Am I empowering, or, am I demanding ‘too-much’ from my children?
It is the never-ending argument between me and my partner: I think I am empowering our children, and she says I am expecting too much. She claims that I am dictating the ‘family-life’ when I demand too much from the children, and I find that she is ‘too-easy’ on their behavior in the family.
Then – sometimes later, the whole family goes on a ‘roller-coaster’ of frustration and disappointments from all sides – through questions like: How come they do not understand? Why don’t they keep their agreements? Why is the house looking like after a ‘revolution-war’ and when will they grow-up?!
We want to empower our children, to be independent and free. But when they take actions, which we find that contradict our expectations – we ask them: ‘who allowed you to do so?’ ‘Why didn’t you ask permission?’ ‘Why didn’t you understand by yourself?’ No wonder that what our kids start to avoid us. And then, we start to ask ourselves – Why aren’t they sharing with us openly? There are several keys that are necessary to solve these complications:
- Family vision and agreed mutual platform of the family. Family vision will create a platform for all family-members, to identify themselves, and thus ‘will put all noses in the same direction’.
- Agreed boundaries of the freedom amongst the leaders of the family – in most cases – the parents. These boundaries are not set to limit the freedom, but to clarify the boundaries of the ‘play-field’ named – family.
- Coordination of diversity of solutions in specific events. This coordination will leave every parent in a functional effective zone, without necessity to be the copy of the other parent, and yet will create a platform of agreed differences.
- Simple and supportive ‘house-rules’. House rules are important for all members of the family to create mutual clarity for ‘family-unity’.
All these are quite simple to achieve – once there is clarity how the process is worked out. After being ready with all those – come the next step – launching these keys in a wise way into the reality of the family.
This is the second in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids. If you want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.