Here are three ways to compare authoritarian
parenting to the give-and-take of synergistic parenting.
As a teen, I saw horses being broken so they can be ridden on ranches
near my home, Laredo, and it was brutal. In contrast to the authoritarian breaking
of horses are "horse whisperers." The movie of that name showed one way. Frank Bell writes: I’d witnessed John Sharp, of Prineville, Oregon, taming wild mustangs with merely a length of bamboo pole. Most importantly they remained calm, most of them, throughout the entire process, until the horse let the whisperer
put his hand on the horse's back, stroke it, then a saddle. It is
give and take between a patient
person who knows what he is doing and is sensitive to the horse. Could it be the
interacting of two souls? See more.
Science and authority
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel prize winning physicist, was interviewed about
science and authority in the play "Copenhagen."
It contrasts two physicists involved in creating
the atomic bomb during World War II. Weinberg said one of the two, Heisenberg,
was the 'great man of German physics.' "He was convinced, and Germany
was convinced, that he was the ultimate authority in a country with
a profound respect for authority." Weinberg says this would never
happen in America, where research teams like his are not dominated
by all-knowing authoritarians. Bohr was the other physicist in the
interchange re-created in the play "Copenhagen." Weinberg
says Bohr "gathered
bright people together, whether they agreed with him or not."
The third is Laurence Steinberg's book Beyond
chapter 7 for the research showing why synergistic parenting
leads to better secondary school performance. Teens learn to interact freely with people in authority, to learn from them, question them — teachers, principals. Chapter 6 explains the
three styles of parenting in more detail than I have.
As I urge about parenting, honest give and take among people
with differences is far more productive than an authoritarian approach.
The interview with Weinberg is in the Austin American-Statesman Xlent section,
Oct 2, 2002, pages 23-24.
© 2006 John F. Yeaman