Controlling is one of the negative roots that all decisions can come from, the other two are: judgement and fear. I was thinking one day how does that apply to children? They need parenting and teaching but is that considered controlling them? Then the word “govern” came to my mind. We do not want to control them, but they do need governing or guiding. These two words: control vs govern have vast different meanings.
What is the difference between control vs govern?
That is a fine line and only careful awareness will make sure that governing does not cross over into controlling. Awareness of the difference between the two is the first step. Controlling is taking away another’s free will, or their agency, their power to choose. This is a very tender and dire principal to understand, I talk about agency more in a different post.
Controlling, manipulation and getting someone to do what YOU want, even if it is a good thing or what you think is right, will not bring the positive outcome you want for their life. Even if it is your children. Why? Because in their heart they are not making that decision for them, they are doing it for you. And that does not bring them salvation or any positive outcome you want. Usually you are controlling based on your own fears and judgements.
These three: control, fear, and judgement are tied together and feed each other.
The only way to help another make the correct decisions you wish them to make, is to teach them Understanding.
Teach them the why of things and give them understanding to make that choice themselves. This way they will want to make that choice for themselves and it will stick. They then can make that decision on their own, in their heart for themselves and with their free will, meaning their agency is intact.
This way then brings about a change that will LAST
Free will is another thing that we steal from people quite often. So how do we apply this to children? When they are young it IS our parental responsibility to govern and teach them about choices and life. Letting them find themselves in what they like or do not like, and giving them choices. Let them have a voice and feelings. When they are older, advice then becomes more of a suggestion and not a command. At some point we do need to Let Them Go to grow.
The difference between control and govern is the Spirit of Understanding.
Govern them, teach them Understanding and let them make the choice, then help them through the experience. Giving them all the knowledge they need to make the choice and letting them go to have the experience is governing them. It will all be ok, you do not want your own fears and judgements to control your actions and be the reason that you do things.