We use dozens of techniques, from getting down to their level, explaining, agreeing on rules and procedures and responsibilities and expectations to "Check Off" boards to stern warnings, to time outs, to "take aways" all the way to a warning of a coming "Butt smack", and actually getting one coupled with a 30 minutes in your bed time out followed by a come and explain to me what you did wrong in order to get out of the bed..... etc.
Yet, a lot really depends on the Child too. For example, our 3 boys have different personalities and each seemed to illicit different results for us. Each took things from us differently and each learned from us differently.
Thus, Our 1st boy only needed a raised tone in our voice to get him to "think twice" about what he was about to do or doing. He was a "dream" as a child and so far, a "dream" teenager. Its amazing really.... but his senior years starts in August so we'll see how that turns out.
Now our 2nd boy from the age of ONE on needed more than a raised tone to "get it". He needed than getting down on his level, he needed strong fiercely watched boundaries REGULARLY guarded and enforced with a 'Swat on the butt' as a clear result of his wrong doing. He has received more "butt smacks" then the other two times ten. What concerns us is not butt smack, its the 'what happens when that is not enough?' Fortunately, is 8 year old age combined with our "power of placement" has really worked better than anything combined. Our parental power of PLACEMENT has worked. We can put him into flag football, chess club, wrestling, hiking groups, music, etc...and as long has he wants those things, fears being pulled out, then "we've got something"...as in, "Well until your homework is done, we can't go to ________, sorry".
Meanwhile Our 3rd boy only needs no raised voice all to be effective. He needs only a consistently applied "result", such as No ___ for you for 10 minutes. A raised voice is "Terrifying" and "horrifically received" by him. No need telling him twice.
So, the 2nd boy has taken the "brunt of it" in the spanking dept. But his strong minded ways has benefits. In sports, he never quits. He drills himself until he feels he's the best, "I'm the best at it now
Finally as they age and change, so do we adapt and adjust. Its a give and take. We think that now at 8, our butt smack days may be over with the 8 year old, hopefully.
Now onto the NAP and Children. We do not own our children, but we do have a 18 year lease, sort to speak. And during that 18 years and perhaps to 21 or more (each kid is different), we parents to the best at guidance as we can. We guide, advice, corral, coax, adjust, adapt, accommodate, make consequences, enforce agreements, etc.
But if I could go back and somehow give my young libertarian father self advice, it would be this. Your Daddy/Mommy Parenting job comes in 3rd. That is THIRD. Third in influence, not first or second, but third. That can be humbling or troubling news. It can deflate our big headed "all important is me the parent" attitude. But we are 3rd. In first in influence is the child's "born with" personality & gifts & propensities. In STRONG second is the child's peer group. Notice that immigrant children do not speak with their parents accent, but rather that of their peer group? Thats just one example from many. In third is "the parents". If the parents do want bigger influence power than it rests in "The Power of Placement Into the Peer Group". Decisions of where you live make your child a "new yorker" or a "Valley girl" or a "Texas cowgirl who loves to ride horses", "a chess champion", "going to music school", "into football"....etc. The power of placing your child into the master peer group and all the subset peer groups thereof, REALLY influences your child, more than YOU and your example. Its true, humbling, and at the same time relieving at the same time. That time "just lost it" and that time "you screwed up and ___" did this or did not do that with your child is 3rd, third in importance towards influencing your child. Your childs own in born personality & gifts & talents AND the peer group(s) that you place them into, is perhaps 85% or MORE. Our parenting is -- if we are lucky -- 15% of the influence we have to how the child "turns out". And if you reflect about your own self, you will find this true as well. And you will find that the most influential thing upon you was PEER PLACEMENT. We moved from here to there and I got to do this and NOT this with my friends.... etc. vs the fact that my Mom did or did NOT do this or this or my dad Spanked or neglected or left....
And when the 18 year lease is up, your power is up. And it is as it should be. They are adults now, and the NAP applies. The last thing you have in terms of power is YOUR VALUES to them. And that is where we as parents cannot neglect our own personal development and selves.
We should not be "All parents" and put aside being who we are, maximizing our life and personal dreams.
I know that "ITS AN HONOR" to have been your dad, to each of my 3 boys. At every step, that is how I feel. If you can't wrap your mind around that one, then think of it this way. Think of someone you greatly admire and love from a distance. Say its someone famous. Lets pick Ron Paul for this example. Well imagine that little baby Ron Paul was born into your family, "ITS AN HONOR" to "be" his parent. "IT'S AN HONOR" to be the one placing boy Ron Paul into baseball, the track team, guiding and advising and yes, if he got out of hand, taking away his teenage car keys..... Its an 18 year lease, and "ITS AN HONOR" to "be" his dad.
You know I was listening to Bill Cosby and I think he said, "do you know when I was a young kid and my dad was spanking me, he did not know then that I was going to be 'Bill Cosby' the comedian, and if he did, he might have given me one more lick just for that!". Yes, it would have been an honor, to get to be Bill Cosby's dad. What is great about life and parenthood is this, we parents all are given wonderful 18 year leases to raise the Bill Cosby's and Ron Pauls of this world. But in the end, its NOT us who make the child, and that is nice to know to, because kids sometimes become not so great people. So take comfort in being 3rd....
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