Control: It’s In Our Nature.

21 Apr

Continuing from Tuesday’s closing question; Exactly why should we expect our children to tolerate being controlled?

If our bright and independent kids are convinced that we are attempting to ‘control’ them they will exert a considerable amount of their resources to convince us otherwise. Some of us can not be convinced easily and others are only convinced after some dramatic tragedy occurs as the result of their tireless efforts to prove us wrong. Picking up our kid from a jail the morning after the party might be the far end of the consequence but it is all too possible.

When this happens it is real. It hurts.

I have come to understand that ‘control’ is an illusion and that, in fact, it is a fabrication weaved deeply into our culture. We all firmly believe we are in control at some time in our lives and most of us believe we are in control of our kids most of the time (we are conditioned to believe this because our parents believed it and their parents and so on and so on. Somewhere along the way many thousands of years ago, we displaced care for control. They are distinctly different. One nourishes and the other restricts, respectively.

For most parents control is easier than caring, and control is more effective for quickly resolving issues. On the other hand, care requires a full compliment of other attributes such patience, respect, consideration, thoughtfulness, etc.

Although these attributes are abundant in most child and parent relationships, they are often pushed to the back of the line and reserved for later…after ‘control’ is established. The propensity to exert ‘control’ is difficult to resist. It requires intimidation and authority; both of which are natural and generally immediately at our disposal due to our unique position as a parent.

When we are parenting and using ‘control’ as the expressed force, we neglect all the other attributes because control by nature is dominate and leaves little room for anything else in the moment.

How have you managed caring and control in your relationships?  Stop by next week for the final thoughts on the misconceptions of ‘control.’


3 Responses to “Control: It’s In Our Nature.”

    • scotthanley April 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this post! I agree that teaching control is one of the most difficult tasks, especially when it’s an area that we as adults continue to struggle with daily.


  1. Overpowering Control Can Ruin Relationships « - April 26, 2011

    […] Last week we discussed how  control takes precedence over care in parent-child relationships. […]

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