Surprisingly, this was not brought on by all the buzz about bullying you hear about lately. It has nothing to do with whether we are Pagan or otherwise, even. It was brought on by a simple statement on a parenting forum I participate in. Here is part of a question a woman on the forum asked about her son's music classes:
"The “Tiger Mom” in me is making him continue to go despite his protests because I believe it is important for his development. Am I being too tough? Am I not pushing enough? Maybe instead of a sweet little music class, he should be practicing the violin an hour a day?"
I was so incredibly shocked. Her son is 3 years old! I can't imagine anyone "pushing" their child to do something that they dislike that much. Not only is it killing the individuality that we should all be trying to instill in our children, but it is simply wrong! I truly believe that children have rights. We've all said that, at "that" stage. "I can decide for myself!" "I have rights too!". Well, children do have rights.
They have the right to a parent who listens to them, who accepts what they say, and works with them instead of against them.
They have the right to make their own decisions, even one so small as not attending a certain optional class any longer.
They have the right to make their own mistakes, because no matter how we try to tell them something they will have to try it for themselves.
We have the duty to protect our children, to nurture them, to raise them to be a good person. We can't give in to everything, but that doesn't mean we can't listen and compromise. That doesn't mean that we have the right to take away their rights. It doesn't mean we get to force them to do the things that we always wished we could have done. If you want to play the violin so damn bad, then learn! Don't force it on your toddler!
So many parents try to create that super baby, the whiz kid, the one that will graduate with a masters at 15. Why can't we just let our children be children. Teach them to be social by having play-dates at the park, not forcing them to some class with strange children they don't know. Give them skills they will truly need in the world - not how to play the violin, but the ability to love, the ability to trust, and the ability to form true and lasting relationships with their peers.
If anyone tried to take away our freedoms, force us to do things, take away our ability to decide for ourselves, we would raise hell! People wonder why their teenagers talk back, why their kids "act out". So would we, if we were treated the same way that we treat them.