Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, Discipline Without Tears, 1972


The old tradition of raising and teaching children, which came from an autocratic society, is no longer effective in a democratic setting. We have to learn new forms of dealing with each other because our relationships have changed. The adult/child relationships in the past were ones of dominance and submission. Today, equality is the only basis on which we’ll ever be able to effectively solve discipline problems.

We are witnessing a rebellion of all those who previously were dominated in an autocratic society, and are now no longer blindly accepting the dictates of authorities. This is an unhappy yet inevitable revolution for participation in decision-making.

Desire for equality and participation was fought first in the political and legal arenas. Free men demanded to be treated equally by their legislatures and courts. Labor was next; they didn’t want to be dictated to by management. The same with the races: “Black Power” was the war cry of the powerless. Women’s Liberation was the most recent group to seek equality. Today it is our children’s turn to fight. And just as the other groups have won, or are in the process of winning their battle for equality, so will the children. They are in the majority and they have time on their side.