Parental “Control”

Just this morning, Livy was flipping through channels on the tv and stopped short at something that caught her attention.  She was curious enough to listen for a bit and as I was in earshot, I listened in for a bit too.  Mind you I only caught the tail end of it but what I heard, I felt compelled to comment on.   I have recently made a vow to myself as well as a declaration aloud that I will no longer allow fear to hold me back from standing up for what I feel is right, that I will embrace my role as a peaceful parent not just to my kids but as an advocate for all the children in need.   And so what started as a facebook post (that I feared would be labeled as just another facebook rant; still working on the fear thing a bit) is now the following post . . .

A segment aired just a few moments ago on the Today Show:

The title: “Parental Controls”

That word “control” is not a word I have ever been comfortable with.  As if our children are simply inferior beings to be controlled and it’s our job as parents to control them? Where did this idea come from that our children must fear us to respect us? And exactly what does that take on our part as parents?  What tactics must be used to put them in “their place” ; that place of fear?  I assure you, in my  mind, what I can imagine and what I have witnessed are only ever negative, destructive, and abusive actions.  And yet lost in the whole parenting paradigm as we know it (as we are conditioned to believe is the only way by society and past generations who simply didn’t know any better), we see obedience and control as the only way.  We certainly don’t think of it as abuse for if we did, we would be questioning the things we have been conditioned to believe;  most simply just don’t know any better.  But think about it for a minute . . . We do not seek to control and break down others as we do our children.  We don’t seek to control our friends and other adults, do we?  Why is that?

As for me: I’d rather have relationships based on love and equality. And I’m pretty sure my kids would rather that also.

Bribing: Really? I wouldn’t ever use a technique like that on my husband or friends, why would I do that to my children? It’s simply just another means of control; a way to manipulate someone into doing what we want.  Doesn’t what they want matter?  I certainly wouldn’t want that done to me, so why would I subject someone else to that?  And isn’t it really insulting their intelligence to think they would fall for it?  I can’t speak for all but my experience has always been that kids are much smarter than they are given credit for being.  I tend to be of the mindset that we adults have much to learn from our children; they are wiser in ways than most of us.  They need us to believe in them as much as all of us need to be believed in.

As for me: I’d rather have relationships based on honesty and mutual respect. And I’m pretty sure my kids would rather that also.

How do either of those things create peace, harmony and mutual respect? And yet these are the parental ideals (just the tip of the iceberg really) being showcased on one of the most popular news shows out there?  I can only imagine what else was shared that I wasn’t there to hear and my hope would be that it wasn’t all negative.  But what I heard was enough to prompt me to write this post; a post motivated a bit by disbelief and frustration but one I also assure you was written in all sincerity in the belief that we are on the precipice of a great shift and with just a bit of nudging we can all get to that place of true peaceful parenting, households being run in love and mutual respect.

We need to be aware that the dynamics of our household and the way we treat one another inside our homes extends to those even outside of our home.  We have got to break this destructive parenting cycle, shift the paradigm if we (as a human race) are ever to reach the place of love and unity that we so badly need.  Even if that seems a daunting task we have to know:  We are all capable of that!  We really are!

As always,




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