Kids Make Parliamentary Law As They Grow. The Book We Are Told To Use Makes It Incomprehensible.

Step 1 of 10. Newborns' cries tell people they have needs. They will soon know words and be able to identify and ask for what they need or want.

Step 2 of 10. Kid's brains are developing and by about two they use the word "No" to say they are becoming individuals. It's much like voting.

Step 3 of 10. Three year olds ask questions. Endlessly, it may seem. Informed, they become more powerful.

Step 4 of 10. Five year olds want rights no one has given them, saying they want to button their own coats or tie their own shoes. With new abilities, they become more powerful.

Enough mystery. I was eleven when a baby sister started these steps. Three years later a baby brother started them. Ma and Pa Nature put the two on this path and as their brains developed they made democracy where they were. Decades passed and I was up my ears in politics before I realized what they were doing.

No one knows when early humans stopped obeying the alpha males in their tribes and started making decisions in groups. It was millennia ago and their only model was what children and young people did.

The ancient Sumerians did it. The alpha males in their city-states went to councils and asked permission to go to war. The councils sometimes refused the alpha males' requests.

In another thusand years the ancient Greeks did it and made decisions their armies obeyed. The ancient Persians did it, and to avoid groupthink they got drunk and and reconsidered what they had decided.

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Step 5 of 10. Six year olds have begun negotiating with their friends for what they want.

Step 6 0f 10. Seven year olds have begun making agreements on what they will or won't allow in their relationships.

I didn't know the depths to which a seven-year-old brother would go. At 21 I came home from the Navy with a jar of coins from the countries I'd been to. I right away started in the nearby two-year college and one night he found the coins. He came to me and asked about them. I was studying for an exam and told him to stop bothering me. He stopped only when I told him, "Don't bother me for a year you can have them!" He left and I forgot.

Step 7 of 10. Eight year olds insist that their friends do what they’d agreed to do. My brother insisted that I keep my promise to give him the coins and was not in a mood to renegotiate.

Step 8 of 10. What preteens do as they learn their abilities may frighten their parents, who might set limits the kids won’t like. Kids who protest with “But my friends are all doing it!” may seem to be gathering allies for a vote. It’s democracy. Will their parents cave without a vote? Will they say “Your friends don’t live here and may not vote here? Will they negotiate the limits?

I found #1 - #8. Is there a #9 and #10? 

Yes; here's #9.

Step 9 of 10. Caution, a metaphor follows.

Pretend for a moment there are but two people, in their teens or older, and one of them either lacks interest or wants some dialog.

"Not tonight. I have a headache", or a 'member' is not cooperating.

This is the motion to table the business at hand. Later, with a motion to take from the table, they can resume deliberations.

Tom, thanks for #9; is there a #10?


Step 10 of 10 is the decision to adopt or reject a proposed action.

My parents didn’t do democracy but my much younger brother’s part in the above Step 8 illustrated the point of order well so I put him in the story. After my wife and I divorced I joined and became active in a large singles club. In a few weeks at a party I saw a woman who was also active in the club. Her smile attracted my attention. We talked and I remained interested. She told me of her four children and their family council meetings.

I knew she was checking my attitude toward children. I had years earlier resolved that I would have no children but left open the option that I might marry a woman with children. Their family council stirred my interest and I passed her test.


Don't keep us dangling; how did the relationship turn out?

Joan, when two people start a relationship they are not blank slates. I wasn't and Ruth wasn't. If you're ok with that idea, let me know.



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