Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Treating Your Children Like The Adults They Are

Do you remember this when you were a kid?  “Stop treating me, like a child!”  “Well, then stop acting like one!”  With that reply your subconscious may have brought up the memories of your parents hand feeding you, making your meals, telling you to do your homework, to brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, cut the grass, get ready for school.  Up to a point your parents probably told you what to do and exactly when to do it.  Did this benefit you?  Well, of course it did, up to a point, but when did you begin to learn self reliance?  When you got your drivers license?  When you graduated high school?  When you got your first job?  When you went to college?  When you started keeping secrets from your parents?  The latter is probably true.  That’s discouraging now that you are a parent yourself.  You do have the power; however, to keep this age old tort and retort out of your relationship with your child.

Don’t think of your children as children.  Don’t think of them as irrational beings that make decisions and attack their problems strictly on emotion.  Yes, they are more prone to act on impulse than you or I…probably, but from birth they have the gift of logic and intelligence, just like you.  Treat your child in accordance with his/her potential, not the current age that they seem to act.  Listen to him/her as you would a co-worker that you have profound respect for, and give advice of the sort you would give to a CEO when you were trying to impress.

One of the reasons the Roman Empire lasted so long socially, is because children were thought of as adults, citizens with the same duties to their family and to Rome as everyone else.  

Your children are the representatives of you and your families honor and heritage.
Teach them to make good decisions; don’t make the decisions for them.  Teach them that they can talk to you as a more experienced equal.  Teach your children to criticize their own choices; don’t just criticize your children.  Teach them self reliance, teach them self discipline.  Teach them to trust you, teach them to trust themselves.  Teach them that the world doesn’t have time to wait for them to become adults.  They have to do that from the time they can breathe.  They have to decide to learn to walk, and to talk.  Those were good decisions.  They will make more.  Just protect them when they make the bad ones.  Help them to turn bad decisions into good outcomes.

“Few men are born brave; many become so through training and force of discipline.”

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