We learn so much about life and parenting by just being a kid in this world. In fact, that’s the bulk of what we learn. In my humble opinion society has a skewed view about how children “should” behave and about what the expected norms are for young people in this world. We somehow expect them to be born self-regulating, and if they can’t self regulate from the beginning then it is our job to teach this self-regulation and often it’s thought that those lessons be taught by using a myriad of manipulations.
Why must we accept this as the truth or the way in which we should operate? Just because our parents and their parents and so on thought this way doesn’t mean that it’s right or it works. We don't have to adopt this sort of thinking and pass it down to our little ones, "just because".
It reminds me of discrimination, that in many cases, now and in the past nobody questioned. It was just accepted as the social norm. It was OK and still remains so to treat some differently. To make assumptions about their person that are unfounded based on race. It took years and wars to abolish slavery in this country, and yet blindly so many went along with this unimaginable treatment. Now I am not saying our kids are enslaved, but I have seen some pretty awful treatment of kids or at least the assumption that they can be treated with little or no respect.
Think you're more evolved than some others in your way of thinking? Me too, yet, if I'm not careful, I still resort to choosing harshness over love and kindness with no real thought as to why. Why is our first reaction to dole out a punishment or issue a criticism? Why do we view children as manipulative and in need of control? How do we think this is effective and just exactly what do we think we are teaching?
I know what we are teaching…harshness. That is exactly why my first reaction or maybe yours is to be unkind because you learned how to be unkind from the adults in your life. It certainly didn’t teach us how to come with love and compassion. This brings me to the idea of modeling and just what a strong and useful tool it really is in parenting. In fact, it could possibly be your most powerful influencer. So what do you want to model to your children? When things get dicey? How will you react and why? I try my very best to choose love and compassion. I don’t always make the right choice and at times things deteriorate, but I keep at it. I wish society would come along with me in adopting a kinder opinion of children who are having a hard time. A softer approach to a child who is unkind or chooses the wrong thing to do in a moment of disconnection, I wish we would see kids as having a difficult time in a difficult world, that their upsets are important and their missteps just mistakes.