Thursday, February 19, 2009

parenting -- a reprise

an interesting evening. we spent the entire evening at the mardi gras parades yelling for beads and zebra stuffed spears. the baby isn't feeling too well, and she didn't seem to enjoy herself
( marked understatement). the older two loved every minute, and our son proclaimed "i wish this parade would go on forever!" his little sister wore out during the third parade and rolled up inside somebody's jacket and sacked out. there were all the typical humorous parenting stories and moments.

and on the way home i got a call from a good friend, and it turned into a parenting conversation. it's interesting, parenting styles converge as the number of kids increases. look at the parents you know with only one child. a vast array of parenting styles. but in families with 10 or 12 children, it's a different story. there's pretty close to only one way to have a functional family of 12 kids.

everyone's transition to where they need to adopt such methods changes. for some it's two kids, for other it's 7, but i think everyone has a limit where essentially they switch from "working harder" to "working smarter."

at first he seemed angry at what i suggested, as if i were saying his kids were out-of-hand, or maybe that he wasn't helping his wife enough. rather, i just felt that as a father of 4, i had a perspective to offer to a family that just rapidly went from one child to three. i was simply trying to point out that methods that worked well for a single child might be toxic to a family if you try to triple the output in parenting energy. it also centered around the conceptual difference between discipline and training.

ah, well, late now. more another time perhaps.


  1. I'd love to hear more about the gerbil incident.

  2. :)

    not much to say, really. I had two of them as a kid, just loved them. one was pretty sweet tempered, the other pretty fiesty. for some reason while holding the fiesty one one morning, i decided to nuzzle the little guy, and he decided to snack on my nose. bit clear through the tip. i've heard they bite till their teeth touch. at any rate, i freaked out and let go and he just hung there from my nose. i must have blocked the rest from memory because i don't remember how it ended. i just remember the shock and horror of this little beast hanging from my nose, more than the pain. it's just a hysterical image to describe, but i'm sure you can imagine it didn't feel at all funny at the time. I never really thought about it until your guinea pig post, but i've never had any desire to own or hold a rodent pet of any sort since that time. don't mind them, but no interest.