The world certainly promotes parenthood and family makeup as a democracy - where kids have equal say and input with their parents. Now most parents I know don't agree with that mindset, but society kind of has a way of leaking those ideas into your thinking without your knowing it. Even classroom teachers generally give students input into their classroom rules because it gives them more "ownership" into the process. I am amazed at how much "ownership" and "voice" kids are given today.
Now - there are certainly areas of our parenting that we are "Team Ayers" in it together and we promote that team way of thinking and joint input! We tackle tasks together and are careful to listen to our kids. But we've made such a giant leap in our society from, "Children should be seen and not heard" - to the view of children our kids see on the Disney Channel.
I'll never forget when my 1st born was a toddler and I complained to my mother that we would have war over eating. I would ask her, "Are you ready to get in your high chair?" She would answer, "No!" and conflict would start. My mom looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Don't ask, just do." Wow! Problem solved - the simple command sweetly given, "Time to get in your high chair," and she would willingly comply. I know. Duh - but as a new mom I just didn't realize.
But - the long-run impact of TOO MUCH of this democracy kind of parenting and way of thinking is an adult who has a hard time being led - a hard time submitting to leadership - a hard time with that valuable lesson, "Let go and let God." Kids today aren't exposed to a dictatorship that often. Sometimes as parents this is the best thing we can model for them.
We have struggled with our upcoming move. The kids know we are planning to move soon - they know we'd like to be in the country - they know we are seeking God and following His voice. But that's all they know. They are going to have to TRUST and SUBMIT to our leadership for better or for worse. They'd like to look at houses and give their opinions; but we really don't need their help. Not only is this good practice for them -experiencing patience, trusting, submitting, but it also protects them from heart-ache. Byron and I have already fallen in love with a house or two only to have it not be the one God had in store for us.
It just kind of opens your eyes to how much our simple parenting is preparing our children for their future walk with God later in life. And how much our parenting is similar to our relationship with God. He wants us to submit - and Let Go of having our own input! Our walk with God is not a democracy and we don't get a vote about his will for us! But it's all good - it's because he loves you and wants to protect you and his plan is better than anything YOU could EVER dream up!