As a teacher and mother, I see so many different parenting styles: the authoritative parent , the permissive parent, the uninvolved parent and of course the authoritarian parent; however, we don't discuss the 2018 parent. We all know them, in fact, you may be one, and if that's the case, you may not appreciate my message, but I'd like the opportunity to explain why too much "honoring" your kids is setting them up failure, and why it doesn't make you terrible parent when you give them boundaries.
First, I'd like to define a few things. It helps to really understand what methods you're choosing and how these methods relate to your child's behavior.
plural noun: boundaries
A line that marks the limit of an area. Providing boundaries doesn't mean you aren't allowing your child to do anything, but it means there is a limit to what they can or cannot do. These limits are to typically keep them safe, keep them within a manageable space, and remind them that there are rules in life. To remove limits from your child's space is teaching them that there aren't any limits, when in fact, let's be honest, there are. There are laws put in place to keep ALL people safe, to keep ALL environments manageable, and to maintain the peace. A utopian work would allow for all humans to make choices without governing laws, but we know not everyone acts under the same moral compass. Honoring your child's every desire is NOT teaching them true to life lessons, by giving your child boundaries you allow them to think before they act, to be more aware of themselves in their environment, and to access a part of their discernment.
To honor is to regard with great respect or to fulfill/keep an obligation. Let's break this down, I have heard countless times, "I try to honor when she's expressing her emotions (aka tantrum)," this is saying I regard my child with great respect even in the midst of her display of unacceptable behavior. This showing your child that they can behave in any way and they will have your respect for it; in turn, there is no consequence for bad behavior. Again, another lesson that sends the wrong life message. In every stage in life, reality is, that bad choices have bad consequences. Period. If I'm upset with an outcome, no one will respect me if throw a fit about it. It is not regarded with great respect to lash out when things don't go your way, nor your child's way. Teaching your children that good behavior is honored, and bad behavior has consequences will help begin to shape their own ethics and morals, help guide them when it comes to their own decision making, prune them to think twice before they act.
Finally, this one connects and overrides all styles of parenting and all styles of discipline; it is the holy grail of parenting and the foundation of the relationship between parent and child. We always hear people saying respect is not given, it is earned, we put this expectation on almost everyone who comes across our paths, and yet we don't allow our kids to earn their parents respect. Some parents may have the mentality that their children are born with their respect until they prove otherwise, but I beg to challenge that idea. We teach our children to earn stars, to earn good grades, to earn money, but not to earn respect. If the meaning of respect is deep admiration for someones abilities and achievements then what are we respecting of our child who has no boundaries, constantly tests their parents limits, and has no regard for the rules? By letting them earn our admiration, we are teaching them the value of their own abilities, that their hard work is what is truly appreciated, that they are capable of reaching their full potential and that is always followed by reward. Once again, real life lessons. We all know as adults, the world doesn't respect us without proof; rightfully so, work ethic and consistency is admirable, is respectable.
I say all of this as a teacher, as a mother, and as a part of my community looking at these little humans who are our future. There's no judgement on how you choose to raise your kids, but I hope this might give some insight, I hope these pieces of information I've learned the way are received with an open mind, and that we, as parents, band together to raise a new generation of adults who are strong, hard working, and better than we ever were.