Love and Fear – Conclusion … for Now

September 4th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

When did discipline become a bad word?

My guess is it did with our tendency to paint things “black and white”. Our generation grew up inhaling the oppressive air that rises out of strict discipline, propriety, children knowing their place. When these become the highest values in parenting, the air reeks of judgement. Behavior modification becomes paramount; relationship gets shoved curbside. Our generation grew up choking on the stifling air of rules and judgement, and we determined that our kids would not experience this type of upbringing.

Now we’re running things, and shonuff we’re clearing the air. Out with all things restrictive, binding, firm.
“Let freedom reign. Let them explore, learn. Take down the boundaries. Put away the rules for now. Yes! Right!”
“Ah … wait a minute man, your kid in his freedom just clocked my kid with that plastic hammer.”

The love and freedom revolution in parenting is all nice until some kid gets clocked with a plastic hammer. The music really stops when that kid is your kid. As your kid is crying his eyes out, the ultra-mellow, understanding parent who gently reasons with the three year old assailant is going to put this whole new parenting focus into question for you. Trust me. More often then not, the kid who rocked your kid is not even paying attention to their parent. You can see the wheels spinning: “If the worst I get for going off is a soothing talking to, then … well, go-off I will. Yeah, yeah, Pops. You done? My hammer?”

After Pops releases the hammer wielding terror back into general population, he’ll look over at you with a smile, and a shrug,
“Sorry about that. Kids, right?”
“Nah, man. If my kid did that, he’ll have to deal with me in a way that will make him think twice before raising that plastic hammer over his head again.”

My Dad got it wrong. Thinking he could not have both, he chose fear rather than love. Today, we choose love rather than fear. Judgement isn’t a bad word, neither is rules, and not even fear. It’s not that “black and white”. We need both. Set a foundation of love that chases out fear. And in this loving relationship, teach your child that particular type of fear he/she cannot live without.

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