Monday, December 7, 2009

Paper Parents Pop Quiz #1 (PPPQ #1)

Let’s make our first quiz an easy one….well for me it was easy anyway.

Daughter #1 is a great little girl. She’s nearly three and she’s close to what we would have drawn up on the blackboard. Pretty happy, yet possessing a stubborn streak that we think will serve her well later in life if she keeps it. But in one month “stubborn” became “obstinate.” Often you find that you or your wife has to ask six or seven times before she’ll stop what she’s doing, leave the playground, etc...your wife doesn’t like it. You find it intolerable.

To you it’s a disturbing trend and one that needs to change. You believe that three times is probably as much as a parent should ask a child do to anything. That’s enough space so that they can express themselves but not so much that they’re allowed to be too defiant. Today you are on the beach and she WILL NOT LEAVE. You’ve already warned the wife that daughter #1 was getting close to getting a smackdown in the days leading up. Now your daughter is openly defying you…do you

A) Extend the limit to asking a dozen times and live with the fact that she’s not even three so you put up with this stuff…maybe if a dozen doesn’t work you’ll grab her by the arm and lead her to the car but that’s as tough as you’re willing to get…

B) Keep asking her, knowing that sooner or later she’ll move when she’s ready…again, she’s only three.

C) Lean her over right then and there and smack her ass a few times so she knows you mean business

D) Call NATO, NORAD or any other organization that begins with an “N” so they can NAPALM the entire beach. If you and your family are still on it, so be it. You’re royally pissed and this is going to end now.

And the answer is?????? C

I leaned her over right there and gave her three butt smacks for the first time. Hard. But she was wearing pants and a diaper so it really wasn’t that hard. This was the first time I ever hit her and I think she was more surprised than anything. By the way two minutes later she didn’t get the message so she got it again. Enough to get her attention. Enough to know that when daddy asks something a few times that her job was to listen. Not enough to cause permanent damage. Hell I think I barely affected her for more than an hour. A little while later she was laughing and smiling. The wife wasn’t so sure about my methods but this was one of those rare cases when I wasn’t asking. This was what needed to be done in my mind. No way 7 or 8 times asked was going to become 9 or 10. Children challenge. Parents respond....or they don't.

As a postscript. For the next month we had ZERO problems with our daughter. Six or seven weeks later her behavior started to creep back, but nothing like it was. Like I said she’s a child. One of her jobs is to push her boundaries to see what she can get away with. One of ours is to provide that guidance and show her what those boundaries are…

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