Respecting the Spirit of a Spirited Child

Letting my child choose learning activities meant the world for both of us.

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Every child didn’t come with a manual. It’s our job to figure our him or her out.

What soothed my spirited child the most was to allow him to learn at his own pace taking account of his interests. You might say that I’m in trouble as a parent. Later in life, when my child is forced to learn algebra, my child will rebel like a teenager. I won’t be able to tame this rebellious beast because my child does not even listen to me now.

I will argue that, perhaps you are right. Perhaps, I’m destined to be a failure of a mother to him by respecting his wishes when it comes to learning. But, I will take that chance.

In early childhood, we are blessed with the over sensitivities of our children who learn so very quickly. They absorb information readily from their environment. They learn without any teacher’s intervention.

When people intervene with that process, inevitably, things will go wrong.

If we don’t respect nature, if we don’t respect humanity, if we don’t respect our children’s natural rhythm, we will breed children who don’t respect anyone or anything either.

Our children are not robots who are designed to be “performance” machines.

As parents, we have unparalleled power regarding our children’s lives. Power has to be balanced with carefully thought out respectful parenting. Otherwise, power will just lead to dictatorship which then leads to rebellion from our children.

This is what follow the child look like.

You might say that I have it easy. I have just one child. How about if you had two to three children? How do you follow your child then?

But, most of the time, they chose to play together.

In every family, “follow the child” looks differently. But, the key is that parents take a moment to think about what “follow the child” should be for their children.

What about discipline and boundary setting?

I agree that it’s essential to discipline your children and set healthy boundaries. For a spirited child to listen, respect has to be built up somewhere.

Through experience, I’ve found that only by respecting my child can I receive respect back from my child. Relationship is about mutual giving.

I don’t know what the next ten years hold for our relationship. But, I will choose to respect him whenever I can while setting firm boundaries. As a parent, I won’t forget that I’m the one who upholds humanity and models humanity for him.

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Writer, Technologist: Tech|Future|Leadership (Forbes-AI, Behind the Code)

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