A Parable | Teaching Self-Government

A Parable

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Blue flax flower

     Sometimes when parents start teaching their children how to govern themselves, the children start to fight against the new system.  Many people don't cope with change well, and children are often more anxious during times of change than adults.  People look at whatever they have become as normal and comfortable.

       We don't like to step out of our comfort zones and start fresh in a whole new environment, especially when we know that we will never get the old environment back in this case.

       
Anxious To Start

It often looks like this.  The parent comes home from the seminar full of vision and energy to make changes for the good.  The parent explains the four basic skills to the children and they have a fun time getting used to the new language.  Three days later, Billy is tired of following instructions and saying OK to no answers.  He wants his old emotional outbursts back, because when he got emotional before the change he could control his parent's emotions and get what he wanted.  So, Mom tells Billy that she needs him to help with the dishes even though it isn't his dish night.  Billy says, "No way!  You can't keep making me do jobs around this place.  You're like a wicked step-mother."     

One of two things happens to Mom at this point.  The mother who can't bear to see her child upset, thinks that maybe her son isn't going to do well with the new system and maybe the family should just go back to how things were before.  Or the mother who has vision, knows that things always get harder before they get easier when you're committed to living by true principles, so she calmly, and lovingly begins assessing whether her son is out of instructional control, and has faith that in time her family will be happy people who also have vision. 

The Parable Of The Blue Flax

     There is a garden in my yard that has a tree in the middle of it.  Below the tree I grow Blue Flax.  They are so cheerful.  I consider the Blue Flax as one of my favorite perennials.

         The Ash tree in the middle of the garden looks like it is half of a tree.  It looks this way because, three years ago, one side of the tree started to die.  I looked for bugs, and every other possible problem that could affect our beautiful tree.  After months of trying to figure out the problem, I decided that maybe the tree wasn't getting any water because the plants around the base were taking all of it's water.

       At this time Blue Flax and Mountain Yarrow were growing around the base of the tree.  They were both so ferny and beautiful.  They seemed to go perfectly together.

       I dug up a piece of garden around the tree to see if the plant roots were causing problems.  After I dug up the plants, I noticed that the Mountain Yarrow had tons of roots and the Blue flax didn't have very many roots.  I also noticed that many of the Blue Flax plants were getting strangled by the Yarrow as well.

       I wanted to get rid of the Yarrow plants and keep the Blue Flax.  I loved the Flax and the roots didn't seem to do any damage to the tree.  Getting rid of the Yarrow was harder than it looked.

        I had to dig everything out of the garden.  This was a hard thing for me.  The plants in that garden had been there for a long time.  I had nurtured them for years.  I looked at the little Flax plants.  They looked so snug and comfortable from the top of the soil.  I didn't want to touch them for fear I would damage them.  Then I looked at the Yarrow plants and pictured what their roots were doing.  All of the sudden I didn't like the Yarrow any more.  I even went as far as thinking of the Yarrow as an evil plant.  I dug up a Flax plant, and then very carefully, with two fingers, began untangling the Yarrow roots and the Flax roots.

        The process of separating every plant in this whole garden took many hours.  I didn't even know if it would work.  At first, I tried to grab handfuls of the Yarrow and just pull, but that wouldn't work.  The Yarrow plants and roots had to be removed one little root at a time.  I wondered if the Flax would live after this huge disturbance to its roots.

         The Flax wilted for a few days after I put it back into the ground.  I started to question whether I did the right thing by digging it up.  Handling its roots, and re-planting it.

        Within a couple of weeks, the Flax looked strong.  It started to flower and drop seeds for new plants to start.  And now, with clear ground, and plenty of water the new Flax plants had a chance of growing.  By digging up the plants with the weeds, I was able to save the plants and the tree.

       For a few years the Yarrow hasn't been a problem.  I sometimes see some Yarrow growing in the bed again, but as soon as I see it, I pluck it out, to protect the Flax and the Ash tree.

      
The Moral Of The Story Is...

In this story, you are the gardener; your child is the Blue Flax;  bad behaviors are the Mountain Yarrow; your child's mission is sybolized by the tree.

       As parents, we have to expect it to be hard to separate our children from their bad behaviors.  It will be hard on us, but it will be strange to them too.  They are comfortable with their old negative behaviors, even if they get in trouble choosing them.  Change is hard on all of us, but it is worth it.

       If you aren't aware of what the four basics are, or the principles of teaching self government, or you want to learn more, click the button at the top that says shop.  This button will show you class descriptions of the classes I teach.  You can also attend one of my seminars. The four basics are discussed in depth and are explained very simply. 

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