These claims I hear from parents “Enjoy your life while you’re still young! Travel and study while you still can! Be grateful for having these traveling and studying opportunities because we didn’t have them!” or “You are so ungrateful!” created the impression that when I’m old my life is over and also that I have some special opportunities which my parents haven’t and so I have to take them no matter what. It is the enormous pressure on my mind that I’m having some special task or superpower. Usually, the task is to save or change the world. On top of that, there is a huge amount of guilt but an unidentifiable reason.
“You have everything you want and your life is so easy!”
If a parent’s purpose of life becomes his child it will create uneasy moments for both of them. This relationship is often accompanied by claims “I’m doing this for you. I’m doing this because of you. You have to be grateful for what I provide and the opportunities you have.” In a child it creates feelings of confusion and unidentifiable guilt wanting to answer “But I didn’t ask for this.”
Parents feel exploited and angry if the child doesn’t behave the way they want
Basically, parents prioritize the lives of their children and treat their own wants and needs as secondary or unimportant. It creates the feeling that the parent sacrifices himself for the child’s wellbeing. At the same time, the parent forces the ideal image of “what is the best” for his child. This image usually represents what was denied from a parent. These days it is usually education, degrees, high earnings and career. Parent forces these expectations and demands control over the child and gets a feeling of self-worth through the child’s achievements.
Comfort in exchange for limited freedom
For a child it is a burden and comfort at the same time. It doesn’t know whose life it is living and loses freedom and ability to choose. However, It can feel good as the decisions are made for him and safety in the form of resources provided. Often times it can feel like being tied up with invisible chains and extreme fear of mistakes. These children will always wait for a parent or other authority to tell them what to do. Without guidance they are useless.
In other words, parent is extending his identity on the child. In psychological literature, it is called narcissistic projection. If the child doesn’t meet parent’s expectations it feels like the parent failed. He doesn’t generate self-worth from within but through the child. This way child becomes codependent and the parent controlling. Overprotection is limiting. Children need to have the freedom to make their own mistakes because this is the way humans learn and gain self-esteem.
“You are an incapable and ungrateful generation!”
I always get angry when I hear “Your generation is a bunch of lazy and useless people”. I’d like to answer “That is because you’ve never given us the opportunity to screw something up and never given us a chance to try to do things our way.” Overprotection is crippling. It creates useless people unable to take care of themselves and dependent on commandments. I call this lobotomy performed by parents.
Limiting vibe of relationships
These patterns are projected in other relationships when children become adults. Especially romantic relationships. People are either too codependent looking for their better half to make them whole or too afraid of getting the handcuffs. This is why my generation is obsessed with freedom. We have never felt free but codependent and at the same time this ideal of ultimate freedom is shoved into our faces all the time. We somehow perceive relationships as limitations although it’s not true if you don’t make it a limitation.
The truth is people are just not aware of their own identities. They are not aware of their own separateness and boundaries. They get constantly melted together and attached because they don’t know how to be free in their minds. This gets me to the last point. Children shouldn’t be raised. We raise cattle to behave like we want and to be codependent. To think what we teach them but not anything more beyond that. Human beings should be cultivated not raised.