Saturday, June 21, 2008

Are You a Drill Sergeant

Helicopters, Drill Sereants, and Consultants (Day 2)
Drill sergeant parents (or bosses) often use anger, threat, and intimidation to control children. The general rule is "Do it my way and don't ask questions." Their motivation is love. They desire to be good parents and raise responsible citizens. They want to protect their children from bad choices, poor habits, and stupid mistakes. The problem is we are wired to learn from our mistakes. Kids are smart and the best time to experience the natural consequences of their actions is while the price tag is still small.

Like helicopter parents the long term, unintentional message drill sergeants give to children is that they are incompetent. "You are incapable of making decisions so I contol the decisions for you." Self esteem suffers. With exceptionally strong willed children it can result in extreme rebellion and loss of relationship during the teen years... maybe not with every kid in the family but often with with at least one.

The Forgotten Lunch
Child: (calls) "I forgot my lunch."
Drill Seargeant Parent: "I have more to do then run after you all the time. Guess you'll go hungry unless I bring one up there. I'll bring it later but tomorrow you're getting up 20 minutes early. We'll start a morning checklist so you don't mess up like this again."

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