Sunday, March 25, 2007

Teenagers Needs

We had a lovely chat yesterday about sleeping patterns. Falling asleep was never easy for DJ and lately he has turned into a real owl. So, at some point during our conversation, I asked, NVC-style:

"What need of yours is being met by staying up all night?"

"My need for excitement, the excitement of doing something I'm not supposed to do."

"Oh, yeah, I can understand that. I remember trying my first cigarette when I was about your age. Gosh, it made me feel sick!"

"See? And smoking is much more dangerous than staying up all night!"

Do you remember that? Being a teenager? Needing autonomy, independence, privacy, space? Needing stimulation, needing to be trusted and accepted right the way you are? Needing the freedom to make your own choices and learn from their results? Do you remember how it felt when you didn't get these needs met? And how it affected your relationship with your parents?

Today's Quotes
So strong is our need to protect our autonomy, that if we see that someone has this single-mindedness of purpose, if they are acting like they think that they know what’s best for us and are not leaving it to us to make the choice of how we behave, it stimulates our resistance.

I’ll be forever grateful to my children for educating me about the limitations of the objective of getting other people to do what you want. They taught me that, first of all, I couldn’t make them do what I want. I couldn’t make them do anything. Now, that was quite a humbling lesson for me as a parent, to learn about my powerlessness, because somewhere I had gotten it into my mind that it was the job of a parent to make a child behave.

They taught me that any use of coercion on my part would invariably create resistance on their part, which could lead to an adversarial quality in the connection between us. I don’t want to have that quality of connection with any human being, but especially not with my children, those human beings that I’m closest to and taking responsibility for.

Marshall Rosenberg
You can read more here.

Today's Links
All Parents are Home Educators!
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics

On The News
Faith fuels home education boom
Amputation after art class burns
Explosion at school chemistry lab


mcewen said...

Pack em all off to Boarding School - it's character building. Autonomy is all well and good, but following the rules, has got to be the winner, or am I in the wrong century?
Loved the picture of Exmoor by the way, made me feel quite nostalgic.

'EF' said...

Thanks, brilliant post. And I have just finished justifying my style of 'autonomous..except when I force them'. Ai! This post has stumped I have to go back to the drawing board.

Am asking myself: 'What need of yours is met by forcing your kids to do the stuff you want them to do?' Not getting pretty answers. Here we go again.

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to link this post from my it clarifies the autonomy issue so well.

'EF' (