Traditional school systems are focused on an authoritarian type of model where teachers dictate the day and children don’t have many choices. This comes from the 1950’s paradigm of an authoritarian household where the father would be followed by the wife, and the children would follow after her. This is the way society used to operate.
However, today’s society is much different! In most households, both parents share the responsibilities. Parents also talk through decisions and debate and negotiate. Today, a lot of moms have careers and stay-at-home moms are highly valued for their contributions. Even in the workplace, women today don’t just blindly follow what the men say. Today’s paradigm is much more democratic and children see it. It is no wonder that they expect to have a say in their own lives and be respected too.
When we are parenting at home and dictating a lot, our children start pushing back at us – that is when the power struggle starts. To avoid this, what you can do is give your children more decisions throughout the day. If they have a say in what’s going on, it will make them feel more in control.
Human beings are hardwired to want to have power in their lives. We all want to have control and feel independent. At Acton Academy, children are practicing being in control of their choices, goals, and actions every day. They have freedom in their day to make their own choices and to learn from the outcomes of those choices, whether it be success or failures. Rather than being dictated to, they are respected and responsible for setting the tone of their day.
Don’t we want our children to feel independent, have a sense of control in their lives, and feel empowered to make good choices? At Acton Academy, children get the chance to practice making age-appropriate decisions, even bad ones, so they can be prepared for their futures. They are given freedom in their day, trusted with responsibilities like an equal, and encouraged to reach for their dreams!