Originally Posted by Titus2WannaBe
I'm sorry for the confusion about the fencing; there was a study done with elementary school children on their playground. The fence had been removed (to be replaced with a new one) and while the fence was obsolete the children huddled in the center of the playground; they were afraid of the busy cars on the street, strangers, etc...and rightfully so! However, once the fence was rebuilt the children ran and played, in the yard of the playground as well as on the equiptment, in what they considered a safe environment because of the protective boundary provided by the fence.
In relation to children, boundaries provide freedom...contrary to popular thought. Much like you and I can sleep better (although not completely free from fear) at night because we know that our society has "boundaries" intact for those who would prefer your items of choice over their own. Not everyone stays in these boundaries and cause those of us who do to suffer the pain of their poor choices.
Children who are trained to remain in the boundaries set for them can "color" from a huge box of crayons (choices) on the palate of freedom. Children can be peaceful and delightful when we realize the following:
1. They are indeed children
2. Set realistic expectations for their ages ~ many times a mother's frustrations heighten when she sets the bar too high. Example ~ A mother forgets that a toddler may be excited to visit the street and resolves to hysterics when the wee one toddles over to see what there is to see. Reasonable expectations would tell her that a toddler has very little abstract reasoning skills and that she is the only one who has the passion of a mother to protect him from harm and in turn must train him.
3. We are indeed parents and not absolved from the responsibility of training and teaching their little hearts.
It is a rare occasion to meet humble, kind hearted children who are ready to serve and love others with a happy heart. Fortunately, my husband and I are honored to raise three people who live, laugh and love in our home. We make many mistakes, but with deligence, consistency and plenty of asking for forgiveness, we have found them to be a joy.
As I was with my daughter at a function recently, with over 100 other little preteen girls, I was amazed when she asked me to come and sit with her and her friends to eat pizza and talk. I hesitantly sat down and listened. What I heard was , "Where is your mom?", "Oh, I don't know...that's the best part of this whole thing...you can lose your mom.", "Yeah, no moms." replied the little girl who started the conversation. Turning to look at my daughter I saw that she was near to tears. She whispered, "Oh mommy, I WANT you here with me. Why don't they want their moms? You're my friend."
My only conclusion is that I have tried to develop relationship with this little woman twirling around my livingroom and to train her to love others (even her momma) ...and that more than likely many of these little girl's moms have chosen to let them focus on themselves and what a group of preteens thinks is "cool". I much prefer her to have relationship (and a few good friends) with me and seek me for advice than that of a group of prepubescent girls.
In closing, I can say from the heart that I have seen the sweetness that comes from children who are trained, with love, to be a blessing to those around them and not self-focused and absorbed with their own desires. Selfishness is a common thread in today's youth, and adults, and one that will break the hearts of the parents more so when the child is full grown. Lifting their little heads in childhood to see that we are better people when we are "trained" and "taught" to think of others above ourselves produces amazing little people who grow into amazing adults.
This will be my last post, as I am pretty sure that I've gotten off subject! And I still have the pleasure of children in my home and I can already tell that as a woman, I would much prefer to sit here and spout off my supposed "wisdom" only to waste the fleeting time that I enjoy spending with my children and husband. )
Good luck everyone!
Now I agree with you about selfishness being a common problem, but I'm not sure we can teach/train people not to be selfish. We have to model it and let it influence our daily lives.
And I agree that boundaries provide freedom, not for us but for other people. If I'm not misremembering it I think this is called positive freedom and negative freedom--positive freedom being the right to make our own choices and do what we want, and negative freedom being the right to be protected from violence and harm. And of course without negative freedom, positive freedom is meaningless.
Where I think I would disagree with you--and please correct me if I'm wrong--is that it seems like you're conflating arbitrary boundaries of authority with the boundaries relating to the natural order and other people's negative freedom. The reason I say that is because there would seem to be a sort of "because I said so" element to the training you're advocating, which is not based on any natural order. Which is why I support training of infants and toddlers but not older children capable of understanding rational thought and learning about the natural order on their own. Because as I understand it one of the purposes of early training is to improve the chances of living harmoniously and consentually later on. So there should be an end goal to all of this training, not just for the sake of doing so. Am I making any sense?
That is a beautiful story about sitting with your dd and the other girls.