Why we should consider rejecting the idea of parental superiority
Shout out to all of the black children who have survived and prospered despite not having been able to grow up with a voice in their house. We remember all too well the days of tip-toeing around our parents when we needed to ask them something and being told not to talk back when we questioned demands or restrictions that we didn’t understand. Our parents were quick to snap back at with the “I’m the parent and you’re the child” phrase in any given situation. They asserted their superiority whenever they needed to, and quite frankly it was detrimental.
In elementary school and high school, I witnessed close friends act out because of the harsh restrictions imposed upon them by their parents. Don’t get me wrong, discipline is often necessary to keep children on a “straight path.” However, it’s the way in which discipline is administered that can hinder parent-child relationships and cause children to rebel.
When you refuse to talk through a situation with your child based on the notion that you are the parent and therefore your child’s opinions don’t matter, your child will often not learn anything. The parent-child relationships of my friends whose parents treated them as human beings with choices, rationale, and decision-making processes were often much healthier than those of parents who solely asserted their dominance.
For some of us, with time, our relationships with our parents might have grown stronger. We’re now seen as equals in their eyes and trust them to value us. For others, you might be 25 and still afraid to bring the issues that you are facing to your mother or father. If this is you, ask yourself this question: Should it really have to be like this?
I came across a thread on Twitter that hit way too close to home for me, but it gave me an even greater perspective on this issue.
Although some of us may have been able to prosper, others may have fallen to the wayside because of the inherent damage caused by silencing children.
Our decision-making processes are hindered if we aren’t allowed the opportunity to ask questions and understand our parents’ rationale.
It just doesn’t feel right when you can’t trust that your parents will value your feelings or opinions. If you don’t have any siblings to run to, where can you go?
We would all better off if we were raised to be confident in our thoughts and opinions and allowed to express our curiosity in a healthy way.