Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Making Children Obey is a Cinch
So say several popular homeschool pundits and poets. "Just keep applying the pressure until they finally understand who's in charge. They'll obey all right!" And so they will.
He was a good horse with a soft eye and a heart as big as a Montana sky. But by the time I bought Dart he was afraid of all humans; head down, spirit broken, shying if you so much as raised a hand to stroke his neck. He'd been raised with that theory and he had learned to obey. He had learned who was boss. And he had the scars to prove it... a foot long on both sides and as white as bleached bones in the Arizona desert.
When the cinch was tightened down so tight he could no longer breathe or struggle he had become compliant and obedient for the proud rider to show off to all his friends-- the perfectly obedient horse.
But you know, the color never did grow back on his rib cage where that cinch had nearly carved the heart out of him; a cinch so tight it left permanent scars on the outside... and on the inside.
It took a lot of love and a lot of patience for Dart to regain his ability to trust anyone. You see, he had wanted to serve and to please all along. It was in his very nature to partner up and work together. But I guess he wasn't learning fast enough to please his previous owner.
Some of us still have scars from being cinched down too tight. Some visible... but mostly on the inside. And our children are just like us. Yep... making children always obey the first time and every time is a cinch all right- but at what price to their souls... and to ours. At least that's how Boompa sees it.