Children and citizens that are acting out present a serious and difficult challenge for maintaining the stability of the family/country. As stated in my previous blogs I use a model in family therapy to draw parallels between good parenting and good governance. It is called The Family as a Country Model. In short parents are to government as children are to citizens.
A family like a country will always have some degree of disruption. I consider at best a 20% rate of protest as normal. When protest increases and becomes acting out, then it is time to focus our attention to problem solving. I like to examine four areas that may need adjustment. They are the needs of the parents/government, the needs of the children/citizens, and the systems of love and attention as well as discipline.
Currently our country is going through a transition in governance. Attention is focused on problem solving and change. The needs of the citizens are in the process of being addressed ie healthcare. Positive attention and concern also seems to be improving. The system of discipline however seems to need considerable adjustment.
In a family/country when rules and laws are not consistently and fairly enforced children/citizens lose confidence in the governance and begin to run amuck. Children/citizens work best when they have clear and consistent boundaries. When leadership enables the children/citizens to break rules/laws, behavior goes way beyond what is reasonable. This has been particularly evident during the past month and culminating with the January 6th insurrection at the US Capital.
As more and more evidence is uncovered it seems apparent that there was a coordinated effort to overthrow the democratic government of the United States. This effort was enabled by a government encouraging disorder and anarchy. It is imperative that a reset of boundaries is called for. The participants in the mob and those responsible for enabling the insurrection need to face discipline.
Leadership in Congress must understand that not enforcing discipline will only encourage and enable an increase in acting out behavior. History and research has clearly shown that when you appease an aggressor they become more demanding. Parents like leaders must engage in their job to enforce reasonable limits. Trying to overthrow the government is not a reasonable and acceptable behavior.
As the impending impeachment trial of the former President will soon take place congressional leadership must reassert control over the acting out citizens. It appears however that some members of the government are afraid of the child/citizens and may acquiesce to their temper tantrum and threats to do more harm. Our leadership must stand up to those threats as like a good parent standing up to a tantruming child. The family/country can not survive without a clear set of boundaries up held by a confident and secure kind and firm governance. When leadership is functioning well children/citizens would love to let them be in charge while they focus on their personal lives ie. friendships and interests.
Effective discipline is an essential condition for a well functioning family/country.
PS: Soon to be released on Amazon my forthcoming book entitled “The Two Roads of Life: Navigating Yourself and Family to Health and Contentment”. Available in February 2021.