Styles of Parenting of the Rich and Famous

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Styles of Parenting 1aThis week on newsstands everywhere, Life&Style Weekly enlisted Dr. Vicki as their parenting expert to comment on the styles of parenting of several celeb parents.

Styles of Parenting:  Which one do they choose? Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Life&Style synopsis:

Like other Scientologists, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes believe in treating kids like adults.  So, Suri, 4, is allowed to eat unlimited sweets and wear heels and makeup.  And when she wanted $1300 worth of Sephora cosmetics, Katie ponied up!

Parenting style:  Overly indulgent.  “Children need guidance and boundaries,: says child psychologist Vicki Panaccione.

Here’s Dr. Vicki’s full response:

Scenario I: Of the various styles of parenting, Tom and Katie are overly indulgent.  Why?  Scientologist parents’ believe in treating a child like an adult— a dictate of their religion. “Scientology believes in transmigration [reincarnation] of the soul,” Scientology expert Rick Ross has told Life & Style.  “So Scientologist children are talked to, not down to. They’re communicated with in a more adult-like manner.” Kids are merely being treated as “people,” Church of Scientology publicist Tommy Davis insists. “Anyone who’s been around children knows that they have personalities, needs and desires”

It’s a bit tricky to comment on styles of parenting when it’s wrapped around a religious tenet.  That being said, I agree that children are people and should be treated with respect.  They deserve to be talked to in a nice manner and a friendly tone.  And whether one believes that children are reincarnated or not, they are still children in this present life time.  They are physically equipped with an immature nervous system, and have developmental needs in their physical form that are very different from adults’.    Treating kids with respect and talking to them in nice tones is not the same as seeing them as adults.  Children are little people…not little adults.  All people should be treated with respect…that’s not the same thing as equality.  Of course kids have their own personalities, needs and desires.  I think it’s parents’ job to help children become the people they are meant to be and not impose their ideas of what this child should become.  However, children still need guidance, limits, boundaries and great role models from whom to learn right from wrong and how to conduct themselves.Styles of Parenting 1b

All kids should be talked to—not AT…that’s part of respect.  However, some styles of parenting fail to take into account that children only know so much!  However, they won’t understand big words, or subtleties or connotations.  And, kids will learn to talk by modeling the sounds they hear.  That’s why most parents will talk baby talk—they are actually providing them with the sounds babies are making/imitating which helps reinforce their attempts at making sounds.  Also, respecting kids as people should encompass providing what they need in ways they need it.  Kids need to be kids—that doesn’t mean they are not people.  Being people and being mature aren’t the same.  They need to go through all the developmental phases, making all the mistakes, breaking rules, etc. in order to learn how to become responsible adults.  They do not come out of the womb as adults—even if they have been reincarnated with great wisdom.

Scenario II: Katie Holmes has said Suri controls her fashion choices. “She says, ‘I want this sleeve cut,’ and it’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll cut it.’ She picks out all of her own clothes and has since she was 1 ½.”

I like the styles of parentingthat allow for self-expression.  Choosing what to wear is a great thing to allow kids to do—gives them control and a say in their lives.  And, allowing self-expression is also great.  Suri may be a budding fashion designer who is already improvising with different sleeve lengths.  On the other hand, I think it’s also very important to teach the value of possessions and what is and isn’t OK to do with the things you have.  So, if a child wants to create a fashion statement by wearing plaids and stripes, that’s great.  However, deciding to make cuts in clothing I think is a different matter.  It seems there is not a respect for possessions being taught.  Also, this may give her the message that whatever she wants to do is OK—and that is simply not the way the real world works, nor do I think it’s a good precedent to set.  There are things in life that ought to create some degree of frustration—kids who are given everything they want may have a rude awakening in several ways:  they may find the world will not always be that accommodating; they may find that they have not developed the ability to tolerate frustration, and can really have a hard time when something is not to their liking; and their inflated ego and sense of entitlement may make it difficult to form relationships with others who may be less accommodating than doting mommy and daddy.

Scenario III: Suri gets sweets whenever she wants: cupcakes, Baskin Robbins

It is important that kids learn good eating habits when young, so that they will carry them into adulthood.  Learning to take care of her body and her health is something Suri can begin at a very young age.  Sweets in moderation are fine; and if she doesn’t ask for them that much, maybe allowing her to choose is OK.  However, if she is like most kids, she is probably asking for more sweets than are good for her.  Again, this can cause several problems:  getting whatever she wants whenever she wants it can create a sense of entitlement that the world may not live up to; no frustration from being told ‘no’ or not getting what she wants results in little or no development of frustration tolerance—setting her up for a real emotional meltdown; and poor eating habits when young tend to turn into poor eating habits when older…is she heading for a life of dieting, drastic eating habits or obesity?

Styles of Parenting 1c Scenario IV: Suri has worn deep red lipstick out in public and mom picked up a $1300 tab at Sephora after Suri picked out what she liked. At just four years old, she has a collection of heels. And a wardrobe full of expensive items, including a $700 Armani dress, an alleged $6000 princess gown, a $300 purses and much more

Styles of parenting that overindulge the kids can really be setting a bad precedent. There are many parents who have lots of money, yet still want to teach their kids the value and respect of a dollar.  The fact that they even make heels for 4 year olds astounds me, as does a $1300 trip to Sephora.  Suri is being given whatever she wants at 4—the precedent is being set.  It’s a shame.  If this keeps up, this child will never really be happy—because she won’t know the joy of earning something, saving up for something or waiting to receive something.  When entitlement reigns, there can be an initial response of pleasure, but that can very quickly change to one of boredom or ho-hum what’s next?  Nothing’s special—not for long.  Nothing is a goal met, or a milestone reached.  There’s nothing that’s going to be really special if everything is an everyday occurrence and becomes mundane.

So, what do you think about this type of parenting?

Please feel free to comment on styles of parenting in the box below.

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  1. pligg.com says:

    Styles of Parenting of the Rich and Famous : Better Parenting Institute…

    This week on news stands everywhere, Life&Style Weekly enlisted Dr. Vicki as their parenting expert to comment on the styles of parenting of several celeb parents. This blog talks about Tom and Katie….



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