Are You a Benevolent Despot?

November 7th, 2019

What's a benevolent despot? The two words seem to not go together. Despots are usually dictators, ruthless bad guys. When you are benevolent, you help others. You are kind and giving. How can a parent be both benevolent and despotic? Think of a king during the feudal Middle Ages. He had a castle with a big wall and moat around it. The villagers lived outside the walls of the castle. However, they were protected by the king. He showed them kindness and compassion, understood their needs and feelings. Because he was benevolent, the villagers shared their bounty with him, worked for him. As in a family, the benevolent despot parent is the final authority and has the final say. However, you take into consideration your children's needs and feelings when exerting your authority. Such families thrive and teachable moments abound.