Dam your voice is in my head when I am doing things" lol..In other words, she feels I have become her conscious lol

  2. I completely agree, you have to keep the topic open. But I only discuss our parenting style when I am either asked about it or I feel that someone is susceptible or searching for info. We don't want to be like the people who TELL US what to do (like CIO, putting them in separate rooms etc)

  3. I think my take on a lot of parenting issues pretty much boils down to you do what you think is right for you and your children at that time.

    I was brought up to believe that if you judge someone then you are saying that your way is better and that might not be the case. I do see parents who seem unaware of their children's needs all the time but it seems to me that they have a lack of knowledge rather than a lack of love for their kids.

    Living where I do, I see many young single mums and I know from chatting to them that they only know what the experts tell them as they have very little knowledge of parenting. One poor mum was really distressed because she hated buying chicken burgers and chips for her kids but didnt know how to cook anything else. If the food didnt come with cooking instructions on the packet then she had no idea where to find out how to cook it.

    I agree that talking about parenting is the only way to help people learn new ideas and techniques. I also agree that just telling someone how to do it doesnt work. Parents need a lot more support from people without an agenda.

  4. When we don't know something, we fall back on how we were brought up! That's why we can't judge our parents that harshly. They did the best with the little knowledge they had!

  5. Excellent post! As a parent, it can be challenging to withhold our judgment toward people who parent differently than we do. I agree, it's often a matter of not knowing any better. I'm a new follower! :)


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