Ego States – PARENT (Part 5)

adult choices 

from a positive or negative Parent voice

PREVIOUS: Parent E.S. – Part 3

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


This chart ⬇️ shows the Parent aspects. While the A. is our Executive branch, & most beneficial as a person’s guiding force, all 3 ego states (PAC) can be either the healthy or unhealthy part of someone with good or bad motives, with good or bad consequences. (See CHILD ES version)

EXP: The Adult ES can be applied to planning a new town on a drawing board, or planning to rob a bank. Both require logic, reason, critical thinking faculties, planning skills….. Review ‘OK Corral’ (Adult E.S., Part 3)

1. UNHEALTHY E.S. (PES) say: “You’re Not OK” to self & others
a. Negative CRITICAL / Controlling P. is punitive & insensitive. Gives abusive, degrading criticism to overemphasize being in control – using fear, suspicion & distrust: “How stupid can you be”….
For ACoAs :
• Outward – often expressed towards others as prejudice & disapproval
• Inward – continues to influence the Inner Child in the form of S-H
Parent Mode
EXP: It’s the person who sees an injured dog in the street, & says: ‘All dogs should be kept on leads, not allowed to roam free’ – & so does nothing to help

b. Negative ‘NURTURING P. is over-protective or engulfing, giving physical attention in order to control or manipulate others. May smother with concern, denying people the opportunity to develop their own skills.
Help is given from a self-serving attitude which discounts the other person’s actual needs, or their autonomy & competence

Negative Parent (PP) is ‘on’ when:
Physical – frowning, crossed arms, finger-pointing, angry or impatient body-language & expressions, superiority gestures…..
Verbal – uses condescending tone, judgmental & critical words, patronizing or posturing language :
“This is how you should — //  under no circumstances — //  you should always — //  never do — //  for once in your life — // you shouldn’t — //  how dare you —  // don’t do as I do, do as I say…”

Keep in mind that cultural differences in body-language or tonal emphases that may seem ‘Parental’ in one culture may not be the speaker’s intention in another

2. HEALTHY PES say: “You’re OKto self & others
Since the following aspects are either missing or weak in most ACoAs – especialgood parent voicely toward ourselves – developing & safe-guarding the Good Parent voice is a critical (no pun intended) & fundamental requirement for our growth

For US: It’s used to self-sooth, help the WIC with any form of emotional distress, letting the Child (C.) know it’s never alone.
It is also the part that encourages, cheers & champions the Healthy / Natural C. to be ‘all you were meant to be”! It draws from our own native capacity for kindness, as well as any experiences of being cared for, by anyone, but especially in childhood. (This is – or can form –  our Positive Introject)

For OTHERS: It’s the source of kindness, respect & help we give others, coming from a genuine regard for them as fellow-travelers on this earth. It allows us to give & take appropriate physical affection, such a gentle hug or touch
EXP: The person who lovingly picks up that dog who got injured by a car while crossing the road & takes it the vet

Positive CRITICAL / Controlling P.
For US: It’s used to set boundaries for oneself, providing self-control – limiting the Child’s excessive wants, demands, distorted thinking, inappropriate behavior such as unhealthy or unsafe acting out ….  It’s the way a good parent holds a child back from running across the street, limits unhealthy foods, sets curfews…. the Pos. Controlling P. helps us stay out of or leave dangerous or unsuitable people / situations…..

For OTHERS:  Instructions & commands are aimed at genuinely encouraging someone’s well-being. Constructive criticism is used to protect & steer away from harm or potential danger : “You might want to consider — //  I encourage you to stay away from the — //  be careful when you — // I recommend that you…..
NEXT:  Parent #5

4 thoughts on “Ego States – PARENT (Part 5)

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