Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 19 seconds

On Defiance – in parenting and education

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 19 seconds

a friend shared this post today, and I was particularly interested in this part:

an increasingly authoritarian American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-III) disruptive mental disorders for children and teenagers such as the increasingly popular “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” “often argues with adults,” and “often deliberately does things to annoy other people.”

To consider such behavior psychologically abnormal is disturbing, to say the least! Loads of other interesting stuff in that article, particularly around the idea of schooling promoting compliance, etc., stuff we’re all familiar with.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how this relates to parenting. Discussions of power in scholarship often assume that there are benign powers/authorities that can be given opportunity to exert their power – teachers in classes and parents with their kids seem to fall into that category. Even critical pedagogues, really have some underlying paternalistic tendencies (more so the men than the women, no offense to anyone).

Anyway, my question is: am I the only parent who is always questioning whether my treatment of my child is an unnecessary exertion of control, whether it might undermine her freedom and independence? Of course there is a line. It would be crazy to allow your child to jump off the window, walk in front of a moving car, or put their hand in fire. But where exactly is the line, what about all those grey areas in between? Still thinking about this… more on another day

One thought on “On Defiance – in parenting and education

  1. Started to read the article but it made me sick to think about what’s happening politically. Defiance is how society renews itself and protest is a form of natural participation in society. I find most people are simply afraid and even in this macho cowboy area if you bring up a simple discussion of politics people will skitter away. Tyrants thrive on this.

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