10.23.2011

To debate or not to debate...

When the kids were little we found ourselves saying often, "This is not open for debate. You need to learn to submit to our authority and obey with a glad heart. There are appropriate times for discussion about how you may want to do things, but this is not one of them," etc., and so on and so forth. I am guessing that every family has their own little sayings like these.

But there comes a time when you have to let your kids grow up a bit, do their own problem solving, learn by their failures (and see that the way you used to MAKE them do things really was the smart way!). And there has to come a time when they feel like they can converse back and forth with you and express their opinions about things without getting into trouble if they see things differently. Sometimes we can take those things as a personal attack, but it may not necessarily be the case.

I find this so important, probably because growing up, I never felt like my opinion was valuable. (I'm sure this was my own fault). But it's so hard to figure out as a parent how and when to allow the 'healthy debate.'. You know the old saying,"Give an inch and they'll want a mile?" Eventually, they'll get all the miles they want, but in the meantime, it takes all kind of wisdom and patience to know when to give the inches.

Well, there's always one child that this is harder with than another. One child who has such a hard time not saying everything they feel and biting that little tongue and obeying without discussing the details. One child who just has to have his/her say without feeling like they are going to die. But even with the child this is not naturally true of, as soon as they hit the teen years, there's some magic little switch that turns on, and all of a sudden, every little opinion is suddenly stated as fact, and they have become experts on every subject. If you have children, you know exactly what I mean!

So, it completely cracked me up today when my child said this to me... "Mom, I am SO excited about Model UN! I hear we get to debate,
and I love to debate at school! You know why? I'm really good at stating my opinions!".

Yes dear, I know this is true!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

do you need some prayer?....lol...I think I was that child!
karen carder

MommaMindy said...

No, I really don't know what you're talking about....teens with opinions? Kids that don't instantly obey? My six kids are perfect angels. I don't know what's going on in YOUR home but...........


....my nose is growing...