Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Participants (from 15 countries):
USA: Rick, Jami | Argentina: Johny | Iran: Behanm, Melika | Tunisia: Marwa, Amine | Bangladesh: J.A. | India: Haary, Hashim | Romania: Flory | Vietnam: Filbert | Indonesia: Tibi, Atila | Mauritania: Boboty | Philippines: Mary Ann, Lala | Mongolia: Ganaa | Morocco: Imad | Sudan: Seif | Japan: Masato
Panel PRO (Team A): Haary, Hashim, Imad
Panel CON (Team B): Malika, Johny, Flory, Mary Ann, Jami, Masato, JA, Marwa
Audience (Team C): Behnam, Atila, Ganaa, Lala, Seif, Filbert, Tibi, Amine, Boboty
Team A summary:
(Some points may be hard to read but this is what the participants used as argument).
- Being friendly may allow children to disobey our orders or not paying attention to our instructions (as parents).
- Children in the past might have been more obedient so that parents could be friendlier with them but nowadays, children are different and parents are taking a harder approach.
- Being authoritarian at home is like being a boss in a company: imparting discipline and make sure the rules and regulations are respected. Children would respect their elders and as long as they are respectful and obedient to the elders, they should be rewarded but if they don’t, they would be punished.
- Discipline cannot be taught using friendship.
- Just like in an organization, parents should be the masters and rulers of their kids.
- Children must obey parents.
- Parents should show children are under their control and they must follow parents’ order and rules.
- In order to be respected, parents should set limits.
- If children feel afraid of parents, that’s ok because it’s for their own benefit.
- If parents are friendly, children feel they can do whatever they want.
- For children who are not mature enough, in order to know what’s good for them, they need to be ruled and they should follow and obey their parents and parents should not be tolerant towards them.
- Parents have the authority and power over them to make them go towards “the right path”.
Team B summary:
- If we show an authoritarian behavior to children all the time, the child may feel we don’t understand him/her or that we don’t love him/her because being a friend is a way to show love as well.
- Show compassion, understanding and love, and you will have a better relationship with your children. Show them nothing but a lash, and no wonder why children become rebel and do things against us.
- Being less strict and authoritarian in some things will open the door to mutual understanding. Children will understand that you also have feelings and that you are a person who they reach and talk in a friendly way.
- Although respecting the parent is important, sometimes when the parent is too strict and authoritarian, the parent come across as not respecting the child, because too much hardship means not considering how the child feels. It comes across as just giving orders without taking in account what the child feels.
- Being friendly and explaining things in a friendly way are a much more effective way to reach out the kid than just giving orders.
- Some parents do not know the line between being strict and being abusive.
- Children also have minds and opinions which should be respected as well. After all, they are human beings too and they have right to be heard. Showing we care and respect their opinion will strengthen the bond between parent and child.
- If we are nothing but authoritarian with our children will constitute a retrogression to their ability to think by themselves because they get used to being told what to do. In other words, if they only receive orders, when they grow up, they will prefer to be told what to do because that’s the way they were brought up. This represents a genuine problem to their self-confidence because if they were told what do, if they were only given orders, then the person would be afraid of making their own decisions.
- Children are a gift and we, as parents, should guide them in a friendly and comprehensive way not being their masters because they are not our property, they have mind and feelings, they are not an object to be controlled.
- Friendship and love are a better gate-way to mutual understanding than just orders.
- Trying to understand the child’s mistake and being friendly about it is better than punishing because kids don’t always understand punishment. Especially infants who don’t understand why they are being punished and why the thing they did was bad. Most children when they learn, they don’t learn from punishment, they learn from explanations.
- In situations where parents are strict and authoritarian towards study and career, it’s essential to understand first the child’s limitations. If we don’t consider what they child is capable or not capable to cope with, they can get a nervous breakdown and if we keep on pushing them, they can even commit suicide due to the overwhelming pressure coming from their parents.
- Children need understanding, not punishments.
- If we manage our kids in the wrong way and always beat them and punish them for their mistakes, when they grow up and have their own kids, they may follow the same bad example.
- When it comes to have a conversation about delicate topics, such as sexuality, it is better that we keep a friendly conversation and relationship otherwise, they would go to seek answers to other places. If we let that happen, we then let the door open to all sort of situations where the kids gets the wrong information or encouragement to do the wrong thing.
- If we keep an authoritarian behavior and treating the children like if you were a dictator and they your servants, and reinforce punishment and orders, then in the future when the kid have some troubles and need someone to talk to, they will be afraid to come to you because they will associate you with that image. It’s better to keep a friendly environment because that will give better results.
- Being friendly towards kids will help them develop their decision making skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Being friendly also gives children an opportunity to open themselves and express themselves more freely because if we show an authoritarian attitude, they will feel nervous, afraid and closed to you.
- We need to teach children to have a good relationship with others and we do so by setting the example.
- Some parents abuse their power over their children and it is when we see all those cases of child abuse.
- A family is not a military group: a good relationship is based on love, understanding, compassion, trust and mutual respect not on the capacity to follow orders.
- Is not only about giving orders: When children are in a phase of developing and discovering their own personality and identity, the lack of privacy and the lack respect for their space, meaning, taking out their ability to understand situations by a friendly talk, will affect them negatively for the rest of their lives. They can even develop negative complexes when they grow older.
- Your child is your child, not your slave.
- It’s important to teach children about life, what’s good, what’s bad, what’s wrong but this doesn’t mean that only the way to do it is by giving order and being authoritarian. These objectives can perfectly accomplished by adopting a friendly attitude and approach. There is no rule that dictates that the only way to do it is by being strict and authoritarian.
- Being a friendly father or mother doesn’t mean your child will not respect you. Respect is earned in both sides. You gain respect by proving good values and advices which your child can use in real life situations and the child earns respect by following those advices and guidelines. You don’t necessarily have to be hard on them to make your point come across.
Imad’s question: “When your child smoke and come home late, are you going to still be friend with him/her?”
Flory’s answer: “What my life has shown me is that I get better results when I handle the situation in a friendly way. If all we do is blaming them and questioning them, you never actually make them do good things.”
Johny’s answer: “Let’s expand the example: say the kid is a teenager hanging out with his girlfriend, and stayed outside past the agreed hour. When he comes back, I would tell him that I and his mother were sick worried and that her mother even had a health problem due to the worries and that I had to calm her down and deal with her and with the uncertainty of not knowing where he was. If I explain the reason for why was a certain hour to come back, that will have a greater impact in his psyche than just giving him an order. For me, it will be more effective to make them understand the reason for why he should come home at certain hour and not only because ‘I said so’.”
Marwa’s answer: (Paraphrased): Most youngsters want to experience life. Even if you tell them not to do those things, they will still do one or two of these things because they want to experience those things and come up with their own conclusions of what is good and what is wrong. It is people’s nature to do what we want, to do what we feel we need to do. When they start doing things that we don’t want them to do, is not because they are bad in nature, it’s not because we are not doing a good job pas parents either; it is just because there is something missing. If I adopt an authoritarian role and expect them to tell me why they did it, they will just lie to me and make up excuses. However, if I find a way to show them they are doing wrong while respecting their decision to do it, they can learn in the long run. Because is not a matter of beating them and ordering them, it is a matter of guidance and making them understand the reasons for why we set certain rules and limits.
Johny’s question: “for people who have had jobs; did you feel closer to your boss or to your friend?”
Imad’s answer: “The relationship between the boss and the employee is based on whether you obey or not his orders. You can change your boss but you cannot change your parents.”
Marwa’s question: “Do you want to live your own dreams or do you want to follow other people’s dreams? In order words, do you want to do what you want or what you parents want?”
Imad’s answer: “We all want to live our own lives but, since your parents look for what’s best for you, they give you orders. You live in a society and in a family; you cannot do things by your own."
Marwa’s rebuttal: “we cannot judge all people and all family by the same standards. Many sons and daughters have ruined their lives by following what parents told them to do. Not all parents know what is best for them.” Meaning that not all people are perfect with perfect values and can foresee the future. “In the end, you would rather feel you have made your own decisions and if they were wrong, at least you would not blame your parents because it would have been your own decisions. “
Team C summary:
- We have to look into our values and makes decisions based upon our values. We cannot our live our lives by our parents; we should make our own decisions.
- When you become an adult, you are responsible for your own decisions. When you have a family you are responsible for how you raise your children, not your parents. You cannot put that responsible on anybody else nor can you put that responsibility on a culture.
- It’s a personal choice how you live your live, it’s not a matter of culture, is not about traditions, it’s a personal choice of how you want to live your life.
- Parents play many roles in a child’s life, not only as friends.
- Parents should be dynamic and know what attitude to adopt. You cannot treat a toddler in the same way you treat a teenager.
- A teenager prefer a friend over an authority because they are in a phase where they are looking for their identities, deciding what they like, what they want, and want to get rid of orders.
- There is no a single answer. We cannot judge all situations, countries and cultures by one answer. Parents should understand the times we are living as well as their children. Being authoritarian and being friendly and many other approaches are just tools and parents should make use of all tools as possible to raise a kid successfully.
- Despite the traditions, nobody has the right to neither impose their will upon others not to give orders to anyone.
- Children share more things with a friend than with an order giver.
- Behnam remained undecided.
- Amine remained undecided.
- Ganaa voted for team B.
- Seif voted for team B.
- Lala remained undecided.
Team B won this debate. Thanks everyone for participating. To listen to this discussion, click on the links below:
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