I think of heart-centered parenting like riding a bike. When you bike you have an overall sense of balance, but you aren't balanced in each moment. You lean to the left or the right as you pedal, throwing your balance in one direction or the other. Pedaling over rougher terrain or steep hills--like parenting through challenging times--has you off balance more of the time than when you're coasting.
We all have aspects of permissive parenting in us, and we all have aspects of controlling parenting in us. This crazy job we're doing; recognizing the heart and soul of little bitty humans and nurturing it through the many stages of their lives, in our transitional and confusing culture, under the influence of probably imperfect conditioning, to adulthood and beyond; probably won't be perfectly and precisely balanced! It's more like riding a bike, there's a working balance, an approximate balance.
Perfection just isn't the goal. We're here to learn. Our balance comes from paying attention, keeping our eyes wide open so that we notice if we've forgotten the soul nature/sovereignty of our child and remember it. Keeping our eyes wide open so we notice when we've gotten controlling, pushing our own agenda rather than helping the truth unfold. Noticing when we've gotten permissive, forgetting the power and strength of our child. Noticing when we've lost ourselves, forgetting that we, too, matter. Just like riding a bike, we're constantly noticing if we're leaning too far to one side and correcting. An experienced rider doesn't panic when the bike leans too far, they just correct, just as a skilled parent learns to notice and adjust as necessary.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.