“Are those the kids you raise? What is that? Such nerve! Who talks like that to their mother? In our days it was never like this, I tell you, that’s education? It’s a recipe for disaster, Do you enjoy being treated this way? Listen to me, I am your mother and I love you, So start being more of a Mother than a Friend!”
Parental Authority with a zing from the past-
does that work?
“We never did it this way!”
Sounds familiar? Maybe from your mother? An older neighbor? A good friend? Or maybe from your partner that is certain that all family troubles (and even the neighbors:)) rest on the fact you are just too soft, too understanding, one that you just don’t know how to perform maternal authority like they used to, and you will never get respect if you say it like that.
And what do you think? Do you ever wonder if your way is destined to fail and why almost everything you have tried never really worked out? And maybe all of these nice theories are just theories, I would like for you to read this post here First of all because it will clarify to you that you are not alone with all of this, very different or extraordinary than everyone else. And secondly because it will probably explain why and as far as I can see (using two renowned German philosophers as reinforcement) your mother, neighbor, partner and even you are wrong and right at the same time. In any way, in this post I would like to examine, together with you, the pros and cons of the basic dilemmas every mother has: Tough enforcing Parental figure OR a Friendly liberal parental figure?
Shall we begin?
Tough parental authority includes setting and enforcing rules and boundaries, which forces us:
*Setting rules and enforcing them persistently: “In this house we go to bed every day at 20:00!”
*Basing a conditioning value world in the form of the carrot and the stick, ethical bribe, reward and punishment: “If you go in the shower quietly you will get a surprise”
*Using threats and scare tactics:” If you don’t eat all of the food on your plate, you will not watch SpongeBob” And of course to make the threats and sanctions a bit worse if they never heard us: “OK, You didn’t listen to me, so now on no T.V time for you at all! Not even a minute” (haha yeah right..like that could last more than a minute) *Insisting and persisting even on days where we just want to release..
The price that we and the kids pay:
* Our kids (And sadly sometimes also us) will move through a wide array of emotions which none of them are the empowering or strengthening kind: Shame, guilt, fear, frustration, bitterness, anger and humiliation.
* The natural spontaneity of your magical family moments, for both you and the kids will take a big hit, and only because benefit VS cost consideration will come up with every action you and they take.
*Distant kids- Our kids will feel the need to distance themselves from us in order to avoid conflict, where could rise more anger, punishment and other lovely things.
*And the last and very least step: Rebelliousness.
And yes, I already hear those of you who claim (rightfully so) “My dear wake up, rebellious youth isn’t a new term and it will rise up in every house, and in every generation! Out of the sheer natural personal human need of a person to define himself, mostly from rebelling against his reality…” and to that I say of course! The question is what is the velocity of the rebel act, consequences, and how much damage or profit will it bring to himself or the family.
Containing Liberal Parental Authority confronts us with:
*Giving up my wants and needs as a mother and a person while making my child’s wants and needs superior, not only that sacrifice isn’t beneficial but it also creates victimization, containment and repressed anger, so even if you are like Mother Teresa, there’s no chance you might last very long until some of it will burst physically or mentally, and sometimes both.
*Raising kids who don’t understand the word: NO – means raising kids who will have a great deal of difficulty adjusting to society, or get along with others, since they are used to always getting their own wants and needs gratified, without understanding the other individual’s wants and needs, and then eventually realize to their surprise (that unlike their mother) the other side isn’t willing to constantly compromise, which will just create a socially isolated child, even though we just tried to help.
*Chaos and Confusion are formed from lack of boundaries, and further on in life (usually from a place of boredom and in search of thrills) a persistent test of all boundaries which only creates greater harm to him and his family.
Well then, What do you do? Seems like nothing really works
What do you do? Create a new! How? Just like in this post (see also Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis post) Out of a clear understanding that you don’t have to destroy the old to create the new, or sanctify the new but to mix them together and create a motherhood called- Conscious Motherhood, motherhood that puts hers and her children’s needs “on the table”, motherhood that is willing to dare and make changes (And yes, some changes to herself as well :)), motherhood that makes the house a successful “communication center”, one that really but truly discusses with the children and brings both sides together, one that gives the child a sense of security where his (and not just) wants are heard and respected, and that every rule made (if made) is also for and because of him.
Sounds like Conscious Motherhood isn’t a simple task?
Possibly, but it’s benefits top up all of the hard work necessary and it’s immediate outcome is the ability to become our child’s best and mature friend, smart and inspiring role-model , one that our child feels he can trust!
And by the way, an in depth explanation about this friendship you can find right here.
(link to BFF post)
To your success and mine!