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Why Children Shouldn't Just Obey




Being a parent can cause frustration and leave you feeling defeated at times, but I strongly believe the job of a parent is one of the most important jobs we will face. We are creating the future generation of the human species, and it is up to us to make sure we send our children out into the world with as much knowledge of the world and themselves that we can.


Many of us grew up in the "because I said so" generation of parenting. This style of parenting told us what to do and how to behave, but not why. This resulted in a developmental lack of critical thinking skills. Rather than actually learning how and why we should or should not do things, we learned how to do what we were told in order to avoid punishment and anger from our parents. As we grew up, we continued to look to others to tell us what to do, and how to behave. We had teachers, bosses, and spouses that took our parent's place. We feared making the wrong decision and didn't have confidence in ourselves.


When we raise our children by teaching them the "why", we help them to develop critical thinking skills of their own. We have the expectation that our children are going to make mistakes that they will in turn learn from. We give them the space to learn from those mistakes and guide them in new directions. The parent child relationship shouldn't be looked at as us against them. It is instead, a collaborative effort where we are all learning and encouraging each other.


Children begin to develop self-conscious emotions at the age of two. This is also when they develop empathy and have the vocabulary required to discuss their emotions. Also, at the age of two, children engage in pretend and make-believe play. This is the perfect age to begin explaining the world to your child. Since they are able to understand other's feelings, you can teach them about empathy and thinking of how their actions will affect others. Use play time as a teaching time and act out scenarios with your child.


When your child becomes upset or expresses their emotions, take the opportunity to speak to them about how and why they are feeling the way they are. Don't shame your child for feeling emotions and encourage them to express how they are feeling with their words, rather than through actions of anger and frustration. The more conversations you have with your child, the more comfortable they will become with speaking to you and the more confident they will become with processing their emotions on their own.


Parenting is about teaching and guiding our children. For some of us, we are learning to process our own emotions at the same time we are teaching our children. Every parent is going to make mistakes, so give yourself grace as you are learning and guiding your child. You can do this!

Opmerkingen


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