This is in response to the post, How to be the Boss of a One Year Old. I figure it would be appreciated if I didn't slam a combox but rather posted my responses here.
First let me say I appreciate that this is how you do things and that you think it's fine that others do something different. Most people write posts with the intention of saying "you're a bad parent if you don't do it my way." I'm only writing this to offer a few constructive criticisms and considerations. That's it.
Bill Cosby often jokes that his wife is "the boss." I've always found this phrase funny as in comical but in real world applications unsuitable.
Well if you mean boss as in charge of things. Sure. I am. And yes, I have to answer to God and the government if I don't do my job well. And yes, I can be fired from it. But what about my house makes it a Fortune 500 company? By this logic if I'm the boss than my children are my employees or subordinates. I mean is my one year old earning his keep? If my one year old is my subordinate does that mean I can fire him? And what would firing my one year old look like? Would it be turning him out into the cold?
So see me being the Boss is strange to me. I'd rather think that the Catechism gets it right when we are called the primary teachers.
Oh, DF. You're being too stiff.
Perhaps I am. But it's an attitude shift when you view yourself as Boss-parent versus teacher-parent. I mean what does a boss do anyway. Give directions of what to do. But a teacher-parent is there to teach a child morality and independence and yes, not to touch Fabrige eggs (although I would move the egg because I don't believe one years have quite the impulse control capabilities or memory of older children). Bosses do some of that too. But you remain under a boss (unless you move up in the company). My children aren't going to leave exactly. They will always remain my children and in some ways under my tutelage even as adults. It's called being a mentor. Can bosses do that? Some do. It depends on the job. Teacher is a very specific thing. Boss....eh, not so much. You can even "be your own boss."
discomfort is how God chose to discourage certain behaviors. It's bad
for me to burn myself or eat a whole pie, so God made it physically
uncomfortable for me to do those things. So, I think it's appropriate to
use a similar technique for my children who are too young for other
punishments to be effective.
That I don't think is theologically correct. If God chose to discourage behavior with physical discomfort that would not explain 1) that children who are born without that ability are somehow able to learn not to touch hot things 2) Jesus endured physical discomfort but yet, he is God and perfect. Why would he need to be discouraged from certain behaviors? and 3) I wasn't aware that God was the God of punishment but rather justice and mercy and love. It sounds more like physical discomfort is for punishment rather than being about protection. Because children who feel no pain have to be taught how to protect themselves from things they can't feel.
Why do young children need punishments in the first place? If they are too young to be effective, why inflict them? Why is only physical punishment the only appropriate recourse? Can't redirection be equally as affective given their development?
As for spanking we all know how I feel about that one. I disagree with it entirely. It's not logical to tell my 3 year old not to hit his brother and than hit him back as punishment. I will also say that I base how I raise my children on both experience and science. It's just logical for me. There are numerous studies that say that children who are spanked are more aggressive not less. There are studies that suggest that children who are spanked are more likely to be depressed as adults. I'm sure you've read some. But I just wanted to bring that up.
Now people can claim all they want to, but I can tell you being spanked as a child does damage to you as an adult. This is first hand knowledge. I can also tell you that my children, who are not spanked, are normal children. They get into trouble and they also are affectionate people. They understand right from wrong in age appropriate capacities. I don't demand of my children more than I think they can handle. It's a complete fallacy for people to assume that children who are not constantly punished or spanked turn into horrible mass murderers or are disrespectful children. I'm not saying you said that. But a lot of pro-spankers believe that. So I wanted to say that upfront before people start saying junk like that.
I appreciate that you talk about your very personal life. I just wanted to offer an alternative view as I believe every parental decision should be made with discernment and looking at all sides of the equation.