Wednesday Words—Autocracy

Is self-sustained as it is self-derived power and is common to all of us, even the meekest of us, and calls for special watchfulness; the more so, because it shows itself fully in remitting duties and in granting indulgences as in inflicting punishments.[1]


We can all give an example of when we consented for a child not to do something, i.e., homework, setting the table, piano practice, playing with a sibling etc. and when we approved of  indulgences such as, twenty more minutes on the computer, watching television during the week, another serving of ice cream, going home with a friend on a school night, etc. Charlotte Mason speaks to each of us as authorized parents and teachers, and how common this is among us, the vacillation of our authority when defaulting to children‘s persistent pleas or stormy outcries or wielding ways. Sometimes our arbitrary ways arise from unregistered influences in our moods or fatigue. And at other times they are largely the result of bad habits.

Questions to Consider

~How might you participate in that special watchfulness so as not move in and out of authority?  Think of the last time you were arbitrary in your authority, what influences played upon your wavering.

~Do you see yourself having unreasonable pity for a child in your midst with a different standard of relationship which could be described as autocratic? Why? How does this hinder your growth and the child's?


[1] Charlotte Mason, School Education, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1989)16, (paraphrased).