09 June 2012


A parent commented to me the other day ....this is just a phase, eventually they are good and compliant and do as you ask. At the time I was so taken aback by this statement that I was lost for words, I wish I had a least said we each find our own path, but that is not mine.

Why do parents want their child to be compliant, do they fear a loss of control or of being taken advantage of. Do they think that their child will have no boundaries and therefore have no awareness of others.

A compliant child may seem to a parent as a good child, perhaps even a happy one, but they are not likely to respect you and may even be fearful of you. They are hoping to gain your approval and avoid you being angry with them, do as I tell you and I will think that you are being good.  Using gentle coercion to achieve compliance can leave a child feeling hurt and confused, they don't understand why they feel so bad when you are being so nice. If we impose our limits on our children without justification or explanation they will try to oppose them and resent you, if they feel helpless and powerless this can manifest itself as anger and aggression towards you.

When a child feels safe and secure they are able to be themselves. They will do things competently, not to please you but in order to succeed, achieve and learn. If you respect your child and follow their lead they will respect you. Their actions will be through love not fear, they will be wholly theirs. They will learn co-operation if you co-operate with them.

They will not be in control, you will be working together towards the same goals.  You will be happier and so will your children.  It is hard work, especially if you were raised as a compliant child yourself.  You will have to think hard before speaking.  How would you feel if you were spoken to as you speak to your child?

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