Elsewhere, (guess where, folks!), my attention has been drawn to the problem of knowing just exactly when one is coercing one's child and when one isn't. I mean, this can actually be a difficult problem, I think.
Take a child whose parent has offered an over-arching theory which makes sense to the child, but which results in the child adopting plenty of self-coercive theories in order to fulfill the over-arching theory with which she agrees. The parent doesn't have to do the coercion as the child will be doing it for themselves, so to speak.
Of course, this isn't AE, if one takes the definition of AE to be that a person is enacting the theory that is active in the mind (as opposed to being forced, or in this case, forcing themselves) to enact a theory that is not active...ie: is coerced. Setting an over-arching plan for the child, and leaving the child to do the rest: this is not AE, but a slow absconding with the being of another person.
How can one prevent such a scenario one wonders? Well, am not sure that the following suggestions are 100% reliable, but the parent can't do much more than to stick to these principles:
(Please don't think am being horribly preachy just here. This is really for me, a reminder and a pep talk., so to myself, I say....)
- I won't have an over-arching plan for the children in my life
- I'll make sure the theories I offer really are tentative...if they are good, the children will grok this
- I'll be prepared to change my preferences
- I'll help the child solve his problems so that he isn't subject to subtle self-coercion along the way, even if it is to fulfill his grand plan. (Coercion is never useful).
- And of course, we'll seek common preferences...we'll go wild, be creative, seek other solutions we never dreamt possible.