Keep it simple, silly

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't tell me what to do

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Living with headstrong kids can be challenging, especially when this is the first thing you hear from a five year-old in the morning. But I’m getting used to it.

I like that they can be so strong and self-assured. I like that they have the confidence to be able to talk to a grown up in this way. I may not particularly enjoy it being said to me, but I like that they are able to.

Fear is such an integral part of so much child-rearing. If you can scare a kid through threats of retribution and punishment, if you then follow through with them, then you are likely to have a well-behaved child, too scared to speak up and ask for what they need. Without E here to guide me, there is a good chance that to some degree I could be this kind of parent. I probably am anyway.

Fear and love are opposites: it is impossible to experience both at the same time. Obedience can be a form of dishonesty: I behave like you want me to in order to avoid your wrath, not because this is who I am.

And Y has a point when she says not to tell her what to do. I can tell anyone what to do, but the moment I become invested in the outcome I am setting myself up for a fall. She’s such a great teacher.


Blogger Jade said...

I love that my daughter feels strong enough to yell at's a checkpoint for me that I haven't killed her spirit.

2:21 am, July 20, 2006


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