8 responses to “2334. Suggestions for Raising Children — Part VIII

  1. surfercajun

    Reading this prompted a pleasant thought to a time I was teaching the youngest how to fold wash cloths and hand towels. Sitting in my lap I folded each one showing and saying it over and over how it was folded then having him mimic me. After we did it together, I always kissed his cheek. 🙂

    Your Highness Surfercajun,
    Nice technique for a mother and highly promotional of a well-developed tween and teen.
    Guy

  2. Maddie

    EDITOR’S NOTE: MY RESPONSE IS IN CAPS following your questions in lower case.

    Dear Sir Guy

    Yet another insightful post! May I ask your thoughts on the merits of stricter parenting styles? For example, the general parenting philosophy of Chinese families in America’s is somewhat stricter and more dictatorship than American families, yet they seem to have “got it right” in terms of achievements and family unity. Does this model only work in Chinese families because of cultural affinity? You may have heard of a book titled “The battle hymn of the tiger mother” by Amy Chua –> http://amychua.com/ I have not read it but I am curious to.

    THE CHINESE CULTURE ISN’T FREE AS WE KNOW IT; OUR CULTURE IS BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. THEY LIVE UNDER THE RULE OF MAN; WE LIVE WITH THE RULE OF LAW. LACK OF FREEDOM PRESSURES THEM INTO A COLLECTIVE WAY OF LIFE FOR MUTUAL PROTECTION AND DEFENSE AGAINST TYRANNY. OUR CONSTITUTION SUPPORTS INDIVIDUALISM AND PROTECTS US AGAINST TYRANNY AS ITS PRIMARY PURPOSE.

    THEIR CULTURAL PRESSURES MAKE FOR A STRICTER STYLE OF LIFE, NOT JUST RAISING KIDS. THE INNER WORKINGS IMPOSE HIGHER AUTHORITY ON PARENTS AND APPLY SANCTIONS FOR MISSTEPS. IT ENCOURAGES CHILDREN TO MORE READILY ADAPT TO STAY IN LINE WITH EVERYONE ELSE. PARENTS HAVE TO AND CHILDREN SOON LEARN TO LIVE UP TO SOMETHING HIGHER THAN THEMSELVES, ALBEIT MAN MADE. IT MAKES CHILD RAISING MUCH MORE ACCEPTABLE TO CHILDREN BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS ARE MORE EASILY RESPECTED FOR OBEYING SOME HIGHER ORDER OF THINGS.

    STRICTNESS IS NOT AS ESSENTIAL IN OUR CULTURE BUT IT DOES MAKE SOCIETY A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE BECAUSE THE RIGHT KIND AND AMOUNT OF STRICT UPBRINGING BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN EACH OF US. IT MAKES US BETTER PEOPLE WHEN, AND HERE WE DIFFER FROM THE CHINESE, IT’S TAUGHT IN TODDLERHOOD AND SUBSEQUENTLY EASED OFF.

    I agree somewhat with the author’s philosophy – that strict parenting (within reason) “brings out” the best in children. That children have a natural tendency to be disheartened by early failures and no amount of “well-intentioned encouragement” can coax them to try again once burnt and that a philosophy of encouragement-only takes way to long to be effectual and once compounded, the child can slip behind on important developmental milestones that could have been achieved earlier using a combination of encouragement and strictness.

    I AGREE WITH THE WHOLE PARAGRAPH. IT’S WHY TODDLERHOOD UPBRINGING IS VITAL TO THE SELF-DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHILD.

    I understand the dangers of applying this philosophy when children are too young but at what age, if any, is it reasonable or appropriate to start be “strict” – 14 years? 15 years? And who should be delivering the “strict” policies? Mother? Father? Both together (if both together, how?)

    WHOA! NOW WE DISAGREE. YOU HAVE IT REVERSED. THE ONLY DANGER IS OVERDOING IT, WHICH UNFORTUNATELY IS VERY COMMON.

    OBVIOUSLY I’M TALKING ABOUT BENEVOLENT DICTATORSHIP IN TODDLERHOOD. THE CHILD LEARNS TO DO EVERYTHING IMPORTANT CORRECTLY. WITH PARENTAL CARE, UNDERSTANDING MATURE DEVELOPMENT, AND SUFFICIENT PATIENCE TO ALLOW TODDLERS TO GROW, THEY CAN HANDLE LEARNING NEW THINGS IN SPECIFIED WAYS. THEIR SENSE OF INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENCE HAS NOT DEVELOPED FULLY, AND SO THEY ABSORB LESSONS READILY AS THEY NEVER WILL AGAIN.

    IN THE TWEENS PRESSURE MUST BE LESSENED EXCEPT ABOUT THINGS TOTALLY NEW TO THE CHILD. EXAMPLE: “YOU WILL DO YOUR HOMEWORK OR YOU WON’T LIKE THE CONSEQUENCES.”

    DITTO FOR THE TEENS. EXAMPLE: “YOU DRIVE MY CAR RECKLESSLY AND THE PRIVILEGE VAPORIZES.”

    OTHER THAN TO HANDLE NEW EXPERIENCES, PARENTS HAVE TO RELY ON WHATEVER STRICTNESS THEY TAUGHT AND KIDS LEARNED AS TODDLERS. MISTAKES MADE BACK THEN HAVE LITTLE CHANCE OF CORRECTION LATER IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT. PARENTS CAN COMPENSATE BUT NOT CORRECT THE PAST, WHICH IS NEVER ENOUGH FOR THEM, BUT THAT’S ABOUT THEIR ONLY CHOICE.

    And what about your policy on smacking kids (I disagree with this as I was never hit as a child, but wondering if I may be ill informed?) How to manage super difficult children who won’t/can’t respond to respectful reasoning?

    SMACK A KID AND YOU LOWER YOURSELF TO HIS LEVEL BUT HE CAN NEVER WIN. IN YOUR EXASPERATION, YOU TURN HIM INTO A LOSER, INADEQUATE FOR FAMILY LIFE, IN A DITCH FROM WHICH HE CAN’T ESCAPE. IT ONLY TAKES A TIME OR TWO TO RUIN A KID FOR LATER FOLLOWING THAT PARENT’S LEADERSHIP.

    MANAGE DIFFICULT CHILDREN? DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE WHERE YOU ARE AT. IOW, DEAL FROM THE DECK OF WHAT YOU’VE DEVELOPED SINCE BIRTH.

    Surfercan I would also be interested in hearing your thoughts too.
    Thanking you in advance,

    Maddie

    • surfercajun

      Maddy,

      I am not sure if I am qualified to suggest much anything.

      Every child is different. I’ll give you an example from my own family. My oldest and youngest act exactly the same…but different sexes…. The middle child vastly different. The oldest and youngest were spanked often, the middle rarely. I remember I could just look at him with angry eyes and he would become upset.

      I was spanked as a child by my father who always said before spanking “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” He always looked so sad before the punishment begin with a black belt of his…. so naturally this past over to my little family. Depending the crime, the belt was used. Example: like disrespecting or not listening to mother. I would literally leave a place of business to go home and discipline my children. Only once I because so upset that one was spanked in the mall. (to my surprise a lady came up to me THANKING ME for whipping my child) Later, I could get them to stop crying by simply saying in a firm voice to “Stop crying”. (a tactic my own father used on me)

      Maddy, it is different when it is your own children. I don’t know about anyone else, but I seem to have the patience of Job when dealing with other people’s kids but for our own (and I think most parents can attest to this) patience is lost. It makes me wonder how often God would lose His temper…. ya know?? I have told my own in the past, how you act is how other parents JUDGE me. (when they were older) I remember one of my kids stated that it was unfair…I remarked yea, it is unfair but you are a product of how people see me. What’s that saying?? The fruit don’t fall to far from the tree phrase??

      Presently, there is some disrespecting going on between the middle and the youngest boy. One would not think a 9 year old would take on a towering 16 year old that could hurt him…but it is happening and the struggle is real. Right now, the oldest boy is deferring to me in hopes he won’t have to deal with him. I am getting everyone to control their voice level (including me) so some self control is entering into the picture window here at our home.

      • surfercajun

        PS. Another little thing I would tell my kids… How you think in your heart, will eventually show up on your face.

        It actually makes me think of these bitter women that have that *itch rest look on their faces. They always look sooo angry. Even when I smile at them they have that *fake* smile for me but I know they don’t mean it. Kinda when someone tells you, you look nice then you overhear them as they walk away say to their friend, “not really” :o(

    • Maddy

      Thank you Sir. Valuable advice indeed! To clarify, the strictness I envisage during the teen years is largely preoccupied with sexual restraint. Lock up our children until marriage or similar, lol (just joking). You have covered that concern well in your latter posts. It will take some courage on my part I daresay to trust in the “method” you describe, but I agree with it wholly. I observe my Chinese counterparts fibbing to their parents so as not to disappointment them and I think this breeds an unhealthy relationship. For years my friends would overstate their achievements to their parents to “win” their approval. Whilst this had some merit in that they felt a sense of urgency to do better and so generally succeeded over their peers, I feel they also felt more alone in their failures.

      Can you post your thoughts on when daughter decides to have sex anyway? How to address then?

      With most grateful thanks,
      Maddie

      Your Highness Maddy,

      “Can you post your thoughts on when daughter decides to have sex anyway? How to address it then?”

      No, I can’t. Mom does that best based on the current stage and relationship that has developed throughout the child-raising process.

      My work is based on what motivates girls to get involved, and I’m working on an article to teach moms to do a better job of daughter’s involvement too early in life. Some of it may help after the fact but that’s an individual’s choice.

      Guy

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