You tell me! What do I need to do? be the MOTHER, and invoke my authority? be tough? enforce rules and regulations? Or maybe I can allow, contain and go with the flow? Where does the line stop exactly ? And how does this all relate to a German philosopher that died centuries ago?
Thesis, Antithesis and synthesis – The harshness in tenderness and the compassion in difficulty.
So who here is the boss? parental authority and enforcement in front of freedom of choice.
Every mother deals with two conflicting sides, the one wants to be less of THE mother and become a little bit more of the BFF, that’s the voice that wants her children to be raised differently, and act as a unified ,containing and loving family that allows a natural flow, and gives her children an unlimited space, one’s that brings out their true self, the scientist, and artist that hide in every child and will especially preserve the dreamer and the creative individual without cutting his wings.
On the other side of the ring, there’s the other voice, the one who wants to run a day to day schedule in a sane and balanced way, and desires that most needed respect as the adult carrying the burden (It is also, by the way, the tired of long, never ending discussions that seem useless and never live up to anything). This other voice cries out for some peace and quiet, consideration, relief and just a smidgen of air to breath.
As a result, every mother has the temptation of invoking parental authority full force and just finish every argument with: “End of discussion. Why? Because, I’m the mother and I set the rules”. That’s what worked for our parents and generations before them…
right? So why change it now?
Fichte, Hegel and how two philosophers who died centuries ago relate to our mentioned dilemma?
Pardon my history and I beg for forgiveness to the two German philosophers but to me it doesn’t really matter if it was Hegel or Fichte (his predecessor) that are responsible for this wonderful and very simple wording of the concept that describes the progress of human behavior throughout history: Thesis, Antithesis and synthesis. So simple, so true.
Every human effort evolves when one generation creates, works hard and creates a thesis, and the next generation throws it out, while the generation after that? takes both parts and mixes it into a new thesis that is actually a synthesis of both theories, and…Vice versa :))
So where are you and me now? As far as I can tell, our feet stand firmly in the middle of the process, just as they are about to change and transform into the wonderful synthesis. Our parents? They apparently proceeded the harsh strict authorities route of their parents, and we?
We kicked that education to hell! full heartedly, consciously separating parent to child, we kicked down barriers, lines, orders, punishments, and the inconsiderate intervention of children’s future and their ability to create their own destiny. And what became of us? In some households, reality and going through the motions form a sort of family synthesis where for other families it brings true chaos: Parents who lost all parental authority , connection and influence to their children. kids running amuck , without boundaries, have no respect to authority, rules and regulations and especially for the person sitting in front of them (whether it’s their mother or a classmate) chaos that ultimately craves a solution.
“See? You tried, and failed. And where did it take you? I told you it’s not going to work!”
So, what can you do now? go backwards and forward? Well, we are back to an exciting road, we decided enough is enough, we know that there is a way of showing our parents that the way we grew up is old-fashioned, that we could do it better than them, for some of us it derives from childhood pain and open wounds that will probably be with us for a very long time, and for others it’s a clear ideology and desire of creating a better world, a much worthy and deserving humanity. So off we go, we acted, created, studied, maintained and then we stop for some self examination, How did we do? Were we successful? And as we stand disappointed of our failures, these voices come back up, calling the old and familiar route: Go back and invoke parental authority like they used to! These voices merge into one painful sentence: “See? You tried, and failed. And where did it take you? I told you it’s not going to work!” Have we failed? Do we really need to go backwards? And what will be the price this time? In my book, invoking old-fashioned parental authority has a heavy price and many limitations and if you haven’t read this post (Link to “Parental authority like they used to” post) I personally recommend you try.
So what’s the sane and wise option? By now you probably understand why I was so thrilled with the epiphany and insight following these ancient German philosophers: No, The answer isn’t in the old thesis, nor is it in our antithesis, but the answer lies in the magic word: Synthesis.
So what can I offer you today my dear? Maybe the term: Inspirational Parental authority.
What is inspirational parental authority? It is, obviously, a containing positive parental authority, one that rests on the magical words every leader has used at least once throughout history: Personal Example. And I don’t intend on repeating the wonderful sentence inspired by Mahatma Gandhi I use quite often: “Be the change you want in the world”.
You see, through observation and personal experience, reading and learning and mainly out of conversations with teachers (one’s that work with special aid, recovery or therapy) I realized children respect rules and regulations they understand, that seem fair and just, and when someone took the time to explain them the rule before enforcing it, and most importantly- it’s easier for them to respect it if it also applies to the supervising adult as well as the child (and if they don’t apply to the adult they understand why logically why it is so). Between you and me, Are we any different than our children? How do we feel when an officer enforces his authority and yet doesn’t respect his own rules?
And if I managed to enlighten you just a little bit ,there is one more question left…
Where do we start creating this new found parental authority?
I would honestly say: Just go with it :)) Each and every post in this website is a stepping stone, another level, another spot in the big picture, another tune in the harmony, another step in this wonderful dance between you and your child. Your endless source of joy!
Endless source of joy? Aren’t you a little carried away here?
Actually not… According to a 75 year old Harvard research I am probably right.
Go to this video post and see for yourself :)) (link to what really makes us happy” video post”).
To your success,