Parenting from the “Me” principle? For many, kids, there are life-long consequences as a result of selfish parenting.Tweet
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As a parent of two beautiful children, I can say that it’s no easy task.
However, it’s the most amazing thing I have ever done. While this is true,
equally true is the 24/7 worry that comes with it.
And as if that weren’t enough, built into parenting is a constant fear that you
are fu@#%ng them up. For me, personally? It keeps me up at night. More than
that, I’m sure it has shaved time off my life.
That said, I honestly believe that most parents do their best. There are,
however, mistakes made and one of those I find is when parenting from the “Me”
principle is employed.
So, what does parenting from the Me principle mean? Well, it’s a term that I
use to describe a type of person who parents with their own wants and needs in
In a nutshell, the selfish parent.
However, to be kind, many parents struggle with their own mental health (myself
included). Therefore, an undesirable impact may be unintentional. If this is
the case, a shift towards personal healing and a move away from self-blame can
help one to thrive. And in turn, be a better parent.
Yet, there are those out there who just want control over everything, including
their children. They are the type who yell or belittle their children, no
matter what the child does.
For example, when a child makes their bed, but “It’s not good
enough, is the response. Consequently, the “adult” tears apart
the bed and remakes it, right in front of their child. This is of course,
demoralizing and clearly wrong. Whereas a focus on skills development is best,
the parent is convinced that their way is the only way. They are right about
one thing. If they adopt this method of “parenting,” they will succeed at damaging
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To expand on this example, say this parent is like this with everything
their child(ren) does. What does this tell them? In my view it will build a
less resilient child with an inner narrative that says, “I can’t do
And who can blame them? Never knowing if you are doing any given thing
correctly? Tough stuff. More devastating is the damage it leaves in its wake –
the feeling that you are “stupid” or that “you’re not good
enough.” So then, what makes me most sad about the outcome?
Well, when children are little, all they want in the world is to please
their parents. Unfortunately, however, the most heartbreaking aspect for me, is
the life-long fear that selfish parenting instills. Moreover, this brand of fear
makes the adult version (inner child), afraid, unsure and more resistant to pursue
their passions. It’s as though they have been paralyzed by the accumulation of
fright they have experienced; too afraid to move one way or the other. “I CAN’T
All children want is to please their parents, therefore, I feel as though this
can be a catalyst for an anxiety disorder. On the extreme end of parenting from
the Me principle, adults may weaponize this need to please.
For instance, a selfish parent may use their child’s desire to make mom/dad
happy against them. Because little ones are more than willing to do a task over
and over. Looking for praise, validation and their parent’s love, the child
fails in their eyes to be “the good kid.” Thus, anxiety builds, then
self-esteem goes undeveloped, and fear takes over.
How to Overcome.
While battling the aftermath of such an upbringing as the parenting from the me principle is undeniably tough, it can be done. Anxiety disorders are treated with all sorts of methods; two of the most common being medications and Cognitive
Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Moreover, diet and exercise have wonderous effect.
However, when we get down to the nitty-gritty of the problem, learning to be
uncomfortable will help. How? Well, want to be a rocket scientist? The first
question one should ask themselves, “What do I have to do to be a rocket
Learning to build self-esteem – Love the uncomfortable, embrace its fear.
1. Gather facts about what’s required to be a rocket
2. Physically go to the school and ask about it – this will
get the excitement and courage burning inside you.
3. While you have momentum, go apply for funding. – seems real
now, doesn’t it?
4. Research what will be required. Go get the backpack,
the binders, the pens, the pencils.
5. And finally! When your loans are approved, you’ll find, it’s more likely than not that you are goanna show up. “I’ve come too far now; I have to go – this is exactly the level of ‘uncomfortable’ you want. A level that compels you to follow through.
It’s not unlike jumping into the pool for the first time on
your own. Eventually, it becomes so easy you wonder what all the fear was
And finally, remember, this dream is for you and no one else.
Selfish parenting doesn’t have to define you…. It’s okay to want this! It’s okay to
stumble. The accomplishments will build your confidence and with that – a brand
Parenting from the me principle