Ego States – PARENT (Part 5) Modes

adult choices 

from a positive or negative Parent voice

PREVIOUS: Parent E.S. – Part 4

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


NOTE : The Adult ES is our Executive branch, & most beneficial as a person’s guiding force. It can either be the healthy or unhealthy part of someone, with good or bad motives, with good or bad consequences.

EXP: The Adult is in charge whether one is 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)

This chart ⬇️ shows the Parent aspects. (See CHILD ES version)

1. UNHEALTHY PES says: “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, as well as their autonomy & competence

The Negative Parent (PigP) is ‘on’ when we’re:
Physical – frowning, crossed arms, finger-pointing, angry or impatient body-language & expressions, superiority gestures…..
Verbal – using a 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 says: “You’re OKto self & others
Since the following aspects are either missing or weak in most ACoAs – especialgood parent voicely toward ourself – developing & encouraging the Good / Loving 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 & can 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 as a gentle hug or touch when desired
EXP: It’s the person who lovingly picks up that dog, who got injured by a car while crossing the road, & takes it to the vet

Positive CRITICAL / Controlling P. (needed!) 
🌺 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…..

:  Parent ES #6