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5 Hallmarks of Bad Parenting That Are Actually Good for Kids

Apprehensive and inexperienced parents seek out advice from people who are only too happy to tell you the "right" way to bring up baby. Then science tells us that "right" way is baloney. For example, here's a study about giving kids candy:
The researchers studied over 11,000 kids ages 2 to 18 who were divided into two groups. One group was fed sweets and chocolate about 4 grams above their daily recommended sugar intake, while the other kids received no sweets at all (having to sustain themselves on a steady diet of pity and taunts from the first group). Despite the almost negligible amount of candy they've been given, the results of the study showed that, statistically, the candy-munching brigade were later 22 to 26 percent less likely to be overweight than the kids raised on free-range carrots and vegan water.

The good news didn't end there. Kids who rode the sugar dragon also had lower levels of a protein that has been linked to heart disease and other chronic illnesses, which goes against all the so-called common sense of healthy nutrition. However, the results only applied to typical sugar candy and not chocolate, for no other reason than life just being arbitrary and unfair.

Yep, parenting basically boils down to common sense and moderation, just as you thought. Read more at Cracked. Link

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It boils down to that if you are raising a robot. But with kids you are talking about a self-conscious being which is quite a bit different. You can teach them moderation or indulgence but in either case they may be prone to introjection. If they are moderate consumers but are full of introjection then they will not be happy or healthy. Teach kids how to manage being a self-conscious being. Such that the child understands "Why" it is a good idea to moderate their intake. Because if they don't understand "Why" then their doing so is based in an introjective contingency and could fall away any time.
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They are aware of it because they say it, but that is not the same as being aware. Everyone can say they are self-conscious but very few people know what exactly that entails.

Introjection is extremely common and is most prominent among the children of highly attentive parents. So if you take Diana Baumrind's classifications of parenting styles

1• Authoritative - rules by rational discourse
2• Authoritarian - rules with an iron fist and appeals to fear
3• Neglectful - Let's kids do whatever they want.

Children of (1) which is recognized by Baumrind as the most effective parenting style are actually the most prone to introjection. Whereas children of (3) are the least prone to introjection.

Wikipedia relates:

In Freudian terms, introjection is the aspect of the ego's system of relational mechanisms which handles checks and balances from a perspective external to what one normally considers 'oneself', infolding these inputs into the internal world of the self-definitions, where they can be weighed and balanced against one's various senses of externality. For example:

"One example often used is when a child envelops representational images of his absent parents into himself, simultaneously fusing them with his own personality."

"Individuals with weak ego boundaries are more prone to use introjection as a defense mechanism. According to Donald Woods Winnicott "projection and introjection mechanisms... let the other person be the manager sometimes, and to hand over omnipotence.[4]"

This goes way further than the popular trope that "kids just need to feel good about themselves". The social interactionist might argue kids need "to learn not to think about themselves too much".
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I learned those as Authoritarian, Authorative, and Permissive. But in the years since, I see she's changed permissive to indulgent and added neglectful, so there are now four styles.
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Yea, I knew there was four, but I didn't bother looking it up. My interest is in Self Determination Theory now. The following is from the Handbook of Self and Identity by Mark R. Leary and describes the processes of Introjection and Identification, as well as Compartmentalization and Integration. These concepts are helpful for understanding how a child may develop. Ideally a child will develop to be Hypo-Egoic. Which is not described but resembles integrated-identification with what is real (integrated identification with delusions are maladaptive).

"Introjection is a
form of internalization—a kind of partial
internalization—in which a regulation has
been taken in but not accepted as one's
own. Initially external contingencies are
n o w represented internally, such that the
person applies intrapsychically what had
initially been applied interpersonally by socializing
agents. In so doing, the person experiences
rewards and punishments, typically
in the form of self-esteem-related feelings
and appraisals, and it is these contingent
self-evaluations and their affective consequences
that regulate behavior. For example,
with introjected regulation, a person engages
in an activity or adopts a role in order
to enhance, maintain, or avoid losing selfesteem.
In other words, introjected regulation
involves pressuring oneself with contingencies
of self-regard resulting from having
been externally controlled by contingent
love and regard (Assor, Roth, &c Deci,
2001). A teen w h o attends religious services
because not doing so would incur feelings of
guilt and anxiety is regulated through introjection.
Similarly, a young gymnast whose
participation is based on feeUng generalized
approval and the self-aggrandizement that
accompanies it is similarly operating from
introjected regulation (Frederick & Ryan,
1993).

Even greater internalization is represented
when a person's activities are regulated by
identifications. A person w h o identifies with
a role or activity has consciously endorsed
or assented to its personal value and importance.
A teenager w h o identifies with her religion
thus attends services with volition
and initiative because she consciously evaluates
that activity as important and meaningful to herself. Activities regulated through
identification are therefore to a large degree
autonomous, that is, they are accompanied
by an experience of volition and freedom in
acting. According to SDT, being regulated in
this more voUtional way, relative to external
and introjected motives, will result not only
in a higher quality of engagement (e.g.,
greater persistence, effort, etc.) but also in
more positive experiences such as enjoyment,
sense of purpose, and well-being
(Ryan & Deci, 2001).
S D T further proposes, however, that
identifications can be either relatively isolated
or compartmentalized within the psyche
or relatively integrated and unified with
other identifications, values, and needs of
the self. For instance, suppose in the workplace
a m a n identifies with the role of
"ruthless entrepreneur," and in his religious
life he aspires to follow the "Golden Rule."
Both might be values or roles that he adopted
as meaningful and which he experienced
as personally valued identities. However,
because of their inherent inconsistency, he
must keep them compartmentalized from
one another—following the Golden Rule at
work would certainly constrain his entrepreneurial
possibilities, while awareness of
his cutthroat activities in business might engender
guilt and anxiety when he is in his
religious/moral mode of identity. Thus S DT
suggests that identifications can be more or
less compartmentalized and that only those
that are well integrated within the psyche
represent the full endorsement of the self.
Accordingly, integrated regulation represents
the most autonomous form of intentional,
extrinsically motivated behavior."
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