Obedience, is that what we really want from and for our children?
Traditional marriage vows were taken to Love Honour and OBEY!!
When I was writing my marriage vows to my now ex-husband (story for another day ) I remember discussing what they would be, I was happy with tradition BUT..I sure as hell was NEVER going to declare I would obey him!
Fast forward 25 years, I am so thankful I followed my gut, I didn’t want obedience for me and I didn’t want it for my 3 girls. I want my children to think for themselves, to challenge if something doesn’t feel right to them, to be able to make judgments, develop a conscience for themselves and globally and speak out against injustice.
When you raise children with the demands of obedience there is no room for free thought or having a voice that is heard and respected. If we want our children to be thinkers, creators and innovators we need to encourage questions and challenge. Granted in the short term, it can make them more difficult to parent, more than once was I tempted to scream “I want you to question, just NOT your MOTHER!!”
But as they have grown I am proud of their social conscience and whilst learning to question respectfully was a skill that took time to develop, I know it is a skill worth cultivating. Unfortunately, we know not all adults have children’s best interests at heart, so if we raise our children to obey all adults, just because they are adults, we can unwittingly set them up to be victims.
We want our children to develop a healthy conscience so they can make the right choices even when we aren’t around to monitor, because we can’t be there every second. If they know what is right and wrong they can learn to make choices. No child want to disappoint their parents. Sometimes they will make a bad choice, I know I still have an extra piece of chocolate or 2 even though I know it’s not in my best interest! But, if your children are not made to feel shame about mistakes, they are more likely to come to you for guidance when they do rather than lying or denying, fearing they haven’t lived up to your expectations.