Power is a significant aspect to our lives, it is everywhere. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, power is always involved. As a babysitter there are many children that I watch that I have power over, I also have power over my younger siblings, my nephews, etc. I have many adults who have power over me, parents, professors, employers (parents that I babysit for), etc. In the chapter 5 reading, we learned about two different types of power. The first one we learned about is the “power to” approach, and the second one is the “power of” approach.
The “power to” approach is the ability to bring about an intended outcome. As a student, I have learned that I have the “power to” push through, with hard work and dedication, to get the grade that I want. I have the “power to” work 40 or more hours a week while taking six classes, having homework in every class and having to study, all while still being successful. I was able to push through high school and I have started to work my way through college successfully, because I set a goal, and I have given myself the “power to” achieve this goal. I also have the “power to” take care of six children at once for eight hours without losing my mind. I plan ahead so that I have fun activities that the kids like to do so that they have an enjoyable time with me and I have a less stressful time watching all of them.
Since I (usually) have six young children that I watch all at once, and have two different mothers who teach and discipline their children differently, they have “power over” the way that they discipline their children as well as the way that I handle their children. I never want to overstep any boundaries, so I had to realize early that they are the mothers. I am expected to follow their instructions for the care of their children. If I do not, it could potentially cost me my job. I also see this approach in my relationship with my own parents. As much as I hate it, they have “power over” me, and a lot of what I do. I have to ask before I am able to do anything, or go anywhere. I do have a lot of respect for my parents though, and because of my honesty with them they are pretty lenient.
I started to realize that power was a large part of my life in elementary school, I did not like that the teachers would tell me what to do. It confused me, because they were not my mom. Throughout my life, I picked up on the involvement of power, I noticed in sports, there was a team captain and when i participated in group projects in high school, one person usually took the ‘reins’. There was not a production of inequality, just a level of respect that came with this “power over”.