"It's okay for me to grow up and still be dependent at times. I can think things through and get help doing that. I continually expand my ability to be responsible and competent."
When we provide structure and enforce non-negotiable rules consistently, then children often make decisions based on these beliefs:
"There are some rules I have to follow. I can learn from my mistakes. I am a good person. I'm lovable and capable. They care about me and take care of me."
If parenting relies on criticism, then children believe:
"I have to know what I don't know. I will try harder, be strong, be perfect. If I don't do things right, I am a bad person. I can't be good enough. I am hopeless. Why bother?"
If parenting consists of freedom without responsibility (marshmallow parenting), then children learn to believe:
"I must take care of other people's feelings and needs or I don't need to care about anyone but me. I am not capable of learning how to value and take care of myself. If help is offered, mistrust it or at least expect to pay a price for it but don't expect helpful structure from others."
If parenting lacked rules, protection or contact, then children begin to believe:
"Don't ask for or expect help. No one cares. If I am to survive I will have to do it by myself. If help is offered, mistrust it. Help and trust are a joke."
If parenting is characterized by rigidity, which springs from fear, then children will often make decisions based on the following beliefs:
"I am not wanted. Parents don't care about me. Rules are more important than my needs. I will let others think for me. I will comply, rebel or withdraw. I will blame myself."
Growing Up Again: Parenting ourselves, parenting our children by Jean I. Clarke and Connie Dawson