By Archie Canyon
A response to this article by Rosalind Wiseman
1) I demand you to be the best parent you can be. Not that you drive the nicest cars or have perfectly cooked meals prepared every night. I demand that you have the courage to ask yourself and others hard questions that make you uncomfortable. I demand that you do so with unshakeable commitment to civil dialogue in every aspect of your life.
2) I demand that when parenting gets tough, or anytime life is hard and you feel overwhelmed because parenting isn’t the only thing important in your life, you collaborate with smart passionate, capable people who don’t take themselves too seriously, and have a good sense of humor. Growing up is tough and I don’t need you to make it any harder by making big parenting mistakes. Keep people close who will tell you when you messed up but say it with love and care. These people will make things better for you and me.
3) I demand that in your job, this family, and our community you look for ways to address social, political, and economic injustices. I need a role model if I’m going to change the world around me.
4) I demand that you always remember that your dignity and the dignity of others is not negotiable--ever. This includes me and my siblings. We need to know what dignity looks and feels like.
5) I demand that you remember that your dignity and the dignity of others matters the most when it’s hard. Like when you see someone being taken advantage of, when you are so angry with someone and all you want is to get revenge, or when you face someone who believes that their truth trumps all others--dignity is most important.
6) I demand you clearly explain your values, truths, and beliefs because this is how I will build my perception of the world. It is important to understand how you see it, so I can make my own choices.
7) I demand the dignity to think differently than you. I am a separate person with your mold. Christmas cookies are cut from the same mode but are let to their own when baked and come out a little different. I’m unique.
8) I demand that when you are in a group of people, you be aware of those whose voices in the room are being dismissed. When you notice this silence, support that person’s right to speak and be heard. Do this at the family dinner table, sports gatherings, and whenever people have the right to speak their mind.
When it gets hard, and it probably will, the people who love you and care for you will be on your side. That is our obligation to you.