Friday, July 14, 2017

A fine line

This morning my 17-year-old son said something to me that I treasure. I can't remember his exact words. He was acknowledging that I allow him to say whatever is on his mind. It was an unexpected compliment because I don't really think I do that well, but it meant a lot to me for him to say it.

Ace of Spades writes today,
No matter how hard it is for a parent to do, at some point he must permit his child to make his or her own decisions. Only when he is granted some degree of responsibility over his own life will he begin to exercise, well, responsibility.

...What do teenagers do when they chafe under what they perceive as a too-heavy hand in parental control?

They rebel. They do all the wrong things, either subconsciously or full-on consciously.

At some point you have to just allow people to make their own decisions. Like teenagers, they will often make bad decisions. Or, rather: They make decisions you disapprove of, decisions which may be objectively bad by any reckoning, or which might actually be decent decisions given their own circumstances, preferences, and aspirations. Or, even -- they might be good decisions, and you cannot see they are good decisions, because you yourself are married to your own bad decisions.

But anyway it shakes out, the only way people make good decisions is by first having the capacity to have a (mostly) free choice of actions in the first place.

Enforced morality is not actually morality; it is no more than an amoral rational scheme to avoid punishment.

True morality only arises from a free choice: You could have chosen good, or evil, but you chose good. You could have chosen benevolence or selfishness; you chose benevolence. You could have chosen self-improvement or self-destruction; you chose self-improvement.
Read more here.

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