Recently, at a kid’s birthday party, along with health and good grades all the grown-ups were wishing him obedience.

What does obedience in a child mean for us? Usually, it means that he listens to his mother, father, older brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. Parents like obedient children, because they’re easier to handle. You only have to ask an obedient child once to do something, and he will. But to a disobedient child, you must repeat, over and over, what he has to do, and sometimes you even have to come up with creative methods to get him to do it, to waste time and energy and end up compromising with the child.

Most parents assume they know what’s best for their child, and that this gives them the moral right to always tell them what to say, what to do and how to do it. And they’re glad when the child is obedient and always does what mom and dad say. When you need to get something done fast, who has time to think about the future, about what happens in the long run to an obedient child?

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There are two possible scenarios here. The strong willed child, who is forced to always obey and is punished severely when he doesn’t, will strongly rebel when he reaches his teenage years and he will try to break the rules without caring about consequences. And then there is the regular child, who has been taught to obey. Years later, he’s all grown up, has finished school and graduated from college. It’s time he started his own family. Mothers of daughters will helplessly watch their child as they are abused and manipulated, without having the strength to stand up to an authoritarian husband. Mothers of sons will be equally hurt watching their sons’ wives playing them around.

In their adult years, who will ever remember that this is exactly how these kids were brought up: to be obedient, because this is what a child should be. Of course, mothers wish that their son or daughter would only listen to them and to the other members of the family. But a child’s mind can’t distinguish between the seven people he must listen to and the rest of the world, especially since, as he grows up, more and more people need to be obeyed: teachers, bosses.

These kids end up working jobs they hate, on small wages because they don’t have the courage to ask for a raise, hating themselves for not living the life they want, because they never allowed themselves to dream. And all that because they obeyed. And they keep obeying, submissive, frustrated, and sometimes hateful

Since we brought up this sensitive issue, we will follow up this article with solutions to this problem, tips on how to raise children ready to really face life on their own two feet.

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