February 9, 2010
IN RESPONSE to comments on the phenomenon of over-attentive parents, Alex A. gives a a great summation of one of the main underlying causes of this problem. “Pushiness,” he says, “is a compensation for not being there.”
Karen I. writes:
I think a lot of the pushy parenting is done by working and single mothers. Nearly all of the working and single mothers I know gush about their children. They are defensive and it shows in their pushiness.
I know of a couple of divorced parents who lavish attention on their children. Sadly, much of that is about child custody and the steady flow of income in the form of child support. If a parent can convince a child that he or she would have a better deal with that parent, they stand a better chance of getting or keeping custody. A great deal of money is at stake because the custodial parent is the one who receives child support. The children are cash cows for custodial parents who are divorced from a higher-earning spouse. The higher-earning spouse, in turn, has much to gain by getting or keeping custody of the child in order to avoid having to write a big child support check every month. The children wind up being intolerable brats because neither parent wants to be the “bad guy” by disciplining the child, even when discipline is clearly called for.