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The idea that obedience is needed to live as an adult in a society with laws to me ignores that without either cooperation or force those laws are meaningless. Those laws only mean something with cooperation and/or force behind it - authority means nothing without those.

 

It seems to me that what you're calling "cooperation" is pretty close to what, in my tradition, would be called "obedience out of love" (which is the far more desirable type, vs. obedience out of fear).  So I think we're actually not that far apart on this.  :001_smile:

 

I'm very sorry you've suffered so much from abusive and insensitive people.   We certainly have a long way to go, as a society, in learning how to truly care for one another.  Going back to the etymology of "obedience" having to do with responding to someone's voice -- it can be extremely difficult to be the one who responds, when the one who speaks hasn't been "attending" to what's going on with us.  

 

For Christians, we believe that there is One who is always paying attention, so I guess this helps us greatly not to get soured on the whole concept.    :001_smile:

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I don't think a little obedience is terrible. Obviously, I don't want my kids to be mindless sheep, but I also don't want them to be the kind of guys who have to fight and argue with ever. Y. Thing. I want them to pick their battles and not have to be right all the time. I want them to be the kind of employees that a boss can give an assignment to and know that it will be done efficiently and thoroughly without a lot of finagling, fussing, questioning. I don't care how it gets done, as long as it is done well.

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One could turn this question around and ask how someone raised to believe obedience is a virtue stands up to unjust regimes.

Well, that's simple.  It's a virtue.  Not the only virtue.  :confused1:

 

I don't know how this is handled in other groups, but from their earliest catechism lessons, Catholic children are told to obey their parents and other authorities "in all things except sin."   As they get older, these lessons will be expanded.  We are well aware of how unjust certain regimes can be. 

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Partly agree. Yes, we are very blessed, no doubt about it. However, I think our home environment and interactions with them have also played a role.

See, this comes across as you providing a home environment that produced the results that you wanted. You have *NO* idea what other people's home environment is like. My ds is strong willed in the extreme. My extended family is all very close and full of people who have worked with kids their entire lives. None of them have a clue how to handle this kid. I was a teacher before I had kids. I loved kids, I was so good with them. I taught Sunday school and bible school and did church camp and all kinds of kid oriented things. I know (ha- I knew) how to work with kids. I worked in an inner city school. And all I ever wanted was to be a mom. I am not a mom who just lets my kids run wild. But that means daily battles. Daily. And yes, my kid is one who is perfectly behaved for other people. Whatever. I just need to stop.

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As a Christian parent I think I have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for my children with reasonable boundaries for their age and development. How will the application of that look in different homes with different kids?  Very different from one family to another and one child to another!   (I don't think this is somehow only the domain of Christians but my motivation comes from the Bible so I put it that way.)  But I am called to do that whether my kids respond well to my parenting and home environment or not.  I know parents who have been faithful in parenting but have had kids who have rejected it all.   I don't think that there is any cookie-cutter approach that guarantees "success".  I think that mainly my job is to love my kids.  

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It seems to me that what you're calling "cooperation" is pretty close to what, in my tradition, would be called "obedience out of love" (which is the far more desirable type, vs. obedience out of fear).  So I think we're actually not that far apart on this.  :001_smile:

 

I'm very sorry you've suffered so much from abusive and insensitive people.   We certainly have a long way to go, as a society, in learning how to truly care for one another.  Going back to the etymology of "obedience" having to do with responding to someone's voice -- it can be extremely difficult to be the one who responds, when the one who speaks hasn't been "attending" to what's going on with us.  

 

For Christians, we believe that there is One who is always paying attention, so I guess this helps us greatly not to get soured on the whole concept.    :001_smile:

 

Except 'obeying with love' still has a top down approach - sounds more like they cooperate with me which is not what I meant at all. I need to cooperate with my children about as much as they cooperate with me and I doubt anyone would say I am obeying them when I do so. I do not obey my son when I make room for him to stim loudly when I have auditory sensitivity. I am not obeying my daughter by letting her stim with my hair in the morning to ensure I am not touched out when she does so and she gets calm and confident for lessons. It would be silly to say that but so many see it differently when they do similar for me like when say my child gets me a drink. If I do not cooperate with them, if we do not cooperate together, then it isn't cooperation any more, it's force with a prettier label. Obeying with love sounds to me like force of authority with a prettier label and I think authority should be challenged, questioned, changing, and brought to account in it service it is meant to do -- not obeyed regardless of how one feels towards it. 

 

I do not want them to hearken to my voice simply because I am an authority figure they love, I want us all to cooperate together so we can find the balance and move towards what is good for all of us. I want us to recognize that we are all vulnerable and strongest when we work together - even mummy and daddy are vulnerable imperfect people that they can help and even as that I can help them. I want to listen to them just as much a they listen to me. I want them to tell me or my partner when I am telling and doing nonsense that isn't good to them. Whenever I've forced an issue with mine, I do not feel they are learning something that will help them be good members of society or adults, just that the big person getting upset stops everything else.  I do not think obedience is a foundation or good for society or relationships. Our society is built on relationships and the cooperation within them, without them laws cannot exist unless by force and I do not want them to think authority by force or obedience is a virtue to uphold. I cannot think of what good comes from listening and doing without questioning if not just to oneself about what we're doing.

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I've lately been noticing how my parenting style has shifted as my kids have gotten older. When they were younger (or when we've had young foster kids), I had a much more controlling parenting style. Not bullying, but always firm and consistent... focusing on how we behave in certain situations or how we follow directions. As they've gotten older, I'm learning that I can step back and let the kids make decisions and that I can let go of control and listen to reasonable arguments and negotiate some boundaries because they have in place already a healthy understanding of life and the ability to self-regulate. I'm really enjoying no longer being 100% in charge, but rather slowly shifting towards being a guide and an advisor to kids who have great common sense. I'm looking forward to continuing the gradual easing off of my authority as they enter adulthood.

 

I think being a parental authority is essential for raising the kinds of kids I want, but also knowing when to loosen the reins and step back is equally important.

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I've said this before here. I was not an obedient child. I wasn't a contrarian for the sake of being contrary, but I was going to do what I was going to do. I wasn't going to fuss about it either, I was just totally living my own life. I was not approval seeking. This had positive manifestations and negative manifestations. At one point, I left school in the middle of the day and did not go back to any school for nearly 2 years. On the whole I think it has been mostly positive. It was a big insulator from negative peer pressure for instance. It also meant I was willing to stand up for people who were unpopular or in need. Nor has it negatively impacted my ability to live a civil life in a civil society. I have no criminal record and have only been arrested a couple of times, both for non-violent civil disobedience connected to environmental action. Morality is not synonymous with obedience. I don't follow laws because I am afraid not to or because I obey an authority. I follow laws because I've believe in our civil society and try to be a a thoughtful, moral citizen.

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At our big meeting at the start of co-op one year, the husband of one of the leaders stood up and said, "The most important thing you can teach your children is to obey authority." I'm lucky the room was huge and full and everyone was staring at him. I have no idea what my face looked like at that moment, but as soon as we got out to the car an hour later I ranted to my husband listing off 20 things I thought were more important than teaching my children to obey authority, starting with teaching them to question authority.

 

We follow the rules at co-op (even the ones we disagree with), unlike many of the families, which is where such a hyperbolic statement came from. But I don't think I'll ever forget that.

 

Yes, I want my children to obey me. But much more than that, I want them to trust me to give them good advice and to guide them as they grapple with more and more adult situations in their teens. I want them to have good judgement, which they can only develop through making their own choices. Every child I know that had strict authoritarian parents kind of went off the rails at some point in their teens or early 20s, including myself. Parental authority for it's own sake isn't worth anything.

 

I have an almost 2 year old. She's challenging me a lot these days. But that's ok. That's normal. I communicate clearly, I respect her autonomy, I allow as much freedom as I can, and set firm boundaries as needed. But she's an easy kid so far. My oldest was so difficult. Each child is different and sometimes the cost of making a child obey is too high.

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I do not want them to hearken to my voice simply because I am an authority figure they love, I want us all to cooperate together so we can find the balance and move towards what is good for all of us.

 

We have some of both types of experience in our family.  It's not all one or the other.  I think this is very typical of families where obedience is valued.

 

Does it not essentially mean engaging in acts or refraining from engaging in acts because one is told to do so, rather than because one has thought the matter over and come to agree with the suggested course of action? 

 

Pretty much.  And is that not what we normally do as adults, when, say, we're dealing with officials at the airport?  Or touring a foreign country with a guide?  Or beginning to learn some complex skill that's unfamiliar to us?

 

Note that I said "normally."  Obviously if the person in charge asked us to do something that seemed obviously wrong on the surface, our "red alert" might go off.  And there may be some people who are so traumatized that they have trouble with any level of trust.  But in general, in these types of situations, we're not going to be consciously thinking through every single instruction ourselves. 

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I don't follow laws because I am afraid not to or because I obey an authority. I follow laws because I've believe in our civil society and try to be a a thoughtful, moral citizen.

So you choose to follow the laws, but you don't choose to obey the law?   I'm having trouble seeing this as anything but an arbitrary distinction.

 

At this point, I'm inclined to agree with the OP that a lot of people are presuming something negative in the word "obey." 

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So you choose to follow the laws, but you don't choose to obey the law? I'm having trouble seeing this as anything but an arbitrary distinction.

 

At this point, I'm inclined to agree with the OP that a lot of people are presuming something negative in the word "obey."

I don't think there's anything wrong with the word obey. But my motivation for being a law abiding citizen is not rooted in having learned to obey my parents or any one else (because I really didn't). All I am saying that being an obedient person in general is not required to be a law abiding person.
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I think Obedience/compliance expectations change with a child's age.  When mine were under 4 (before common sense starts to kick in) I expected compliance (yes, I hate the word obedience).  Don't touch the stove, it's hot.  Don't pick up the cat that way you'll strangle her. Do not run into the road.... you get the idea.  When they got to around 4-6-ish  I didn't have to say those things as much anymore.  Instead it became: I need you to sit down your disturbing the other people.  I need you to use your inside voice or go play outside, the baby's sleeping.  Now at over 10 it has turned into: Could you pick up your shoes, so I don't trip on them again.  Can you unload the dishwasher, I need to clean the kitchen. You really need to brush your hair.... or something (DS has really long curly hair).  I think it's important that the language we use changes so that when they comply they know we asked for it, because we respect them and it was freely given because they respect us.

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 No, I am not the type of mom that will judge kids misbehaving at the library or store,

 

Are you sure?  From what you are saying, you are appear to be judging parents by the brief moments you witness or gossip with friends about.

 

 from experiences I have witnessed (or close friends have also witnessed and we discuss it). What has happened to parental authority? I mean, there seems to be many kids now a days who run the show.

A child disobeys, therefore they run the show?

 

 Have been exposed to many situations in which such frame is not established, children are not taught limits.

A child disobeys, therefore the parents are failing to teach limits? 

 

Do you see the giant leaps in logic you are making?  Just because you witness (or hear gossip about) a child misbehaving, do not assume that you know the entire story.  

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It's so easy when your child is doing something right to be all self congratulatory and assume it must be because of something you yourself are doing right.

 

I should write a baby sleep book. Or I could realize that my kid just happens to be an awesome sleeper and I'm lucky for that. Hm... Maybe I should write a book. New parents are so sleep deprived those things fly off the shelves. ;)

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See, this comes across as you providing a home environment that produced the results that you wanted. You have *NO* idea what other people's home environment is like. My ds is strong willed in the extreme. My extended family is all very close and full of people who have worked with kids their entire lives. None of them have a clue how to handle this kid. I was a teacher before I had kids. I loved kids, I was so good with them. I taught Sunday school and bible school and did church camp and all kinds of kid oriented things. I know (ha- I knew) how to work with kids. I worked in an inner city school. And all I ever wanted was to be a mom. I am not a mom who just lets my kids run wild. But that means daily battles. Daily. And yes, my kid is one who is perfectly behaved for other people. Whatever. I just need to stop.

The best of luck with your extremely strong willed son, we have a female version. Hard to know if yours or mine is the most strong willed... but I sure know dh and I owe a few gray hairs to her, and she's only 9! Worried about the teenage years, but will cross the bridge when it comes
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It's so easy when your child is doing something right to be all self congratulatory and assume it must be because of something you yourself are doing right.

 

I should write a baby sleep book. Or I could realize that my kid just happens to be an awesome sleeper and I'm lucky for that. Hm... Maybe I should write a book. New parents are so sleep deprived those things fly off the shelves. ;)

Wasn't trying to be self congratulatory, was just trying to have a general parenting conversation? Folks around here talk about all sorts of stuff, some topics I care about and participate, some others are not my cup of tea. Parenting is a complex topic that really gets my attention, that's all.
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there are 4 main parenting styles and I fall right into the Authoritative Parenting style http://discipline.about.com/od/typesofdiscipline/a/Types-Of-Discipline-Strategies-And-Parenting-Styles.htm

It has been successful for my older children, and we are getting much feedback on how well adjusted they are as young adults.

 

I am also getting huge amount of negative feedback on the behaviour of the twins. Some of it is absolutely unbelievable, including strangers saying very cruel and cutting remarks to the twins and even loudly telling me what a useless parent I am and how awful the children are. If only those awful people realized I have two extremely traumatized children who have suffered more trauma than most adults would have suffered in their whole life. If only they realized how hard we ( my whole family, many therapists and the twins themselves) are working and how far we have come. if only they knew that these little guys have a reason for their behaviour. I am ashamed to say I chewed out an elderly lady on the train the other week who kept standing up and yelling cutting remarks to the twins and shouting at me to "keep those things quiet". the twins weren't even screaming, just playing and singing.

 

SO if you see a parent who has a child who is screaming, throwing a huge tantrum and self harming, give the mother a break. maybe she has a foster child. maybe the child has a reason for behaving the way it is.

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Everyone has very, very valid points. Some of my likes have been in agreement with the entire post, or just part of it. I do notice though, some interpretation of the word "obedience" as a negative thing. I feel that obedience is a wonderful trait for children to learn. Doesn't mean I want them to be crowd followers or anything like that. But I do feel children need to learn certain traits...many things they can figure out, others is our responsibility to model and enforce while they grow up and make their own decisions. I don't necessarily agree with the idea that all obedience is out of fear. Unfortunately sometimes it can be, and there are reasons behind it, but hopefully it is not the norm?

 

 

There is a growing trend among some popular homeschooling/parenting writers/speakers/bloggers that is pretty extreme on the fear.  It's damaging, and more prevalent that I would prefer to believe.

 

Obedience is a wonderful thing to learn.  It's just as important to learn when not to obey.  It's just as important to learn how to lead others with integrity, gaining trust through wisdom and trust-worthiness, before expecting anyone to follow. 

 

Obedience necessarily leaves the option to disobey on the table.  It's a choice.  When a parent demands "instant obedience" what they are actually doing is coercing, which ironically prohibits the child from actually choosing to obey.  

 

In my years working with children and youth, I've cannot really think of a single person who grew up in an "instant obedience" atmosphere and became a cooperative/strong adult.  I can think of a few families were viewed as radical, allowing their children to question them (The Shock!!!!), and those kids are in their 20's being all kinds of awesome.  They not only honor their parents, but they love their parents, and make them stinkin' proud.  Ask their mothers what the years between 10-14yo were like though...I know, b/c I've been pestering a few of them for advice with my own sweet cherubs. :svengo:  :smash:  :eek:

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 I am ashamed to say I chewed out an elderly lady on the train the other week who kept standing up and yelling cutting remarks to the twins and shouting at me to "keep those things quiet". the twins weren't even screaming, just playing and singing.

 

 

 

 

No shame!  You did the right thing.  Those kiddos need to hear you stand up for them.  :hurray:

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I do believe in some degree of obedience, especially in emergency situations. I'm much stricter than many parents around here. I just think that sometimes, being able to do what you're told and not objecting when there's no reason to object is a good thing. It simplifies things if you can pick your battles.

 

Unfortunately, my children don't agree with me. And my tools are limited. I can only take so much away, and cause so much discomfort, before it's considered child abuse. Not that I want to hurt them. But I have considered what sort of natural or logical or social consequences would fit the behavior, and a great deal of them would be illegal or at the very least might get me reported. You can't lock them in an unsafe room, for example--what if they need to use the bathroom?

 

But we have tried time-outs and I am very consistent in "if you can't be nice to people you can't be around people". It doesn't "work". The only result is not being around people for months on end, which just produces the result that they forget what normal life is like and that is no longer an incentive.

 

I have found that having my children around other firm, authoritative adults is the best help to us. Public school has been great because they share my general expectations. There are a lot of immigrants' kids who are very well-behaved because they live with extended family that help discipline them. It is great. I am very happy with our school.

 

The other day the cashier backed me up when I told my daughter, "Don't touch the gum packages. People touch it then touch their gum without washing their hands. If you touch it, that exposes them to your germs. Gross. Stop." And the cashier THANKED me and told my daughter to listen to me. It was a godsend. She was well-behaved the rest of the afternoon.

 

I think lack of social cohesion is a big problem and makes it hard for parents to assert even rational, kind authority over their children for the kids' safety.

 

 

One of them in particular has to break every family rule to see what will happen. I don't allow them to be this way. I cannot make them behave. I can teach them the behavior that we expect. 

 

Yep, that is my world. FTR, we are not Christians and I started out with very gentle discipline and moved into more authoritative traditional discipline (time-outs and lost privileges).

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I don't think there's anything wrong with the word obey. But my motivation for being a law abiding citizen is not rooted in having learned to obey my parents or any one else (because I really didn't). All I am saying that being an obedient person in general is not required to be a law abiding person.

Okay - I certainly didn't mean to imply that having been an obedient child was essential for becoming a law-abiding adult.   My response was to those who expressed or shared the view that they didn't want their children to be obedient, because they were "raising adults" -- an enthymeme with the unstated premise that adults shouldn't be obedient to an outside authority. 

 

The habit I was speaking of could potentially be developed at any time, not just in childhood.   To me, being "law-abiding" means the same thing as "having the habit of obeying the law."  (As mentioned above, of course this obedience isn't absolute.)  But I realize that some people see the two as somehow different.

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there are 4 main parenting styles and I fall right into the Authoritative Parenting style http://discipline.about.com/od/typesofdiscipline/a/Types-Of-Discipline-Strategies-And-Parenting-Styles.htm

It has been successful for my older children, and we are getting much feedback on how well adjusted they are as young adults.

 

I am also getting huge amount of negative feedback on the behaviour of the twins. Some of it is absolutely unbelievable, including strangers saying very cruel and cutting remarks to the twins and even loudly telling me what a useless parent I am and how awful the children are. If only those awful people realized I have two extremely traumatized children who have suffered more trauma than most adults would have suffered in their whole life. If only they realized how hard we ( my whole family, many therapists and the twins themselves) are working and how far we have come. if only they knew that these little guys have a reason for their behaviour. I am ashamed to say I chewed out an elderly lady on the train the other week who kept standing up and yelling cutting remarks to the twins and shouting at me to "keep those things quiet". the twins weren't even screaming, just playing and singing.

 

SO if you see a parent who has a child who is screaming, throwing a huge tantrum and self harming, give the mother a break. maybe she has a foster child. maybe the child has a reason for behaving the way it is.

Will pray for your twins and all of you. Whatever they have been through, so glad they have someone who loves them and cares for them.
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Are you sure? From what you are saying, you are appear to be judging parents by the brief moments you witness or gossip with friends about.

 

A child disobeys, therefore they run the show?

 

A child disobeys, therefore the parents are failing to teach limits?

 

Do you see the giant leaps in logic you are making? Just because you witness (or hear gossip about) a child misbehaving, do not assume that you know the entire story.

You are right, we might not always have the entire story. But sometimes we have been able to witness the situation through many years. And it's not gossip, parenting is a topic that I find very interesting, not only because of my kids and other children I am close to, but also because of my own childhood. And yes, have seen a lot of cases in which lack of boundaries is the problem. Is it always the problem? No. But in many cases, kids don't know how to behave and what is expected from them due to lack of boundaries and consistency. I am sure many, many factors play a role in the whole picture. Oh, and no, I am not quick to judge...if anything I am quick to smile and say a prayer for the parent/child in the situation.
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For those who "like" this interpretation -- do you not think the trait of obedience is a necessary foundation for living as an adult in a society with the rule of law?

 

Out of curiosity, do you always obey the speed limit?  If not, then you are also picking and choosing which laws you follow based upon what you consider reasonable.   ;)

 

This is the way I treat all laws.  If they are reasonable to me, I'll follow them.  If not, I'll ignore them.

 

I don't even need something to be a law.  I have no intent to use weed.  Right now it's illegal in my state, so technically I'm obeying the law (though not at all because it's a law).  If it becomes legal, I could use it if I wanted to.  I have no desire.

 

On the flip side, if I felt I needed it as a medication, I'd use it.  It wouldn't bother me at all that even medical weed is illegal at the moment in my state.  Why should it matter?

 

These are just a couple of examples, but it's the way I treat all laws and how I've brought my kids up with laws.

 

Quite honestly, most laws are pretty reasonable.  I don't plan to kill anyone unless in self-defense, but my "plans" certainly aren't there because of any law.  It's just the right thing to do.   :coolgleamA:

 

The part I don't understand -- and this is far from the first thread where it's come up -- is that some posters seem to implicitly accept the idea of obedience to civil authority, or to the authority of experts (however defined) in areas such as health and safety, but explicitly reject the idea of children being taught to obey their parents. 

 

Even if experts tell me something, I won't do it without good reasons and almost always that includes going home and googling pros and cons from other viewpoints.  Then I make up my own mind regarding the situation.  One can find experts have differing opinions.   ;)  I make my own opinion.  It may, or may not, agree with the first expert I heard.

 

I don't think a little obedience is terrible. Obviously, I don't want my kids to be mindless sheep, but I also don't want them to be the kind of guys who have to fight and argue with ever. Y. Thing. I want them to pick their battles and not have to be right all the time. I want them to be the kind of employees that a boss can give an assignment to and know that it will be done efficiently and thoroughly without a lot of finagling, fussing, questioning. I don't care how it gets done, as long as it is done well.

 

I may be one of the least obedient types on here, but I can guarantee you I'm loved at my job.  I get away with ignoring rules I disagree with and am still loved at my job.  I'm doing a full time bit now - outside my field of expertise to be honest - because "powers that be" at my job pretty literally begged me to do it.  And they're leaving me alone to get it done.  They know if they were to enforce rules I don't want to follow, I'll quit and they'll have to find someone else.

 

I seriously think part of the reason I can do jobs, esp outside my field of expertise, is because that same mindset that causes me to reject outright authority just because it's authority allows me to think outside the box when coming up with solutions that will work.

 

The other reason I'm "loved" at my place of employment?  I get along with pretty much all the kids (and adults - even admin) - even those who are traditionally behavior issues for other teachers.  Oh, and I get results.   ;)

 

So you choose to follow the laws, but you don't choose to obey the law?   I'm having trouble seeing this as anything but an arbitrary distinction.

 

At this point, I'm inclined to agree with the OP that a lot of people are presuming something negative in the word "obey." 

 

No, I choose to have my own code of conduct.  Laws are 100% irrelevant.  Who I am will not change if a law changes.  Laws are there because lawyers need jobs I think... but just because a group of people decide something should be a law doesn't mean I believe it.  On the flip side, just because a bunch of people decide something shouldn't be a law doesn't mean I should believe that either.

 

When I teach kids - my own or in general - I always teach reasons for things.  Those reasons never include human laws.  Why should you not dump oil or other chemical type things?  Well... I want to drink clean water, don't you?  Here's what oil in the water does... Laws?  Who cares?

 

The best of luck with your extremely strong willed son, we have a female version. Hard to know if yours or mine is the most strong willed... but I sure know dh and I owe a few gray hairs to her, and she's only 9! Worried about the teenage years, but will cross the bridge when it comes

 

If we had stopped at two kids we'd have been super smug as parents and wondered what in the world is wrong with the rest of you!   :lol:   Then God gave us our third ('cause we'd planned on two).  The third ended up being very much like me.   ;)

 

If one uses the same parenting style with compliant children as one uses with kids like me, they are playing with fire...  Hubby is an authoritarian and had no problems with our older two.  It took a lot of coaching to help him build a relationship with youngest.  He (hubby) had to really change and learn to both give reasons and let go of many things.  I'm proud of him that he listened to my advice and tried his best to use it.  He and youngest have a great relationship now and youngest has told us he has great memories of growing up.

 

Me OTOH?  Go back to the first page and see how much I interact with my dad.

 

In many cultures I'd have literally been stoned by about age 3.

 

Fortunately, I survived.  Kids like me who survive often become some of the best adults IMO.  (I might be a wee bit biased!)  Not all of us survive (and thrive).  It's sad.

 

The Bible tells us to "Train up a child in the way they should go." (Inclusive gender mine.)  It never tells us to train them up in the way we think they should go.  Our children are not mini-mes.  They are their own person with personality, etc.  We need to adjust to their style when we figure out what it is, not expect them to adjust to ours, then wonder why they are so rebellious in their teens, etc.

 

No rebellious teens here.  No rebellious college students either.  BUT, some of that is also luck IMO.  Hormones play a big factor.  For parenting aspects, I'm glad we taught ours to think and to form their own code of conduct - not adopt some impersonal legal one.

 

Those of you with compliant children - you have it easy - just beware that they aren't also compliant to some in the bad crowd.  That happens more often than it should.  It's worth it to teach them to think and give them reasons for their choices too.  What's difficult it teaching them to say no... they can know it all, and still do it - just because they'd let someone down if they didn't.

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Mind you, I may act in accordance with a law I disagree with if the consequences of breaking it are greater than the consequences of following it. I do take note of the law.

 

If I disagree with it, I just get better with being sneaky (or quiet) about it.

 

Consequences are meaningless to me.

 

Many things don't bother me in general though, and as I've aged I've decided it's not worth my energy to go against everything "just because" even if that's my nature.  

 

My personal code of conduct has evolved into a belief that unless I have problems with what's being asked, there's no reason not to make someone else's life easier by doing it the way they want it done.  This isn't usually a legal matter.  It can be something like "Form the line here."  My brain instantly questions, "Why?" esp if it's not obvious, but I can overrule that (now) by telling myself "What difference does it make?  Be nice to them.  If you were in charge you'd need to set a spot somewhere and would want others to go along with you."  It's a trick I teach "my type" of kids at school too.  

 

Once again - it's a reason.  Our brains NEED reasons.  I can't emphasize that enough.  "Just do it" really doesn't work for us unless it's me telling myself what I need to do.  

 

Oh, then we need processing time to ponder that reason and see if it makes sense to us.  This isn't an instant deal.  I'm well into middle age and it's not an instant deal.  It certainly won't be for kids!

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Once again - it's a reason.  Our brains NEED reasons.  I can't emphasize that enough.  "Just do it" really doesn't work for us unless it's me telling myself what I need to do.  

 

Oh, then we need processing time to ponder that reason and see if it makes sense to us.  This isn't an instant deal.  I'm well into middle age and it's not an instant deal.  It certainly won't be for kids!

 

 

Yes.

 

As parents, we have great influence over helping our kids develop their reasoning abilities, and giving them a moral plumb line.  "Instant obedience" steals away the opportunity to reason against a moral plumb line.  

 

Charlotte Mason's concepts of the Way of the Will and the Way of Reason flesh out how children respond to authority quite well.  Reasoning is good for 2 things: math and proving right something we already believe (moral plumb line).

 

 

 

I don't usually speed because I don't want to harm anyone on the road.  If I had a sick kid who needed to get to the ER, I'd speed like lightening.

 

I don't use marijuana, but if I had a sick kid who could be cured with cannabis oil I'd be growing it in the basement.

 

I don't murder, but if myself or my children were threatened I literally mean "over my dead body."

 

 

I could go on....

 

 

People and their health and safety come before everything.  It's not right to harm one person in order to help another, including myself.  Respect.  Be kind.  That is a solid basic plumb line.  

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Truly enjoyed reading all the responses. The one about children being abused made me sad, it's one of those situations that I have a hard time understanding. Believe it or not we are not authoritarian parents, we have rules in our home as anyone else, and yes, we work as a team. We have different age groups, from a 19yr old to an 11months old. We are far from perfect parents, and have had our fair share of sleepless nights bdealing with parenting issues. As kids grow older it just gets harder sometimes. No, I am not the type of mom that will judge kids misbehaving at the library or store, but I do say a prayer for the parents to have a good day. And I know I can never judge from one incident, wouldn't want anyone to think they know my kids for the one time they see them. Parenting is a tough role, wouldn't change it for anything, but for sure it's not easy. However, I do have to say I have witnessed some kids growing with no guidance, no parameters, and the results of that truly reflects on their behavior. What can I say? I guess I just worry too much? I think parenting now a days, in certain ways, is tougher than in the past. Just seeing what goes online and social media makes me shiver, and I can't help but wonder what's happening with parenting overall. Complex topic, that's all.

 

 

There is a big difference between not requiring *obedience* and ignoring your kids. I am not into punitive measures (for my kids), but I do model good behavior, pay attention to their moods, listen a lot, explain situations, hug and kiss, ask for suggestions, suggest solutions...I agree that if you have no guidance or parameters you might end up having a hard time with behavior, but this is different than requiring that your kids obey. 

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I'm not raising children, I'm raising future adults.  So obedience is not a trait I want in them.  Common sense, the ability to follow directions and the ability to defy authority when needed are only a few of the things I hope to create/instill in them.  I was raised the way you're describing and for me, the very naturally strong willed person, it didn't turn out well.  I don't plan on making the same mistakes my parents made.  

This. 

 

When my kids were very young, I wanted obedience. My oldest is a naturally compliant chid and I actually spent a good deal of time teaching him to rebel. Seriously, I wanted to make sure he would think for himself and not follow blindly. My dd is a natural rebel and complies when she feels she must or when she agrees. 

 

I think the reason kids are better behaved in public is the concept that has been repeatedly mentioned, home is safe. I want home to be safe. Also if being publicly compliant and doing what is necessary socially is demanding (and it is for many kids my oldest especially) then when they get home they need to let all that go.

 

I love who my young adults are. I loved who they were as kids too. My youngest was great in public and a struggle at home. My oldest was great at home and struggled in public. I wouldn't have cared at all what you thought of either of them at any point along the way. Judge less, extend more grace. The problem is yours not with the families you are observing.

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Am I the only adult who finds it really nice when people obey even when they can't see the full picture? Some people aren't even capable of understanding why. I am really sorry but if you have a hard time paying attention long enough to understand complex systems, that doesn't exempt you from filling in forms, standing in line, and doing other things that don't make sense unless you understand the complicated nature of the system.

 

Obedience does not preclude critical thought. Obedience is not blind obedience. It means that you give in to authority, usually to make things easier on yourself or others. Generally, I would not expect my kids to give in to authority blindly, but I would expect them to develop a relationship of trust with the authority. Are you trying to hurt me most of the time, or do your instructions generally make sense and lead to food, shelter, comfort and entertainment? Yes? Then I might not barrage you with critical questions when you ask me to turn off the goddamned light in the bathroom. Stop for pedestrians? Maybe I won't ask myself whether this is the most efficient traffic system. Maybe I'll just trust that the people running the show are not complete and total idiots and that this system has been designed by people like me, for me and not to oppress me just because I got a few parking tickets. On the other hand, if I see the police systematically harassing homeless people, I will stand up to them even if there is a consequence.

 

I was taught gently to be obedient and not to waste people's time, but instead to think of others. I have worked very hard for social change and even legal change, and I choose my battles.

 

I think there's confusion on this thread between obedience and blind obedience. I also think that people underestimate the role of obedience in most workplaces. I have to obey so. many. little. rules at work. So many. So many. Fill in a timesheet. Create this report. Don't use the "to everybody" e-mail without permission. I did NOT ask for a detailed rundown of the function of this process in the institution before obeying them, and if I had, I wouldn't have gotten hired.

 

Creekland, you are a wealthy middle-aged white woman. If you weren't always, you certainly are now. Can you imagine a young black man writing the same post? Or even a young Latina woman? Or a young person of any race, for that matter? When you were coming up in the world, there were few authorities above you, and young people ruled. You could get away with a lot of change and many people did.

 

When you say that you can get away with breaking rules, you have no idea how that grates. How it smacks of privilege.

 

When you're in charge, critical thinking behooves you. If you have to work to get there, you have to suck it up. There was recently a time of unprecedented youth coming up and maybe at that time you didn't have to kiss butt to get where you were. But in my experience, those days are over.

 

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No, I choose to have my own code of conduct. Laws are 100% irrelevant. Who I am will not change if a law changes. Laws are there because lawyers need jobs I think... but just because a group of people decide something should be a law doesn't mean I believe it. On the flip side, just because a bunch of people decide something shouldn't be a law doesn't mean I should believe that either.

 

When I teach kids - my own or in general - I always teach reasons for things. Those reasons never include human laws. Why should you not dump oil or other chemical type things? Well... I want to drink clean water, don't you? Here's what oil in the water does... Laws? Who cares?

 

.

I don't want to get into an argument here,but I'm just curious as to what would happen if our entire society just decided to live by their own "code of conduct" ? And those codes of conduct don't match each other's? It's pretty obvious in our society most people seem to have a lot of differing opinions about right and wrong. A lot of the basics we agree on -murder, r@pe, etc. But, let's say you have a pretty good reason for stealing from my grocery store. Your family is hungry, your husband lost his job, and it's not like you stole filet mignon, it was just a load of bread and a gallon of milk. And you promise to pay it back. Do I as a store owner have to accept that? Because you have a valid reason to break the law then I have to sustain injury?
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Children have the responsibility and obligation to become adults, not mind their parents.  They have the responsibility and obligation to do their best to be respectful of ALL people, yes.  But childhood is rather an apprenticeship.  They learn from observation, direct instruction, and making mistakes.  They also go through massive growth spurts and turn into little not nice people at points in their lives.

 

Case in point, we've spent the last 6 months with constant whining and complaining.  Took the 5yo to the library yesterday and the whining and tantrum started almost immediately because he didn't get what he wanted (then realized he didn't want what he was getting).  I'm sure everyone on the main level hated us during the 5 minutes we were there.  We came back 20 minutes later (with a perfectly calm, though sad child) and only the librarians were the same ones there.  So to everyone else, yeah, totally bad parenting to have created such a disrespectful tyrant.  To the lovely librarians, they got a chance to see how far he's come in the past 6 months and that my expectations of behavior haven't changed.  We're working on it.  I don't, and have not, ever given him what he wanted all the time.  If it coincided with other goals, sure. 

 

You don't always see everything, and don't always see the entire journey.  Learning behavior is like learning to read.  Don't knock a kid for still learning, or a teacher actively teaching.

I've always said that our kids are works in progress.  I had to work very hard on not taking their behavior personally or as a reflection of me or my parenting.  I wasn't always successful.  And I missed out on a lot of joy in being a parent, especially a parent of a "difficult" kid.  If I could go back and do it all over again, I would search for that joy instead of lament what was going wrong, instead of worrying about external judgement from the likes of OP.  Maybe my relationship with this kid would be better and he would trust me more (or at least as much as his mental illness would allow.)   

 

If you're asking "is it legal?," then you seem to be implicitly teaching obedience to civil authority.  I don't see how else to read this. 

 

It's interesting you'd mention that subject, because at one point, I spent a fair bit of time reading car seat boards, and what I saw was generally a combination of obedience to experts (car seat techs) and conformity to peers.  For instance, there was heavy pressure to go with extended harnessing, and it was Not The Done Thing to use a booster seat for a five year old, even though this recommendation was based on arbitrary principles ("every change is a step down in safety!") rather than on actual evidence.  It seemed to take years before the boards' "authority figures" changed their views on this issue to more closely match reality.   And even now, "harness = safer" is still being taught by many agencies. 

 

So it seems to me that even this sort of "educated decision-making" can often be largely a matter of obedience, of one kind or another. 

When most people ask "Is it legal?", they are not seeking to be obedient, but are using that to determine the consequences of a choice.  If the consequences are great, is it worth the effort?

 

I am a rule follower in general and get anxiety when I am not following the rules, I experience anxiety ...mostly due to some harsh parenting where punishment for "disobedience" was the rule rather than assessing what went wrong and determining if there was a better course for getting a better outcome.  But, as an adult who was faced with some very serious consequences due to obeying as a social convention rather than researching and coming up with my own conclusions, I changed my tune.  I have had to work hard to get past my natural tendency to do what I am told and look at the real reasons.  I changed from an OB to a midwife, had a home birth, breastfed far longer general society (and pediatricians) were comfortable with, chose a gentle parenting paradigm,  chose to homeschool, didn't use Saxon (Ok, this last one is in jest, but I started homeschooling back when this was THE option and doing something else was considered pretty radical.) 

 

I don't see educated decision-making as "obeying experts."  Experts disagree.  It is making an informed choice, which may often go against social conventions.  I don't wear a bike helmet because an expert told me to.  I wear one because I looked at the evidence for it, the risks of not wearing one including assessing the traffic risks and likelihood of an accident, the consequences of even a small accident, and decided that my brain was just too important to risk.  I didn't "obey" the carseat recommendations, I looked at the reason why they were created, looked at the evidence, and decided that following these recommendations was the prudent thing to do.  I guess I obey the laws of physics more than man-made laws :).   

 

As a Christian parent I think I have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for my children with reasonable boundaries for their age and development. How will the application of that look in different homes with different kids?  Very different from one family to another and one child to another!   (I don't think this is somehow only the domain of Christians but my motivation comes from the Bible so I put it that way.)  But I am called to do that whether my kids respond well to my parenting and home environment or not.  I know parents who have been faithful in parenting but have had kids who have rejected it all.   I don't think that there is any cookie-cutter approach that guarantees "success".  I think that mainly my job is to love my kids.  

:iagree: :hurray: :hurray:

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I don't see educated decision-making as "obeying experts."  Experts disagree.  It is making an informed choice, which may often go against social conventions.  I don't wear a bike helmet because an expert told me to.  I wear one because I looked at the evidence for it, the risks of not wearing one including assessing the traffic risks and likelihood of an accident, the consequences of even a small accident, and decided that my brain was just too important to risk.  I didn't "obey" the carseat recommendations, I looked at the reason why they were created, looked at the evidence, and decided that following these recommendations was the prudent thing to do.

There's true educated decision-making, and then there's the sort of thing that goes on via Internet boards, parenting classes, etc., where people are "educated" by the resident "experts" and basically just follow those instructions, instead of the instructions they were following before (from their grandma, or former doctor, or Dr. Spock, or whoever).  

 

My sense is that the latter group is larger, which is why I said it can often be largely a matter of obedience.  If this doesn't apply to you, then that's fine; it wasn't meant to.  :001_smile:

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OK, I messed up the quote thingy. Just wanted to say to Melissa in Australia that she shouldn't feel bad for giving the woman a piece of her mind. (Who talks to/about kids that way anyhow?)

 

(Note: The next bit is sarcasm.) Maybe someone should have mentioned to that woman's parents ('way back when) that they didn't do a very good job of teaching her to be polite or compassionate.

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Everyone acts better for someone outside of their comfort zone. You are yourself at home and we are all human. We make mistakes and do things wrong. We usually are on our best behavior around people we aren't comfortable with. Part of it is people we aren't comfortable with are judging us and we know that. At home hopefully your family loves and accepts you as you are with all your faults.

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I am reading more on this thread and I wanted to reply to the comments on obedience. As a Christian I teach my children we should be obedient to God and God's word which is more important than what society says is right. We talk about that a lot in reference to Hitler, Ghandi, Civil rights and things that would more likely affect them like friends doing drugs, lying etc. I want them to understand we have a standard and it isn't set by society or peers.

 

Eta: Part of the reason I love classical education is because I believe it teaches to think and reason about things. Just because a person tells you something is right doesn't make it ok. You need to really understand what they are telling you, what do you believe about right and wrong and how do you decide. I am not raising kids to be mindless drones (and my kids are not that type anyway) but to be people that can stand up for what they believe in and articulate and debate their position.

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Do I have the only kid who doesn't behave a whit better in public/for other people?

 

Just wondering.

 

No.  My youngest doesn't give a hoot.  He's not motivated by peer pressure or anything I can think of.  Which is why we resort to simply removing him, letting him get it out of his system, and re-laying the expectations for going back in. 

 

Eventually I hope he gets it.  But yeah, doesn't care in the least what others think.  He's exactly the same child either at home or out and about.  At least we've got consistency going for us! :P

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Am I the only adult who finds it really nice when people obey even when they can't see the full picture? 

 

...

 

Obedience does not preclude critical thought. Obedience is not blind obedience. It means that you give in to authority, usually to make things easier on yourself or others. Generally, I would not expect my kids to give in to authority blindly, but I would expect them to develop a relationship of trust with the authority. 

 

...

 

I was taught gently to be obedient and not to waste people's time, but instead to think of others. I have worked very hard for social change and even legal change, and I choose my battles.

 

I think there's confusion on this thread between obedience and blind obedience. I also think that people underestimate the role of obedience in most workplaces. I have to obey so. many. little. rules at work. So many. So many. Fill in a timesheet. Create this report. Don't use the "to everybody" e-mail without permission. I did NOT ask for a detailed rundown of the function of this process in the institution before obeying them, and if I had, I wouldn't have gotten hired.

 

...

 

Creekland, you are a wealthy middle-aged white woman. If you weren't always, you certainly are now. Can you imagine a young black man writing the same post? Or even a young Latina woman? Or a young person of any race, for that matter? When you were coming up in the world, there were few authorities above you, and young people ruled. You could get away with a lot of change and many people did.

 

When you say that you can get away with breaking rules, you have no idea how that grates. How it smacks of privilege.

 

When you're in charge, critical thinking behooves you. If you have to work to get there, you have to suck it up. There was recently a time of unprecedented youth coming up and maybe at that time you didn't have to kiss butt to get where you were. But in my experience, those days are over.

 

There's an ideal world where everything works the way it should, including our brains.  There would be no introverts/extroverts as we could all easily adapt to whatever situation we needed at the time.  But we live in the real world and we aren't all wired the same.  Introverts have a tough time playing extrovert and vice versa.  Some can be learned, but it's still not mentally the same as natural.  There are pros and cons associated with each type.  It's helpful to know what those are and play to one's strengths while (maybe) trying to shore up one's weaknesses if needed.  But it can be difficult for a person of one type to truly understand the other.

 

It's not much different between compliant and not to be honest.  I firmly believe it's a born trait we have, esp since my parents saw it from a super young age and many on here see the same with their kids.

 

We can either try to force change to have our kids fit a mold we think is right, or we can recognize pros and cons of each type and deal with what we have trying to do our best for a successful adult.

 

I share what I share to help others understand the mindset - not to convince naturally compliant folks that they are inferior or wrong.  

 

I work with all sorts of kids at school to try to help them reach their potential regardless of which type they are.  (I'm not alone in this.  Besides a few other teachers, we have an awesome guy who is worth his weight or more in gold due to his attempts at helping kids who need help in a way they can understand.)  Anyone can handle compliant kids - literally - anyone. This is why it's tough when they get bad authorities over them parent or otherwise.

 

But handling the non-compliant well takes far more effort and thought.  There isn't one right answer for every situation, but there are right common denominators.  I've tried to mention a few and show how the mindset works.  If that turns people off, so be it.  It might also help a parent understand their youngun better and help keep someone from sliding down the drain as that's what happens to many(most?) non-compliant kids of all races and genders.

 

I was fortunate.  I had a 7th grade guidance counselor who got through to me by showing me how/why education was important to me.  That totally switched my dedication to school and changed my life.

 

It did not, however, turn my non-compliant brain into a compliant one.  It just gave me the reason I needed to do well in school - and end up in a nice position post college.  Without it, I suspect I'd have just been another statistic.  It's quite possibly why I'm drawn to other non-compliant kids and work hard (as I can) to show them effective ways they can get along in life rather than just being like most people and berating them for who they are (which rarely, if ever, works).

 

I doubt my brain will ever be naturally compliant even when I know how it works and what the pros/cons are.  At times this definitely is a problem.  At other times it merely means far less stress for me as I don't give a hoot about a lot of things.  Pros and cons.  

 

 

I don't want to get into an argument here,but I'm just curious as to what would happen if our entire society just decided to live by their own "code of conduct" ? And those codes of conduct don't match each other's? It's pretty obvious in our society most people seem to have a lot of differing opinions about right and wrong. A lot of the basics we agree on -murder, r@pe, etc. But, let's say you have a pretty good reason for stealing from my grocery store. Your family is hungry, your husband lost his job, and it's not like you stole filet mignon, it was just a load of bread and a gallon of milk. And you promise to pay it back. Do I as a store owner have to accept that? Because you have a valid reason to break the law then I have to sustain injury?

 

As humans we don't agree with each other on many things anyway (religion, politics, diets, etc, etc, etc).  In general though, one person's freedom ends when it affects another's.  That ought to be the foundation of anyone's code of conduct and it makes reasonable sense...

 

For some, perhaps this needs to be written out as a law (or multiple laws) or it isn't really real.  For others of us, we can gauge right and wrong (or neither) by individual situations.  We don't need laws written down.

 

Do I have the only kid who doesn't behave a whit better in public/for other people?

 

Just wondering.

 

My parents would confirm that I wasn't better in public when I was young.  I almost failed first grade due to not getting along with others (and purposely getting some dumb, boring assignments wrong even though everyone knew I knew the material).  I was bored...

 

It got better with age - sort of - but it wasn't until I was able to reason more out (like the fact that other people have feelings too) that more progress was seen.  A good part of this didn't happen until into my teenage years.  Part happened earlier though too.  I knew how to succeed at school (who doesn't?), so just needed the motivation that mattered to me that the GC told me about in 7th grade.  (He mapped a route of escape for me. I just had to follow the map.  I chose to do so.  The rules didn't change.  My goal did.)

 

Now - from probably my 20s on... there's a reason most folks IRL like me - even if I skirt some rules and they know it.  I don't lie about it at all.  Ask and you'll get honest answers, but don't ask, don't tell.  ;)

 

The few (adults) I don't get along with?  The strict authoritarian types without a sense of humor.  I can name two.  Among kids I can have issues connecting to those on drugs.  Everyone else does too though.  Drugs seem to create a barrier that is tough or impossible to penetrate and that doesn't matter if the kid was born compliant or not.

 

Only my own little world as data points.  YMMV

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Even if you are around the family for years, unless you live with them you aren't privy to what happens day in and day out. 

 

Marco threw such a long tantrum tonight that he vomited. For 30 minutes he literally threw himself on to the hardwood floor (with me close by to catch him if his head starting going first), lurching out of my arms, and throwing himself at the office door; he was so hysterical and out of control that he had snot and tears running in a stream down his precious face. He couldn't calm himself. That's daily life with him these days. Even his therapists, though, who see him weekly, only have the ability to see him in such a state a couple times a week - they, however, realize that they only see part of the picture, no matter how "regularly" they see him. He doesn't generally work himself up so much that he becomes sick, but he did tonight. At the end of it, I had to forcibly undress him, undress myself (with DH's help because I was holding Marco) and get in a lavender scented bubble bath with Marco - because he was shaking so badly I didn't trust that he could sit in the badly needed, calming bath on his own (safely) - it took 20+ minutes of me sitting in that bubble bath with him, DH at the side of the tub playing music on his iphone for Marco and pretending to talk to Marco's toy elephant, for that precious boy to break a bit of smile and move from my arms. 

 

But even those who see him weekly aren't around often to be privy to THAT. They see my (and have told me as much) parenting and shake their heads at the lack of boundaries. I don't really care, if I'm frank - because if the alternative to giving in is him slamming his head into the floor, less is more in the "control arena". Lack of boundaries be da*ned - my kid's safety is more important that boundaries right now. Boundaries can wait until he is better able to control his obvious fragile emotions, has a better grasp on language skills (again, being addressed in therapies), and isn't so easily frustrated. 

 

But even those who see me weekly, and have for many years, rarely know that I'm in survival mode these days. They just see a bratty little boy and his coddling mother. The only ones who are SINCERELY privy to the "inside" are the (very) few who have been trusted to watch him occasionally.

You are right, we might not always have the entire story. But sometimes we have been able to witness the situation through many years. And it's not gossip, parenting is a topic that I find very interesting, not only because of my kids and other children I am close to, but also because of my own childhood. And yes, have seen a lot of cases in which lack of boundaries is the problem. Is it always the problem? No. But in many cases, kids don't know how to behave and what is expected from them due to lack of boundaries and consistency. I am sure many, many factors play a role in the whole picture. Oh, and no, I am not quick to judge...if anything I am quick to smile and say a prayer for the parent/child in the situation.

 

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Do I have the only kid who doesn't behave a whit better in public/for other people?

 

Just wondering.

My older son definitely has not always behaved well in public. We've had some doozies. That said, I think we tend to get more of the loudest, most angry moments at home. Sometimes it seems about the same public and private but looking back at the most acute moments, all but one were with family in private or semi private.
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As humans we don't agree with each other on many things anyway (religion, politics, diets, etc, etc, etc). In general though, one person's freedom ends when it affects another's. That ought to be the foundation of anyone's code of conduct and it makes reasonable sense...

 

For some, perhaps this needs to be written out as a law (or multiple laws) or it isn't really real. For others of us, we can gauge right and wrong (or neither) by individual situations. We don't need laws written

 

Are you talking about situational ethics? There's no real right or wrong, just whatever seems best for each situation? No governing moral code? Or perhaps a fluid moral code? Everyone does what seems right in their own eyes.
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Even if you are around the family for years, unless you live with them you aren't privy to what happens day in and day out.

 

Marco threw such a long tantrum tonight that he vomited. For 30 minutes he literally threw himself on to the hardwood floor (with me close by to catch him if his head starting going first), lurching out of my arms, and throwing himself at the office door; he was so hysterical and out of control that he had snot and tears running in a stream down his precious face. He couldn't calm himself. That's daily life with him these days. Even his therapists, though, who see him weekly, only have the ability to see him in such a state a couple times a week - they, however, realize that they only see part of the picture, no matter how "regularly" they see him. He doesn't generally work himself up so much that he becomes sick, but he did tonight. At the end of it, I had to forcibly undress him, undress myself (with DH's help because I was holding Marco) and get in a lavender scented bubble bath with Marco - because he was shaking so badly I didn't trust that he could sit in the badly needed, calming bath on his own (safely) - it took 20+ minutes of me sitting in that bubble bath with him, DH at the side of the tub playing music on his iphone for Marco and pretending to talk to Marco's toy elephant, for that precious boy to break a bit of smile and move from my arms.

 

But even those who see him weekly aren't around often to be privy to THAT. They see my (and have told me as much) parenting and shake their heads at the lack of boundaries. I don't really care, if I'm frank - because if the alternative to giving in is him slamming his head into the floor, less is more in the "control arena". Lack of boundaries be da*ned - my kid's safety is more important that boundaries right now. Boundaries can wait until he is better able to control his obvious fragile emotions, has a better grasp on language skills (again, being addressed in therapies), and isn't so easily frustrated.

 

But even those who see me weekly, and have for many years, rarely know that I'm in survival mode these days. They just see a bratty little boy and his coddling mother. The only ones who are SINCERELY privy to the "inside" are the (very) few who have been trusted to watch him occasionally.

It didn't seem right to "like" this. But I wanted to offer hugs and encouragement and understanding. I hope you are able to move out of survival mode soon.

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Are you talking about situational ethics? There's no real right or wrong, just whatever seems best for each situation? No governing moral code? Or perhaps a fluid moral code? Everyone does what seems right in their own eyes.

 

It might help to remember that this whole concept (compliant vs not) is a bell curve rather than an either/or, just like introversion/extroversion is.  We all make decisions based upon what we think is right rather than any particular legal law or directive from others.  I can't say I know anyone below old age who always follows the speed limit laws - and those in their older age (who I know) do it because they understand their ability driving, not because of the laws.  Everyone else has calculated what they feel they can get away with or how fast they feel it's appropriate to go in various areas.

 

From a Christian perspective, even Jesus said there are really two laws:

 

Love God

Love Your Neighbor

 

By doing these one covers all the others.

 

And the same God who said we shouldn't lie praised Rahab for doing just that.

 

Many things people do for legalistic reasons certainly don't fall in that "love your neighbor" realm.  Legal is not equal to right all the time.

 

Yes.  Situational ethics.  It's better than letter of the law IME.

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But even those who see him weekly aren't around often to be privy to THAT. They see my (and have told me as much) parenting and shake their heads at the lack of boundaries. I don't really care, if I'm frank - because if the alternative to giving in is him slamming his head into the floor, less is more in the "control arena". Lack of boundaries be da*ned - my kid's safety is more important that boundaries right now. Boundaries can wait until he is better able to control his obvious fragile emotions, has a better grasp on language skills (again, being addressed in therapies), and isn't so easily frustrated. 

 

But even those who see me weekly, and have for many years, rarely know that I'm in survival mode these days. They just see a bratty little boy and his coddling mother. The only ones who are SINCERELY privy to the "inside" are the (very) few who have been trusted to watch him occasionally.

 

 

I hear you. I used to have to fight back tears when people near and dear (but not privy to the day-to-day) would admonish me to "Just tell him 'No!' You're the mother." As though that would magically fix what was wrong. They had (and have). No. Clue.

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It might help to remember that this whole concept (compliant vs not) is a bell curve rather than an either/or, just like introversion/extroversion is. We all make decisions based upon what we think is right rather than any particular legal law or directive from others. I can't say I know anyone below old age who always follows the speed limit laws - and those in their older age (who I know) do it because they understand their ability driving, not because of the laws. Everyone else has calculated what they feel they can get away with or how fast they feel it's appropriate to go in various areas.

.

Except that you will still get a ticket for driving past the speed limit in a school zone if there are children present. The officer won't care how careful you were being or how capable a driver you are. You're breaking the law and you'll get a ticket.
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