Is it possible for narcissistic, self-centered parents to be in the Christian realm of parenting?
Unfortunately the answer is yes.
My heart is overwhelmed with emotions as I write this post.
I am angry, ashamed and heartbroken.
I am also mildly concerned about possible negative reactions from my readers, however I feel the need to share the truth.
What’s the point of a blog if you cannot try to make an impact on someone else’s thoughts and opinions without sharing yours?
About a week ago I read a post someone shared via social media.
By the title, I thought it would be an encouragement to parents.
It claimed to be thus.
The “Christian” parents that shared it glorified it as being “exactly what they needed to hear.”
But, it wasn’t an encouragement at all.
Are Modern Parents Selfish
In fact, it was blowing out of proportion the difficulties that almost all parents face.
It also “jokingly” painted children in an incredibly negative, self-absorbed manner.
Yes, I agree with many moms that raising children is difficult at times — but isn’t everything that requires diligent work difficult?
Does staying in shape and eating a healthy diet take commitment, diligence and plain old sweat?
Does having a close-knit relationship with your spouse take a lot of time and sacrifice?
Does composing an orchestral masterpiece require hours of industrious work?
Just like those important things of life require diligence and patience, so does raising children.
Parenting Requires An Unselfish Heart
If a parent is not intentional and dedicated, then yes, parenting will become a nightmare.
And here is the honest truth that the parenting magazines will not tell you: if parenting your kids has become a nightmare, it is not your kid’s fault — it is yours.
I am not being overly critical, I am being critically honest.
When my kids are misbehaving and acting like misfits, I take time aside and reevaluate my mothering skills.
Am I spending enough time guiding my kids?
Am I teaching them the manners I desire to see in their lives?
Am I praying for them enough?
Am I consistently disciplining them or lazily telling them to obey over…and over…and over again?
Let us be humble enough as parents to admit it is our fault if our kids scream, disobey or throw a tantrum.
It is our fault because they have gotten away with those actions one too many times.
But the writer of the aforementioned post was telling parents they were not really bad parents if they wished they were at work instead of with the kids.
He also said it wasn’t their fault if the sound of their child’s voice made them want to start drinking and never stop.
It seems that my generation of parents think that in the parent-child scenario there is only one combination — good parents and bad kids.
Unless the parent does something really drastic like abuse the child or some sort of neglect, it is always the kid’s fault.
Those dirty-faced, snotty-nosed kids have come in and interrupted their morning coffee time, their evening news time and even worse — their nightly zzz’s.
A tad-bit narcissistic, don’t you think?
Have Modern Parents Become Narcissistic?
Definitely not a self-sacrificial Christian attitude that God wants us to maintain in all of our relationships in life.
This same blog post went on to say that when older people advise, “Enjoy your kids while they’re little, they grow up fast!” that he normally laughs off their comment but inwardly wants to hold them under water — just long enough to watch them squirm.
So. Not. Funny.
That comment screams that this generation has no respect for their elders.
This present generation of parents tend to view their elders as uneducated fogies, but this same generation is the one raising a bunch of irrational, overly-medicated children.
Our parents and grandparents did not need to medicate children to make them listen in school or obey.
Their kids also did not throw screaming fits in the grocery store when they didn’t get their favorite candy bar.
Now, who is the more successful parent?
Regretfully, almost 95 percent of the feedback to the previous mentioned article were professing Christians that were saying, “I feel that way exactly! I tell my kids that if they don’t leave me alone we are both going to end up on the front of the newspaper!”
They are threatening their kids with abuse or murder — only with words, but those words must hurt!
Why is this generation of parents so selfish and narcissistic?
I can’t imagine the hurt I would feel if my mother said those words to me when I was a kid!
I whole-heartily agree with my elders that kids grow up fast.
My oldest is 11 and my thoughts are bittersweet about the day he leaves home.
I know it must happen and it is a good thing, but I ache to know that his constant presence at home will be missed, as it will with all my children when they leave for college or get married.
It must happen and it is a part of growing up, but I still dread that day.
At the present time I am writing for an online baby and parenting website.
I am also applying to other websites and am required to read their latest posts and articles before submitting a written article.
I cannot begin to tell you the myriads of articles that are written about “me” time for moms and dads.
I will not lie.
I enjoy some “me” time, but do I live for me time?
I find great joy and satisfaction in time with my kids and time with my husband.
I am not constantly trying to connive a plan to get out of the house while convincing others that I need just a little bit of “me” time.
In fact, many times that I leave the house without my kids or my husband I feel a little lonely.
My husband and my kids are my closet friends on this earth, and I enjoy getting to spend the majority of my days with them.
I count them as treasures from the Lord!
Have We Become Selfish and Narcissistic Parents?
The majority of parenting articles today are following a trend.
They tell parents:
You are not a bad parent.
You do need time to yourself.
You are great.
You are wonderful.
But the parents whine and complain about how they have to give up sleep in order to help a child that is sick, has wet the bed, or has been awakened by a bad dream.
They complain that they have to wash laundry every day to keep the kid’s clothes clean.
They continue to complain that they have no “social” life.
They have it so rough.
Were Our Parents Selfish Too?
I guess they have completely forgotten all the memories of how their mother stayed up with them when they were running a fever or about all the clean, folded clothes that just happened to appear in their closets and dresser drawers.
Let me share why I enjoy parenting and consider it an awesome season of life.
These examples are just small drops of water in an ocean-full of things that have brought sunshine to my life recently — all at the hands of my adorable, lovable children.
During my toddler’s nap time yesterday, one of my daughters slipped a note under the door.
I picked it up and smiled. She drew a picture of a pretty girl on it and wrote, “Just a note to let you know you are the prettiest mom in the world!”
After working in my room this Saturday night, I walked out into the living room and saw the entire family’s clothes for church laid out and ironed for Sunday morning.
Did I do it?
Nope.My nine-year-old daughter did.
This brought tears to my eyes.
Two months ago I turned 31.
My kids scrambled up all of their kid money and bought my favorite goodies.
They used every bit of their own special money.
They served the goodies with hand-picked flowers from the yard, on a tray, all while walking and singing “Happy Birthday” as they walked to where I was sitting.
My husband had nothing to do with it!
In case you don’t know, my kids are 11, 9, 7,5,3, and 2.
I am beyond blessed.
Today I sat down to write a quick list of things for my hubby to pick up at the store.
My kids leaned over my shoulder and read the list out loud.
They all squealed and hugged me and said, “You’re the best mommy ever!”They knew I was making grilled cheese for dinner and were super excited about the upcoming kid feast.
Wait, there’s more…:)
Just a few days ago, I received a letter in the mail.
Amazingly so, $20 fell out.
That never happens because we live in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.
If someone is courageous enough to send cash, it typically doesn’t make it this far — but this time it did!It was perfect timing, because I had just spent Saturday night praying and asking God to provide something a little special for the kids.
I knew what to do with that money.I went straight to the book store and bought acrylic paint, construction paper, notebooks, erasers, pencils and colored pencils for the kids.
Then I gave them each a dollar to spend how they pleased.I wish I had taken a video.
They acted like I handed them gold!
My heart was overjoyed at the happiness they expressed in the simplest things of life.I could seriously could go on for hours about how my eleven-year-old son asks me to sit and swing with him just to talk…
Or how my kids ask me questions they have about God and the Bible…
Or how my girls surprise me and clean the kitchen or make my bed…
Or how my two-year-old sneaks in the bed with me and smothers me with kisses — the list does not end!
But I could also share the not-so-pretty side of parenting…
The story of when I cried myself to sleep over one of those same kids…
Or how one of our kids was one of the most stressful, distracted kids I ever taught in school. ;0)
Or how much work, money, time, and tears it takes to successfully homeschool six kids.
But instead of focusing on the tough times, the hard days, and just the NORMAL work that goes into this parenting thing, I want to encourage you to remember that children truly are blessings.
Why I don’t Want to Be a Modern, Selfish Parent
My house is not as clean as it was prior kids and my sleep is sometimes interrupted, but nothing can replace the joy that floods my soul when I hear my toddlers giggle and feel their chubby little hands grasp mine.
I get one chance to listen to my children’s exciting adventures…
I get one chance to make tents, eat s’mores, and play telephone with them.
I get one chance to sneak all the wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve…
I get one chance to fill up their stockings on Christmas Eve..
I get one chance to tuck them in every night.
Because one day they will become adults and begin a life of their own.
And those childhood years will either be filled of memories of mom complaining about dirty floors and mismatched socks or it will be filled with butterfly kisses and impromptu trips to the park.
When my kids are old and grown, I hope I can look back and say I enjoyed their pitter patters, their peanut-butter and jelly kisses, and even their endless questions about why the moon seems so big at night. :)
This season of life will pass us too quickly, and we will never be able to put that little one in our lap again.
They will be grown and have children of their own.
God says that children are an heritage of the Lord.
God does not give us children to punish us, but as gifts.
Enjoy your gifts today and shun the menacing attitudes that pervade our degenerate society.
Be a shining light for motherhood, and when others say you have your hands full and roll their eyes, flash a smile back and say, “You’re right! A handful of blessings!”
If this post has been an encouragement to you, please pass it on to others to help fight the negative attitudes of this generation of parents.