There is a lot of discussion about whether different parenting approaches are child-centered or parent-centered, and there is great contention about which is better for both children and parents.
Child-centered, critics say, seriously compromises a parent’s sense of balance and may lead to children feeling entitlement. Parent-centered, critics say, seriously compromises a child’s need for parental attention and attunement.
But is this polarization, this black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking, reality? Should we be debating for which is the better of the two “evils”?
The fear centered on parenting with attachment – common terms used for this parenting approach are Attachment Parenting, Connection Parenting, Empathetic Parenting, and others – is that, because it involves a parent to be attuned to her child around the clock, that it must be synonymous with or at least bordering on permissive parenting.
Scary music please… Permissive parenting is that style of parenting that conjures thoughts of dread in as many parents as abusive parenting does. Permissive parenting indicates a seriously imbalanced, child-centered parenting style where parents bend to the will of the child in everything, perhaps out of fear of rejection or out of pure indifference, without setting behavioral limits.
It can lead to the parent having no rights to her own sense of self, because the parent will forgo her own needs to satisfy her child’s wants.