Authority as a service

   The exercise of authority has always been an unfinished debate both in the sphere of society and those of family and school contexts.

   We can differentiate a number of successive phases in exercising authority: thinking, informing, deciding, communicating clearly the norms of behavior and enforcing them. When parents order something must think why they do it: because of sobriety or in order not to complicate their life? to create peace or for convenience? Parents have to make good decisions by means of punishment and reward.

   When some of the mentioned phases are given up, authoritarianism can be brought about, consisting of the arbitrary exercise of authority, or you can may end in defeatism, that is to say, “giving in to everything” and exercising any authority at all.

   In spite of internal and external difficulties to perform authority, parents and teachers must persevere in their mission to achieve the improvement of autonomy and responsibility of their children-pupils. At the bottom there are two contrary positions: a zeal for service and an insistence on domination.

   The insistence on domination can take place when parents consider children as objects of their property or when they project themselves in their children so that the kids follow a professional or personal way for their liking, or if children are exhibited as things parents have.

   Sometimes a spouse tends to dominate their children when he or she feels dominated by the other spouse or if it is dominated at work or in social relationships. In any way, this sort of authority is inconsistent with the true authority as a service. You can speak about authority, but it is no longer so: its goals have changed.

   Parents’ authority is an essential service when exercised properly. Occasionally attitudes of respect and demand will have to be coordinated. Sometimes there will be to stimulate children in their behavior, but respecting always their freedom.

   Authority as a service can be showed in details of example, good humour and strength. In a climate of spontaneity, without formality and abandonment, authority helps to create an inner safe environment in children personality, because it is the consequence or a true love.

    Arturo Ramo

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