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|PARENTAL AUTHORITY— How To Establish And Maintain Parental Authority. by fanwosu(m): 5:54pm On Nov 13, 2018|
The first duty given to parents in the training of their child is the establishment of their authority over him—that is, the forming in him the habit of immediate, implicit, and unquestioning obedience to all their commands. And the first essential condition required for the performance of this duty is the fixing of the conviction in the parent's own mind that it is a duty.
Unfortunately, there are only few parents who do in any degree perform this duty, and a large proportion of them do not even have the idea that this is an obligation.
An Objection—“I wish my child to be governed by reason and reflection," says one parent. "I wish him to see the necessity and politeness of what I require of him, so that he may render a ready and willing compliance with my wishes, instead of being obliged blindly to submit to arbitrary and dictatorial power." She forgets that the sense of reason and reflection, and the power of appreciating "the necessity and politeness of things," and of bringing considerations of future, good and evil to subdue the urge for present pleasure, are qualities that appear late and are very slowly developed in the infantile mind; that no real reliance whatever can be placed upon them in the early years of life.
To aid in the development and cultivation of the thinking and reasoning powers of children is doubtless a very important part of a parent's duty, but to cultivate these senses is one thing, while to make appropriate decision is another. To explain the reasons of our commands is excellent, if it is done in the right time and manner. The wrong time is when the question of obedience is pending, and the wrong manner is when they are offered as inducements to obey. We may offer reasons for recommendations when we leave the child to judge, and to act either according to our recommendations or not, as his judgment shall dictate. But reasons should never be given as inducement to obey a command. The more completely the obedience to a command rests on the principle of simple submission to authority, the easier and better it will be both for parent and child.
MANNER OF EXERCISING AUTHORITY — The more gentle the manner and the more kind and courteous the tones in which the parent's wishes are expressed, the better, provided that the wishes however expressed are really the mandates of an authority which is to be yielded to at once without question or delay. A mom may say, "Mary, will you please leave your doll and take this book into the library?" or, "Johnny, in five minutes it will be time for you to go to bed; I will tell you when the time is out;" or, "James, look at the clock” to call his attention that it’s time for him to go to school. No matter how mild and gentle the parent's commands are given, provided that the children are trained to understand that they are to be obeyed at once, is acceptable.
A Second Objection — Another large class of mothers are deterred from making any efficient effort to establish their authority over their children for fear of making their children feel not loved. "I wish my child to love me," says a mother of this class. "That is the supreme and never-ceasing wish of my heart; and if I am continually exercising my authority over her, she will soon learn to consider me an obstacle to her happiness, and I shall become an object of dislike to her." There is some truth no doubt in the above statement, but it is not applicable in every case. There is no reason for a mother to continually exercise authority over her children when such authority is not necessary and for the benefit of both parties. For the love which children feel for parents, it depends greatly upon the degree in which the parents sympathizes and takes part with them in their plays, their enjoyments, their disappointments, and their sorrows. The love awakened by these means will not be endangered, but immensely strengthened and confirmed by the exercising of the parent's authority. Parents who do not govern their children are bringing them up not to love them, but to despise them.
EFFECT OF AUTHORITY If parents, besides being their children's playmate, their companion, friend, and being of good understanding with their childish faults and foolishness, they also gently but absolutely exercise their authority, the parents will rise to a very exalted position in their children's view.
On the other hand, if a mother is inconsiderate enough to attempt to win a place in her children's hearts by the sacrifice of her maternal authority, she will never succeed in securing a place there that is worth possessing. The children will all, girls and boys alike, see and understand her weakness, and they will soon learn to look down upon her, instead of looking up to her, as they ought. As they grow older, they will all become more and more unmanageable. The insubordination of the girls must generally be endured, but that of the boys will in time grow to be intolerable, and it will become necessary to send them away to school, or to adopt some other plan to relive the poor mother's heart of the insupportable burden she has to bear in finding herself being looked down and trampled upon by her own children.
In the earlier years of life, the feeling entertained by children for their mother in such a case is simply that of contempt. In later years however, when the boys have become young men, feelings of gratitude begin to come in, but only changes the contempt into pity. If a mother is willing to have her children regard her with contempt pure and simple while they are children and with pity when they are grown, she may try to secure their love without governing them. But if she sets her heart on being the object through life of their respectful love, she may indulge them as much as she pleases; but she must govern them.
When a child asks, "May I do this?" or, "May I do that?" the question for the mother to consider is not whether the thing proposed is a wise or a foolish thing to do but whether there is any harm or danger in it; and if not, she should give her cordial consent.
Let no mother fear that the measures necessary to establish for her the most absolute authority over her children will at all curtail her power to promote their happiness. The maintenance of the best possible authority over them will not in any way prevent the mother from yielding to harmless gratifications they may desire. She may pamper them in all their childish fancies and impulsive tendencies without at all weakening her authority over them. Without the authority, she can never develop in the hearts of her children the only kind of love that is worth possessing—love which the feeling of affection is dignified by the sentiment of respect.
Curled from the book “Successful Parenting Secrets”. Order your copy here: https://www.parentingbook.com.ng 5-day free delivery anywhere in Nigeria.
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