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Who do we Want our Children to be?

Something I think people often become focussed on is teaching a child to do something “because I said so”.

I understand why parents fall into this trap, but if you step back from the situation, is this really what you want to teach your child?

Once your child has grown up, do you want them to blindly do as they’re told because someone ‘says so’? Or do you want them to assert themselves in a positive way?

Assuming you feel the latter is preferable, we need to reframe how we are teaching our young people to deal with situations that they may not be happy with.

I see my role as a parent to be about teaching these young people to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be, to be assertive yet respectful. In no way is this easy, particularly in a neurodiverse family. I have had to re-wire everything I thought I knew about parenting. I have had to learn a level of patience I didn’t know was possible (even when inside my emotions are bursting)

Do I want my child to think it’s ok yell at people when they feel a strong emotion?

Do I want my child to think it’s ok to hit people if they do something we don’t like?

Do I want my child to learn that it’s normal to shame people when they do something wrong, or different?

Every time we deal with a situation as a parent, as a role model, we are teaching our children how to be adults, we are teaching them how to treat other people and how they can be treated.

We all (not just children) need to understand that it’s ok to want to know a reason why a rule is in place. We need to teach our children to be able to ask questions in a respectful way, and that they can be involved in decision making. Our children need to learn to be able to say no to something that may upset them, or to compromise or make a plan to work towards.

Our job as a parent is not to train our children to be people pleasers for fear of repercussions. This is a dangerous trait in adulthood.

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