What’s Wrong With Us Part III

3. Our Entire Worlds Revolve Around Our Kids.

Some of you may think you are reading this wrong and asking, “aren’t we supposed to put our children at the center of our life?” To a certain extent, yes. We no longer get to be the independent, autonomous, completely self seeking, individual selves that we were prior to having children. We should make sure that our child’s needs are met at all times. However, this does not mean that we create worlds in which the child is the center and we simply orbit the child.  I’m not sure parents know it is okay not to cater to their children 100% of the time. It is all right if our children don’t get to call all of the shots.

This completely child-centered living is a relatively new way of being. Previously, parents have been the ones to set the structure and order of how life functions. Not so with us in recent years. There has been a dramatic shift into reversing these roles. Here’s the biggest danger with this: It is actually not good for the child to believe he/she is the center of the universe. It is not good for them mentally or emotionally. It is a huge responsibility for a child. And ultimately, the world does not function this way. We are doing them a disservice teaching them it does.

I realize there are many who may take issue with this. In fact, Ayelet Waldman, actually received death threats when she claimed to love her husband more than her kids. As controversial as this is, I think what she was trying to get across is that it is okay to not have the children at every single focal point of every interaction, thought, deed, or emotion. There can be other things and people in are life to which we are dedicated to and love. It creates a well rounded human being which leads to well rounded relationships.

When our children are infants, the entire world does revolve around them, but as they grow it is our responsibility to teach them that it does not. It’s a sad truth, but truth nonetheless. I certainly wish the world revolved around me, but it doesn’t. See, we forget that the ultimate goal of parenthood is to help foster a happy, healthy, well adjusted adult. It is not to raise a baby. We often overlook this long term goal.

I’m close to wrapping this up and drawing it all together. I promise.

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4 Responses to What’s Wrong With Us Part III

  1. Rach says:

    I’ve always approached parenting from an educator’s point of view. I taught for ten years before staying home with my youngest. I can’t tell you how many parents I had to remind they were working on raising a person they wanted to see be a self-sufficient contributing member of society, not a 10 year old girl.

    That’s what I always keep in mind. I ADORE my children. They are my life. I will sacrifice my last piece of chocolate for them (and let me tell you, THAT is love). Buuuuut, I’m NOT their plaything. My job is not to be their entertainment. It’s not. I may love them, but I love them enough to know they need to be able to keep themselves entertained (mind you, this is once they pass age two and three, and even my almost two year old is expected to entertain herself for upwards of 10 minutes some days).

    I’ve always told my girls I feel sorry for them because I’m so “old school” and so mean. I expect them to do chores and be contributing members of our family. I expect them to do chores and be polite and respectful. Oh dear lord! Who does that?!? ;o)

    I may love them, and they may be the center of my universe, but I love myself too, and drat it all, I’m important too!! I think it’s important for children to see that.

    Lordy but parenting is rough!
    –Rach

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Rach,
      I completely relate to your approach. Your comments really made me smile. How dare you make your children do chores!

  2. sally says:

    great article from last sunday along these lines: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whats-so-bad-about-american-parents-anyway/2012/02/27/gIQAa1vFnR_story.html
    maybe a little less center of the universe a little more, creating a good person. My dd is 1 year old next week and i’m learning boundaries. :) great blog

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