Understanding the parent-child relationship

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Jenny, a 25-year old mum, complains that her daughter, Mary, aged 4, is “never satisfied” with the attention she gives her. “It doesn’t matter what I do, it’s never enough”, she says. Mary demands Jenny’s undivided attention and yet, when Jenny tries to provide this, something goes wrong. Mary wants it all her way, is easily frustrated and even pushes Jenny away. Jenny tries hard to be patient but finds herself wanting to withdraw from Mary because she feels herself getting angry at Mary’s confusing demands.
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