Dads and Discipline

Do dads and moms differ when it comes to enforcing family rules?

Last week Linda wrote about the virtues of being a Mean Mommy and the complicated mix of discipline and love required to raise children, not friends. The tricky teenage years were a focus and the article inspired some provocative comments. However, nothing was more intriguing than the response by a doting dad.

He read the blog and posted a message on the author’s Facebook wall. He took issue with the blog, and as such, the writer’s parenting style. His response was tempered by the fact that he is an older parent with just one child, a nine-year-old girl, and he stated that he gained much of his parenting experience raising dogs. He advocated his approach as parenting on an individual basis, apparently interpreting the “mean mom” way as “one size fits all.” Admittedly, this mom’s inner-tiger was ready to pounce.

One reader, a local dad, saw the post and imagined sending the following reply. 

“I think 'Sam' is right on. He’s trained dogs, and has a nine-year-old. There can’t be much else to learn.

"Dog training is especially useful in understanding kids. Many similarities in behavior. Why just the other day I was admiring a 13-year-old golden retriever, and thinking how much dogs are like kids. The loyalty, devotion and absolute unconditional love that dog displayed is just like most 13-year-old girls demonstrate toward their parents.

"Yes, Sam old boy … as a parent of four myself (and having trained three fine dogs) I can assure you that there will be no future surprises for you in your relationship with your daughter. None. You nailed it buddy. Kick back. It just gets easier and easier from here on. Really.”

For more on "mean dads" and moms , please read the rest of the blog post at http://permissionslips.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/father-knows-best/. My friend and colleague  and I take turns updating our Permission Slips blog each week.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tony Bussert February 29, 2012 at 12:48 AM
This made me laugh. While it's true there are some crossovers between training a dog and raising a kid, it ends pretty quickly. Dogs have the brain of about a 3 year old kid, but they also have natural instincts you can take advantage of. Kids are more like wild dogs, they look all cute and what not till you see them frothing at the mouth and hunting you down in your own home. BEWARE WILD DOG CHIDLREN
Aaron March 01, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I totally enjoyed the imagined reply. There are many roads to Rome (assuming we Dads all want to produce responsible, considerate, caring young adults well-founded on a good set of ethics and values). Underestimating the immediate road ahead (like in the pre-teen stage) could make it a more rocky and difficult path further down the journey (like the teen stage). I have never had the luxury of complacency in my parenting experience, and will likely never have. It is a new day every day, and our actions today usually determines if tomorrow will be easier or harder. End of rant :-)
Carol Lewis Gullstad March 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Thanks for the comments Tony and Aaron. I was definitely an "expert" mother before I became one. Now, courtesy of my teenagers, I enjoy helpings of humble pie on a regular basis.


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