There are two roles that parents play in life of a child-
- The role of a Mother- provide care and nurturing
- The role of a Father- provide food and protection
Every child needs ‘unconditional’ love of mother to grow, but at the same time every child also needs the ‘conditional’ love of father to live a disciplined life.
‘Discipline is a way to reduce life’s suffering.’ It is the role of father to discipline the child to protect the child from the outside world and from himself. E.g. If the child picks up a knife, it is role of a father to snatch it away from him and scold him so the child doesn't repeat this mistake again so that the child doesn't hurt himself or others.
In each of these roles a parent can fail in two possible ways,
- Abuse, when s/he gives something in excess
- Neglect, when s/he falls short in giving something
And therefore there can be four situations in which a child can be failed by one or both of his parents-
- Abuse by mother- excess love and care, enmeshment
- Abuse by father- excess discipline and/or excess providing
- Neglect by mother- lack of love and care
- Neglect by father- lack of disciplining and/or lack of providing
In parenting role, father has to be thoroughly in command, and his children must know what is expected of him/her and that he/she must obey and meet father’s expectations. When he/she doesn't, father as parent should not make a scene; rather, there should be a low-key clarification about who is in charge, what to expect, and what the inevitable consequences of their continued disobedience will be. Children are in awe of this sort of command. They crave that command.