My Children Will Not Be Royalty

My Children Will Not Be Royalty

I’m going to hit some chords with some people with this post, but when Donald and I have kids, I’m going to be pretty adamant about not treating them like royalty.  My daughter will not be a “Princess”, and my sons will not be a “Prince”.  I will not encourage my daughters to follow in the footsteps of helpless or foolish Disney princesses, and my sons will grow up appreciating true heroes like our military, or their grandfather.  Apparently I’m not the only person that thinks so.

There are two types of people that are guilty of this royal treatment, and I’m going to address both.  There are a lot of similarities between the two, but there are also distinct differences that I feel are unfair to lump both into.

Modern parenting issuesThe Overly Proud Parent

This type of parent is very proud of their young, as is expected.  They fawn over their child and provide them gift after gift.  There are birthday parties every year where the gifts continue to grow in size and price.  They may even start to dress their child in the royal fashions such as tiaras and the plastic high heels.  There’s nothing wrong with dress-up, mind you, but the more and more a child is told that they are a princess, the more they are likely to believe it.  It’s not something I would ever want to instill in my child.

Soon the child will start to adopt that mindset, possibly bullying other children or being rude to other family members.  “Aww, how cute that she snubbed you!”.  It’s not really cute, and if it wasn’t your kid, or a child at all, then you’d think they were being a douche-bag.  However, because the child is small, it’s cute, but as they grow up they will think this type of behavior is the norm.  Your child will grow up to be how you raise them.

What will you do when your kid steals a toy from another kid?  Will they know the consequences of that?  What will you do when your kid begs and cries for the latest gaming console?  Will you buy it for them or will they earn it?  Every decision you make is shaping their brains into the adults they will become.

I truly believe these are loving parents, but loving parents with blinders on that think by taking away all of the strength and independence from their children, that they are doing them a favor.  I do not think these are bad parents, but I do think they can be way better.  Your kid is born no better or worse than anyone else, and it is up to you to shape them into better human beings, not give them the “better life” that prevents them from learning the hardships of becoming a better human being.

The Entitling Parent

The entitled parent is, in my mind, the worst of the bunch. Recently a teenager in Texas was driving drunk and killed some people.  His parents got him off on the plea of “Affluenza”, which essentially means he was too spoiled to know better.  This is not only a gross abuse of the judicial system, but a big f***ing ethical hack of grave proportions.  The parents were selfish enough to not only raise their child to make immoral decisions, but then selfish enough to manipulate the system so that their son would not go to jail for their own benefit.

Not all rich people are like this, which is prevalent by some celebrities who are known to not simply give their children everything they want.  Those that are, however, are raising some of the worst human beings we could possibly acquire, and some of them are getting celebrity status and celebrity funds for it.

This also doesn’t just apply to rich parents, either.  I see parents all the time that simply feel their kids can do no wrong and would allow them to get away with anything in order to remain their best friend instead of their parent, or because they simply do not care.  I suppose there could also be the issue of, they were spoiled enough as a child that they didn’t know better when raising their own children.  The cycle has to stop somewhere.

I was visiting Donald’s family down in Texas for his birthday last year, and we were at a restaurant where a couple came in with their young son of about 4 years of age.  Donald’s mother explained to me that these parents were both either some form of doctor or child psychologists, and they raised their kid under the premise that the child runs the house-hold, and they must let the child do whatever they want at any time.  The child was very loud and obnoxious, and the parents did not believe in any form of discipline at all in order to let the child develop whatever personality they were supposed to.  The child gives all the orders, and the parents obey. Apparently this is a thing in their perspective child psychologist viewpoints.  I don’t know if there was a religious connotation behind this or not, but either way… it’s horrifying.

Dr. Kevin Brown writes a very detailed synopsis of this concept of “child-run households” on his blog.  Despite the deep religious feeds in the article (which serve their purpose, so I don’t mind), it is a very well-written and thought-provoking article.  He says “Whatever we allow in moderation, our children will take in excess”.  Preach on Dr. Brown.  Preach on.

I assume this all stems from the “I want my children to have it better than I had” mindset.  This is noble in it’s intention, but horrible in concept.  If each generation had it easier than the last, we’re simply raising lazier and lazier children.  I touch on this concept in great detail in my post about “The Diva Concept and Why it’s Ruining our Country”.

Sometimes when I discuss child-rearing with people, I get the immediate defense: “Well you don’t have children, so you don’t know or you aren’t allowed any opinion at all”.  I call horse shit on this concept.  I may not have children now, but I may have children eventually.  And I have to be around your children, and your children will have to be around my children and may eventually lead my country or company some day.  For that matter alone, I am very much entitled to have an opinion on how the children in this country are raised.

Do you want your child to have it better than you do?  Set up a college fund, provide them a proper education in school, but also at home.  Teach them to cook, grow a garden, teach them to sew and repair broken things rather than buy new, volunteer with them to help other underprivileged children.  Tell them stories of the old days that they will carry with them and pass on to their own children.  Show them how to live without debt and reliance on credit cards, show them how to manage their money.  Put them in a sport that will show them team-work and make sure they understand that it is okay to lose.  Get them off the couch and computer and get them outside.  Go camping with them, take them out on the lake or go fishing with them.  Do things that will enhance their skills and mind while cementing a genuine relationship with you and the memories you will help create for them.

Whatever you do, don’t use your cellphone apps as a babysitter.  We need to stop pacifying our kids and start raising them.

If you feel your child can do no wrong, you’re either in denial, or an idiot.  Of course your child can do wrong, discipline them for it.  Have them work to earn things and respect the value of that labor and intention. THEY deserve that opportunity to be a good and helpful, understanding person.  You honestly have no right to take that away from them by giving into their whims, demands, or society standards for toddlers and tiaras.  You should want your children to be the change you want to see in the world.