Stephanie Metz is this week's viral superstar. She garnered a lot of attention when she posted a "bit of a rant" on her blog. The topic: Why My Kids Are Not The Center Of My World. Shocking? Not to me...

Make no mistake, Stephanie loves her children... it's modern-day society that she has a beef with. In her words, "the mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating."

I'm not going to rewrite everything Stephanie wrote (you can read her blog yourself), but I do want to highlight a few of her controversial gripes. Why? Because I wholeheartedly agree with them!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most special child of all?

Stephanie writes, My kids are not the center of my world, and that's quite simply because they aren't the center of any world, anywhere.

Amen, sister. All too often we approach parenting as if it's never been done before, as if we are the first parents to actually do this and get it right. As such, we want everyone else to know how special and important our kids are!

We smile politely as other mothers brag about their children's many accomplishments — as if such things have never been accomplished by any other child ever before — but we really could not care less.

I am a loving mother of two girls, but I'm never going to win the PTO Volunteer of the Year award. My job is to help my daughters to become independent. School is their zone, and they'll make their own mark on it. I won't taint their journey by constantly looking over their shoulders or demanding special treatment because I helped at field day or the book fair.

The truth is that, deep down, each parent cares only about her own kids. We smile politely as other mothers brag about their children's many accomplishments — as if such things have never been accomplished by any other child ever before — but we really could not care less. We already know that our kids are better than anyone else's.

Toy guns do not kill

Stephanie writes, There was a time when young boys could run around with toy guns, killing the bad guys. Today, they're labeled as threats, and immediate action is taken to remove that threat from the group.

pile of colorful toy guns

I don't want to start a gun control debate (you can read my opinion about that on another page ), but I think it's perfectly acceptable to let kids play with toy guns. Our kids work out their fears and curiosity through play. And they learn! War, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians (er, Native Americans) are all part of our nation's history. Sadly, gun violence is a significant part of current events, too.

Rather than ban toy guns from your home, use them as an opportunity to teach. Talk to your kids about how guns have (and have not) changed over the years. How they're used for hunting and sport as well as combat. How children must understand the difference between real and fake and what they need to do to stay safe.

Removing toy guns and pretending that real guns don't exist isn't going to protect your children. On the contrary, I tend to think that ignorance about guns is potentially dangerous in and of itself. Your kids are not the center of the universe, and someone with a real gun may try to hurt them one day.

Bullying builds character

Stephanie writes, There was a time when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money. Now, if Sally calls Susie a b****, Susie's whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide and society encourages her to feel like her world has truly ended and she should feel entitled to a world-side pity party.

Ugh… so true! We classify every negative behavior as bullying and overreact to even the smallest infraction. The over-involvement of adults (parents, principals, guidance counselors, police) in normal kid interaction certainly hasn't resulted in a decline in bullying.

I'm not trying to be insensitive, but we have to start helping our kids develop coping skills. Not everyone is going to like them. Not everyone is going to be nice to them.

Recent headlines break our hearts with stories of young girls who take their own lives because they were victims of bullying. Not physical bullying, usually, but emotional taunting. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but we have to start helping our kids develop coping skills. Not everyone is going to like them. Not everyone is going to be nice to them. They will be hurt with insults and stolen boyfriends. They are not the center of the universe.

Traditionally, these were the types of experiences that built character. (I'm not talking about the rough stuff — the dangerous physical bullying — I'm talking about name-calling and nastiness.) When adults try to stop all bad things from reaching our children and then overreact when something does hurt them, we create kids who can't stand up for themselves in the real world.

In junior high, our teenage daughter was the victim of bullying. When she was punched in the face by an older, much bigger girl, we reacted swiftly to make sure the school held the bully accountable. But when our daughter is the victim of daily mean-girl nastiness —name calling, insults, exclusion — we don't inject ourselves into the mix. Instead, we talk about these negative experiences and discuss how she might respond (or not respond) to the kid-on-kid crime that plagues every adolescent.

Bottom Line^ I love my girls and want the very best for them. My job as a parent is to teach and encourage them along their journey to adulthood. My children are not the center of the universe, but they sure do mean the world to me.

More on the fine art of parenting

5 Bully busters
How to teach kids to be assertive
The myth of self-esteem

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