My wife and I have seven kids. All were and are great kids. But raising them prompted me, over time, to articulate what my kids would characterize as infamous parenting strategies. All of which they will no doubt embrace. None have been submitted to, or are claimed to be approved by, a properly accredited child psychologist, etc. But they work. Admittedly all arose from the mob control mentality that inevitably develops raising seven. Some of the allegedly more notorious maxims:
- There is no such thing as a good kid, there is only lack of opportunity and certainty of getting caught. (There is a good reason this is #1.)
- The first answer is always no. (Ever get the full story on the first pass? Try this “I’m not hearing enough to make me comfortable.”)
- The guarantees of U.S. constitution regarding unreasonable search and seizure are suspended within the boundaries of your home. (Don’t even question this, you wouldn’t be doing it without concern.)
- The common legal adage that it is better that 10 guilty people go free than one innocent person be punished is specifically exempted from application to child raising. (Life is not fair.)
- No spending the night after 5th (See #1. Used to be 8th grade before the onslaught of smart phones and computers.)
- No spending the night after the prom party. (Really? See #1 and read it twice. We sent our older sons to go pick them up – and the car was always full coming back so you won’t be alone.)
6a) Don’t rely on the assurances of the parents holding the prom party. Nobody is that good.
- Buy a breathalyzer and use it. (See # 1 and read up on the studies.)
- The ball game is over by age 2, so start when it starts. (Boundaries and consequences. That is your job description.)
- Helmets and seatbelts. (I used to tell my kids if anyone in the car did not have their seatbelt on they were the one grounded. It’s that important. Lately I’m thinking their cell phones in the glove compartment or back seat when they are driving. Texting kills.)
- Temporary and immediate restriction of movement works as well as anything. (Cell phone to your office is the next level – the modern day solitary confinement. Life time anything, not so much.)
- Signs of a problem is usually a problem. (Be proactive, not hesitant.)
These are the rules, not all of them, just some of them. From a veteran of the wars. And they are damn tough to enforce. Ignore them at your child’s peril.