Parenting philosopher and author John Holt has said;
“Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult.
Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves,
and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”
We ourselves were taught that we could not be trusted when we were kids!
Then we pass that same lesson onto our kids…
What a crazy cycle!
And what an important one to break.
Let us learn to trust our children more.
We must trust them even MORE than we trust ourselves!
For our wisdom is all muddied up with life experience, loss, pain and fear;
theirs is pure and unfettered.
Take the Risk to Trust Deeply
To trust our children, to really trust them, requires quite a lot of risk.
We must risk that they will be right (meaning we’ll have to admit we’re wrong).
We must risk that they will be wrong and we’ll have to be there to support them.
We must risk that they will not obey us.
We must risk that our power and importance will be lessened
as their ability to listen to and trust their own wisdom grows.
In fact to trust our child is to REMOVE our power over them altogether.
This seems a horrific thing to most parents!
For if we don’t control them they will end up controlling us.
Profound Learning Requires Freedom
And yet, who can learn life’s profound lessons deeply
from someone who has power and control over us?
Why would you trust and listen to the wisdom of a person
who doesn’t trust you and causes you pain
To learn to love
To be deeply good
To have heartfelt empathy
To be wildly creative
To have real self-respect
To be critical of systems
and questioning of authority
To think freely and without constraint
To follow the heart
To apply reasoning and logic where appropriate
And to chase after our dreams and passions
even in the face of criticism!!!
These are lessons that can only be learned in freedom
for they are experiential in nature.
We are their guides, their examples
and in many ways they see themselves in how we see them.
So take the risk and trust your children
more than you think it’s reasonable to do so.
You’ll be wonderfully surprised at how things turn out!