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Why I Teach My Teenage Children To Be Rebels

Taj and LaurenI have a dilemma. You see I have two 15 yr old children (yes twins!). Wait, no, having teenagers isn’t the dilemma, although for some people they may feel having teenagers is! ?

No my dilemma is that I inspire them to push the boundaries, break the rules, question authority and be rebels, yet at the same time to adhere to the structures of living in our home and fitting into the rules and regulations of school.

This is not an easy task as a parent.

Why do I inspire them to be rebels? Because deep down I believe boundaries are meant to be leapt over, and some rules are meant to be broken. If I don’t encourage them to leap over boundaries how are they going to thrive and excel in life when their conditioned mindset is to be part of the pack, stay safe and don’t challenge anything? How are they going to find their own identity and belief systems when the are moulded by a hierarchal corporate driven society?

Sure, there are rules in society that are there for a very good reason. But there are many rules that restrict the growth of society as a whole. When these rules get challenged there is tension and friction, as the ones who set the rules push back on the ones that want to break them.

The challenge is determining which rules will enhance society and which ones will diminish society. I teach my children that there is this law called ‘karma’ which tends to be a pretty good force in this process. Many times in my life I broke rules, was a rebel and stepped across boundary lines only to have karma slap me in some way loud and hard. It was painful and I learnt a big lesson that that rule WASN’T meant to be broken. Trying to navigate through this mine field is not an easy process and most of our learning is through trial and error or developing intuition.

My son is a very talented artist and he developed a great affinity for graffiti. So I said that we would explore abandoned buildings together and that he was allowed to do graffiti art only on buildings that were going to be torn down and it wouldn’t have a negative impact on peoples lives. He agreed to these terms. Yes we were bending the rules but there were some rules within that. This was all working out well and good until one day he stepped over that boundary line and did some graffiti where he wasn’t allowed to. The boys in blue didn’t take too kindly to this and …..KARMA!

But I didn’t let this deter him. Sure he suffered some consequences. Me, the police and karma itself let him know that there was a boundary line you simply DON’T cross there. But deep down there was a part of me that was like, yes, push that boundary, test it and find out what’s on the other side. It’s ok. You’re going to screw up sometimes, and yes, it won’t always work out. But don’t let one fail make you spend the rest of your life living in the safe zone and never take the leap.

Get to the edge and peer over it. If you feel “Hmmm, nup, this is not right.” then trust that feeling and pull back. But if you get to the edge, peer over and go “Yup, I’ve got this and I know it’s a safe landing” then take a huge leap! If no one ever did this then Aborigines would still not be allowed to vote, African-Americans would still be sitting in the back of the bus and gay people still would still not be allowed to get married. (Technically in Australia they still can’t get married but I am putting on my prophetic hat and intending this to change very soon!)

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