My husband and I have started attending a parenting class at our home church. We are only three lessons in and so far it has been pretty good; even if the video’s are extremely outdated, the principles are sound.
This past week we learned about child centered parenting and the many troubling situations it causes. My pastor talked about how child centered parenting is the down fall of our next generation and the impacts it is having on us now and how perilous the future generations will be if it continues.
I have to admit I agree with him, somewhat. As a person who grew up in a home where you towed the line and did as you were told it unnerves me when dealing with kids who are terribly rude and disrespectful, not only to me but to themselves as well. As a substitute teacher and a volunteer sunday school teacher, I have seen the ugly side of child centered parenting. With that being said, because I grew up in a home with two authoritarian parents, I have seen the ugly side of that as well.
I try to strike a balance with my kids. I want and expect them to follow the rules and be respectful, but I also encourage them to think outside the box and discover who they are for themselves. I want them to be their own unique person and not what I want them to be. Anyway, as I was sitting there in class listening to the information being presented I was fully aware that I do have areas in which I participate in child centered parenting. I was trying to process if those were areas I needed to change or if I had set them up that way for a reason, when it was decided that I needed to be used as the example for child centered parenting.
Honestly, I had expected it to some degree. I do not expect my children to be silent unless spoken too. I expect them to have thoughts and opinions and I encourage them to share them with me. I figured this was their issues, but it was not.
Their issue was how I handle Roo. I give in too him too much, I helicopter too much, I make excuses for him too much. SERIOUSLY!!! I guess we are back on that he’s not autistic, he’s just a brat kick! I was so mad! The more he talked the more angry I got… Honestly, there was a time when I was practicing child centered parenting in a negative way. We didn’t know what was going on with Roo, and I would do anything to make it stop … the meltdowns that is! I would give him what I thought he wanted and do everything I could think of…just to stop or prevent a meltdown. We don’t do that anymore, we haven’t in a long time.
However, there are issues my son can’t help. There are sounds he can’t process and textures that are overwhelming. He doesn’t handle crowds or change well, so yes I prepare him for times that these things are going to take place, and I don’t force him to be uncomfortable all the time. And yes I stopped taking him to your Junior Worship program because the music is too loud and the kids are out of control and your adults can’t handle the awesomeness that is my Roo. If that makes me a child centered parent then so be it, I guess what we learned in that class is why God gave him to me and not to you!