I recently came across a brilliant website called Stumble Upon. If you don't already use it I can't recommend it enough. There's a whole world of websites out there and it helps you to explore them by simply asking you what your interests are. It's exciting because you never know what you are going to find or learn. It almost addictive in that sense. I think the first day I found Stumble Upon was one of my least productive!
Last night my husband chose to watch "Role Models" on TV. We've seen it a few times before and didn't care to watch it again so I merrily surfed the net using the Stumble Upon app. Having listed parenting as one of my interests when I signed up for my account I was directed to a site that discussed encouraging your child to listen to you.
The author discussed how he observed a mother and child in an airport. The child was running around freely, gleefully ignoring his mothers pleas to stop. The author criticised the mother for asking her son to stop and not following through with discipline when he chose to ignore her.
As a parent I have visited several different forums and there are very different ideas and approaches when it comes to discipline. I have a fairly open mind on the subject but from the very start I have been adamant that I will only make a big deal out of things that are worth it. As a result I'm quite a laid back parent don't see any harm in most things so long as no-one will get hurt. This way, when I do tell my daughter off for something she knows I really mean it.
Whilst reading the article about the mother in the airport I actually found myself thinking that maybe the author was a bit unfair on the mother. It seems a bit extreme to discipline a child who is probably a bit excited, maybe overtired and wants to explore a new environment. Sometimes you need to step outside your ego and laugh off the embarrassment caused by your child ignoring you in public and be a little more empathetic.
I can see why the author said what he did, he is right that by not following though with commands you are teaching your child not to listen to them or take them seriously. Maybe the mother shouldn't have said anything in protest in the first place if she didn't feel too strongly about it, but how many times have we asked our children not to do something only for their desire to explore to be stronger? And from there how many times have we realised that actually it's just not worth the fight on this occasion? I'm sure that if the mother at the airport really wanted her son to stop she would have got up and grabbed him, put up with the tantrum and showed him who's boss!
I think the author was correct in theory but maybe it was wrong of him to have such a prescriptive approach to listening, and discipline for not listening. After all every parent and child is different and at the end of the day there really is no right and wrong way of bringing up your children. At least I hope so :-)