The Importance of Honoring Your Child’s Defiance (within Reason!)

On March 25, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Alabama to protest the denial of voting rights for black people. For many of those marching, that day may have been the first time they stood up for themselves and used their voices and the first time anyone said to them, “You’re worthy of better”. There was great strength, confidence and hope that day.

I get a lot of calls from parents asking me:

“Why is my child so defiant?”

“Why does he fight me on everything?”

As parents, it is our job to teach kids where the limits are, but not to squash their ability to test those limits. That’s their spark, the fire in their belly and the life force of who they are. Strong-willed kids are harder to raise, but aren’t they better equipped for some aspects of adulthood? They already possess an inner strength that many people only wish they had!

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

How do we honor our children’s protests?