By Laura Tolchinsky
No, Your Child is not the Center of the Universe.
Most parents think the world of their children. It is natural to think, live and say that “my kid(s) are the smartest, most talented, and greatest since the invention of the light bulb”. However, even though many parents may think that way they still manage to keep a sane perspective on discipline, routine and exercising good parenting skills.
Then there are those who do not. You know the type of parent. They allow the kid(s) to do as they please, give them everything they want, and stand up for the kid(s) when they steal, lie, cheat, beat up other peoples kids, and disrespect adults. That behavior from a kid makes most adults want to smack the parent(s) for allowing it.
You may wonder why these parent(s) think their kid(s) are perfect little angels. Well those parents do and it if anyone dare even criticize or correct their angels then those folks will have a fight on their hands. Because to those parents everyone else is out to get their kid or are jealous because their kids are not as great as their kid or are bad people. I once dated a man who let his six-year-old son and eight year old daughter say and do as they pleased. This included calling me nasty and derogatory names and a constant barrage of swear words. Even when the school threatened to expel the six year old for behavior problems the boyfriend said the school was full of it and his ex wife went ballistic and threatened to file a lawsuit because the school was damaging the kids psychologically. Needless to say, I dumped that bozo, before his ex wife fabricated something against me and had me thrown in jail.
The following are a few hints for the parent(s) who think their angels are the universe and nearest to God and can do nothing wrong. Guess again, they can do wrong and the parents needs to get a clue.
1. If the school threatens to expel your kid for fighting, stealing, or any other infraction, it is not the fault of school, the teachers or your kid’s friends. It is your fault for not taking care of the situation when the school was sending home warnings, the principal calling you in for meetings and the teacher calling you.
2. If the neighbors are calling the police because your kid is breaking into their house, stealing from them, vandalizing their property or hurting their pets, it is not their imagination. It is your fault because you did not instill the proper values of self-respect, respect for others, the difference between right and wrong, and keeping ones hands off of what does not belong to them. It is no one else’s fault.
3. If the police show up at the door saying your kid has been arrested for shoplifting, don’t insult the officer’s intelligence and say, “My boy is a good boy and would never do anything like that”. Well guess again, the kid did and is now going to be in jail instead of being in the center of your universe.
4. If the neighbors will not let their kids near your kid(s), something is wrong with your kid. Making excuses that everyone just hates your kid(s) will not solve the problem. Take action before you’re the kid does something that cannot be undone and causes you physical, mental, and financial grief.
5. If your friends are making excuses to avoid you because you are constantly praising and showing off your kid(s) so called accomplishments and how great he is, you have a problem that needs some serious help.
It is okay to let kids learn, speak their minds, and explore but within reason. 85% of kids are average and are no different than the millions of other kids out there. And chances are the remaining 15% probably still will not be one of your kids. Kids need rules and guidance, not the parent who thinks their kid(s) should be free to express themselves that they see fit. All that will get the parent is a lifetime of grief with schools, neighbors, and law enforcement.
If a parent does think their kid(s) is special and the next great icon, star, singer, or whatever, then have a professional test and evaluate them and find out if they got it. And if they do not, that is when you have to let go of the notion that “my child is not the center of the universe, but one of many who makes and creates a universe of work, peace and harmony”. Then find out what less than great talents your child does have and expound on that.
For the parents who cannot let go of this notion, counseling is available. It is not fair to you, the kid(s), other family members, friends and the people around you to suffer the affects of your kid(s) actions because you chose to not take responsibility and train the kid(s) to behave and treat others with respect.
Remember, there are no bad kids, just bad parents who do not have the proper training and tools to raise their kids right. So do the right thing, move the kid from the center of the universe and put yourself there. After all you are the parent who pays the bills, provides the housing, clothing, and food for the kids. Shouldn’t you be the one that is the universe of your kids’ world? Not the other way around.
Laura L. Tolchinsky is a Michigan based photographer and artist who offers her perspective on those parents who think their children are center of the universe.