2065. Inspired Over Polish Food — Second Course


Out of a delightful Polish dinner with Her Highness Marie, one of my research consultants, I developed this article. She inspired two new thoughts about men and women, and two new principles came to light. I posted one at 2064 and the other here. It’s about improving a mother’s leadership.

After first grade starts, mom’s nurturing loses its effect. Keeping her influence mandates need for leadership. Whether direct or indirect leadership is the question to be answered here.

Lack of self-gratitude, lack of confidence in her natural strengths, and many frustrations subvert her natural ability. Especially frustrations caused by children locked naturally in self-development but partially disconnected from mom by unnatural phones and games. All of that causes mothers to adopt poor leadership habits.

Among other domestic pressures, frustration from disobedience pushes mom to take stronger action. Techniques that over time make mom dogmatic and even autocratic. It’s the style of leadership men use, direct. Give orders and expect obedience. However, it’s ungood for harmony among children naturally endowed with urges for self-development. They need, yearn for, and thrive on indirect leadership. Exactly the kind that women are prepared for at birth.

Women should not only tend to their man with indirectness and patience but also to raising children. Mother can’t go wrong by sticking to her nature but can easily slip into wrongdoing by copying male behavior. She’s not autocratic by nature, so she’s not at her most effective that way. When mom leads like dad, she weakens her influence, which makes kids less self-disciplined, which leads to more frustrations.

Although she can dominate children, she doesn’t gain by doing so. She has to discipline. But patience, understanding, and indirectness work better than harsher techniques observed in men. (I purposely leave out love as it too easily takes the form of indulgence, aka trying to buy instant obedience instead of helping children develop self-discipline.) The more that mom uses male techniques, the less effective she becomes at holding on to the hearts of her children. Don’t read that to mean she shouldn’t be tough—just tough indirectness, tough patience, tough understanding, hints toughened by silent ‘you better’, tough personality when challenged, admirable leader toughened by setting desired examples.

Moms can do much better by understanding that kids are self-developers, that patience is available in mom in huge amounts, and that indirectness is her God-given best style of leadership. While best when started with toddlers, moms can start later. In fact, they better get lots of practice before the onslaught of puberty, because patience and indirectness are all that works well in the teens when coaching is the best style of influencing for specific effects.

I realize now, the major principle behind coaching is indirectness and patience to enable players to self-develop. Of course, there’s a lot of loud misunderstanding about minor mistakes too. But they are made secondary because of toughness bred into kids by tough indirect leadership.

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”* Nothing better than mom’s indirect leadership keeps the rocking within limits during the self-development of her children. [*From William Ross Wallace’s poem “What Rules the World” published in 1865]

NOTE: Guy Jr. synthesized a modern day approach to discipline. I’ve asked him to describe it in a future posting.

 

13 Comments

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13 responses to “2065. Inspired Over Polish Food — Second Course

  1. Anne

    There are so many things that fascinate me about this post that I don’t even know where to start. I will be thinking about this over the weekend, reading it a couple more times, and trying to organize my thoughts before I open my mouth. But for now let me just say thank you for this post packed with pearls of wisdom!! I needed to hear every words of it!!

  2. Rachel

    I really like this article. Thank you for it! We have 5 children, and as you can imagine, sometimes I find myself barking orders (I liken it to “nazi-mom”) but with time, I have done this less and less because I have always believed that indirectness is a much better way. It gets the children to THINK for themselves and come up with solutions on their own. Barking orders is bossiness, influencing is leadership.

  3. Yani

    That’s all very well and good if fathers play their part and back the mother up. What if,as in my case, the dad thinks the world’s standards are good enough for his 17 year old daughter and mum is just a conservative and out of touch prude? No need to add that this is also exactly what daughter and all her friends think. So short shorts and singlets are forever being over ruled by me, who is seen as some kind of crank. As in “just because you are naturally modest doesn’t mean she has to be”. Basically I am losing respect for the both of them. It is the one area where I will blatantly and consistently question his headship’s decision. I do prevail as I genuinely believe that it is for my Daughter’s good. And no she isn’t dressed in a burka! But she is always the best dressed and my husband can see the difference when he sees her with her friends, but he lacks backbone (in my opinion) when it comes to saying no for himself to her. I am always the ‘bad guy’ and he always says its my fault for being so conservative. This is a genuine request for advice, not an excuse to dump on my husband or an attempt to disrespect you. I have been reading your blog for some time, and have benefitted from your writing thus far.

    Your Highness Yani,

    There are two kinds of parents. Those who want to be liked and those who want to be loved by their children. Hubby is the former and you the latter. One is the good cop and the other is the bad cop. One is liberal and the other conservative. So what else is new. Sounds like a normal household to me.

    Don’t worry to much as long as you’re winning over her attire. A decade or two from now daughter will return your love proactively

    I’m not quite sure of this but I suspect it. It’s not critical or indicative of a terrible wrong. Just a subliminal thing. When men don’t feel they are sufficiently respected by their wives—as they think they deserve it—they try to find it in daughters. Then, fear of not gaining it there, they turn to trying to be liked, especially when they have but one daughter.

    Guy

    • Cinnamon

      Sir Guy,

      How does Yani stick to her moral guns successfully on this issue (where she is in the right) and maintain harmony in the home without causing husband to feel like she is bossing him (competing with him)?

      I feel this is potentially a powderkeg and must be handled with care.

      • A.GuyMaligned

        Your Highness Yani,

        Cinnamon came to your defense and I add what I hope will enable you to recover even better. She said,

        “How does Yani stick to her moral guns successfully on this issue (where she is in the right) and maintain harmony in the home without causing husband to feel like she is bossing him (competing with him)? I feel this is potentially a powder keg and must be handled with care.”
        ——

        To which I respond with this.

        I don’t see a powder keg yet as Yani seems to have the situation under control when she says this:

        “I do prevail as I genuinely believe that it is for my Daughter’s good. And no she isn’t dressed in a burka! But she is always the best dressed and my husband can see the difference when he sees her with her friends, but he lacks backbone (in my opinion) when it comes to saying no for himself to her. I am always the ‘bad guy’ and he always says it’s my fault for being so conservative.”

        However, I can expand and it may help Yani even more.

        Such disputes are normal just as daughter playing father against mother is common enough to be normal. Role clarification will help if Yani can use it. Harmony flows out of this order of roles: father, wife, mother, father with the role immediately to the left being the boss of that immediately to the right. IOW, yes, father reports to mother. Yani reports to husband as his wife, who is also mother of the children and in a higher order of rank than the father. (Of course this paragraph is more for negotiating than for insistence on RHIP—rank has its privilege.)

        But Yani can do more.

        • She sticks to her moral guns with faith, self-respect, and belief in her rightness, and determination.

        • She takes on a new habit and attitude of greater neatness. Women are blessed from birth with the urge to be neat in appearance and tasks. Neatness energizes women with self-discipline, self-respect, and determination. So greater neatness will help mom. Her appearance improved by neatness may help win dad to her side.

        • She disarms husband with feminine charm and light heartedness that focuses more of his thoughts on her about everything except daughter. She handles the daughter as non-issue, too minor to worry mom but mom does rule on the subject.

        • She finds more ways and spreads her gratefulness all around the family. The more grateful she is for others, the more important she becomes to them, which means they will more easily pay attention.

        • Gently and indirectly she deals with the daughter in grateful privacy and shows husband gratitude for remaining involved. Of course, daughter will turn to father. Mother needs to charm him into referring daughter to mom. Quit the bad guy/conservative name calling. Use gratitude to calm the polarizing of parents by the daughter. In private, convince dad he’s splitting the family over something that mother knows best, if he’s to rule the family but she’s to harmonize the home. Daughter’s apparel is not a family issue (just her and mom) but a home issue and therefore mom’s problem.

        I see now that my previous response may have been too short.

        Thank you, Cinnamon. Good questions.

        Guy

        • Cinnamon

          Thanks, Sir Guy.

          And on reread I can see you were correct in that Yani is already handling the situation quite well, which I didn’t grasp the first time. Nonethless, the additional tactical info is extremely helpful.

  4. Yani

    Thank you my friends for putting the time and thought into this issue. Your advice is much appreciated, and Cinnamon is correct in describing this as a “powder keg” because the lack of backup is not the only instance of husband’s reluctance to provide support. We have other issues besides clothing. But clothing most clearly demonstrates the divide. You can already guess that I am a Christian and neither is husband and daughter, so we already have differing tastes and opinions. Being a Christian (and a seriously relapsed feminist) I can see both sides of the headship issue, and I wonder if my husband misses “the good old days” where I wore the pants and he potted around outside. But I feel lonely and isolated in my own home, and the more submissive I am the angrier I feel when it turns out that my efforts are wasted. I feel as though my patience and self control etc are used against me, and at the end of the day it gives them both an excuse to forget that I am human too and our relationships ought to be MUTUALLY respectful and helpful and satisfying.

    P.s. I have benefitted immensely from “pretty time” in the morning, so neatness is not an issue. The ugliness is mostly on the inside (kidding!)

    Your Highness Yani,

    You describe lack of their respect for who you are, which means lack of self-respect (seemingly torn away by daughter and husband teaming against you).

    Only you can restore it. I recommend you study the multiple series in the CONTENTS page that start with ‘respect’. They call for you to more assertively stand up for yourself, so keep this in mind. The one (or two) most fearful of losing the other will stand down. So, you must be braver on your own behalf. Courageous offensive, as opposed to passive defense, can change the game.

    Being submissive isn’t deserved by someone who doesn’t return respect. Don’t let it bother you if demand the respect due wife and mother. Think shock and awe too in order to get their attention.

    Best wishes,

    Guy

    • My Husband's Wife

      Dear Yani,
      It has to be one of the most difficult things for you to have an unbelieving spouse and child. As you and I know, at the end of the day, Faith is the most important gift that we have in this life. And of course you want your husband and child to have it too!
      Since you’re feeling down right now about it, I’ll remind you of a wonderful thing: YOU are a blessing to your husband and daughter—despite their unbelief—because of YOUR faith. (I Cor. 7:14 states: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.)”
      At this point, patience is the key—trust to let God work THROUGH you. (In other words, you’re submitting to God, the ultimate authority to work in your family’s life). Your family knows where you stand on your beliefs, so let your actions shine without words and your inner joy flow from your heart, continually pray for them…and let go for now, trusting in Him to do the rest FOR YOU. Let God do the heavy lifting on this one! My prayers are with you.

      • Yani

        Thank you My Husband’s Wife. I have lost perspective and appreciate your gentle reminder. I have often thought the monks had the right idea- so much easier to remain holy when single and childless!

        • My Husband's Wife

          Dear Yani,
          You’re statement about monks makes me smile as I’ve felt the same way. My husband is a Christian, BUT–we have had over the years “intense” points of disagreement (repeated arguments) over the subject of “modesty/virtue in women” so I can relate to what you’ve said above. In fact, I came to this site trying to figure out better ways to handle our differences on this matter. It hits a nerve like nothing else does–when we know the damage that immodesty can do to girls/women/society as a whole.

      • surfercajun

        thank you… i really needed to be reminded of this as well.

    • Krysie869

      I have a better question for you Sir Guy so you can remove my previous comments above. You said lack of respect for who a person is means lack of self respect. So a person who treats another person poorly for no apparent reason lacks self respect? Is an example a man who wants to have sex with a woman he finds attractive but has no respect for her as a person? Is there a way for a woman to restore his self respect associating with her?

      Your Highness Krysie869,

      A man needs no self-respect to want to have sex with a woman, so yes that’s an example.

      She might be able to help restore his self-respect before they have first sex together but doubtful after that.

      Guy

  5. Yani

    Thank you for the direction, Sir Guy. I have gone to the Content page and have found much of interest in the “A” section. It could take a while to get all the way down to “R” for Respect, but I will persevere. In the meantime I am going to keep the shock and awe imagery in mind.

    I would like to add my sincere thanks for your attention to my domestic problems on the other side of the world! You have written a treasury of wisdom in both your posts and your generous responses to your readers. May The Lord continue to bless your ministry to women in all parts of the world and in all stages of our lives.

    Your Highness Yani,
    I recommend you go through the respect articles first and then return to the A section.
    Guy

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