What Is Parental Love & How It Can Change People

Updated October 08, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

If you’re expecting a kid or are a new parent, you may wonder how your love for your child will affect your personality and how your love for your child will grow over time. It’s a complex emotion and one that is worth exploring. This post will talk about parental love and explain how it can change people’s mentality.

A Parent’s Love

Parental Love Can Be Expressed Differently For Each Person
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Many parents will describe how their child has changed their life. Despite the hardships that come with a child, such as sleep deprivation, having less free time, and fewer finances to spend, many believe that their child is the best thing to happen in their lives. A parent’s love appears to be unconditional, and it can change people for the better.

It Can Help Develop Patience

Loving your child means being patient with them. A child isn’t a small adult; their brain may not understand some things, and it can be difficult to get your point across. A good parent needs to be patient and not always put their child down for everything. The impatient must learn how to be patient. The patient needs to learn even more patience. This is a valuable life skill that can apply to many situations.

It Can Teach About Loving Someone Unconditionally

Your child is going to have conflicts. Not just because they disobeyed or made a mistake, but conflicts that involve disagreements on life choices. Your ideal career choice for your child may not happen. Your child may be in a relationship with someone you don’t agree with. It can be hard to voice your concerns without sounding demanding.

However, a good parent will love someone regardless of their choices in life. Unconditional love is a skill many parents develop, as they are attached to their children and want them to succeed, even if the child and the parent don’t see eye to eye.

Parental Love Is Selfless

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Many people are self-absorbed and only want to be involved with actions that benefit just them. However, when you have a child, you are now caring for someone else, and you need to adjust your life based on that. You may feel like it’s no longer about you but your child, and this is true.

However, some parents may not be as selfless as they would think. Instead, they live through their children, where they make their children choose what they would have chosen if they had a second chance at life. While we all have a vision of how our children will grow up, it’s never exactly how we imagine, and you should let your child make their own choices when it’s right to do so.

It Can Teach How To Care For Someone

Many believe that they are not qualified to be parents because they can hardly take care of themselves. However, when they have a kid, they may realize that they can better take care of that child than they thought they could. Parental love that happens after the parent gives birth can make the parent have the child-caring instincts they need. For example, a parent will be sensitive to their child’s needs and will be able to know when the kid is hungry or when they need attention.

Many of these emotions come because of changes in the brain. We are programmed to adapt, and when we have children, our brain adjusts. These are the parental instincts that many people mention.

The Brain Of A New Mother

We love our children for many reasons, and one of those reasons is the changes in our brains after giving birth. For a mother, the amygdala increases in activity after giving birth. What is the amygdala? It’s a memory processor, and it controls reactions such as anxiety, aggression, and fears. When a mother gives birth, she will be sensitive to all the baby’s needs, and when she provides for the baby, she feels satisfied. The brain changes will affect how much the mother loves the baby.

Damage to this part of the brain may have negative consequences. For example, if the amygdala has some damage, the mother may feel less about caring for the baby. If the infant has amygdala damage, they may not cry as much and may not be attached to the mother.

This part of the brain also is the reason why the mother prefers her baby over other babies. For example, if the mother sees a picture of someone else’s baby, she may think it’s cute but have little reactions other than that. However, if it’s a baby picture of her child, she may feel extreme happiness looking at it.

How A Father’s Brain Changes

Parental Love Can Be Expressed Differently For Each Person
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Of course, the mother isn’t the only one to feel a change whenever she’s a new parent. The father will experience brain changes as well. For example, a father exposed to his child may have a brain that is rewired to be more like that of a mother’s. In animals, it’s been discovered that neurons are created in the brain whenever the child is born. These neurons are associated with environmental richness, where the father’s life feels complete when the child is around.

Other neurons created may help the father recognize their child, and it can be linked to memory.

Also, like moms, a dad’s brain can be sensitive to a child crying. Men can be just as good as women when it comes to separating their baby’s cries from the cries of other infants.

A Mother’s Love And The Brain Of Their Child

As you know, the early stages of one’s life are quite influential. The brain is still developing, and any action can influence how it develops and how the child will turn out whenever they become an adult. And brain scans have revealed this to be true.

It’s been revealed that their brain may not grow as large if their mother neglects a child. Meanwhile, a child who does receive a mother’s love will have a fuller brain.

What does this mean for the child? This can mean that the child may excel less in education and may be prone to more mental health issues. The world may not be loving, but a mother should always be loving towards her child.

The Brains Of Neglectful Parents

Sadly, not all parents are loving. Some are neglectful or give their child the bare minimum amount of attention. Why is this? There are a few reasons why this may happen. Some parents may have been neglected themselves, and this has changed the way their brain works.

Other times, postpartum depression may be to blame. This is when a mother has depression shortly after having her kid. This can be due to the changes in hormones that happen after childbirth. Postpartum depression can go away on its own, but sometimes, it may last a long time, leading to child neglect.

Income levels are linked to how neglectful a parent may be. Low-income families may work hard and not have enough time to care for their children. There may be extra stress that comes with the cost of taking care of a child. They may blame the child and be angry, and it can be a hard cycle to break.

In Conclusion

Parenthood is complex, and the parental love you are experiencing is due to many changes in your brain. It’s still precious, but many factors in your brain can make you change how you love your child.

Of course, most parents will love their children unconditionally and raise their children to be the best adults possible. However, if you’re having trouble with your child, then you should

Seek Help!

If you are a parent, unconditional love is in your blood. However, there may be conflicts that still need to be resolved. Conflict can tear apart the relationship between parent or child or make the two drift apart with time. One way you can fix that is to talk to a counselor about any problems you’re having.

A counselor can help repair the relationship between parent and child. If there are any miscommunications, a counselor can help relieve them. If you’re having problems with an unruly child, a therapist can figure out the cause and propose some solutions. Either way, seeking help can be the solution you’re looking for whenever you are having problems. Sometimes, a parent can resolve the problem with their child, and other times, a therapist may need to help.

If you feel like you’re neglectful, a therapist can find why and help you be a more nurturing parent. Sometimes, the reason may be cerebral, and cognitive therapy can help you to reclaim your mind and make you become the great parent you know you can be.

“Denae has a strong background in child psychology. We came to her because we’re figuring out how to navigate our first year with a newborn together. She understands couples dynamics, personality styles and is very knowledgeable on secure attachment and how to raise a child to feel seen, understood, safe and heard. I Highly recommend this counselor.”

“Yumi is amazing and a perfect fit for us. Just having one video session help our family so much in so many ways. He responses are on point and we value it greatly. I can’t thank her enough for all she has continued to do to strengthen our family. I would recommend her to the world that’s how amazing she is.”

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