It is necessary for a parent to dominate a child. I’ll have much to say about domination later on but the word has any number of negative connotations in todays world. It’s meaning related to the meaning of the word “overbearing.” And it is related, but only in part. The part “bearing” which means direction. That’s the purpose of domination, to supply direction.
How silly it would be to talk of our car’s GPS as overbearing. “I can’t stand it’s attitude at all, it won’t admit of any other direction to my uncle;s but just keeps telling me to turn right at this intersection. I think better than that. There are other ways for it to advise me, it could for instance explain to me the reason for turning right, give me a chance to agree with that decision. Treat me as a whole person!”
Well the fact is sometimes a parent just has to tell a child to turn right. Doesn’t have time or the energy to get out a map. The trick is often in how you go about. Gentle sarcasm, humor is often fun.
Read the exchange between Agatha Christies and her you daughter Rosalind as Rosalind complains about the school she’s been sent to:
Rosalind – “Mother you’ll understand why I have to be removed from here when I tell you all the girls wear snoods.”
Agatha Christie – “Dear Rosalind you’ll remember how we went to considerable effort in order to select that school in the first place. I don’t see why girls shouldn’t wear snoods, and I don’t know what snoods are.”
A couple of points. She’s teaching Rosalind (see the “we” in her remarks) that she agreed to that school and therefore has some responsibility to follow through. Especially since her mother devoted time and money to picking the school they both could agree on. But secondly she makes fun of Rosalind, chides her for a childish attitude and suggests she act a bit more mature. In effect asks her to be a better young person, to grow. And in sum it’s all pretty funny not in the least because Christie has adroitly turned the tables on Rosalind, the young being hatched out of an egg knowing everything there is to know believe they can make fun of the older folks, but that the other way round is not allowed.