In case any parents needed to hear this:
It’s okay to piss off other adults if it means centering your child’s autonomy and wellbeing.
Most adults project their own wounding around lack of agency onto children and expect parents to uphold the contract that says children need to be tamed and controlled.
Hatred of children is rampant and normalized and parents are expected to disappear their kids or risk being told that they don’t belong as participants in society either.
Allowing children to be children, to play, be loud, to learn, explore, to make mistakes and messes are all things that our society and the alienation of capitalism has increasingly less and less tolerance for as structures and institutions prioritize capital. Obedience, efficiency, and economic growth come before health and wellbeing.
We see this in the ways our cities prioritize roaming death machines (cars) to move people to and from work and businesses rather than creating safe environments where children are free to exist, explore, and have greater autonomy.
We see it in the ways our institutions for education center testing scores, securing funding, and teaching marketable skills over curiosity and play.
We see this in the completely normalized and mainstream sentiment that children, for acting like children, do not belong in places like restaurants, on airplanes, or even stores.
Idon’t know when or if culture and society will shift to treat children like human beings, but if raising your child to respect and honor themselves is important to you, and if establishing a relationship with them that they will feel safe in and treasured by you is important to you, you need to approach the choices you make today as a parent with those goals in mind.
Being able to soothe your anxiety around upsetting or offending other adults with your parenting choices or your child’s choices and behavior is a fundamental necessity for being able to show up as the most supportive parent you can be.
Other people’s judgements will come up over and over again.
And your job as a parent isn’t to please those people.
Your job is to
prioritize creating a good relationship and creating the healthiest, safest environment for your child that it’s within your power to create.