“We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
Do you remember being a kid, growing up? You and your sister would both lay hands on some toy, or other desired object, and pull with all your might in an attempt to remove it from each others’ grasp. And then, after a few minutes of tug-of-war, you would decide that there was something even better than having the object you so desired. Then, releasing the object, you would watch as your little sister proceeded to roll across the floor.
Since becoming a father, I have been in a similar power struggle with my children. Each of us white knuckled, struggling to take control from the hands of the other. What they wear, how they speak, what they learn, where they go, when they sleep, where they sleep, what they eat, when they eat. At the onset, I wanted control over every aspect of their lives. After all, I am the parent, I am the adult, and I know what is best for them, right?
I soon found out that this was the wrong way to have a healthy relationship with my children. I also learned that lessons are much more powerful when you learn them for yourself, rather than having them forced on you. So I let go, and watched in terror as they rolled across the floor. They weren’t ready for control, they didn’t know what to expect. They had spent their whole lives being told what to do, where to go, and who to be. I had created an environment of fear, manipulation, and control, and instilled a belief that “Might makes right.” That wasn’t going to go away overnight.
I am doing my best to let the kids make their own decisions whenever possible. We are still recovering from the days when Dad was the Dictator, and the kids sometimes make choices that tie my gut up in knots, but I am convinced that this is the way I should have been parenting all along.
If you are struggling with your children over control of their lives, it might be scary to think about letting go. But the sooner you do it, the softer their fall will be, and the better your relationship.
“Children pursue life, and in doing so, pursue knowledge. They need adults to trust in the inevitability of this very natural process, and to offer what assistance they can.” ~ Earl Stevens
Want more Dadosaurus Rex? Check out my facebook page www.fb.com/thedadosaur