Following Davis's arrest Mom called a family meeting to discuss the whirling mass of feelings that had been circling our family. She found a concept worthy of consideration in her I Ching practice that day and wanted to share it with us. She posited that rather than dwell on the bad, or even take precautions to protect ourselves from it, we should strive to live on a higher plane. When we place our attention on only the good things and trust the powers of the universe, it provides us with the safety we seek and the necessity in our actions pushing against danger becomes obsolete . While this isn't an entirely new concept present in our troupe's conversations, something about it struck a new chord with me, especially as it relates to the upbringing of my daughter.
Subsequent to this sunlit deliberation, Chloe divulged a disturbing bit of information that, unfortunately, I had come across before. She told me about a young couple she knew that deliberately abused their two year old in an effort to make him tough, to train him for the inevitable difficulties of life. This kind of reasoning not only leaves lasting emotional scars, but provokes exactly the opposite belief system as the aforementioned one. In teaching kids of the strife of the world and stifling their self esteem with what many people deem the facts of life, you set them up for failure. By burdening children, who begin their lives as ever trusting beings with dreams and desires aplenty, you take away their innocence and teach them not to strive for greatness because it will always be out of reach. Warn them of the pedophiles and murderers and thieves and watch them lose their ability to rely on anyone. Teach them the rules of the dog eat dog world, and watch them live into the eye for an eye mentality.
Or, you can listen to them, allow them to choose their wardrobe, language, and friends. Instead of warning them of the perils and pitfalls, let them develop their intuition and use it to decide for themselves. Keep their spirit alive in letting them throw their heads back and be there to catch them when they fall.
Though parenting is a tightrope of keeping your child safe or coddling them, letting them spread their wings and giving too much slack, I believe above all else that their ability to express themselves is the most important part of growing up. I have heard that a child that feels comfortable saying no to his parents is more likely to deny the pressures placed upon him by his peers. Though Tyler and Bronte can be defiant to say the least, they are also the most confident and gifted pair of children I have ever known. They are allowed to speak what is on their minds and are brilliant problem solvers often times outsmarting the adults. They are living proof that as a parent, it isn't our job to teach, preach, or instill our values on childrens' impressionable minds, rather to make our own minds more malleable and learn from them.