What is the purpose of authority? To use it as a whip and threaten people? To encourage others? To maintain order? More specifically, what is the purpose of parental authority?
When we were younger, parents raised us and taught us what was right and wrong. They led us through the basics of life, but then once that was done, they became a listening ear. Does that mean that their reign of authority is over? Or is it a new stage of authority, rather, a stage of respect? Should parents still be allowed to command their children and order them around?
I like what a pastor once said about parenting; he said that when kids are old enough, parents cannot order their children, they can only counsel them and show them the way. Because children are individual spiritual beings, we are our own selves. There is a limit to what you can demand someone to do. Even if they are at the end of a gun, there is no such thing as power or authority over someone because you can never get into someone else’s head and force them to do it. Everyone still retains the ability to ultimately make the decision for themselves.
So then…should parents use their authority like a whip during the last weeks before their child leaves for college? Not to sound like a brat, but if I want to do something, shouldn’t I be able to do it and suffer whatever consequences comes with it? If I need to blow off some steam, why shouldn’t I be able to? When I’m in college, I will have to make these decisions on my own anyway and my parents won’t be able to tell me what to do.
So during the last weeks that we have together, what should parents do? Should they let me go on my own to prepare me for college or should they use the last days as the last chance to order me around? I understand that they want the best for me, so on and so forth, but the best way to learn is to experience it yourself is it not? You can tell your child not to touch the stove because its dangerous but if they actually do touch it briefly, that sting of pain will stay with them longer than what you told them.
It’s moments when I can’t do what I feel is needed that I just want to leave home. I know that it’s awful to think and say but I am my own person. No one can truly know me and see what I want or need. If I say that I need to be alone, what’s to say that exercising is more important than time for myself? What right do we have to prescribe for others priorities in their life?