Monday, January 4, 2010

How not to parent

Had an interesting discussion with a 25-ish friend of mine, formerly one of my Cub Scouts. He's been around some blocks he wished he hadn't, and he was holding forth on the subject of parental reaction to children's substance abuse. His thesis was that, if they find out their child has been using/abusing, parents should stay calm, not freak out, and talk with their children about it instead of coming down hard with the punishments.

Sounded interesting to me, so later I ran this by Hammer, who is always quite willing to voice his opinions.

Me: (after expounding the theory), what do you think about that?

Hammer: Well, Mom, before you told me that, if you ever catch me drinking, you'll remove my appendix without anesthesia, pickle it, and hang it on your keychain as a lesson to other stupid children.

(long pause)

Me: Did I really say that?

Hammer: (nods so vigorously I know he's not making it up, though I can't remember that conversation at all).

Currently trying to figure out how to use both approaches at once...

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Lee Ann Setzer's blog about books, writing, and life in general.