Often—though not always, age is just a number
The truth is that our young offspring and pupils are not ‘future people’ or ‘humans to be,’ but rather already all-human, priceless, worthy of respect.
Yes, some things are especially unfit for younger people’s less-mature brains. Driving a car, having sex with an adult, drinking alcohol. But don’t generalize that to everything they want and could use doing and knowing.
But, children are so tiny and weak still. Clearly underdeveloped humans.
Ever tried to get something from baby hands when s/he didn’t want to let go of it? Or heard babies crying a block away before they were intimidated?
My house, my dog, and my child? Is that why s/he should do and succeed in the things you didn’t get to?
When people asked: “Is that your child?” I always answered: “No, but I’m the father.” They are our responsibility, not possessions. If I never got what I truly wanted, the best follow-up is them getting what they truly want.
So, you didn’t get enough empathy, respect, patience, closeness, care from the people who raised you? So, how can this be expected of you?
All these things can be learned. Practice until they become second (rather: first) nature. Not your children but you will be the first beneficiary of that.
Most women feel degradation when they are called cute. So, why do we dare to minimize young people and call them cute?
We can still appreciate them out loud without patronizing them as cute.
We go to jail if we go around beating people up. So, why do many grownups defend hitting (and punishing) young people?
Instead of confusing them by being critical and violent, why not ask them why they did something we disagree with? If still needed after that, we can explain why we don’t think so. Living with our pain-laden selves is hard enough. And, try to catch your children/students doing something right.
We are impossible if we’d go around commandeering everyone around us. Even good bosses and G^d ask questions and allow for feedback. So, why do so many think that bossing around our children and students is OK?
We don’t need them obedient. They’re so ready to collaborate. But, they may have different ideas from us so, we must listen to fulfill our part of the deal and unite with them. (Obedience is only for emergencies and needs an apology afterward.) It is typically possible to negotiate compromises.
No sober grownup defends ridiculing simple, ignorant people. Then, why would we get to mock young people when they lack some knowledge?
Many grownups forgot key ideas and principles. Listening to young people, we can reconnect to vital things like gratefulness, crying, and having fun.
Do you want your apprentices to be friendly, upbeat, and responsible? Are you sure that is what you model all day?
We must walk the talk and be humble, happy, and productive all day long.
This is how I tried to be a parent, thanks to Judaism (Moses), Non-Violent Communication (Rosenberg), and Re-Evaluation Counseling (Jackins). Try.
Not only am I pleased about my efforts. I still enjoy meeting young people, trying to be humane to them and getting respect and closeness in return.