Staff Post

I Fought The Law And The Law Won

clash
Some children are blessed with the natural inclinations to learn from the tutelage of their parents. They ask advice and accept instruction. They heed the warnings of their parents.   I know those types of children exist because I have seen them - in play groups, in the neighborhood, in classes with my children.  It's amazing to watch. Their behavior is so natural and instinctual.  I feel like I’m watching a prehistoric scene where the elders in the clan are showing the ways of their people to the next generation, passing along the culture and teachings while the younger generation attentively absorbs all the knowledge they can so their future is easier and they can avoid the struggles and hardships the previous generations went through.
Yes, these types of children are out there, but they have been given to other parents to cherish.  As for me, I was given children that fight my instruction and insist on experiencing things for themselves.  They are unwilling to learn from others' successes and failures. They desire complete independence.  I weigh the risks involved in letting the kids take the lead in different situations.  I am always thinking about what the kids will learn if they do something on their own and what kind of damage will be done if they make a poor choice.  I was unable to stop my one child from jumping off the swings.  After the child spent Christmas unwrapping gifts with both arms in casts the child  was satisfied it was not a good idea to jump off the swings.  My one child thought Algebra 1 was stupid and pointless the first time.  The next year repeating Algebra 1 the same child got an "A".It is so difficult to watch my children fail but as I embraced this way of parenting and started to accept that this is a part of who my children are I can see another side of this.  It’s not simply immaturity and stubborn willfulness.  There is an exciting part to this personality as well.  I have kids that feel empowered.  Kids that see life as an adventure that is theirs to be had.  If there is a talent show, they enter it, if there is a play, they audition, if there is sport that sounds fun, they try out.

My youngest who has special needs and learning disabilities has grown up with siblings that have shown her how to be independent.  This fall she insisted on joining Girl Scouts.   This Friday she will be going on a camping trip with her troop.  She came to me last night and said, "It's awkward to sleep outside and it is not normal, but I will do it with my troop and if I wake up and need you, you  will come get me and I will finish my sleep at home."  I thought about this plan that involved potentially waking me at some point mid-sleep and frowned, but then I realized it was actually brilliant.  She is fully aware of the risks involved.  She is not scared.  She is going to try something new and awkward and is going to jump in with both feet. She even has a back up plan for the worst case scenario.  I was really proud of her. Then I realized I was proud of all of us.  My kids showed her that life is one big adventure for you to enjoy and not to fear the unknown.  She knows that there are natural consequences for choices you make.  She also knows I'm there on the sidelines cheering her on!

I FOUGHT THE LAW
as performed by The Clash
(Sonny Curtis)

(A') Breakin' rocks in the ... hot sun
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I needed money, 'cause I ... had none
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won

I left my baby and I feel so bad
I guess my race is run
Well, she's the best girl ... I've ever had
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won

Robbin' people with a . . . SIX gun
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won

I miss my baby and the ... good fun
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won

I left my baby and I feel so bad
I guess my race is run
But, she's the best girl ... I've ever had
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won