Many people undervalue what they want to do compared to what they think other people want them to do. They think that they need to be obedient, without understanding or feeling good about why they have chosen to do so. Doing this to yourself is bad enough. But doing it to someone else, such as your child, is even worse, because now it is not just yourself and your own reason you are violating and harming, it is another person.
We may fear that a given problem requires coercion or self-sacrifice on our part, but if we nevertheless assume that our fear is mistaken and have fun coming up with possible solutions, often, that can-do attitude can make a difference.
We do not take people seriously because taking people seriously has this or that alleged effect, we take them seriously because it is right, and because not doing so tends to impede the growth of knowledge. It applies to all ages.
A 2001 take on taking children seriously.
Pretending that the road to improvement lies in receiving punishment, or in exposing one’s life to public scrutiny so that one won’t dare do the wrong thing is just horrible. A grave mistake. It really can’t help, and for the same reason doing that to children can’t help, only hinders their improvement.
Like many parents new to these ideas, Brooke was initially shocked by Taking Children Seriously, but two years in, much has changed. This is her story.
It is not just children: we take our other loved ones and everyone else seriously too.