Let me start by saying this is not a safe zone. I think the suggestion that people need a safe public place to stay where nobody can say or do anything that would make them uncomfortable is the easiest way to weaken children. That being said this is also a no an insult zone. I don’t intend to recommend pain or resistance as a way to create strength. This is a character zone. I’m going to give you one simple concept to implement so that you can make your children stronger. The goal is to raise a child who neither is angered by or affected by individuals who chastise.
Philosophy over Technique
To help raise children who are free thinkers will require that you instill philosophy deeply into their minds not techniques. An example of philosophy is “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” This does not tell the individual exactly what to say or do, instead it provides a law to check yourself against. An example of a technique would be if someone, hits you hit them back. This is an action to take based on a situation. Techniques can be useful but in this case are very limited. I’m going to propose s philosophy instead of techniques.
There are only three ways to beat an Idea.
Two of these methods work, but I don’t recommend using them. I’m against their use because their effect is limited and even when the effect is achieved it is often only a short-term solution. These first two are force and guilt.
If the individual has more physical strength or political leverage force is an easy way to shut down an adversary. This is why many people seek titles, learn new skills or acquire resources. They know with leverage on their side they can set the rules and control others with force. Bullies use force. So do some government officials, some parents, some bosses, some religious leaders and even some of your own family members.
I’m against the use of force to beat an idea for several reasons. First, it often doesn’t work. Second, it requires you have more power than everyone else. Third, it doesn’t’ feel good to use force. Anyone who uses force is scared. They are afraid they won’t get their way or that a problem will occur that is outside of their ability to solve. They are so afraid they don’t think through the issue at hand. I hate feeling fear, in fact I hate feeling any negative emotion so if I’m forced to use force its only because I haven’t controlled my emotions and let fear get out of hand.
The second way to beat an idea is to use guilt. This approach is unique because it doesn’t try to solve a problem with strength. The person who uses guilt knows they lack the leverage needed to apply force. So, instead they cower and say “I can’t do it, I require special treatment because I’m weak.” This passive aggressive approach requires the oppressors to feel bad. If they don’t feel bad this approach is a failure as well.
Those who use guilt stay weak. “I can’t lift the weight; will you do it for me?” Lift the weight and rob me of the strength I would have gained. Doing for others keeps them weak and makes it so they will continue to require your assistance. This will make them either your slave or your master.
Could you keep this concept in mind the next time your child complains that life is not fair? Will you refer to this the next time your child compares himself to others with envy? Will you remind them of their strength instead of promoting their inability to do quality work?
The Third Way a Better Idea
When you have to face an idea that is oppressive you must learn to think through the problem. You need to adopt an idea that has more value (or leverage) so that your idea is accepted. The challenge here is that it requires more work, the value is by doing this you create long-term solutions to problems. You recruit strong allies instead of following sheep. You build loyal friendships instead of committed enemies.
This month our school is offering training to help children develop the concept of thinking for themselves. We have four audio lessons for children and for parents that are accompanied by four worksheets to help children develop the skill of developing a better idea. This is our gift to you.