In our society, we are taught that children know less then adults and in such a manner we treat them as less. We treat them differently than we would other adults who may typically do the very same thing that a child would be reprimanded for, yet not the adult. Yet a child comes into this world with a deep connection of being spiritual and a good grasp of life, something as adults we strive to look for and get back in touch with. As adults we tend to seek control and children allow us to have something to assert control over using fear based parenting, authoritarian assertion and dictatorship in praise of “guiding” our weaker, untrustworthy children.
A marriage to our partner is based on trust, then why is it we feel children are untrustworthy who are inherently bad unless they stand corrected? This is a backwards way of viewing children based on the same ignorance that results in racism, religious intolerance and intolerance in general of anyone who is “different” in any way out of societal norms. In essence it is normal to treat children as such due to the brainwashing of society’s standards. Parents have been brainwashed on how to parent for way too long now and there are other alternatives to parenting as a new age brings us into a new consciousness of thought.
Wisdom comes from our collective knowledge based on our personal experiences throughout our life time. However the problem of trying to assert this knowledge down to our children is that it is really a very flat, one dimensional aspect of our gathered intelligence based on our experiences. While we certainly can pass on a little advice, we need to remember that everyone is different and will have experiences different from our own. This is what makes us individuals for all experiences will vary from person to person and each person will have their own unique view of perspective based on these experiences.
Trust, respect and communication become the key foundations of learning to treat children as equals. When a child is treated with the same respect you would extend to any other adult with, you are granting them the gift of freedom and cherishing their individuality with no expectations held from your perspective of who they are suppose to be or become. Everyone has a heart song, a beat they walk on a path they alone are here to follow, children being no different here. There path should not be forced by another, nor dictated of who they should be or become this would be an infringement of free-will and a form of “caging” another, everyone having the right of free-will, including children.
This is not to say a parent should let their child run in front of a car or doing anything that may cause great harm, after all it is our duty as a parent to keep our children safe and protect them. However this also does not mean that the only way to do this is through public humiliation of physical discipline, unkind or belittling words or any other way that would be considered highly disrespectful if that child were an adult.
When you stop to think how you would treat any situation your child brings to the table, if they were an adult or guest in your home, it opens the door for a whole new way of communicating with respect with your child. It brings a whole new set of opportunities of how to deal with situations based out of respect. It also helps you evaluate your own feelings and a way of looking at things in a new light sometimes realizing it is your own problem and really not the child’s at all. Giving a child equal respect of adults sheds light on our own feelings and perspectives of why certain behaviors irritate us and when you get down to it, the child’s behavior is not really wrong, it is a personal issue for us on why it bothers us.
Children are curious about the world around them and really want to know how it works. They are also very observant, many times seeing things that readily go unnoticed by us as our visions get clouded with daily mundane, tasks and worries. They have a great sense of fairness and will be the first to tell an adult when they feel they are being treated unfairly. When they are treated as equals, their feelings and needs are given validity and know they are just as important as the feelings and needs of the adults in the household. Why should their needs and feelings be treated as any less important?
Treating children as equals places them responsible for their own actions, giving them the independence so many seek, typically acting out as teenagers while trying to assert their independence. There is no need for the teenage rebellion when they are being treated as equals and given the respect they deserve. This is in no way spoiling a child, nor creating wild uncaring ones either. Children typically act out what is being modeled around them so if they are being treated respectfully, they will in return give respect. If you discuss issues you have concerns about in a respectful, reasoning way, your child will most likely listen to your advise and reasoning and take the more responsible choice.
Model what you want to instill, behaviors you hold of value, such as compassion, honesty, teamwork, trust and respect and your children will be sure to follow through these examples. Treat them with the respect you would extend to other adults and talk to them in this manner. Communicate with them using logical reasoning, trusting they will make wise decisions yet allowing them to learn from their own mistakes. Give value their feelings, needs and opinions. Treat them as equals in every aspect of your daily life and you will be rewarded with honest, caring children that make good choices that celebrates them for the unique individuals they are.