Why are children forced to obey parents

Obedience or what else?

Doesn't moral courage often require disobedience? Disobedience to those who by virtue of their power or position violate human dignity and justice? Disobedience is always also the courage to internal and external independence and freedom. Are the so-called 'disobedient' children, who do not want to bow to the superior power of adults, tamed with great severity, punished for their behavior or even forced to do something, until one day they finally give up the 'disobedience' - because they keep on doing something had to experience that it brings nothing but anger and suffering - they simultaneously give up part of their inner independence and autonomy and exchange the self-image they brought with them as free beings for adaptation and subordination.
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On the other hand, if upbringing takes a few elementary principles into account from the start, it is possible to deal with children without great pressure, severity and punishment. This also means that a fundamental need that we have as parents and adults is satisfied: We want our children to fit into a structure that they find through us. The more design and rhythm we give our everyday life, the more natural it is for children to fit into a familiar pattern. It gives them stability and reliability. However, this presupposes that parents are largely in agreement on fundamental questions that affect everyday family life. This includes clear agreements, such as time arrangements, regular meal times, joint leisure planning, as well as agreement on fundamental questions of upbringing - and more than anything else a cultivated culture of conversation and the ability of parents to resolve conflicts promptly and let go. However, where there is a lack of structure and the ability to clarify and communicate, the nervousness of the parents increases on the one hand and the level of restlessness of the children on the other, which makes the call for obedience loud and authoritarian behavior often an arbitrary act.

Image: Cornelia Haendler

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Parents who have found a form in their everyday life in which they feel comfortable find it much easier to involve their children in this form as well than parents whose everyday life is more or less chaotic and haphazard. The children become chaotic and haphazard if they can't get to know anything else. This leads to disappointment and frustration for many parents. They are disillusioned when the wish for a whole family remains unfulfilled and feel the emptiness that an unlived ideal leaves in them, mostly without realizing the real cause.
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A good family relationship is characterized by common recurring experiences, by the experience of trust, reliability and duration. In addition to the everyday events, tasks and stresses in the life of the individual, the individual rhythms of the family members, there is something in common that connects everyone and that one would like to rely on. This common ground must be cherished and cared for like a beautiful garden, so that it can bloom more and more and bear fruit. If this work is neglected, the weeds begin to sprout. And an overgrown garden requires a lot more care and effort than a garden that is well cared for from the start. This applies to the partnership as well as to the behavior of the children. Unfortunately, it is often the case that questions about gardening only arise when it is almost too late.
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For those who threaten to drown in the chaos of their own lifestyle, the children also become a burden. Those who are fully occupied with their own problems often leave their children to their own devices or deport them - and when they threaten to slip away through an arbitrary laissez-faire attitude, obedience is demanded, and 'if necessary' with coercion and verbal violence . If everything starts to slip away, at least the children should work!
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But then it is too late - and with every pressure that is exerted, with every compulsion to obedience, the trap that one has built for oneself closes more. A child who bends outwardly withdraws inwardly, and as a result, many parents lose loving contact with their own child at an early age.
A good parenting style should emphasize less on parenting than on style. While parenting is primarily related to the child, style is related to the parent
himself and on his own actions. Neither a 'laissez-faire' nor an authoritarian style of upbringing meet the needs of a child. Children want to orient themselves and be guided gently. Young children learn through imitation, through the installation of good habits, through love and trust, through clear instructions, through dedicated guidance and accompaniment.
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At a time when there is much knowledge of psychology, developmental psychology, and learning psychology, expectations such as blind obedience should be added to the list of antiquated parenting practices. In any case, such an expectation is superfluous if it is replaced by accompaniment, guidance and role model. These words relate primarily to the parents and their parenting style and relieve the children.
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This article is taken from the recommended book “Elternsache ist Wissensssache”, an “educational guide on non-education” by Gabriele Waldow
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You can find this and other recommended books for you and your children here: https://www.waldowverlag.de/buecher/