Featured Grownup suggested we write about narcissism.  I have a degree in agriculture, just so you know. 

I think Twitter and Facebook “abusers,” you know the breakfast cereal tweeters, are quite possibly the result of narcissism, but I think narcissism started long before these people could type.

 

Think of a balance beam.

 

On one side of the beam is a child centered family.  The child’s parents make the family life revolve around the child.  Most of the family activities revolve around the child’s activities, games, and classes, and the kids grow up thinking they must be really important if their parents spend so much time and money on them.

 

On the other side of the beam is a parent centered family.  The parents do the things they want to do with little regard to what the child may want or need.  The child is either drug along or left with a sitter too often.  Sooner or later the child feels like a second class citizen, “If they don’t care about me, then I will have to look after number one.”

 

Right down the middle is the happy medium, the family centered family, or even God centered family if you will.  Each member of the family has some say in what goes on, but the children do not have equal voting power with the parents.  From time to time everyone has unmet wants, but then it happens to everyone.  It involves give and take, family meetings and voting.  Sharing and respect.

 

As parents our job is to keep it on the straight and narrow, making time for ourselves even as we let our children explore a variety of activities.  Allowing our children the chance to fail and learn from their mistakes while also providing them a chance to succeed and shine at their own thing. 

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