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Don't Raise an Obedient Child

Obedient children are easy to parent. Raising obedient children is also highly prized in many cultures. I know how hard it is to go against both these arguments by asking parents to not raise obedient children. I understand that just merely asking is already too difficult for some to accept.

But, it is important. Important enough to shake some core values.

Obedient children are easy prey

Who would a bully rather go after? Most likely an obedient child who would do as told and wouldn't have the tools to fight back.

It is unfortunate, but obedient children are not only obedient at home or with their parents. They are obedient wherever they go. If they can't find a parent to follow, they will look for a parent figure or a strong personality to follow.

Since they were conditioned to follow directions regardless how they feel about the decision, they will continue to do so with the next person they can trust.

Obedient children are easier to trick, bully, and backstab.

Obedient children feel lost without guidance

If they are raised to follow orders, then they will be following orders. But what if you take the orders away? Would they be able to find their own path and make their own decisions? Probably not.

They are used to taking orders. Instead of finding their own path, they would rather find someone else to give them orders.

Obedient children would rather follow a leader than do the right thing.

Obedient children fall into more serious traps as teens

Teens are rebellious to begin with.

Add to that years of bottled-up opinions and likely sneaky behavior. Yes, obedient children - like all other children - have their own opinions and may disagree with decisions or orders even as they follow them.

This internal struggle finds a great outlet during teen years and it often follows one of two directions.

Either they lose confidence in their own decisions, which will lead them to following stronger personalities whether or not these stronger personalities are a good influence.

Or, they will embrace a rebelious outlet that is easy to push over the edge at a party or a game of dare.

Unfortunately, both paths end up badly and neither leads to parents for help until things get out of control.

Obedient children don't go too far

Managers look for leaders, not followers. I have yet to meet a manager who enjoys working with, let alone ready to promote obedient employees who are constantly waiting for directions.

Such employees are quickly thought of as "high maintenance" and lose many opportunities for growth in their career.

Surprised? If you need help from someone, would you look for the obedient employee or the one who can think of original solutions and get things done?

Even in an emergency, obedient children struggle

Of course, there are times when there is no room (or time) for negotiation, like in an emergency.

Even then, obedient children will perform worse than other children who are more confident in their skills. Obedient children will do as they are told, but until then they wouldn't know what to do. Other children in an emergency are more likely to sense this danger and start acting sooner.

Revisiting the purpose of parenting

Now is a good time to revisit the core purpose of parenting. Are we parenting with the goal of making our job as easy as possible? Or are we parenting with the goal of giving our children the best chances for success?

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