On Discipline

I’ve been preparing for fatherhood by combating the biggest problem with families today.

Not gay marriage.
Not contraception.
Or sex education in schools.

No, the biggest problem with family values today, is the lack of parents willing to actually raise their children. And by raise their children, I mean to get off their ass and do their job and instilling skills, discipline, values, and respect in their brains.

This does not include buying them laptops. Or video game systems. Or whatever bell and whistle they want. The job of parenting is not to make their lives a wonderland paradise. The response from parents to my complaint is always the same: (some variation of) I’ll call you when you’re knee-deep in shit with a kid 60 minutes into a temper-tantrum.

My response (on the inside, of course) is often: (some variation of) Well, I’ll call you when you’ve learned to actually value the blessing of being a parent and accepted the awesome responsibility of raising a human being.

I been reading a great book lately, written for current parents with unruly kids. However, it has many great techniques to consider and talk about with your expecting spouse. I could go into them one-by-one and rant about how ridiculous the actions of parents are on a daily basis. Instead, I want to talk about the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

My first thought is that this might not be real. I hope it is. I pray that it is. I pray that it is mainly because of the absurd question posted above the raw link of this video.

“Was this parent’s Facebook parenting too harsh?”

Are you fucking retarded? Listen to this guy’s rant. He clearly hasn’t been harsh enough in this brat’s first 15 years. Her life should have its own section on WhiteWhine.com. Yes, I’m sure that progressives that are scared of firearms would say that unloading a clip into your teenagers laptop might be extreme. However, if you listen to the video, he is dealing with an unruly and out-of-control girl. This video reminded me of my favorite tactic from the book, called “Shock-and-Awe”.
I’ll assume none of you need an explanation.

Here are some ways to know if you’re disciplining your kid enough and giving them way more than they ought to have:
If you find yourself saying, “I’m taking away your laptop until college”, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.
If your child uses the term ‘cleaning lady’ to justify why she doesn’t nee to do chores, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.
If your child believes they have any sort of privacy — online or otherwise — when living in your house, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.
If your child believes payment is required for chores, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.
If your child has never earned something they wanted through hard work, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.
If your child does not hate you every single day, you’ve clearly spoiled your kid.

I get to talk like this because I did all of this shit. If Facebook had existed when I was a kid…holy shit, I don’t even know what I would’ve done. I likely would’ve done something worse than this girl. If I had $1 for every time my dad should’ve slapped the piss out of me, we both would be retired and fishing for marlin in the Florida Keys. However, I can say that my parents fully achieved their goal as parents. I recognize that everyone has different values and priorities. They wanted me to enjoy my childhood and feel safe, something that — unfortunately — is not a given in the richest country in the world, and I did. I have wonderful, life-lasting memories.
I also have no idea how to change a tire. Because when he tried to teach me, I pretty much showed him my sack and went back to some worthless activity that did nothing for me in adulthood. Rather than beat the living snot out of me, he decided to not spend his free time banging his head against my hard-headed skull. I can’t say I blame him. But you miss valuable bonding time and valuable needed life lessons. I would have rather been pissed then and have those things now. If you think your 12-year-old can make decisions for themselves, than you should write Congress and tell them to let kids vote, enter into contracts, and reasonably conduct all business that able-minded adults do.

You make decisions for them. Sometimes by force.

Now, for those that cannot recognize effective exaggeration, I am not saying that we should beat our kids. There are other tactics, very effective tactics to teach them that chores are not an option; that disrespecting adults is not an option; that living with a sense of entitlement is not an option.
Every minute of every day is a war and your kid is keeping a battle diary.
Every time they win, they’ve mark the line. When you threaten discipline and don’t follow through, they learn another tactic. When you buy them something to shut them up, just another strategy. They keep marking the line until you kick them in the head.

Today’s parenting style, if not about taking the easiest path, is about making sure your kids love you now — hearing that your the best parents of all the parents they know.
In my opinion, the legacy of a parent is not made while in adolescence. It is made long after you are dead and gone.

About Creed

I often ramble. What some people can eloquently say in 10 words, when most people would take 25, I will intentionally take 100. It's always been this way. This blog is mainly to spare my friends, family, and co-workers from my epic long rants.
This entry was posted in Humor, Personal, Rants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On Discipline

  1. Well, I agree with some things and disagree with others; particularly the “if your kid doesn’t hate you every day you aren’t doing your job.” I know it was probably hyperbole, but just because your kid is mad at you doesn’t always mean you are making the right decisions. I think there is a balance to be struck between being a hardass with the things that matter and letting kids have a little space to be kids, and make mistakes, and do stupid things.

    I think kids need to have times with their parents where they know they are loved, and not just in the “you’ll look back on this later and know I meant well” way, but in ways they can understand at their level. Sometimes that means stopping the lectures about work and responsibility and playing a video game with them or throwing a ball around. Sometimes it also means coming down hard like the hammer of Odin and standing firm with harsh disciplinary consequences.

    I spent a year teaching at an all-boys boarding school and living at the monastery with the monks that taught there. These guys were old school. Some of the kids we got were on their last stop to military school. The discipline was always tough, but fair, and it was balanced with love. What they taught me about effective discipline was to (proverbially) “smack them with one hand and hug them with the other.” It’s a great philosophy, I think. Be firm, fair, consistent and let them know that you are enforcing discipline because you love them. The knowledge and feeling that they are loved despite the immidiate anger at disciplinary consequences will ultimately lead to the best results from that discipline. If they just think you’re always mad at them or worse, that you hate them, they will act out more.

    Every parent has their own philosophy about parenting, and this is just mine. I think it works because I got a chance to try it out on other people’s kids. Ultimately we all have to navigate these waters according to our own judgement because every kid and every parent and every relationship is a little different.

    • Creed says:

      Yes, I was being a bit facetious. There is nothing more important than playing catch, reading them a story, taking them to the zoo, etc.
      Without those experiences you simply become a living iteration of a Harry Chapin song.
      If this dad had been a raving lunatic and simply reacting on emotion, then he would’ve been out of line. Instead, he used solid parenting techniques like you outlined: he stated the transgressions, he reminded about the previous warning, and he linked the punishment with the transgression – all the while being extremely calm and collected (especially for a guy with a cigarette, cowboy hat, and pistol!).

      He ended with the shock and awe moment that will hopefully teach her a lesson. The arguments of child abuse, tantrums, and bad parenting show why children control 80% of households I know.

  2. Oh, and I think this dad was spot on. If this was my daughter I would have borrowed my brothers shot gun and taken that laptop out to the range for a little skeet shooting. He was calm, assertive, laid out what went wrong, who was affected, what the consequences were and why he was enforcing them; textbook discipline for an older child.

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