I was a passive and obedient child. Looking back now of course I didn’t quite understand what they both meant, but that’s exactly what I was. I had very little choice in my life.
I wasn’t taught how to respond to people and people in authority. One of the biggest dilemmas for any parent is how they teach their children to respond. There’s an art to how we deal with authority, not all authority is the same, but if children come to learn blind obedience, they will simply come to obey authorities, whilst losing their own way in the process.
Since parents are the first adult figures children are in contact with, it’s up to us to teach them what they need to know. Since children also follow by example, we need to make sure they get the passive and obedient thing right. Obedient children, doesn’t always represent good parenting from us, but I can see why many parents think it does.
We tend to work on the assumption that if children don’t argue, that they do as they’re told, aren’t stubborn and learn what is best for them that in some way we’ve done our job. With parenting in full swing, parents are often confused between obedience and respect. Children are obedient through respect for their parents.
Unfortunately, respect through obedience, blocks basic intuitive instincts that need to be put into practice and often let children down. Obedient children are often weaker, not as confident and are more fearful. Parents whose children have these character traits may often have similar challenges with authority and are often manipulated by people who are manipulating.
When we come to recognise these traits, we can work to change them. The difficulty comes of course, when we fail to see these traits in ourselves and struggle to adapt in our lives.