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  • Writer's pictureMichael Sales

You Don't Own Me!

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Leslie Gore’s megahit, “You Don’t Own Me,” has been viewed more than 60,000,000 times on YouTube. Here’s some of her advice many parents ought to take to heart:

You don’t own me

I’m not just one of your many toys

Don’t tell me what to do

Don’t tell me what to say

Don’t put me on display

I’m young, and I love to be young

I’m free and I love to be free

Nurturing children to follow their true calling is our job. We’ve got to live our values in a way that helps them have their own. Demanding that they think and feel the way we do backfires.

Ours is an ever-increasingly complicated era. There are many rights and many wrongs and lots of gray in between. To navigate the 21st-century children need to think critically. They need to learn, articulate, and express what they really feel, rather than simply parroting their parents’ list of do’s and don’ts.

Rigid, fused families that cling obsessively to whatever religion, politics, and/or tradition won’t cut it today or tomorrow.

A strong family is both a wonderful and a limiting context for learning. The role of education is both to make it clear why some family values make sense and to expose children to information, ideas, and horizons that are beyond those present in any family. Compassionate, informed, and skilled teachers are a great family’s best friends.

We don’t own our kids. We’re their stewards, not their bosses.

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