Should Obedience Be The Goal?

lens shift Jun 24, 2022
Should Obedience Be The Goal?

What is the most fulfilling and joyful relationship you have in your life? What makes that relationship wonderful and fun? Is it based on obedience? One party blindly and consistently obeys the other party and that somehow leads to an amazing relationship?

Why do we place a child’s ENTIRE worth on how well they obey us??! Why is the “best child” the one who follows instructions?! 

Should parenthood be about how easy our lives are because our kids just do whatever we say? 

Or should parenthood be about fostering beautiful relationships with our kids so they know how to pass on that beauty to the world?! Don’t we know from all our own beautiful relationships that when we feel loved and accepted for who we are, we’re motivated to reach the skies? 

Why then, this obsession with obedience and control? When did these two things lead to something good?!!

Why do we think we need to train them for everything but just not for questioning authority when authority feels and sounds wrong? Who will they practice THAT skill with?

Why do we take their questioning us so personally? Why can’t we just call it “talking” instead of “talking back”? 

Shouldn’t parenting be about raising wonderful amazing human beings who DON’T think that obeying blindly is the only way to live? Who question what doesn’t make sense to them? Who are true and real to what THEY feel in their hearts? Who are authentic and honest in everything they do because they’re not interested in pleasing others and interested only in what feels right to them?

And how do kids know what is right? Because they’re on the fitrah.. because they’re pure-hearted and were created on goodness and love. Why don’t we want to nurture and honor that organic judgement they have? Why do we make them doubt themselves?

Why do feel like we always know better? I’ll argue that we don’t, in fact, know best. We’ve been in this world too long... our hearts have been broken, our souls have been betrayed, we’ve been through our own traumas and losses. We’re wounded and striving to heal. 

We’re NO ONE to think we know best. We operate so many times from our lived pain, from our ego, from our trauma, from our best-intentioned but controlling agendas. 

We’re more flawed than a child could ever be, and yet we insist on solely basing ALL the blame on them for everything?

How come when WE screw up, we have a thousand excuses, but when our kids screw up, we call them stubborn, hyper, stingy, over sensitive, aggressive, “bad” and so on?! 

Obedience and following instructions is NOT a child’s best trait. Or anyone’s really. Let’s stop judging kids based on just that ONE thing. 

I would even argue that being obedient is not a personality trait at all- it’s either beaten into someone with control or it comes from a place of genuine love. 

Let’s start trusting them more and seeking to understand them instead of viewing them with so much criticism and judgement. 

I know this is weird and different and not how the world thinks but the world doesn’t evolve and change without someone getting up and questioning the status quo. 

Let’s do that for all our kids.  Let’s be change makers. 

And you know a funny thing?

They DO “obey” and listen to us once we stop making those our goals and start treating them like people.

 You know why? Because all reasonable people listen to those they love and trust. And kids are the most reasonable human beings on earth.