Youngest first

One is the youngest. And when you are the youngest, you will be remembered that this is a fact: you are the youngest … and therefore you cannot do / participate in what the ‘older ones’ can.

So, youngest, here is the new rule: when all shall speak, the youngest speaks first! You deserve the opportunity to be the first one to say what you want to say.

The older ones will object to this rule, because “you’re too young to …”. Exactly. So show them this is not true. From now on you speak first!

And when they ask you: “where did you get this rule that the youngest should speak first?”, tell them: “from St. Benedict”. He was the abbot of a convent (6th century) and noticed that the older monks did not listen to the youngest. Then he introduced this rule. He wrote a book, called “The rule of St. Benedict”, which became very popular.

When you speak first, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  1. Speak for yourself. Example: I heard X gets a tv in his bedroom, because (s)he turned 15. Why just him / her? I want a tv in my bedroom too!
  2. Don’t pretend to be older. Example: I know I’m the youngest; are you afraid I secretly watch tv till late?
  3. Keep it simple: ‘this is what it is all about and this is what I would like’. Example: here at home, we have the rule “no screens in the bedrooms”. We either stick to that rule or abandon it. But not half way, like ‘it’s a rule, but not for everybody’. That’s just not fair!
  4. When one of the older ones changes the issue, just say “but that is not what is about!”. example: your elder brother or sister tells you that (s)he will pay half of the price from the money (s)he earned from delivering newspapers. You say: “but that does not change the rule, does it?”.
  5. When the older ones join hands in a decision which you do not like, speak up and say: “but this is not what I want”. Example: I don’t like that. House rules should apply to everybody and not depend on your age. Rules are rules!

And then the real conversation begins …

 

                                                                                    [Pieter Mostert, 6 April 2020]

Posted by Kim Down on 6th April 2020 at 12:00am

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