Parent-Child Estrangement: Did Elon Musk Fail As A Father? When a child chooses to cut a parent off, the parent must make an effort to redress the issue


I did a double take when I first read about Elon Musk’s estrangement from his child.

Musk’s son, Xavier has come out as a transgender and filed paperwork to change his/her/them first and last name. The reason cited is “Gender identity and the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape, or form.”

The judge’s ruling stated: ‘The petitioner’s name is changed from Xavier Alexander Musk to Vivian Jenna Wilson. The gender of the petitioner is changed from male to female.’

Disowning a billionaire father, not wanting to have anything to do with him. Now, that’s pretty damning evidence that Musk failed in the fatherhood arena.

Now, this was just a day after his tweet on Father’s Day, ‘I love all my kids so much.’

Two days later, Elon Musk’s ex-wife, Justine Wilson, and Xavier/Vivian’s mother tweeted, “I had a weird childhood,” my 18-year-old said to me. “I can’t believe I’m as normal-seeming as I am.” I said, “I’m very proud of you.” “I’m proud of myself!”

Though she was not explicitly clear whether it was Vivian or her twin brother, she referred to, it left little room for doubt about who the 18-year-old was.

Parent-Child Estrangement: Did Elon Musk Fail As A Father?
Elon Musk with his twins Xavier (Vivian ) and Griffin

Why Does A Child Cut Off A Parent?

Being proud, that your child wants to cut off having any relationship with her father, who also happens to be one of the richest men on this planet!!

As a parent, I’d be really sad that things had to reach such a state. Changing one’s name so as to not be connected to your famous father, that’s a deep resentment. The fact that a child has publicly rejected her father tells you all is not well in Muskland!!

When a child chooses to cut a parent off, more often than not the parent is to blame for this estrangement.

Elon Populating The Earth

In his pinned tweet about the falling USA birth rate, Elon proudly claims ‘Contrary to what many think, the richer someone is, the fewer kids they have. I am a rare exception.’

Sure he is doing his bit to populate the earth. But he seems to think that churning out children is the same as rolling out cars. The more the better. But children are not like cars, they are feeling, needy creatures. They need the consistent presence of their parents.

Children With Multiple Partners

After the death of their firstborn, Nevada due to SIDS, Musk, and then-wife Justine welcomed twins Griffin and Xavier in 2004.

In 2006, the couple also had triplets, Damian, Kai, and Saxon. Musk and Justine divorced in 2008 and share custody of their five children. However, from Justine’s articles on her marriage to Musk, it doesn’t seem that things are amicable between the two. How much that may have influenced Vivian’s opinion of her father one will never know. Parental alienation is a huge issue in many divorce cases.

Bent on populating the earth Elon, enlisted singer Grimes to have 2 more kids son X Æ A-12, born in 2020, and daughter Exa Dark Sideræl, born in 2021.

During the Johny Depp trial, there were rumors that Elon is the father of Amber Heard’s daughter, Oonagh Paige via surrogacy.

Ugh, a child having to deal with Daddy’s crazy sperm dropping. I know I’d be appalled and pissed off if I had to deal with all these half-siblings coming into existence. What about me and my relationship with my Dad, after all, I came first.

Having to make room for other siblings, is not easy for any child, particularly when Dad is a workaholic spending most of his time trying to go to Mars.

Elon Doing What He Thinks Is Best For His Children

It’s not that Elon Musk is an uninvolved and uncaring father. From reports, he does seem to be a very concerned father. He has made every effort to give his kids the best that money can buy. He even began an experimental private school Ad Astra to educate his five sons and other local child geniuses.

However, often doing what we as parents think is best for our child, may not be what our child wants or needs. Maybe, Xavier wanted to go to a normal school with a regular curriculum. Or maybe he wanted to learn about butterflies, rather than computers and robots.

I remember, my mother, tailoring outfits, that she felt were amazing. But I nearly always hated her choices. And I felt piqued that she never took my opinion into account –  when it came to choosing a color or style. I really hated my communion dress which I felt was gross, Not being allowed to make choices about my attire really rankled me. However, as a child, I kept silent and went along.  I don’t know how our relationship would have panned out was my mother still alive during my teen years.

Parenting Is Not Programming

Each child is born with individual temperamental inclinations. It takes an aware and mindful parent to tune into their child’s innate likes, dislikes, needs, and feelings. Some are kids are wired to be sensitive while others are more thick-skinned.

Often parents, fail to honor and nurture that uniqueness that makes us all different.

Instead, most parents, these days are so caught up in managing their kids’ lives. They think kids can be programmed to become how they want them to be. Emotionless, efficient robots.

Nonetheless,  having a super rich dad like Elon, who is used to controlling his huge empire, it must be hard for him to not be an interfering parent.

Like me, some go along till they reach the age when they can officially distance themselves from being controlled.

Children Need More Than Food, Clothing, Shelter

Parenting is not just about providing food, clothing, shelter, and the best education.

In fact, most parents have no problem providing material things. But when it comes to providing emotional support and understanding mental health, they fail miserably at every stage of a child’s life. 

Often it is those intangibles that can make or break a relationship. Children don’t need perfection, they need an available, attuned parent – who is there when they need them. No paid ever present nanny can be a good substitute for a  truly available parent.

A good parent-child relationship is built through our spending quality time with them. To be seen, heard, and accepted as they are the greatest gift a parent can bestow on their child.

Parent-Child Estrangement

According to psychologist Joshua Coleman, estrangement happens for a variety of reasons harsh parenting, parental favoritism, divorce, and poor and increasingly hostile communication often culminating in a volcanic event.

It is usually never due to a one-time incident but rather the build-up of small daily slights, that parents inadvertently commit when relating to their kids.

Elon being on the spectrum may have poor emotional intelligence (EI), making it difficult for him to gauge his child’s needs and feelings, or empathize in general.

Add to that his own estrangement from his father, whom he detests. Invariably, we unconsciously repeat our history.

Estrangement Is Painful For The Child

Estrangement is a painful decision for any child. Cutting off our primal connection, one with whom we will be inexorably connected forever due to our DNA is not easy.

But sometimes, the constant pain and hurt of perpetually being invalidated for who we are are too much to bear. And the only seeming option a child feels is to physically and emotionally detach from the hurtful parent/s – the source of recurrent painful relational interactions.

Most unaware parents express profound shock by what they term their child’s irrational behavior. However, by listening to the child’s side of the story one could understand the reason for the estrangement – parents who are unable to see their child as a feeling being.

Sadly, most parents refuse to acknowledge their shortcomings and refuse to be accountable for their transgressions. They only think in terms of, after all, I have done, this is how they pay me back.

Ungrateful Child

It’s definitely painful to be rejected by a child. Nevertheless, I can tell you that no child removes herself from a family for no good reason.

After years of being forced to adhere to my father’s dictates, all I got was more abuse and disregard. My father, who definitely had a personality disorder, constantly badgered and threatened my brother and me. Of course, shamelessly to the outside world, he portrayed the caring, sacrificing father who did not re-marry after my mother died.

Furthermore, most of my extended family really did not want to be bothered with an additional burden. I was treated like an unwanted nuisance. Being unwanted and looked down on by your family is a deep gnawing pain that slowly eroded my self-esteem and sense of self.

Becoming Estranged

Growing up in this kind of dysfunctional family, all I learned was coping and survival behaviors. For years, I felt like a 13-year-old who was trying to cope in the adult world. After years of hoping for a change of heart and some compassion about my condition scoliosis, all I got was disdain and more abuse.

Finally, I realized that things will never change. I am forever going to be the garbage that will be ignored and tossed aside.

Thus,  when I was love-bombed by a man 20 years my senior I fell hook line, and sinker totally ignoring all the red flags.

To everyone, I am the ungrateful wretch, the sinner, the black sheep who brought shame to my good catholic family.  No one wants, to take responsibility for the hurts they caused, parentifying me, and making me take on responsibilities that were beyond my years.

I was blamed and shamed for choosing to leave. My father never admitted his faults ever and always played the victim. Even on his death bed said, ‘I don’t want to see her face.’ As a parent, I cannot imagine saying something like that to my child.

Learning And Growing From One’s Mistakes

Most parents don’t set out to harm their kids. In fact, we really want to be different from our own parents.

I know I wanted to be a good mom but there were so many times I messed up. Many a time, I lost my temper, I screamed, I raged, I berated and a few times I spanked my son.

I feel mortified thinking of my abominable behavior. I have always taken full accountability for my mistakes and apologized for all the times I messed up. Thankfully, my son has been quite forgiving.

Children can be quite forgiving if they know that mom/dad is truly sorry for hurting them.

How Does Elon Resolve The Problem

I don’t know how Elon Musk plans to resolve the problem with his child. However, I do hope he takes steps to re-connect and hear out what the grievances are and do his level best to address them.

It does not mean Vivian will come around immediately and want to re-connect. Or maybe, she will.

Nevertheless, it is Elon’s responsibility to reach out and try to repair the rupture that’s what being a good enough parent is all about.

 

Image Source: Instagram
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