Love and Fear. Oh, the power of FEAR! It controls our world. Or does it?? It TRIES to control our world. We use it all the time. But does it have the effect we want it to?
“You will go to jail if you steal that car.” That is a fear tactic. Does it work? Obviously not, because the jails are full of “thieves.” “Don’t drink and drive or we will take your license away from you.” Does this fear tactic work — no, because the alcoholics have a drinking problem, not a driving problem. The cycle continues.
The saddest scenarios of “fear” revolve around our children. What are we teaching them? What lessons are they learning? “Don’t do that again or you lose “Nintendo” rights for the week. The intent of FEAR. What is the child thinking? Be more sneaky next time and don’t get caught. Life’s not fair. Mom/Dad doesn’t care.
Life is about being the one with more power. “if you don’t eat your carrots, you don’t get any dessert.” FEAR, power, control. What does the child learn? That someone else knows how hungry they are and what their tastebuds like. That eating isn’t about hunger and energy, and that you have to eat everything on your plate even if you don’t want it. That when you get bigger you can control others. ..
We need to be careful of what we are teaching. If we want our society to believe they have control over their lives and we want the people to make good choices, then we need to be building this knowledge and skill in our children. We need to be giving them “choices within boundaries.”
We need to be teaching them that they have control over their lives. We need to be giving them the skills they need to make good decisions, to think through a problem, to know right from wrong, and to make choices from these beliefs rather than fear of the consequences.
“If you fight you will go to your room” says to a child that fighting is ok as long as you don’t get caught or you don’t mind taking the consequence. It doesn’t say that fighting is wrong and it doesn’t help them learn how to solve conflicts in ‘appropriate’ ways. What are we teaching our children? What are the messages they are hearing?
Submitted by Richard