parenting authority

What Good Parents Know that Bad Parents Don’t – the Paradox of Authority

by Aigul Aubanova on January 21, 2011

in Articles for parents

There is always something that good parents know and bad parents don’t. Today we will speak about parental authority, the one, where children naturally respect their parents and are not afraid of them. This level of parental authority can be tested by the willingness of children to obey and not resist their parents. In a good parent-child relationship the problem of obedience or resistance of children is resolved on its own. What do good parents know about these problems?

1. Children don’t obey, they just work together with parents

Good parents arrange their activity with children so that there is only one boss, one manager: the work, which must be done. Parents and children share one goal, the job at hand. They work together. They cooperate. Here is the paradox of authority: for many people it seems that children obey parents, where in fact they don’t obey them, and they don’t resist; they simply solve problems together with parents.

2. Parents become teachers, when they stop teaching

The problem between generations is solved by itself, when, in cooperation with children parents acquire real authority. Yet, the paradox is that authority arrives only when parents “stop teaching,” in other words, “stop preaching.” “I stop teaching – and I become a teacher. I am not afraid to lose authority, instead I acquire it. This is authority without pressure. My child has a natural respect for me, and I have the same for him. We are not equal by age, but we are equal because of the common goal. Together we are interested in it” (Simon Soloveychik). Those who cooperate in upbringing are not colleagues, as those who know their work and report to a boss. People who cooperate in upbringing have a common goal – development of the child. They report non-verbally to each other about their participation in this common goal.

3. Sense of duty develops when one watches their own job

In cooperation with children a natural sense of duty develops. While I cooperate with a person I am more occupied with how well I fulfill my duty rather than how he fulfills his duty. Good parents teach children that no one owes anything to anybody. Parents can’t demand anything from another person, they can only demand from themselves. Everyone does his or her job rather than jealously watching others and how they do their job. This is the best way to develop a sense of duty, where duty becomes joy, not a burden.

4. Equal soul participation instead of equal contribution

How do parents and children become equal if they are in fact not equal? Yes, the physical contribution is not equal, but souls can participate equally. Work – together! This doesn’t mean that we go together to a nearby store for fresh bread. But as a parent, I participate in this trip: I help the boy to prepare for shopping, then, I assess the purchase, listen to his stories of adventure on the way to the store. What is the boy’s part? He is happy to go to the store when he has the attention of his parent. Therefore such a job is a joy for him!

Of course, natural authority doesn’t come overnight. With a great desire, though, parents may reach their goal, and parenting becomes an everlasting happiness, especially sweet when children grow up to be adults, and they teach theur children the way their parents taught them.

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