It is normal for parents to think their newborn is perfect, in fact, the most wonderful baby that was ever born. However, after a few weeks of sleepless nights, soiled diapers, and periods of headache-producing, inconsolable howling by the little dear, most of us return to reality with a thud.
This baby is no better, no worse than other babies. He or she is perfectly normal, possessing good qualities and bad. Like all children, the baby will need love, attention, care and training to grow up to be a self-respecting, productive member of society.
Unfortunately, there are a few parents who cling to the original, misguided delusion for years. No one can convince them that their child is not perfect.
They soon find out that raising such a wonderful child isn’t easy. It demands total dedication and self-sacrifice. This marvelous baby will take precedence over their marriage, their security, household chores, and even other family members.
Here are some of the rules a doting parent adopts in an effort to preserve their child’s perfection:
* The baby must never be allowed to cry. If he cries, there must be something in his world he doesn’t like. It’s the parent’s duty to find out what it is and fix it immediately.
* The family doctor will not be skilled enough to care for this special child. She must have the best paediatrician available. This may take some shopping around. Some child specialists do foolish things like prescribing medicines that taste terrible, or wanting to poke the little angel with needles.
* The child must never hear the word “No!” His spirit must not be broken, or even bent. The whole house must be arranged to ensure his safety and pleasure. He will establish his own routine; if it doesn’t suit, the adult must adapt. Since the child is perfect, the parent must be out of step.
* She will probably be home-schooled. No teacher will appreciate her uniqueness and outstanding talent. The school would insist on making her following silly rules set up for ordinary children.
* He must have the most expensive toys and the latest styles in clothing. What the parent wears is irrelevant; perhaps a minimum-care uniform would be best. The wants and needs of this flawless child will demand most of the care-giver’s time and energy.
*Finding suitable companions for the child may be a chore. She will need to associate with docile, agreeable children who recognize her superiority and will accept her orders and direct manner of speaking. The parent will always have a few spare children in reserve; some of the other parents react so unreasonably when their child comes home with cuts, bumps and bruises.
* He needn’t go to church or synagogue. He will never sit still that long, and besides, he may hear some nonsense about all God’s children being equal.
Some parents will actually maintain the illusion of the perfect child until the teenage years. Then reality will intrude itself upon their consciousness.
Their perfect child becomes a strong-willed teenager, firmly convinced of his own superiority, totally devoid of self-discipline and unwilling to accept any outside authority.
He expects everyone to be honored by his presence, to grant his every wish, and follow his every suggestion. Isn’t that how his life has always been? When that doesn’t happen, in the wider, outside world, there’s Trouble. (Yes, the capital T is intentional.)
The spoiled teen has no social skills, no principles, and her academic ability is weak because, bright or not, she was never made to study. She will be unable to hold down a job, because she has no respect for authority. She will throw a temper tantrum when she doesn’t get her own way. Why not? It’s always worked before.
Congratulations, Parent! You’ve raised a spoiled brat. In all probability, you have ruined his or her life and your own as well.
Along with prenatal courses, parenting courses should be compulsory during every first-time pregnancy. Perhaps then some of the tragedies inflicted on children by misguided parental devotion, would be avoided.