It's tempting to limit
Joyce's words to parents, and they are very wise words
indeed. Over and over again, I deal with students
whose parents are far too strict, far too controlling and
domineering, and those poor kids end up desperately
seeking approval from any source they can give it.
And the parents wonder why their control slips away during
the teen years, when the kids are finally realizing,
"Hey, my parent is treating me completely
The types of relationships that develop from this type of
behavior on the part of authority figures is rarely
healthy. A person who isn't willing to say,
"Yes, you can figure out a new way to file these
papers," or "Yes, you can arrange these products
in the best way that you see fit" never allows
another person to grow and develop, for they're always
worried about mistakes. Well, here's some news:
mistakes will happen, and often the biggest mistake we
make is in trying to to control others in order to avoid
what we fear may be mistakes.
The kid who isn't allowed to do anything develops
responsibility later than others, develops the ability to
be independent slower than others, but what's worse is
that they develop their ability to contribute to the world
much more slowly than others. When we're not allowed
to use our gifts in our own ways, those gifts lie unused,
undeveloped, even unknown.
If we do allow others to express themselves and
experiment, then when we do need to say no for a very
important reason, it's very easy to do so. An
observer in my classrooms would see kids that are allowed
to do the work on their own terms, but when I need them to
do something in a certain way, they're more than willing
to do so, for that control is the exception rather than
the rule, and they know that I respect their
individuality, and they respect the importance of
something that would force me to deny it for a certain
The most effective units in the military are those who are
allowed to be themselves when they're not in wartime
situations or training, for they're more willing to follow
orders when it becomes necessary for the unit to function
as a unit.
Say "yes" sometimes. It's good for
Why are so many people afraid to allow kids or people who
work for them certain freedoms in what they do?
Think back on your own life and the people who have
influenced you. Upon whom do you look back more
fondly--those who ruled with an iron fist, or those who
allowed you to grow in your own ways?
When we don't allow others to do things in their own
special ways, are we really allowing them to grow and
develop their own knowledge?