Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Tough love is really tough.
Published on June 9, 2004 By Draginol In Home & Family

Good parenting theory is the first thing that gets thrown out the window when you have kids. When my boys do something wrong, I know I need to discipline them. But how much? How often? In what cases?  It's always very tough. I look at their sweet faces and it's so hard to discipline them when they do something wrong. But I know, deep down, that the most important factor for success in life is having personal discipline.  Talent and intelligence can take you some of the way but without personal discipline they remain unfocused.

But knowing that and acting on that are two different things. I don't want to be the bad guy. I don't want to be an ogre.  And it extends way beyond punishing for wrongs too. The 7 year old's friends all seem to have an unlimited supply of toys. They're into these Pokemon cards.  Their friends seem to have an endless number of these things that their parents have gotten for them. We won't buy toys for the kids as a general rule unless it's birthday or Christmas. We expect the 7 year old to buy his own toys at other times with money he got for his birthday or money he earned doing chores. But it's hard when he looks at us with his sweet little eyes asking why he has to buy these things when his friends all get them "for free".

What's worse, I am not even sure if I'm doing the right thing. The other children around us are very good kids. It's just that deep in my bones I know that our children need more discipline in their lives. But it's hard to actually do it. But if we take the easy way now to make them happy today, I fear we'll set them on the path of limited happiness down the road as they are unable to achieve their own hopes and dreams due to being incapable of focusing on the task at hand and mastering the art of delayed gratification.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 09, 2004
You will never regret giving your child a firm hand on things like finance and personal behavior. Down the road it will become painfully obvious which parents did give their kids discipline and which did not.
on Jun 09, 2004
but that's not to say your kids shouldn't have toys bought for them aside from X-mas. I hear you Dragman, but I think it's fine to buy them toys. Just not the crap toys like pokemon and the rest.
on Jun 09, 2004
Parenting is the hardest job in the world.

I agree that chiildren need to learn self discipline and self reliance. One the greatest I was taught as a child was to do things for myself.

But, I would buy the kids a few toys now and then. There is such a thing as balance.
on Jun 09, 2004
People, weather they realize it or not, do like boundries if they are well defined. That's why nobody respects the law anymore- no defined boundry. Children are the same way, if the boundry is ill defined and varies they will disrespect authority -and should! I know I'm that way!
on Jun 09, 2004
Right now I'm having the hardest time making my kid pay for summer camp. That was our agreement and now it's time for me to take her to the bank to pretty much clean out her savings account to send in the final payment, but I'm so proud of her for saving so well and reaching her goal that I don't want to let her spend it!! I want to just pay it for her and say, "Good job! Now don't touch your money."

Yeah, I know, that would set an extremely bad precendent. This parenting thing is a fine line to walk.
on Jun 09, 2004

The best thing my folks taught me was the value of a buck (or pound, in my case).  I'm trying to pass that on to my kids.  My daughter has got the hang of things well and is a pretty thrifty shopper for an 11 year old.  My sons, however....are going to take a little longer to learn the lesson.  They get money, either for their birthday or for doing chores, and it burns a hole in their pocket...then they complain about unfairness when their sister has money left for candy and trinkets and they don't.

We'll buy them toys or games every so often (non-birthday or holiday gifts) but for the most part they're limited to what they get and when. 

on Jun 09, 2004
"That's why nobody respects the law anymore- no defined boundry"
umm what about the book of law?
on Jun 09, 2004
Wise words Dragger ...

Trust your instincts ...
on Jun 09, 2004
I think your children will appreciate the discipline you've instilled in them when they grow up. I would say it's wiser to be more strict than less, but all children are different.
on Jun 09, 2004

the crap toys like pokemon and the rest.

Pokemon is scurvy....

on Jun 09, 2004
greywar, forgive my ignorance, but is "scurvy" good or bad?
on Jun 09, 2004

Pokemon is scurvy....


Amen to that! The cool kids play Yu-Gi-Oh!


greywar, forgive my ignorance, but is "scurvy" good or bad?


Bad, as proven by pirates, who eat fruit to avoid contracting scurvy.

on Jun 09, 2004
Scurvy is a disease. Bad.
on Jun 10, 2004
With our kids we've found conistency is the key. Don't move those boundaries around. If it's wrong and punishable now, it's wrong and punishable 10 minutes from now, and hour from now, and next week. It's hard, not because we forget the rules but because we're too lazy to enforce them. "I just gave her a timeout for that half an hour ago, I'm want to go through the hassle of doing it again." Discipline is work. It's just so easy to let things slide. But you're not doing your kids any favours.
on Jun 10, 2004
Ooops. That should be "I don't want to go through the hassle..."
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