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5.20 screamfree children
May 19, 2016

Your Home is a Think Tank

The more I encourage a child to think for himself, the more he will care what I think.”

I am a bit surprised when I hear parents say they aren’t interested in teaching their children to think for themselves. Their line of thinking goes something like this: “Children can’t be trusted to make good choices, so I can’t give them the option of choice. I have to tell them what to do so that I can make sure that they do the right things.”

These parents love their children and want what is best for them, but they usually end up in my office with a very rebellious (or apathetic) child and they don’t know why. I typically ask these parents one question…

“Until when?”

When will you stop telling your child what to do? When they turn 18? 21? 35? When can they be trusted to make “the right” decisions according to you?

Here’s the irony. The more you tell your kids how to live, the less they listen to whatever true wisdom you do have to offer. I know it’s a fine line, but teaching your child about life is not the same thing as telling them how to live. If you can be on the right side of that line more often than not, you’ll find that instead of ignoring or combating the parent they resent, your kids will be seeking and finding the parent they need.

Peace begins with pause,

screamfree hal runkel


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