When I say control. You say support.

Control: to exercise restraining or directing influence over

Whenever I discuss the concept of control, people bring me things expecting them to be exceptions.

Children benefit from us being present. Okay? If you mean presence, there shouldn’t be conflict with what I say about control.

Being available to discuss and debrief before, during and after is not the same as dictating prevention and cessation.

There is value for children in our help. Okay? If you mean help, there shouldn’t be conflict with what I say about control.

Being available to assist when asked is not the same as interjecting unprompted and unwelcome.

Children deserve our support. Okay? If you mean support, there shouldn’t be conflict with what I say about control.

Being available to process with a person the consequences and outcomes of their choices is not the same as arbitrarily manufacturing and inflicting them.

My child thrives with routine. Okay? If you mean routine, there shouldn’t be conflict with what I say about control.

A child organically developing a rhythmic nature to their actions is not the same as enforcing them to exist within an expected one.

None of these things necessitate control and none of these things are inherently protected from control.

You know how people call it spanking instead of hitting their child? They’re using words to help distance their reality. Because they know hitting is wrong, spanking supposedly makes it different though the action remains the same.

You know why people call it presence or help or support?

Because like hitting, control sounds really harsh and cruel and they know that they cannot argue it is justifiable (particularly not with me) under that word. They’re trying to make it different.

But words are not enough. A rose by any other name…

Control is a dynamic, an intention and can form part of any other motivation. What is the truth of yours?

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6 Comments

  1. Wow! I love this! On a daily basis I feel a hard tug between wanting to control a situation and wanting to just witness it and be available. I don’t want to raise my children the way I was raised, basically the exact opposite. This is one area that I definitely feel I struggle in. I’m​ learning a lot from your blog and I really appreciate what you write. Thank you.

  2. Loving your thoughts on this – reading through many posts! Besides my own kiddos, I work with many children with autism and follow a relationship-based approach, which goes against the behavior modification approach that gets highly touted. I just can’t see the long term benefits on our children’s spirits to be forcing behavioral changes. We miss the gift of walking alongside them that way.

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