Raising Children in a World of Fear
I recently was commenting on another contributor's blog post which prompted me to start thinking about my perspective on raising children in a world that is so riddled with artificial experiences, the relentless promotion of false fears, and the over protective, extreme politically correct nature of our society.
Trust me, I have had my FILL. I spent two and a half years being forced into taking my children to counselors enforced by the courts, who, without my consent, repeatedly instilled in them that one was a victim and the other a perpetrator. At 6 years old (both), the two of them became exploratory and shared in activity that wasn't considered acceptable at 6. I'm not quite sure if there is a anything that is acceptable or unacceptable at age six considering just how exploratory that age can be, but, nonetheless, it happened and former spouses decided to take advantage of the situation.
I recall one social worker made a very specific statement to me when we were in a meeting. I was entirely opposed to her perspective, but as I mentioned, I had no control over her influence on my child. She stated... 'Scott, the world is a very fearful place. It is a place full of Jeffery Dahmers. These children need to learn that the world is not a safe place.' I was appalled so much so that I shared with her that I didn't agree with her beliefs and would never allow her to counsel my child if it were up to me. I told her that I was consistent with teaching my children NOT to limit themselves by fear and rather to overcome it and live life fully. Now, I don't disagree about teaching children about boundaries, and boundaries were certainly discussed going forward, however, my wife and I have since become very open with our children and strongly promote open discussion about anything on their minds. This freedom to discuss anything encourages them not to hold back what they are thinking about. When they share, it allows us as a parent to help them figure out what works and what doesn't for them and those whom may be affected by their actions.
In our house there certainly are limitations. For instance, we limit how much television they can watch and how often they can play video games. We NEVER watch the news. We make them go outside and play or pull out a drawing pad. In fact, we encourage them to explore this beautiful world and have fun. Television offers very little in the way of quality content. Video games are a virtual reality of brutal force.
I look around and I see so many people living in fear. My neighbors rarely come outside, they rarely let their children come outside, and when they do, typically there is a parent watching them play right outside in the front yard every single moment.
In America, our society has been taught to follow and not lead. This country was built on leaders. Leaders understand fear, not live by it. It seems to me that Religion, Government, and the Media (all run by the same power) have worked together to build a population of fearful followers rather than fearless leaders. It is what 'they' want.
Not me. I'm not afraid and therefore my children are learning to not to be afraid, not to believe everything 'they' dish out to us through media propaganda and in the religious pamphlets that my children bring home from their PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
I teach my children to be smart and to not only aspire to be what they dream, but BE it. This is only done by blocking the relentless fear-based initiative. There are four initiatives as a parent that I think EVERY parent should seek to instill. Overcome fear and therefore overcome limitation, respect others the way you wish to be respected, love all things in their world, and question everything. This way of raising children has brought out leaders in my home who are allowed to participate in their life decisions knowing full well that their actions may produce results they may not like. BUT, with that result they have the opportunity to change the outcome with a new decision. A powerful way we learn is through trial and error and that is how my children are shown the way.
I sent my oldest child at age 12 on an Outward Bound trip. I intend to offer the same opportunity to my other two boys. It was something I always wanted to do as a boy. They are getting those opportunities and with them they are learning to be the next generation of leaders. Not controllers, not dictators, not manipulators, but loving, caring, sharing, and inspiring individuals who will make a positive impact on the collective consciousness.
The higher power, God, the universal source, or whatever you want to call it, is everywhere. Inside of us, outside of us, in our subconscious mind in a place we can't quite put a finger on, and within everything we have not yet discovered. Fear is man made. In my opinion God is not judgmental. We live in duality. Here there are two sides to every story. But, if for a moment we consider that maybe God is outside of this reality, then outside of duality (twoness), could quite possibly be oneness.
Oneness or 'unity' is only found in complete unwavering love. How could it be possible in oneness, or pure love, for there to be judgement? I don't believe that a 'God' would damn anyone TO hell. Through love, compassion, forgiveness and release done here in duality, it may be possible that we release ourselves FROM it.
Fear as the preferred tool in social control has been with us a very long time. So much so that it has become a cornerstone of our language and cultural philosophy. We live in a country governed by laws, which expand exponentially into every facet of our lives, that are all enforced through the fear of punishment. People presume that this is required because there is simply no idea of a social system that would guide a child's development through love and knowledge of Nature to create a self-responsible society.
But the educational system, family environment and pop media must change for something like this to ever happen, but how? Where's the reboot button? How do we install a new operating system?