Do you think we are a culture so afraid of Being that we create rules for every single eventuality? I have a lot to say about this…so let me set the stage.
I’ve been frustrated navigating my 5 year old daughter’s new life as an elementary school student. Uniforms, homework, handbooks, fundraising, schedules, policies and Rules with a capital R. I’ve spent the first 5 years of her life creating structure with very few rules. My family, even my husband is kinda relieved that F will have more structure – she’s a handful. But she’s also incredibly kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and people say that they are amazed by our deep connection. Since school began several of us kindergarten moms have been rolling in the drama of rigidity, color charts and discipline systems and how they are affecting our children. We are not amused. Of course, ‘cause my mind seems to ponder and philosophize around the clock I’ve been thinking into whether these seemingly outlandish rules are harmful to my daughter or just irritating to her free-bird mother. I don’t have an answer. My daughter loves her teacher, seems happy to go to school and is willing to follow the rules just fine. So what’s a mom to do? My values are different from the school’s and probably most of mainstream society. I value creativity versus coloring in the lines. I value flow versus structure. I’m willing to have a messy house if it means putting the humans and critters that live in it first. But even deeper – as an energy worker, I continually see clients who are trying to overcome their childhoods! I spent 30+ years trying to undo mine. I am determined to do whatever I am able to not tie the same knots of shame and fear and insecurity that most of us are tangled in. So what does that mean as a parent, as a child? I’m still not completely sure. I let me daughter’s opinions be heard and honored. I explain why as much as I can rather than just say no. I work to create intrinsic reward rather that give her a cookie when she does xyz. I apologize to her when I yell or hurt her feelings. I allow her as much freedom to choose as I can. Sometimes it feels like the whole thing backfires and I’ve created a monster. She can be demanding, wild, and have expectations that we should cater to her every whim. (I kinda think that the highly disciplined kids can act that way as well…um, I’m jus sayin’) My brother says that kids today (the post college kids who interview for jobs at his company) act self-important and expect high pay, good schedules and are shocked when they have to work their way up like the rest of the company. Kids are entitled. Isn’t that a good thing to feel like you deserve goodness in the world? Might the thing we need to teach is how to deal with those who resent entitled people?
Entitlement – noun
The fact of having a right to something. The amount to which a person has a right.
The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Really? Really! NO REALLY!?! If we look beyond the fact that few of us in this society are so fully embodied that we actually believe we deserve good in our lives – HOW CAN A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT BE THAT BAD? When did we make “the right to have something” bad???
Call me crazy but I actually WANT my daughter to feel entitled to the good things of life! How about you? How about letting go of the fear of losing control and bring on the “inherent deserving of privileges and special treatment?!” It has nothing to do with becoming a mean, self-centered person. And of course it doesn’t mean trashing hotel rooms and the expectation that if I commit a crime I won’t receive some kind of punishment. How about just a little belief in myself. A belief that I deserve good things in life.
This brings me back to my first statement. Do you think we are a culture so afraid of Being that we create rules for every single eventuality?
I still have a lot to say about that…so I’m leaving it to my next post.
For now, who’s afraid of the big bad entitlement?