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Jean Vanier expresses that welcoming the child in his wholeness, acknowledging his beauty and talents and

responding to his needs for true growth and liberation is the responsibility of every parent (35). If parents carry out this duty, the child will receive sufficient love by means of appropriate care and education to be liberated. Liberation is therefore the result of the latter and refers to self-control and the development of talents and positive character traits which can further lead to a fulfilled life. Bowlby, Erikson, Pieper and Pieper and Miller also provide parenting guidelines of which most tend to be in accordance with Vaniers three dimensions of parental love: caring, educating and liberating. However, some of these authors provide parents with child nurturing suggestions that are contradictory to those of Vanier andmay result detrimental to the child if they are carried out. This paper will therefore examine in detail the strengths and weaknesses of these authors guidelines relative to Vaniers three dimensions of parental love.

Although Vanier and Bowlbys parenting guidelines share many common ideas, Bowlbys suggestions lack a spiritual element. Both authors emphasize the importance of active mother and father figures in child rearing and state that confident and happy children are the product of such (Bowlby 2, 11). Vanier further relates that is it insufficient for both parents to be active in the childs life but that father and mother must be united or in complete accord so as to produce a healthy child (27). This rationale bears an indispensable truth that Bowlby fails to recognize and is therefore a relative flaw of his text. What good can parents who are in constant conflict bring to a child? Bowlby is in agreement with Vanier when he underlines that educating a child can be challenging for parents as it requires much time, patience and attention (2). He suggests that parents often find it easier to carry out a task for their child rather than teaching the child how to carry it out himself. Vanier explains why this failure to educate is problematic; it

produces a child who is demanding and dependent and thus deficient in self-confidence (31). Bowlbys guidelines, however, fall short of an explaination for as to why education and care are crucial for a childs development. An significant point that both Vanier and Bowlby relate is the importance of not offering love only when the child is well-behaved or does something good and withdrawing it or threatening to do so when he misbehaves (Vanier 24, Bowlby 147). This is a strength on Bowlbys part as he recognizes that it is vital for the child to receive constant love, support and encouragement. Unlike Vanier who tells us that it is through education and patient discipline, not the withdrawal of love that the child will learn to behave correctly, Bowlby does not provide an alternative solution (Vanier 31). Although Bowlby and Vaniers parenting guidelines are fairly similar, Bowlby is vague in offering alternatives and solutions or even explanations as to why children should be cared for and educated for the purpose of finding mental and spiritul liberation.

Although Erik Eriksons parenting guidelines are much more rigid and systematic than those of Vanier, they do share various points. Erikson provides an interesting discourse on what he refers to as guidance which is comparable to Vaniers notion of education.