Just So You Know, The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You

Photo credit: Caltiva Creatividad from http://www.sxc.hu

One of the tenets of slow parenting is to be less child-centric. That is, parents need to merely acknowledge, not immerse, themselves in the ebb and flow of children’s lives. For example, let your child play soccer, but don’t let them expect you to be there for every game.

In child-centric families, the children, not the parents, rule the home. The warning is that child-centric families create little princes and princesses – children who believe that they are the center of the universe. These are children who believe their opinions matter as much as a 30-year-old. We are told that child-centric homes create narcissistic children who can’t function by themselves in a world that has more barriers than they perhaps realized.

In theory, I understand this. But as always, being less child-centric is easier said than done. As a mother of young children, my life has been uprooted and twisted around in order to accommodate them. My routine depends on my children’s routines. And any decision that I make is dependent on my children’s schedule.

I also think that there are elements of child-centrism in many of today’s parenting trends that I have come to believe are important. For example, attachment parenting philosophy could be criticized as being very child-centric. And so could the progressive ideas of how children learn – how one should follow the child’s interests and lines of questioning rather than a pre-determined curriculum. Really, all very child-centric.

So how does one avoid being child-centric when we are also a society that [purportedly] believes in the best for the next generation?

As the summer winds down, I’ve felt the child-centric issue more acutely. Both the Banana and the Bear seem to cling to me (which I hate) since we’ve been around each other SO much these last two months. There have been so many times where I have been very to the point about the fact that I need to do something or we (as a family) will be doing things such-and-such a way. This is despite the fact that the Bear or Banana want to do something very different.

And maybe that’s the solution. To let their needs and wants be acknowledged but not always give into them; to not be afraid to expose them to adversity but always be there as support…

4 Responses to “Just So You Know, The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You”

  1. 1 theintentionalparent August 15, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Great article! I think that there are times when it is appropriate to be very childcentric, such as when you baby is young, and evrything really does revolve around them (eating and sleeping schedules, etc.) As they get older it is about finding a sense of balance. You need to demonstrate to them that you as the parent are important as well, and your needs matter. Children get their sense of self esteem from their parents, they model it. So if you show them that you are important, they will feel that they are important as well. Finding this sense of balance will do more to increase their confidence then telling them repeatedly how wonderful and special they are. It helps them also to understand that they are a part of a family.

    • 2 Mama Tortoise August 23, 2011 at 5:14 am

      THanks for commenting. I agree that age has alot to do with it. The younger the child, the more childcentric we are. It’s important as parents to learn when to grow out of this state as our children grow up.

  2. 3 kgibclc August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    A delicate balance, to be sure. Thanks for writing this. Feel free to check out my first blog post: http://happytribekg.wordpress.com/

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