Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Strong Willed Child

Here's the emailed joke going around:

Tough Love vs. Spanking ~
(a psychological conundrum)

It seems that these days most Americans think it is improper to spank
children, so over the years I tried other methods to control my kids
when they had one of "those moments."

One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car
ride and talk.

They usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together.

This worked so well for my children that I now use the method on my

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my grandson, in
case you would like to use the technique.

A Friend
Glenn Reynolds linked to this post about good books for parenting strong-willed, "spirited", the difficult or otherwise frustrating child. I have a couple kids who have yet to reach their teen years. So take what I'm about to write with that in mind.

I don't buy the notion of a "bad seed". Nor do I buy the notion that some children are inherently flawed. This idea is popular among the Stephen King and his creepy eyes, and the Hollywood types. Multiple movies have focused on this theme including The Omen, The Exorcist, Village of the Damned, Children of the Corn, The Bad Seed, and The Ring. Most of these movies could be placed under the heading Poor Parenting Excused. As in, it's not the parents who are idiots, it's the demon children. The parents are victims of fate or chemical hazards or whatever.

For every law there is an exception. Plenty of horrible parents end up with perfectly functional children. Do the character traits instilled by abuse, molestation, neglect and what-have-you that create decent, if traumatized, adults? For more on this:A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive.

So are parents to blame only if the kid turns out bad? Well, it is my experience that many parents with "difficult children" label difficult the behavior in themselves that they don't want to see or dislike. Or, it's the behavior in their spouse, mother, father or other relative that "makes them crazy". One person's bad kid is another person's easy kid.

No comments: