So many parents have written me about their frustration with their teen, their pre-teen, their preschooler, their toddler and even their baby because they are non-compliant. It amazes me that in the year 2010, still parents prefer a compliant child to one who protests, makes choices and even has a mind of it's own.
Somehow we delude ourselves into believing we want our children to grow into independent adults who make decisions of their own yet, secretly these decisions need to be the ones we would make for them. Therefore, this is not independent thinking in by any definition.
A child who questions everything is a child full of curiosity and learning to process the world independent of our value system. While this is scary for most parents because they think of all the ways this could go very wrong, of how many wrong choices could be made of the paths that it could take their child down that doesn't fit into their dreams.
What parents fail to realize is that their dreams belong only to them. A child is born with the capacity to develop their own dreams and they do. Whether or not they give up their dreams to please their parents depends largely on the amount of acceptance and encouragement a child recieves in the form of emotional support to fully become the unique individual they truly were at the time of their birth.
So I leave you with these questions.
How comfortable are you with providing your child with opportunities to make choices?
How often do you provide your child with opportunities to make their own choices?
How often do you respect their invididual likes and dislikes?
How often do you ask them about their dreams for thier life?
(of course they will change again and and again, that's not the point)
How do you foster your child's skill in hearing their own inner voice?
I think answering these questions will support your own parenting and the parenting of others. Do feel free to post your answers your suggestions as to how to foster the inner voice of children today. Together we can all be the change!
Training children to listen to their own voice