Freedom + Order

“We must get used to the idea that in a democratic atmosphere freedom and order are inseparable.”       Rudolf Dreikurs
 Imagine the lattice is 'order' and the vines and flowers are 'freedom' - we need BOTH!

Imagine the lattice is 'order' and the vines and flowers are 'freedom' - we need BOTH!

Sometimes we (and our kids) think freedom is a right, not a responsibility. Freedom without order for us parents is chaos.  Freedom without order for our kids is crippling. Freedom without order isn't loving, nice, self-esteem building or life enhancing.

When we rescue kids from their neglect of order we are robbing them of understanding, really feeling, absorbing, and GETTING that freedom can't exist without each and everyone of us pulling our own weight. Here's a list of common places we rescue our children from their own dis-order and slow their learning process. 

Drive them to the bus when they wake up late.

Wake them up when they don't get up to their alarm.

Give them only food we know they will eat, and nothing else.

Make excuses or lie for them when they  forget to turn in an assignment.

Pay for everything for them with our money.

Walk on eggshells so they don't get upset.

Have all of us done all of these things?  YES! I do declare, YES! AAAAaannnnnndddddddd, we can do better. We gotta let them experience the consequences of disorder. It might hurt, they might be upset. Worse, they might NOT be upset. . . . at first. 

Freedom only feels good when there is order girding it up, supporting it, letting it grow beautifully on it's lattice - but not all willy nilly over someone else's lattice. And order only feels good when freedom surrounds it, gives it air to breath, dances around it with joy and inspiration.

It's a Balancing Act (see what I did there?). Some of us feel safer with order, some of us crave freedom. We will almost ALWAYS be off track - isn't that relieving?  The joy, the magic, the 'secret' is learning to course correct. If I sway towards 'orderly' then I gotta let the plants grow with more freedom. If I veer in the direction of  'freedom' I gotta go back and shore up my lattice. 

I leave you with one final quote from the author of "Man's Search for Meaning"

Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.

- Viktor Frankl