Your Kids are not Kings
“The thing that impresses me about America is the way parents obey their children.”
(King Edward VIII)
Our three-year-olds aren’t clad in togas and wreaths of gold leaves. They don’t sit on an enormous throne with a royal scepter in their hands.
They do, however, often bark orders and crack the whip while everyone else in the house bows and scrapes and caters to their every whim and desire.
Of course, they’re not born into that position. We give them control and allow them to hijack our households.
Sometimes we do this out of healthy impulses. Think about child-proofing your home. There are necessary precautions to take, safety hazards to be avoided. But — really — do we need foam bumpers on every corner? Might we be transforming the whole place into their personal playroom? And, if so, how different is a personal playroom from a throne room for a king?
We prefer trading in our white couches for stain-repellent micro suede. It’s easier, but it also removes consequences from the equation (spilling juice on the sofa is fine now) instead of teaching children boundaries (juice isn’t allowed on the sofa). By removing “problems” and cushioning the home for the benefit of the child, rather than giving them a sense of both space and place, a child is robbed of learning to adjust and live in an adult world.
Your kid is not a king. The sooner they learn this, the better off they’ll be.
Peace begins with pause,