Unwanted criticism can cripple thinking, destroying the means of error correction and the growth of knowledge.
Coercion, including covert coercion imposed with a soft voice and loving words, is deeply disconnecting, and it certainly does not feel compassionate to the person on the sharp end. What seems to be called ‘Self-led parenting’ is a far cry from the deeply respectful, non-coercive spirit of the Self of IFS when they are talking about adults.
How do you yourself determine what to eat? It is the same with children. What we eat is determined by a number of things, including what we feel like eating, which may be affected by our ideas about health and other things.
If, to you, being a responsible parent requires coercing your children, unfortunately I think that very conviction may itself cause some of the very catastrophes you hope to avoid. Children no more react well to being coercively controlled than we do. Coercion has unintended consequences that most parents do not take into account.
What turns taking medicine from something neutral or mildly unpleasant that you are willing to do to help you get better, to something terrifying and traumatic that you would rather die than do, is not actually the horrible taste of the medicine, it is the lack of control, the fear of being forced, the violation of your bodily integrity—which is a violation of your mental integrity, your agency. Something can feel fine if it is voluntary, but extremely traumatic if it is involuntary.
If my child wanted to drive, I would find a way to teach her to drive safely and legally, such as on the private farmland of a friend.
The feeling that ‘how it’s always been’ is right and natural does not mean it is. Many barbaric, highly immoral things felt ‘natural’ and right for centuries before progress was made.
Paternalism is the idea that certain people or groups need to be controlled (in a benevolent fatherly way) for their own good.
Taking Children Seriously is a new VIEW of children—a non-paternalistic view: children do not actually need to be controlled for their own good. An Oxford Karl Popper Society talk.
A rule imposed on someone for the purpose of helping them to feel secure, is ludicrous. If I expressly don’t want something, yet it is imposed upon me anyway, how does that help me to feel secure? The opposite is the case.
None of the reasons why enforcing “clear borders” is good for coerced children carry over in any way to children who are in consensual relationships with their parents. On the contrary, enforcing fixed borders and bottom lines is irrational and coercive, and sabotages the very means by which such children remain happy.
So-called ‘natural consequences’ are a strategy for coercively controlling children while pretending not to be responsible for and intentionally imposing the coercion.
This author has some good criticisms of overt coercion but spends about 200 pages advocating more covert coercion. Not Taking Children Seriously.
Imagine if your husband denied you dinner because you had not yet completed the chores he had decided you must do before dinner…
There is a difference between sitting on a chair to relax, and enforced sitting on a chair. Or is being strapped in the electric chair also not a punishment?
Does financial supporting our children mean they must obey us? Is it right to expect quid pro quo for our support?
Showing the meaning of the word ‘coercion’ rather than explaining it. Show don’t tell, as it were.
This 1989 workshop advocated taking children seriously, not just ‘autonomous learning’.