Learned helplessness is when a parent behaves helplessly, even when there is an opportunity to restore an unpleasant or unwanted situation. For example, a parent might put a child off for the opportunity to learn how to drive from their instruction by feigning they are not competent. The parent can deal with this effectively by being honest with the child and telling them the real reason(s).
Procrastination is putting off doing something. For example, a parent can do this by putting off a party for their small child by saying they are too busy. The parent can deal with this by making the party an event they commit to doing, and then planning it for their child by setting a date.
Stubbornness is actively resisting an event or obligation. For example, a parent can resist cutting their child’s hair because it is distasteful to them. The parent can address this by telling the child they do not like cutting hair and taking the child to get their hair cut.
Resentment by a parent towards a child can occur when the child does something the parent does not like and the child detect the dissatisfaction of the parent. For example, a parent might be upset because a child obligated them to entertaining their friends at a time they wanted to do something else, and the parent reluctantly concedes to do it. The parent can address this by carefully explaining to the child that they cannot follow through with the commitment the child made.
Sullenness is when a parent is pouting trying to get the child to feel remorse for what they have done. An example of this is when a parent avoids their child after the child decided to associate with a friend that the parent does not approve of. The parent can cope with this by telling the child plainly that they disapprove, and setting the guidelines for how that relationship will be dealt with by the family.
Victimization is the process of making someone a victim or sacrifice. An example would be a parent verbalizing the sacrifice of time or money that they are giving in order that their child can have a n advantage. The parent must recognize that their decision to do something for their child was their choice and the child should not be made to feel guilty for their free choice.
Ambiguity is the act of speaking cryptically and taking away the sense of security in the child. A parent can do this by making a sarcastic remark to a child affirming that their efforts to learn by reading library books all day instead of working is a good choice when they believe differently. A parent can address this by avoiding sarcastic remarks and encouraging the child.
Fear of Intimacy
Because a parent may be afraid to bare their soul to their child, they may act out of anger to divert attention away from this fear. For example, a child may be talking intimately to the parent about their feelings for a member of the opposite sex, and the parent becomes angry as a ploy to avoid intimacy. The parent can remedy this by listening to the child without lots of comments and helping the child sort through their feelings.
A chaotic situation may be generated by the parent to divert attention away from something else. For example, a parent may declare that they have a business emergency and cannot talk with their child about transportation to a desire sporting activity. The parent can cope with this by taking a deep breath, carefully listening to the child, and endeavoring to make an effort to help make accommodations for the child’s adventure.
The practice of deliberately holding back or stopping an event or process is obstructionism. A parent can do this by ‘forgetting’ to take care of technical procedures necessary for their child to participate in an activity they do not want to pay for. The parent can deal with this by telling the child that they cannot afford the activity.