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.