So as some of you may already know parental strategy is pretty much a combination of guerrilla warfare, bribery and reinforced discipline to get your child to behave. It’s a contradictory package of tactics but it’s a necessity, to fool the sneaky weasel, that is your child. You see, the problem here though is that children are excellent at adapting to their environment. Eventually the little farts figure out your disciplinary pattern and once they do, you either wake up and change it or end up being mentally manipulated by a little person of superior intellect. Although this may make you proud if you are indeed a villain, it doesn’t help rest of the people in this world that have to deal with the after effects of you praising your evil genius kid.
That’s why you have to keep your parenting skills fresh and dynamic. Keep the child on their toes as the saying goes. Just not literally because that goes beyond reinforced discipline and in to the territory of torture. You are doing it wrong if you have acted that one out, but I wouldn’t blame you for imagining it. The question is how far do you go and what techniques can you use? There is no exact written method that can be followed like a checklist and the insight your parents can offer is only somewhat useful because it’s from a different timeline. Sure there are a million books telling you how people think children should be raised and you could follow that, but you know what, most of the time they are referencing their own children and the things they’ve learned as a generalization. At the end of the day, you have three tools that matter, your instinct, your memories as a kid / teenager and your experience. Hopefully, these tools will help you to apply your own life lessons to your child. It’s makes sense though, if you really think about it. This child after all, is a copy of yourself. They will live under the same roof and pickup on the same habits both good and bad. They will inadvertently copy you to a degree and a book is not going to help you raise your “mini me” personality.
Right now, I’m in the early “wonder years” with my son and fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t experienced his teenage years yet but I can assure you that it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Honestly, I can’t wait. I’m reservedly excited to see how he turns out, what career he will choose and how he will decide to live his life. But at the same time, I’m so scared of the crap he will go through, the challenges he will face and how they will impact on his personality and social development. Yes, that’s life and he has to get out there and face it on his own, but sometimes life is cruel and I want to protect my boy. For now, I’ll just wing it with those 3 tools until my son develops the ability to sufficiently understand the consequences on his own actions. I’ll deal with his personality disorders and cross that puberty bridge later. What I will promise him now and one day when he is old enough to understand, is that I will always be there for him, I will show him the respect he deserves, will always encourage him to be his own person and I will do my utmost to be honest. All I expect, is the same in return.
The game of parenting is an exciting one. Sure some of you that are human baby factories (i.e. you push children out like cool drink dispensers push out cans of coke) probably think that I’m being overly dramatic, but I’ve only had one kid and I probably won’t get the opportunity to have another. I’m not complaining and it’s OK for those that are concerned. I really couldn’t be happier and it just makes me want to try even harder to give my little guy the best possible chance at life.
@Son – FYI Your dad is not ignorant to the biscuits you take over and above what Mommy gives you. Daddy takes the blame for eating them. He is also not completely oblivious to the fact that you disperse your food around you plate and pretend to have eaten too much food. Daddy also knows how you camouflage your vegetables by mashing them up and attempting to hide them between the other vegetables. Don’t worry you have immunity and I’ll let it slide for now…