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On the topics of classroom management, priests, parenting, or even Adam and Eve, I would like to talk about how suppression and prohibition consistently fail as a tactic of control.
Let’s say you are a substitute teacher, do you think threats and telling the kids to shut up is an effective form of classroom management? Do you think forbidding priests to marry and have sex is helping to prevent them from pornography addictions or “interactions” with altar boys? As a parent, do threats and very restrictive boundaries prevent your children from getting into mischief or make them more inclined to do those things? Did Adam and Eve eat the apple or not?
Folks, I’d like to talk about something I like to refer to as “forbidden fruit status.” When you elevate something to FFS, do you think people are more or less likely to do that thing? If you’re like me, then you believe in expressing the truth in all things. If you educate people and show them the truth in whatever topic you’re discussing, I think most people can make an educated decision themselves. Even if they do decide to do the thing you don’t want them to do, they will experience it, and learn from their choices, and the consequences will most likely be less than learning “the hard way.” The hard way being without any education in the matter.
An example would be talking to my future daughter about sex. Ideally, I wouldn’t want her having sex until marriage, but I know that is extremely unlikely. The way I would go about getting as close to this goal as possible is simply educating her on all the different aspects of sex. I would talk about the benefits and the potential consequences, which can be extreme indeed. Tell her straight up about STD’s, pregnancy, birth control, love, infatuation, relationships, social issues, emotional and physical benefits and consequences. I would tell her what I want ideally, but that the choice is hers and I support her decision and the lessons learned. Do you think she will be more or less likely to have sex? If she does choose to have sex, do you think she will be more or less likely to plan ahead, use birth control, etc? How effective would this be compared to flat out saying, no sex until you’re 18, period?
Take action now: If you’re a parent, think about all the ways you are elevating certain things to FFS. Do you forbid your children from doing certain things? How effective is it, really? I would encourage you to talk to your children about anything and everything that requires boundaries, and set them accordingly. Truth and education is your strongest tool. Use it to your advantage!
If you have read my other articles, you should be hesitant to take my advice without question…especially since I am not a parent! Here are a couple studies which support my post
Long-Term Behavioral Effects of Cognitive Dissonance. JONATHAN L. FREEDMAN. Stanford University
Tags: boundaries, choices, education, forbidden, fruit, parenting, prohibition, relationships, status
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