Teach the value of relationships

Here is another post on the effects of child-centered parenting. In my original post on the subject, I mentioned how child-centered parenting teaches children to value relationships only as a means to an end. In that post, I said:

“Child-centered parenting creates a child who develops relationships only for what they offer.”

This is one of the scariest and most damaging effects of child-centered parenting. When a family builds its whole identity around the child and gives all the power to the child, he learns that people are there simply to cater to him. This results in:

  • An inability to develop loving, loyal relationships
  • Innate selfishness that is encouraged not discouraged
  • The inability to please those around him
  • A lack of family loyalty
  • Morality taught by peers not parents
  • An inability to manage in the real world with those who don’t cater to him

Child-centered parents train their child to take but not to give. They wrongly believe that if they show the child how to give, he will naturally become a giver. But this just doesn’t happen. The child only becomes more intense in his determination to take from others.

When a child is taught that he is the center of the universe, friends, parents and siblings play a peripheral role in the child’s life. The child only invests in a relationship if there is something for him to get from it. The child is loyal to no one and lives a life of selfish independence.

This can begin in infancy and extend through the teen years. Permissive parents will run to their baby’s every whimper and feed him every 30 minutes if that’s what he “demands”. Toddlers teach their parents to chase after them and clean up their messes. School-age children develop an attitude, demanding their parents to satisfy their every want. Teenagers remove themselves from the family almost entirely and no longer need their parents for much more than food and shelter.

Imagine a teenager who has sorted out who provides the things he needs and wants:

  • Dad: clothes, allowance, a roof over my head
  • Mom: food, clean laundry and rides to social events
  • Siblings: nothing but headaches
  • Friend #1: increased social status
  • Friend #2: someone to talk to when everyone else is busy
  • Friend #3: help with homework

It’s ironic that those who seek to develop an emotional attachment to their children are doing the exact opposite. Permissive parents work to create a strong bond with their child by fulfilling their every desire. But by doing so, these parents are teaching their child that satisfying your needs and desires is more important than love, loyalty and friendship.

Plus, the child who is driven by his selfish desires is not pleasant to be around. If this child sees no benefit from interacting with certain people, he will ignore them or treat them with contempt.

Even worse, when a child sees no value in developing relationships, his family loyalty is nonexistent. As he gets older and spends more time his peers, his loyalty shifts from his family to his peers. Then his peers become the people who influence the child’s morality. And when your child is more influenced by his peers than he is by you, you have no effect on the adult he will become.

Ultimately, this child is ill prepared for the real world where teachers, bosses, coworkers and others do not cater to him like mom and dad do. Life then becomes frustratingly difficult, filled with failures and disappointments that he wasn’t prepared for as a child.

As you can see, child-centered parenting can have far-reaching effects. Show your child that the world doesn’t revolve around him. Teach him how to develop genuine relationships with those around him.

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Filed under moral training, parenting philosophy

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