Just as we all have different personalities, so do our children. Now both the children have positive common elements, however, one is bold and decisive and is not afraid to make known her mind while the other would listen attentively and follow through without questioning at times. This made me quite uncomfortable and I decided to introduce some change.
One day, we were discussing about school and we exchanged notes. At the end of our conversation, she agreed to my viewpoint and I told her that it’s not acceptable. So, my spouse and children looked at me strangely. I told my daughter that you should not be afraid to stand up to me. In fact, you should cross examine me and question my decision-making.
My spouse said, “This is so against all that we have tried to teach them.”
Even my daughter was stumped and asked, “Why?”
I told them, “The world is not getting any better and I would rather teach you how to stand up for yourself and hold your ground when you are right at an early age. You can test the water in a familiar environment. The other choice is to leave you in the midst of vultures. So, I would encourage you to think differently and ask why a certain task should be done only in a certain way. This will allow you to widen your horizon and teach you how to manage people both up and down the food chain.”
She started to understand the concept and I explained further that she wouldn’t have a solution for everything but it is important to think on her feet. She will learn with time and experience by having these discussions.
“So, please don’t worry and feel free to challenge me because I will truly appreciate that you are growing with a better perspective to life.”
After years of investing in this concept, we have seen a marked difference in her approach to dealing with people, as she is well equipped to challenge the status quo. She can debate and hold her line in the sand by having thoughtful conversations supported by facts.
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7 thoughts on “LFL # 31 => Challenging or Accepting the Status Quo”
I don’t have any daughters. I have 3 sons. If I did have a daughter, this is exactly what I would try to teach her – how to stand up for herself. It’s important for both boys and girls, but somehow, more difficult for many girls.
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I think the same way. From the time my children were younger, I tried to teach them to ask why, to disagree, and not just take no for an answer but to give me real reasons as to why I should be persuaded.
I did balance that with, at the end of the day their disadvantage in the relationship is that I’m the parent and sometimes.
Through that, I also taught them that just because they disagreed doesn’t mean my mind had to be changed or that the why answer (my reasons) had to please them.
My two younger ones are teens now and I still have to keep myself in check as to my reasons for doing things.
I refused to be the “because I said so,” or “because I’m your mother” parent. Some people like to be authoritative for the sake of authority. And I don’t believe that’s the wisest way to parent.
Oh my gosh, my comment is almost as long as your post. Ha ha ha
Excellent! I’m going in reverse with mine. He challenges everything so I’m trying to find the balance of where and when to draw the line.
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