Originally Posted by North_Of_60
Hmm.. I hope I answer this the right way, but the way I see it is like this. I don't think we're intentionally trying not to be child centered. But children don't get free passes just for being children in some circumstances. If that makes sense.
For instance, if the whole family is at the dinner table and my daughter tries to interrupt and speak, she has to wait her turn and politely say "excuse me" just like anyone else would. I know many families who will stop speaking and allow the child to talk because "they're just a child". Our conundrum is at what age do you stop "treating them like a child" and start expecting manners of someone older and more mature? So in our house, she is learning at an early age how to interact in socially acceptable ways.
That is not to say that we're not accepting of age appropriate behavior, because we certainly are! But we're also not forgoing the teachings of what she will eventually be expected to do as a respectful adult "because she's just a child".
I think in many ways this makes us not child centered, and certainly not consentual, because we understand that children are not adults, won't behave like adults, won't have the reasoning, comprehension, and decision making skills that adults have, and that guiding them through the lack of these skills means they won't be center of the universe all of the time. Like the dinner table example.
This is exactly what I would say too.
I had a friend who was a single mom. She was very child centered, and since she only had one child, it was just natural for her to be that way.
BUT, in social situations, her son was very hard to want to be around. He felt like he should have anything an adult would have. If we went anywhere in their car, HE sat in the front seat and took over the radio. (loud enough that nobody else could talk) and the adults had to sit in the back seat.
At five, he was parking the car in the garage. (seriously at FIVE) because he wanted to, so she taught him to park the car. He'd back it out, pull it in, back it out, pull it in.
He made almost ALL of the decisions in the family. From where they ate for dinner, to where they went on vacation. It was never up for discussion. What he wanted was what they did.
He was allowed to hit, push or do whatever it took to get to the top. He was kicked off the school bus (forever) he was kicked out of two daycare centers and the after school care for agression. HE COULD have controlled himself. But, it was not only acceptable to her, it was almost encouraged. She always said "what did Bobby to to make my son angry?". It was always justified.
Now he's 17. He's a pretty good young man. He's a good decision maker, he's big and strong, and still always gets his way. He will be very successful in whatever career he chooses. But, his mom is still alone, and wishes she wasn't. She wanted to get married, or even have some great friends. But, nobody wants to be around her son, so she's alone..... he's out with his friends every night or busy at school.