Is it possible to raise a child who both questions and yet respects authority?
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01-12-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: Is it possible to raise a child who both questions and yet respects authority?
(30-11-2014 02:54 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  [size=small]The title kind of speaks for itself, but I am curious as to y'alls thoughts on this. Is it really possible to raise children who both question and yet respect authority? And if so, how?

Because, so often, even the act of a child simply questioning an authority figure is seen (by some adults) as being disrespectful, i.e. "Just do what I told you to do." But I should think that most of us here who are parents would encourage our children to question those in a position of authority over them, even us.

I think Anjele's advice is probably the best:

(30-11-2014 03:11 PM)Anjele Wrote:  It's important to teach respect for authority but not blind obedience. A child should be taught that if something feels wrong they should pose questions to an adult they trust - hopefully a parent.

Respect for a position - like a teacher or principal is different from respecting a person because they have earned that respect.

Blind obedience is what a lot of religions and adults with bad intentions count on.


The biggest thing I'd say to avoid is one of the things my parents did. They would ultimately tell me not to question them, although they'd also tell me that we could discuss things so long as I wasn't rude. I think the difference was mostly based on their mood and patience.

The problem: my dad was pretty good about recognizing me being logical from a very young age. If he explained things from the onset, I was much more likely to go with it. My step mom never figured that out, and by the time I was a teenager, I would question the shit out of most of what she said. To make matters worse, she was frequently inconsistent or illogical. Many other adults would later tell me that she was wrong in how she handled things.

You know that threat you sometimes see moms making ("Wait until your father comes home.")? I actually pulled that on her, once. She was being so unreasonable, I told her when Dad came home, I was going to talk to him about it. Straight up. I would be accurate, and present each side, and calmly say why I thought I was right. She explicitly forbid me from doing so, at which point, we both knew she was in the wrong. I told her I absolutely would.

Looking back on that, I did get pretty disrespectful to her as I got older, but I also see my dad figuring out how to do it correctly and my step mom not.
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01-12-2014, 09:19 AM
RE: Is it possible to raise a child who both questions and yet respects authority?
My parents let me question them, but it did not mean I go to do what ever I wanted. Often times I just got an explanation, not my way. My parents also worked on a long rope - sever consequences model. It was great since I had lots of freedom as long as I was responsible.

I am trying to work that with my kids, but the wife is extremely authoritian. She does not like to be questioned at all and she like to keep the kids under her thumb.
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07-12-2014, 08:57 PM
RE: Is it possible to raise a child who both questions and yet respects authority?
(01-12-2014 07:52 AM)wazzel Wrote:  
(30-11-2014 07:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I like it when she is disobedient it means she has understood rather than merely doing as she is told.

You will not like it so much when she is 15.

Ha, no kidding, parenting is a lot harder when they get old enough to think they have it all figured out. A LOT harder. Which is why, unlike other mammals, us males stick around to protect them from their inexperience for about 18 years, instead of moving on to impregnate the next young thing.
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07-12-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: Is it possible to raise a child who both questions and yet respects authority?
(07-12-2014 08:57 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  
(01-12-2014 07:52 AM)wazzel Wrote:  You will not like it so much when she is 15.

Ha, no kidding, parenting is a lot harder when they get old enough to think they have it all figured out. A LOT harder. Which is why, unlike other mammals, us males stick around to protect them from their inexperience for about 18 years, instead of moving on to impregnate the next young thing.
Yes will be an interesting experience the next 10 years. She is such a strong willed confident, fun loving and intelligent terraway right now.
Will be a challenge on my behalf to not try and interfere in her affairs.
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