Thursday, July 2, 2009

Miss Guided Independence

A man asked a question on an online networking site:

“How do you train a 2 1/2 yr old independent little girl? Our daughter and g-daughter live with us. The little one is becoming VERY independent, we want to work with her effectively. No corporal punishment. Too early for timeouts. Redirection sometimes works, what else? Suggestions?”

I replied:

You train a dog. You raise a child. What a child needs is equitable parenting. And that’s not the same thing as parallel parenting. Well, because parallel and equitable aren’t the same things. In parallelism, one thing is always first or on top. Whether you read left to right or right to left or top to bottom, a child requires two parents who act as one yet maintain two separate consciences. Each parent must guard that his/her mate doesn’t go too far or become too extreme or act unjustly. Children have an innate sense of justice. Listen to a child. She’ll tell you when you’re wrong. A son’s extremes will describe his parent’s degrees.

Your granddaughter doesn’t live in a linear home. No matter how far you back up - there’s a horizontal pecking order. And now your daughter is on top. She dictates her degrees and your granddaughter and you must adhere to them. She decides how far is too far for her daughter. And she decides how far you must keep yourself from her daughter. And if she’s right - and really when is anyone consistently righteous - then your granddaughter is happy. And when she’s wrong - no one’s happy. And the problem is - no one has the right to tell your daughter when she’s wrong. Well, because no one is her equal in the home.

Do you really want your granddaughter to be raised to be independent? We have enough people populating the earth who live for themselves and live without the concern for the welfare of others.