Freedom-How much is just right?
Many of us may have been raised in a time when we did as our parents said. It did not occur to us to question or demand freedom.So we may expect the same from our children but is that realistic or wise?
Today the authoritarian structures of families are breaking down because we want them to. Yet we wonder if we are on the right path and question how much freedom we should really give our children. Do I allow my 3 year old to choose his own clothes and let him eat what he wants? Should my 5 year old be given the freedom to choose his TV program? What do I tell my 8 year old who wants to walk to his friend's house or choose his own extracurricular activities? What about my 12 year old who wants to go shopping with her friends? Are we allowing our teenagers too much freedom? Do parents have to control every single aspect of their child's life, or is there a possibility that children are capable of taking control of some things in their life?
With all these doubts let us understand the role that freedom plays in a child's growth.
WHY IS FREEDOM IMPORTANT?
Freedom is essential for the development of a child. We human beings have a will which defines us. Freedom for children means giving choices and respecting what the child wants to do. Children cannot be given complete freedom in their interest to keep them emotionally and physically safe, they can be given freedom with guidance and limits. A child needs freedom of movement, space, freedom to speak his mind, freedom to have a say in the small things that happen in his day.
When children feel restricted, controlled and forced they have big feeling churning up and they get upset and unhappy. We parents make children rebellious and resentful towards adults causing them to lie and hide facts from us. On the other hand, when we honour our children and allow them make choices and decisions, they learn to take responsibility and become confident and peaceful.
While we may fear that giving freedom leads to lack of discipline the truth is that real discipline only comes from being granted freedom. When a child does the right thing not out of fear but out of understanding and the for the right reasons, that is true discipline.
This show was aired on 104.8 FM on Wednesday, 16th December to hear a recording of the show click here