Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dad for the win

I’m passionate about parenting – the older I get, the more convinced I am that intentional parenting matters. It is hard work, it takes time but boy, is it worth it. So when Sean told me a story about a co-worker who has this parent thing down, I just had to share.

When Mark's son was in high school, he was on the wrestling team. At one point, he was between weight classes, so he decided to go down a class and wrestle there. Going down a class meant losing weight. And as anyone who’s ever attempted weight loss knows, being hungry tends to make you grouchy. And Mark’s son was grouchy. Very grouchy.

After one particularly grouchy encounter, Mark told his son that if he didn't have a major attitude adjustment, he would not be wrestling in the next match/game/event (clearly I do not know wrestling lingo). But apparently the son did not believe Mark, because Mr. Grouch kept on going. One day after the warning to get a grip, Mark came home from work to find his son complaining at his mom. It was Grouch Central in his kitchen.

Mark calmly walked over to the phone, called the wrestling coach, and within earshot of his son, informed the coach that his son would not be participating in the next match/game/event thingy. And on top of that, Mark required his son to attend the match/game/event thingy with both him and his mom. He didn't get to ride the team bus; he had to ride with his parents and sit in the stands with them.

People, that is how you win at parenting.

Clear direction was given. The son received a warning. He was informed of the consequence of disobedience. When he did not obey his parents, the consequence became reality.

Too often we give threats with no intention of following through with real, actual consequences. Give enough empty threats with no follow-through and you’ll have kids who don’t believe a word you say.

Pretty sure that’s not an issue in Mark’s house.

I'm calling this match/game/event thingy for Mark. Dad for the win!