As I made my way to the principal’s office I steeled myself for the meeting to come. Never having been to the principal’s office as a child, I still have to remind myself that the principal’s office isn’t just for the kids who get in trouble. Sometimes it’s for those who want to learn just a little more, go just a little deeper. This morning I took a deep breath, walked into that office, and gave myself permission to use my voice. Permission can go a long way.
I know permission is important. As a coach I know that giving ourselves permission to do things in ways that are new, different, or uncomfortable can be the difference between imagining a thing and actually making it happen. I’ve had clients beg for permission, sometimes without even knowing it, to take care of themselves, permission to slow down, or permission to speak out loud what’s on their minds. One client’s evening commute took her by a lovely lookout where she’d always wanted to stop and take a few minutes to drink in the view and decompress. She never did it—in fact it never even occurred to her to act on her desire—until I suggested she try. How about this week? She was astonished at how free she felt to finally make a small dream a reality. She finally had permission.
Today in the principal’s office I gave myself permission to raise my questions and concerns about how my kids’ school uses technology in the classroom. I gave myself permission to be curious so I could learn and to be assertive so I could share—so someone else could learn. I think we both came out of the meeting a little more aware, a little more allied in the cause of caring for kids wisely in a 21st century world. What a daunting task that is.
Did you know you have permission? Whatever it is that matters to you, whatever it is that burns in your gut and seeks for a way out—you have permission to pursue an outlet. For me, my passion is seeing parents and educators informed and using technology wisely so we can teach kids to do the same. If you share that passion, did you know you have permission to talk with your child’s school administrators and teachers about it? Did you know you have permission to share your concerns and even have your child exempted from screen technology curriculum in the classroom? If you have another passion, you have permission to bring that up too. Whether it’s in your home or your child’s school, you’re allowed to use your voice:
- To advocate for your child’s safety
- To advocate for your child’s health
- To speak your mind even if it contradicts culture’s ways and norms
- To establish and enforce family rules even if your kids don’t like them
- To take care of your own needs, nurture your own interests, and stop burning that candle at both ends
- To say “Thank you, but no.”
As parents we must understand we have an obligation to care for our children along with all permissions needed to carry out that task. I am still learning how to meet that obligation without shrinking in fear of what others might think or how I might be received. I am still learning to use my voice. But the more I give myself permission, the more powerful I find that voice becoming.
Do you have something to say? Give yourself permission to speak it out loud. See where that voice takes you.