Question: Dear Luise: My son is 5 years-old. Due to being the last kid, (having two sons only), he is very pampered by grand parents and by us. Due to his weakness, (premature kid), we never hurt him. Whatever he demanded, we gave him immediately but now he is refusing to go to school. He wants to stay at home with grandmom and watch cartoons. Whenever we try to send him to school he starts shouting, carrying on and getting ill. We are in great difficulty, due to his arrogant behavior. Please do the favor of helping me with this problem. This involves his career and his life. Thanks. M.
Answer: Dear M.: Your son is acting very reasonably based on what he was taught over the last five years. The adults in his life have taught him that he rules the world. With no acquired wisdom or skills, he has been given total authority.
What you are experiencing is the logical outcome of giving him such power over all of you. He has no way to know that he needs an education and will be expected to have a career and become a responsible and contributing adult. If you tell him that, it will make no sense to him. In your home it has been established that he decides…you don’t, and he likes things the way they are. Out in the world, (school), he does not reign supreme. Why would he want to go there?
This situation is not due to his being the youngest or having been premature; this is the result of your combined poor judgment. You have done him a very serious disservice.
Now, you are going to have to put him through some very painful lessons because what you have done has to be undone. Contact the best child psychologist you can find to help steer all of you through the up and coming chaos. You think you have seen tantrums? You haven’t seen anything yet.
Due to your very unrealistic parenting, he thinks he can continue to stay home, be pampered, watch cartoons and rule the world for the rest of his life without having to develop any skills or earn his authority. When you tell him, and back it up by showing him, that this is not true…you are going to have one furious dictator on your hands. I am deeply sincere when I say that you all have my heartfelt sympathy. Blessings, Luise