Conformity - a type of social influence involving a change of belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group. The aforementioned definition does not in anyway shape or form describe the Heinisch children. Because of that they have taken their lumps over the years. In general the criticism that they have received has not been from their peers. Those who know them best realize that all of the Heinisch children march to their own drum. Choosing that path has not always made them popular with their teachers, however
In the Heinisch home everyone is entitled to an opinion and may question the rules or the validity of a decision Doug or I have made. In general we talk through differences and explain our position and listen to theirs. I have never once asked any of my children to "be a leader" or criticized them for a decision they made. They are not perfect by any means, but they shouldn't be. They are all learning and maturing. Mistakes are made, consequences felt, but harping and belittling does not occur in the Heinisch home.
I've come to realize that our way of parenting is not always appreciated by others. Countless times they have been told to step up and be a leader when all that person is really saying is "Do what I want you to do." This is in direct contrast to what we believe - "Be who you want to be." When those two factions collide it leaves frustration on both sides. I wish I could tell those who do not appreciate the Heinisch children's unique style of leading to back off. No amount of lecturing will ever get a child to change what he or she believes. Life will do that soon enough. Help them grow, learn and mature, and most of all include them in this process.