One way I've always viewed parenting is through the eyes of mutual respect.
It seems to me there is a lot of "power over"controlling behaviors, and less RESPECT when it comes to parent/child relationship. Almost like an authority type relationship. You might be thinking, "WELL YA, I do have authority over my child, I am the adult here!"
And that is obviously true. But that is not ALL there is, right?
I've always looked at my daughter as an equal human being. I've tried to keep my perspective of not only for her to respect me, but me to respect her.
As parents we want to raise our kids to be wonderful well rounded people.
And we do that the best we know how. We do that with what and where we are at the time in our lives. We raise them based on our upbringing, our experiences, and beliefs, and how we visualize what we want their future to hold.
One of the best ways I can think of accomplishing that is to treat your child with the same respect we would like. The fact is we ARE older than our children, and that we do have authority over them. That is not what I'm arguing. But I think when we can see our children as imperfect humans, and ourselves for that matter as flawed humans, we'll get a lot further in relationship with our kids.
I don't agree with the view that it's all only about kids needing to respect their parents.
I think WE need to respect our KIDS too. It goes both ways. We need to create a mutual respect.
It seems to me there ends up being so many road blocks for parents who don't have this view. Kids don't want to share with their parents when they feel threatened or fear; so they'll hide, lie, they don't enjoy talking to their parents, and they push their parents away.
Do you think some of this could be because of the respect we demand? And all the while we are busy demanding respect, we lose insight on our kids hearts?
I mean does anyone really get respect who demands it or thinks they deserve it?
We've got to get busy respecting our kids, and building harmony with them.
This doesn't mean that we aren't "in charge" it just means we are in charge AND we are respecting them. Treating them not only as a child that we are raising and guiding, but also as an important human being that needs to be heard, validated, and encouraged-no matter what.
It means we are "in charge" AND we are disciplining them. It means we are in charge and we are talking with them through conflict and giving them a voice.
It means we are in charge AND showing grace when they mess up. It means we are in charge AND we are patient with them. It means we are in charge AND give them their freedoms. It means we are in charge, AND give them advice and guidance. It means we are in charge but we understand what they are going through because, hey-haven't we all been there?
We are entrusted with our kids and it's not only a blessing, it's a PRIVILEGE. I'm for one not going to go through each day thinking I am in control of my daughter, because no matter what I do, unless it's short of tying her up in her room until she's 18--it's NEVER gonna happen.
So I need to learn balance, and I think that starts with looking at her as an equal. I'm just a flawed human delighted to raise her up the best I can, and she's just a flawed human entrusted to me with no choice--wanting to be the best child she can be, because ya know what? Our kids look up to us. They need us. We need to give them a TENDER LOVE. Yes we do know what's best for them for sure, and as we start building more of this relationship, and WALKING through life with them, they will BELIEVE that we know what's best.
This balance may look different for each situation and each child, and I understand that. But I can honestly bet that if we all started looking and thinking about our child in terms of equality, they would come around in a heartbeat. When we have a controlling way about us, it pushes them away. If we have a tender heart, and invite them in as equal beings, they will run toward us. Which direction do you want your child to run in?