Who would want to train children to be obedient, when we can bring them up to be discerning, critical thinkers with a highly developed capacity for big-picture thinking, for empathy for self and others and to value integrity and what feels right above the directions of authority figures?
It’s difficult for most adults to challenge authority figures if they weren’t allowed to challenge their own parent.
Children who are trained to be obedient are often too busy either trying to stay in the good books or feel too misunderstood and defensive to think things through clearly, including how their actions affect other people. Their motivation is to evade punishments rather than do what feels right. Authoritarian parenting conditions children to believe that they should do what they’re told whether they like it or not, whether it feels good or bad, and to not “talk back”.
It’s difficult for most adults to challenge authority figures if they weren’t allowed to challenge their own parent. Obedience training can lead to a susceptibility to being unduly influenced by peers or authority figures as children, adolescents and later as adults.
To have the courage to express our concerns and opinions in the face of authority or peer pressure, we need to be able to stay strong and overall at peace in ourselves. Most of us want this for our children, especially as they reach the teenage years!
To act from integrity and do what feels right despite pressure to conform to the norm or to authority, we need to be balanced and centered enough to make decisions based on considering the needs and feelings of others while also considering our own feelings and needs.