How Children Are Being Treated as the Rulers of the House

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How Children Are Being Treated as the Rulers of the House


In today’s modern parenting landscape, there is a growing trend where children are often treated as the rulers of the house. This phenomenon, driven by a combination of changing societal norms and parental anxieties, has significant implications for family dynamics and child development. This article explores why children are being put on pedestals, the potential consequences of this parenting style, and the historical context of parenting practices.

The Shift in Parenting Styles

Over the past few decades, there has been a noticeable shift in parenting styles. Traditional authoritative approaches, which emphasized discipline and respect for authority, have given way to more permissive and child-centered methods. This change is often rooted in the desire to foster a child’s self-esteem, creativity, and independence.

Parents today are more likely to prioritize their children’s wants and needs, often at the expense of their own. This can lead to a household dynamic where the child’s preferences dictate family decisions, from what to eat for dinner to how leisure time is spent.

The Role of Parental Anxiety

Parental anxiety plays a significant role in this shift. Modern parents are bombarded with information about the best ways to raise their children, leading to a heightened sense of scrutiny and pressure. They fear making mistakes that could harm their child’s future, resulting in a tendency to overprotect and overindulge.

The Science Behind Putting Kids on Pedestals

Scientific research offers valuable insights into the effects of treating children as the rulers of the house. Studies have shown that while fostering a child’s self-esteem is important, excessive praise and indulgence can have detrimental effects.

Entitlement and Lack of Resilience: Children who are constantly put on pedestals may develop a sense of entitlement. They come to expect special treatment and may struggle with disappointment and failure. This lack of resilience can hinder their ability to cope with challenges later in life.

Delayed Development of Self-Discipline: Permissive parenting often leads to delayed development of self-discipline and self-control. Without clear boundaries and expectations, children may have difficulty regulating their behavior and emotions.

Increased Anxiety and Pressure: Ironically, treating children as the center of the universe can increase their anxiety. The constant pressure to meet high expectations and the fear of disappointing their parents can lead to stress and mental health issues.

Impaired Social Skills: Overindulgence can impair a child’s social skills. They may struggle with empathy, cooperation, and conflict resolution, as they are used to having their needs prioritized over others.

Historical Context: Parenting Before the Era of Precious Parenting

Before the current trend of child-centered parenting, parenting practices were markedly different. In the mid-20th century and earlier, authoritative parenting was the norm. This approach emphasized obedience, respect for authority, and the importance of family hierarchy.

Clear Boundaries and Expectations: Parents set clear rules and expectations for their children. Discipline was considered essential for teaching respect and self-control.

Value of Hard Work and Responsibility: Children were often expected to contribute to household chores and responsibilities. This instilled a sense of duty, hard work, and the understanding that privileges were earned.

Independence and Resilience: Children were encouraged to play independently and solve their own problems. This fostered resilience and the ability to cope with adversity.

Community and Extended Family Support: Parenting was often a communal effort, with extended family and neighbors playing significant roles in a child’s upbringing. This provided a broader support network and diverse role models for children.

The Benefits of Balanced Parenting

While it’s clear that both overly permissive and overly authoritarian parenting styles have their drawbacks, a balanced approach can offer numerous benefits. Balanced parenting involves setting clear boundaries and expectations while also nurturing a child’s self-esteem and independence.

Healthy Self-Esteem and Confidence: Children need to feel valued and loved, but they also need to learn that their actions have consequences. Balanced praise and constructive feedback help build healthy self-esteem.

Resilience and Coping Skills: Encouraging children to face challenges and learn from failure helps build resilience. They learn that setbacks are a natural part of life and that they have the strength to overcome them.

Strong Social Skills and Empathy: Teaching children to consider others’ needs and feelings fosters empathy and strong social skills. They learn to navigate social situations with respect and cooperation.

Responsibility and Independence: Giving children age-appropriate responsibilities helps them develop a sense of duty and independence. They learn that their contributions are valuable and that they are capable of taking care of themselves and others.


In conclusion, while modern parenting trends have shifted towards a more child-centered approach, it’s essential to find a balance that fosters both a child’s self-esteem and their ability to handle life’s challenges. Overindulgence and permissiveness can lead to entitlement, anxiety, and a lack of resilience, while a balanced approach can help children develop into well-rounded, confident, and empathetic individuals.

Parents should aim to set clear boundaries, provide consistent discipline, and encourage independence while also offering unconditional love and support. By doing so, they can help their children grow into capable and resilient adults who are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of life. Embracing a balanced parenting style not only benefits the child but also creates a harmonious and nurturing family environment.

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