Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Camping I went...

Critiquing Others' Parenting

Went camping at a local state park, with the in-laws: The wife's sister, her husband, their four kids (all aged 8 and below) and her parents. Had a good time, generally, though the kids are a bit, shall we say, "pert", at times. I love 'em tons, and pick on them incessantly, and it's a good time. What gets me, though, is the willingness of their parents to allow them to speak disrespectfully to them (The impudent "No, Daddy!), and whine/cry to get their way or express their displeasure at a parentally issued order.

It could be that I'm far too strict about this; my not having kids and all might not lend much credential in my ability to parent. It seems to me, however, that the guy on the outside looking in might be the one most accurately able to assess the situation from a theoretical or strategic standpoint.

Am I wrong about this?

I'm of the belief (and can't wait to test the theory on Daughter #1, expected in early-mid October) that any disobedience is punishable: You do NOT disobey a parental edict. You follow the edict, without whining, negotiating, or delay; cheerfulness is ideal and possibly even mandatory. To do otherwise is disobedience and therefore unacceptable. Whining, tantrums, disrespectful attitudes: No-no's. This applies to any child old enough to understand the word "No".

I'm not mean, nor will I be abusive; either physically or verbally. I will correct, positively and gently as possible while still getting the point across, when my little angel strays. Consistent, loving discipline; applied heinie-ally if necessary, but not in anger.

And I'm fun--ask the neice and nephews (the youngest is not yet a year old). "Do it to me, jml!", is commonly heard after I hang one of them by their ankles out over some body of water, or give a horsey ride, or similar fun-ness. If one gets the priviledge of being hung upside down, they all have to--and I can't say I don't enjoy doing it.

I think I'll be a good Dad. I'm looking forward to it!