Hey Parents - You're Doing It Wrong

Dr. Spock didn’t originate the idea, but he sure put it into the mainstream: There’s a right way and a wrong way to parent a child and, if you’re a parent, you’re doing it wrong. What? You followed Dr. Spock to the letter? You were still doing it wrong because a couple of generations of post-Spock parenting experts say so.

If you don’t believe me, go ask somebody who doesn’t have kids. How about the guy who has a sour look on his face because you’re “negotiating” with your child about leaving a play area rather than making him leave, or asking your child to put something down in a grocery store rather than making it happen. Or the guy who has a sour look on his face when you don’t negotiate with your child and end up carrying a screaming child out of the play area, or have to deal with your toddler’s grocery store tantrum because you yanked the item she wanted out of her hands. Because as that guy can tell you (and yes, it’s the same guy) there are words and actions that you can use that will make your child do exactly what you want, without fuss, on every occasion. Does he know what they are? Of course not. But you don’t either, so obviously you’re doing it wrong.

You should read the latest newspaper and magazine articles about helicopter parenting, or snowplow parenting, or bulldozer parenting. See? On at least one occasion you did something that your child could have done without your help, so you’re doing it wrong. But if you didn’t, neglectful or indifferent parenting is “doing it wrong”, and authoritarian parenting is “doing it wrong”, so by not helping you did it wrong.

Many parenting experts will tell you that once your child is old enough to contribute to decision-making you should strive for an authoritative (but not authoritarian) parenting style, which would seem to be “doing it right”, but then you’ll read somebody who tells you that helicopter parenting is a form of authoritative parenting, so you’re probably still doing it wrong even if it works out in the end.

If you have a child, there’s a simple test to see if you’re on the right track – if you instruct your child to perform an unpleasant and time-consuming but meaningless task, does your child express a willingness to immediately comply? With no suggestion in their voice of anything but their eagerness to please you and to obey your commands? Followed by prompt compliance and perfect performance? If so, congratulations on a good start. Now do the same thing while teaching your child to question authority and to challenge arbitrary commands, and you’re probably 90% of the way to parental perfection.

Easy, right? You’re welcome.

What is this? More leftist indoctrination bullshit?

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What are you even talking about? Is that the most productive comment that you can provide? If that’s the case and please refrain from commenting on my threads because you offer absolutely nothing of value.

If you disagree with something I’ve said then please explain why, otherwise spare me the peanut gallery commentary.

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Awesome post.

Everyone’s been a child, so everyone’s an expert on parenting. Everyone’s been a student, so everyone’s an expert on teaching. Everyone’s been a patient, so everyone’s an expert on the practice of medicine. Everyone’s been a citizen, so everyone’s an expert on governing.

Everyone’s an expert on just about everything these days. And yet so many of us are chronically miserable. What gives? Maybe it’s time for our society to revisit that thing … now what was that called? … oh yeah, humility.

All parents do it wrong at least sometimes. It comes with the territory.

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This works. If you tell a kid not to do something ( especially if it’s dangerous ), and the kid does it, you wail the kid on the ass a few licks. It sends a message. Of course I’m not saying you should be abusive. Every whack I got as a kid, I totally deserved. I didn’t get many, since I knew, the more stupid I behaved, the more whacks I could get. By 16 I was mature enough to enlist in the Navy; and by 17, I graduated high school, and left for boot camp. I never looked back; but I thanked my parents more times than I can remember, for giving me the guidance that gave me the strength to become an honorable man. If you ain’t honorable, you ain’t a man.


Remember when we were told eggs were bad?
Then we were told eggs are good.
Now, eggs are bad again.

Remember when we were told the earth was going to freeze?
Remember Man Made Global Warming which has now become climate change?
Now we are told the earth is going to over heat and we only have 12 years left.

I take some of these “experts” with a grain of salt.

Each child is different and responds to different things. A parent has to try many avenues before they find out what and does not motivate or demotivate their child.

It took two or three really tough lessons when my son was little for him to understand that I would follow through with what I said. I think he was spanked all of twice in his life.

All I had to do was give him “the look” and he’d snap right into shape. Haaa he still does when I give him “the look”.

Me? I got spanked all of the time, including being paddled by teachers. I didn’t care. Wrong motivator.

However, the worst is letting a kid get away with everything and no discipline. Makes for a loser adult or those that need safe spaces because they haven’t been prepared for the real world.

I’m reminded of the old cartoon where Porky was baby sitting for a kid named Butch. The mom, who was a riveter, gave him a book on child psychology to use if the boy got out of hand.

Porky tried and tried to use the advice in the book but Butch was uncontrollable.

“Didn’t you use the book?” the mom asked on returning.

“It didn’t work.” Porky protests.

“That’s funny, it always works for me.” she said as she proceeded to tan his hide with the book.

You know, lots of things are happening in this world and a fair chunk of them boil down to us not having enough child control.

I attended parochial schools. I had a nun call my mother and tell her, your son is the only student I ever had who made me curse. So, yeah, I deserved every whack, and then some. I was gifted, and school often bored me; but until I got older, I did not realize how unfair it was to other students when I disrupted the classes. I was always an A student; and did not realize what a blessing it was to be able to grasp knowledge effortlessly. I did like the Jesuits who taught me; and probably because they are ( more or less ) the Church rebels; often at odds with certain Church teachings. Many enlightening conversations with several of them over the years. I remember one conversation where I said, why do I have to suffer for Adam’s sin? I would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. I would have asked God to create me a different woman. I mean, I have extra ribs. No pussy on the planet is worth giving up the Garden of Eden. He kind of agreed with me. He laughed his ass off. So yeah, I like Jesuits.

I always try and treat my 10 yr old son as I would want to be treated. Golden rule applicable here as well as everywhere except Islamist country’s. Never talk down to them either, they sense it if not outright reject it.


So you’re a fan of limiting free speech?

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I always do eye to eye with the grand kids. Never give them a chore they cannot succeed at. Builds confidence & self worth. When I’m in the middle of or starting a project, I always get the grand kids opinion. Kids have a way of cutting to the chase. EXAMPLE: a few years ago my FIL was building a large garden shed. The 5 year old is sitting on a stump watching him. The FIL asks the kid if he likes the shed. The kid likes the shed.Then the FIL says, the only problem with a large shed is getting to tools in the back. The kid thinks for about 10 seconds and says, why don’t you put a door on each end.

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Many decades ago I made it a goal to learn something new every day. Many of the things I have learned came by way of children…not just from my three…or from my eight grandchildren…but from watching, hearing or reading about what children say and do.

The best teacher that life has to offer is life itself. It pays to pay attention.

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l learned this from my grandmother, about teaching kids to share; and I tried it out one Halloween. The two of them come home with about 40 pounds of candy; and before the riot started. I had one of them divide the candy into two plies; but the other grand kid got to pick the first pile. I swear he had the piles of candy down to the micro gram.

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Like leadership, there is no one way of proper parenting. My kids require different styles from day to day depending on the circumstance. Must of done alright, they’re both turning into respectable adults. . . Oh and both are extremely conservative !!

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Fundamental is teaching right from wrong bas on moral values.

Both are lost today.

One problem is that moral values differ among large groups. First there needs to be a consensus on moral values.

To Islam, murder is not immoral…it is commended.

I raised two boys darn near by myself. Kids all learn differently but that does not mean you change the rules. You establish a set of rules and live by them. You teach them that breaking a rule comes with consequences.

The best advice I ever received was from Dr. Stephen Covey. I actually met the man when he was giving a lecture at the University of Cincinnati. You teach them principles such as fairness, kindness, dignity, charity, integrity, quality, and service.

You must give a young mind something to look forward to. I taught my boys how to fish, hunt, play baseball and enrolled them at age 7 in Celestial Mountain Northern Style Kung-Fu classes. Both now have advanced to BaGua and Xing Yi.

The mistake I see some parents make is they want to be their child’s friend. You can’t be their friend you always must be their parent. After they are raised and on their own then you can be their friend.

You have to be careful with values. Dr. Covey called principles self-evident, natural laws.

“When you think of your personal values, how do you think?” Typically, people focus on what they want. I then ask them, “When you think of principles, how do you think?” They are more oriented toward objective law - listening to conscious, tapping into eternal verities. Principles are not values. The German Nazis, like the street gang members, shared values, but these violated basic principles."

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l learned this from my grandmother, about teaching kids to share; and I tried it out one Halloween. The two of them come home with about 40 pounds of candy; and before the riot started, I had grand kid number 1 divide the candy into two plies; but grand kid number 2 got first pick of the two piles. I swear he had the piles of candy down to the micro gram.

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Grandmothers have a way of being uncannily wise. Mine, from my mother’s side, taught me many things…all without my knowing that I was being schooled.

One thing in particular comes in handy quite often. “Just because someone calls you something doesn’t mean that’s what you are…and it works both ways…good and bad.”

To realize this gives one humility when being praised and resilience when being criticized.