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Are social expectations an influence on how parents feel towards their children?

To what extent do you think social norms and expectations influence the love parents feel for their children? Do you think that many parents might not love their children very much if there were no disapproval or condemnation of feeling that way?

AlasBabylon 8 May 19

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I don't know. if be interested in seeing a large-scale survey. i do know its not true for me. i love my kids endlessly but I feel comfortable venting about them. my 12 month old has been an absolute monster today, for example. -.-


Depends on if you're an idiot or not.


I think it plays a huge part in it. From my observations of families around me, children's biggest problems come from parents who don't feel about their children the way society, tv and social media tells them they should. This leads to over indulgence due to guilt. I'm always leery of people who claim to be head-over-heals in love with a person they've never met before just because of a biological connection. I love my son because of WHO he is not because of WHAT he is. I didn't know that about him until I met him and he developed a personality completely independent of gestation.


I can only speak for myself but there is no way social norms could affect the way I feel about my children. My youngest has really been struggling in school; truancy, failing grades, not doing homework, you name it. I'm supporting her the best I can and the school has been absolutely amazing, one teacher and counselor in particular.

I was messaging with 2 friends of mine regarding her several weeks ago (they know most of her issues) and one "friend" commented something to the effect of "do you just give up on her now?" I was absolutely baffled and waited a good hour to respond to her. Eventually I told her there's VERY few things that would ever make me give up on one of my children. MAYBE if she had been addicted to drugs for 20+ years and had stolen from everyone I knew. But even then, if she made an effort to get clean, I'd still probably support her. I just couldn't believe she would suggest I would give up on my heart.....for not doing well in school!


Look at those families that pop up on national news abusing or killing their kids. Are there more out there? Probably yes, when they show up on social media. Why? Probably based on how they were brought up as kids. The ones that use the religious defense are to me the worst ones.

Trod Level 5 May 21, 2018

The love comes first, societal norms second. Social expectations are learned; a mother loves her child without learning to. Same goes for beliefs. We can believe what we wish But knowing is far better. Again, a mother doesn't believe she loves her child...she knows she does. Love is the ultimate reality. If we limit our love to family we are not fulfilling our human love all. I like the Aboriginal definition of family...that which is famil-iar! Some traditions include the forests and mountains as family. How wonderfully expansive!


Not me toward my children.


Maybe sometimes I tend to give too much importance to the influence of norms, social expectations, and cultural conditioning. Parental love is probably something most parents feel naturally. It sounds like it's a very natural thing, pretty much inborn to most parents and perhaps mothers especially, to want to protect and nourish their children, and to take joy in them.


Yup. I'm 65, and even in my childhood, parents lived their own, adult lives and let their kids raise themselves. Kids were to stay quiet, be instantly obedient, and were expected to be "useful," do chores, and uphold the family name.

Mothers usually put food on the table, and made sure the kids got baths and did their chores.
The father was expected to discipline any disobedience.

Adults talked down to children, if at all. My father never told me he loved me and my mother almost never touched me, even when I was a baby, so she wouldn't "spoil" me.

Today, both parents are expected to cuddle and nurture their children, constantly telling them they love them. I don't know if that makes them love them more, but it makes it seem that way, since parents who express hostility toward their children might be reported by concerned neighbors.


I can only speak for me. Just taking care of a baby causes those bonding hormones to kick in. I had moments when I didn't LIKE my kids very much, but I always loved them, I would always have given my life for them.

I feel the same about my kids. However, my parents went through the motions as they were expected and were not loving and nurturing parents. They said the words but their actions spoke more clearly.

I agree. When I was newly married I thought I would give my life for my husband but it wasn't until after I had my first child that I really realized what it meant to be willing to die for someone.

When one of them screws up (they're teenagers now) and asks if I'm disappointed in them I will tell them I may not always like their behavior or the choices they make but that I will always love and support them.

@Marcie1974 I spent 6 years in the Army. They gave me a weapon and told me someday I might have to shoot someone. I thought "Yeah, right. No way." Then I had my oldest daughter and knew that if someone threatened her I'd gladly shoot them. I am thankful they are all grown up now and I don't have to deal with teenagers anymore!!

@HippieChick58 teenagers are the WORST!!! Lol

@Marcie1974 I so wanted to drown my middle daughter when she was a teen. Now she is flat out amazing, as are her sisters. So hang in there, they won't be teenagers forever. It will only seem like it.

@HippieChick58 my oldest was a daddy’s girl the moment she came out of my vagina, lol. She’s confident, very intelligent and very much a leader. I’m relatively intelligent but definitely not confident or a leader. I completely admire her....but she wasn’t easy to raise. She just finished her freshman year at college and we get along splendidly now!

My youngest is just like me and we have always been very close. She’s going through a rebellious stage that I never had so it’s been very challenging. I’m hoping maybe in 5-10 years she’ll appreciate me again lol

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