What parent hasn’t said should to a child just today? I have a feeling should was used several times today. I was listening to a CD by Paul Bluto called “Don’t Should On Me”. It was done by an elderly man in Branson Missouri. He not only sang it. He wrote it.
Anyway it was about all of the shoulds in his life from the time he was three. It started with his parents telling he should brush his teeth, wash his face, etc. Then he started school and guess what–his teachers started with the shoulds. “You should sit down, you should study, etc”. Then he became an adult and he began telling himself what he should do, which I guess shows that he learned well. He incorporated all of the shoulds from his younger, learning years internally and now he tells himself what he “should” do. Now in his older years he is tired of all of the shoulds. He does not want to be told what he should do anymore.
Carl Rogers, a psychologist that created a theory in psychology called Client Centered Therapy bases his theory on his belief that every living organism moves in a forward, goal directed, positive, motivated direction. What if one believed that? Would all of those shoulds be necessary? Maybe in the beginning he would need some guidance and “shoulds” to make it easier for him, but if Carl Rogers is right, maybe not. Maybe he would find his own way and move forward to independence in all areas of life.
We see some of this when children are playing with certain toys. If left to themselves they will eventually figure it out and advance on to other and higher levels. Look at some of the toys where children learn by trial and error. They soon learn how to accomplish what the game is set out to teach them and soon learn that if they do a certain thing such and such will happen every time. Once they succeed at this they have become confident enough in themselves to move on and try something more complex.
So what am I trying to say? I am not saying that we don’t need parents or teachers, because we do. The song is just a cute little song with a cute little tune but perhaps it does have some relevance as well. Maybe we “should” let our children have a little more freedom to learn and feel good about themselves when they succeed at something and have faith that they can do it. They don’t need to be told constantly what they should do, So “Don’t Should On Me”