When children are raised respectfully, as equal human beings, relationship opportunities with people of all ages open up to them.
Josh's best friend (who is also raised
peacefully) called to talk to him this evening. At one point he asked to
talk to me. We had a friendly conversation, talked about what each of
us were up to lately and looked forward to seeing each other at his
play-date with Josh... next week.
There were no feelings that we couldn't be friends because of our age
difference, or that what I had to say was more important than what he
had to say, or that he should speak to me differently than Josh because I
am an "authority figure".
It was so relaxed and refreshing,
but what I enjoyed most was the genuine connection there. The mutual
respect. Not the forced awkwardness that I remember feeling around
adults when I was a child. Not the awkwardness, timidness, and
fearfulness I sense from Josh's friends who are not respected at home.