Life Fact

8 reason why parent felt to love there kids

8 Reasons Parents Fail
to Love Their Kids
Parental love
enhances the
wellbeing and
of children.
As such,
“love” would
be all that is
nurturing and
supportive of the evolution of a
child’s unique personality.
Conversely, it would be a
distortion to define as “loving”
those responses that are in any
way detrimental to the child’s
psychological growth, cause
painful wounds to the child’s
psyche, or predispose a lifetime
of maladaptation and pain.
Parental love includes genuine
expressions of warmth—a
smile or friendly look that
conveys empathy and good
humor; physical affection;
respectful, considerate
treatment; tenderness; a
willingness to be a real person
with the child as opposed to
acting the role of “mother” or
“father”; and a sensitive
attunement and responsiveness
to the child. Attuned parents
have the ability to adjust the
intensity and emotional tone of
their responses to match their
child’s feeling state and
needs. During infancy, attuned
interactions between a baby
and its mother (or primary
caregiver) are especially
important because they provide
the baby with the environment
necessary for learning how to
regulate emotions and for
developing empathy.
In my observation of families, I
have noted countless examples
of well-meaning parents
engaging in behavior that is
insensitive, mis-attuned, or
harmful to their children, while
earnestly believing that they
love them and have their best
interests at heart. These
parents are telling the truth,
although on a defensive level,
when they tell their adult
children who have been
emotionally hurt that they
loved them and did the best
they could for them. It’s true:
They did the best that they
were capable of, but more
often than not, they simply
weren’t able to really see their
child as a separate person and
meet his or her needs. No
matter how well-intentioned,
many people are unfortunately
not prepared for the task of
raising children.
There are 8 reasons why it’s
often difficult for parents to
love their children.
1. Many parents have a
negative self-image which
they unwittingly extend to
their children.
If they cannot love themselves,
or have developed a negative
conception of themselves and
their bodies, and extend this
shame and negativity to their
productions, they cannot pass
on love and tenderness to this
remarkable creation of theirs.
In general, people who do not
really like themselves are
incapable of genuinely loving
other people, especially their
children. In fact, they are more
likely to project their negative
feelings onto others, and there
is no better dumping ground
for our negative perceptions of
ourselves than our
2. Parents who are
undeveloped or immature
experience their children as
an unwanted, intimidating
dependency load.
They find it threatening to bear
the responsibility and extensive
care that the baby and
developing child require and
may even come to resent their
3. Many people find it
difficult or intolerable to
accept love—in particular,
the simple direct loving
expressions of children.
If the parents were hurt in their
developmental years, they will
have problems accepting love
and intimacy from their
children. Faced with the
emotional pain that it causes
them, parents will
unconsciously distance
themselves from their child.
4. Parents have unresolved
trauma in their own lives.
If so, they will tend to be mis-
attuned to their children,
especially when their children
approach periods in their lives
that were traumatic for the
parent. They may react by
becoming rejecting, or they
may overcompensate. Neither
reaction is appropriate to, or
constructive for, the child. For
example, a parent who cannot
bear to be reminded of his own
childhood sadness may be
vindictive or punishing to his
children when they cry.
Another parent may suppress
her children’s pain in just the
opposite way—by over-
comforting and over-protecting
them. In any case, the child is
always more expendable than
the parent’s defense system.
The more self‑protective a
person is, the more he or she
will act out his or her defenses
on the child and progressively
fail to perceive the child
correctly and encourage
healthy development.
5. Having children reminds
parents that time is passing
and tends to increase their
death anxiety.
This can cause tension and
even resentment in the parent
and a self-protective, defensive
retreat from feeling that is
directly or indirectly hurtful to
their children.
6. Parents tend to use their
children as immortality
projects, which has a
destructive effect on their
In order to serve this purpose,
children must replicate their
parent’s attitudes and
choices. If they differ, their
independent actions are
misinterpreted as defiant or
rebellious. Parents try to
impose sameness on their
children because they can’t live
on through their children if the
children are different from
them. For example, if you are
religious and your child is a
non-believer; or if you are a
Democrat and your child is a
Republican, your child no
longer serves that necessary
function. Obviously, impressing
sameness is highly damaging to
children. Each child is
genetically different and has a
unique agenda and personal
7. Parents’ unfulfilled
primitive hunger for love and
care from their childhood
causes them, in turn, to focus
these strong desires on their
They confuse the powerful
feelings of longing and
possession they have toward
their offspring for genuine
feelings of love. Children who
are caressed by a hungry and
needy parent will not feel
“seen,” understood, or secure,
but instead will become
refractory to physical touch.
The “loving” fingers of the
immature parent are felt as
possessive, sucking tentacles,
which drain the children rather
than nurture them. This type of
parent will cause children to
have feelings of being trapped
or suffocated by close
relationships in later life. As
adults, they may experience
affection as physical or
psychological pain.
8. Due to inadequate or
problematic parenting styles,
many children develop traits
that are unlikeable or
They may become unruly,
defiant, disobedient,
obnoxious, demanding, hostile
or generally unpleasant. Even
though they have been a
primary cause of these
behaviors, parents find it
difficult to love or even like a
child who exhibits these
To summarize: Almost all
parents feel that they love their
children. But what parents feel
internally must have an
external component in actions
that are loving in order to have
a positive effect on their
children. Parents’ good
intentions are not a substitute
for nurturing love, which can
only be provided by a
psychologically healthy and
independent adult. Both the
intention and the capacity to
love are necessary to sustain
the small child in his or her
growth toward maturity.
The assumption that parents,
especially mothers, have a
“natural” love for their child is a
fundamental part of our belief
system—and the core of family
life and society. Very often this
myth has an adverse effect,
though, in that it leads to a
failure to challenge negative
behaviors within family life. It
also intensifies parents’ guilt.
These guilt feelings further
contaminate the situation for
those individuals who may be
unable, because of their own
upbringing, to provide their
children with the necessary
love and care they need.
Children do need and deserve
love, and we must provide it or
they will suffer emotional pain.
Recent research in the
neurosciences has shown that
the way parents interact (or fail
to interact) with children
becomes hardwired in their
children’s brains, often before
they are capable of formulating
words to describe what they are
experiencing. As they grow
older, children find numerous
ways of defending themselves
in order to relieve or numb
their pain. In the process of
dulling their pain, they close off
many aspects of themselves
and, to varying degrees,
become emotionally deadened.
Indeed, it would be better for
all concerned if the illusion of
unconditional parental love
were withdrawn from the
child‑rearing scene. It serves
no constructive purpose for
parents to conceal their
inadequacies from a child. An
honest acceptance of their
deficiencies would enable both
parent and child to cope with
reality devoid of additional
defensive pressure. With a
lessening of this pressure, and
the subsequent relaxation for
both parent and child, they may
even regain genuine loving
feelings and regard for one
Lastly, children whose parents
have, for the most part,
resolved their issues of trauma
and loss from the past have a
better chance. In
Compassionate Child-Rearing, I
described many parents who
came to understand and feel
for what had happened to them
as children. As a result, they
were able to develop more
compassion for their past, and
for their present-day
limitations. Regaining feeling
for themselves seemed to be
the key element that enabled
them to enjoy closer, more
sensitively attuned interactions
with their children and altered
their child-rearing practices in a
more loving, positive direction.


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