Why does it sometimes hurt to think about Taking Children Seriously?

(See also: What do you have against coercion?)

“Trying to take my kids seriously is triggering me big time. I feel so great sometimes, but when I end up coercing, I feel a total failure. But I’m also having nightmares about being an irresponsible parent for failing to coerce! I can’t go back, but going forward I’m falling flat on my face so much I’m a mess! Why does it sometimes hurt to think about Taking Children Seriously?”

(See also: The paradigm shift)

First, I want to acknowledge your incredible efforts, your commitment and your courage. How incredibly lucky your children are, to have a parent who is reaching for the light of reason despite the difficulties you are experiencing.

Hugs! I get it. We parents can be so hobbled that sometimes it can hurt even to think about this stuff. When we reach for the light of reason from the pit of hell of coercion, we can feel full of hope, optimism and excitement about what is possible. But then it can feel as if a coercive, anti-progress, hobbling part of our mind is stabbing us through the heart even for raising our eyes towards the light of reason, let alone reaching for it.

That part of our mind is itself hobbled, suffering, lost. (I find it helpful to think of it as a part of our mind rather than us, our Self.) It doesn’t know any better. It doesn’t know that what it is doing is problematic. It thinks it is protecting us. It works so hard to protect us. It means so well. It doesn’t know that we would be better off without it.

So what on earth can we do about that part of our mind that so badly wants us to remain in the pit of coercive hell?

From the pit of coercion, it looks as if the answer is coercion – either to wall off or deaden the side of us that wants to be taking our beloved children seriously, or to fight and shame that anti-rational part out of existence, to stomp on it to obliterate it.

That just entrenches that part further. Just as all of us including our children tend to react badly to coercion and dig in to defend ourselves and fight, so does that part. Shaming and blaming and punishing hobble creativity and error correction. They widen and deepen the pit of hell of coercion from which we are trying to escape.

Try this instead.

See also:

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘Why does it sometimes hurt to think about Taking Children Seriously?’, https://takingchildrenseriously.com/why-does-it-hurt-to-think-about-taking-children-seriously/

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