White Dopes On Punk
White Punks On Dope
Through the looking glass, out of the memory hole and over the phone:
He: Talk talk talk talk talk. Talk talk. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk, talk talk, talk talk, talk talk talk. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk. Talk? Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk. I love you. Talk talk talk talk talk. Talk talk talk talk. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk. Talk talk talk. Did you hear what I said?
Tata: ...At least one of us should be naked, yes...?
Previously on Poor Impulse Control, John stood in my cubicle, smiling and holding a book.
John: I think this book is for you.
Tata: What is it? I must know!
John: How Shall We Train Our Wives And Children? by F. Hopkinson Smith.
Tata: Oh, Jesus Christ, what is that? It seems small. Is that a whole monograph?
John: I don't know. I think you should read it and give a report to the whole class.
Tata: Okay, but there better not be a quiz!
In today's episode:
Tata: Okay, but there better not be a quiz!
John: When my friend had a baby her neighbors gave her a book called To Train Up A Child and told her it helped them a lot. It's all about how to beat your kids without leaving marks.
Tata: Get out! This is a recent phenomenon? It wasn't published in 1650 or something?
John: No, no. And they were serious. Their children were, like, eerily well behaved.
Tata: Did your friend call the cops?
John: And say what? "My neighbors didn't tell me they beat their kids but the kids say 'please' and 'thank you.' Officer, it's serious!"
Tata: Damn it.
John: You can read some of it online and buy it on Amazon.
Tata: This is going to make me have that dream again where I'm locked under the stairs and fed nothing but HoHos.
John: The reason to look at Amazon is the reviews. Wait, this gets scarier. The reviews say things like, "These people are crazy" and "It's a child abuse manual and the authors should be in lockup" and yet the book still has 2 stars.
Tata: This time, I'll be locked in the attic and fed baseball cards, I just know it.
I wouldn't nominate myself for any parenting awards; moreover, I hate the use of the word parent as a verb. And I don't understand or like the way kids are being raised now like veal. Parents who wouldn't consider kicking the dog also wouldn't consider sending perfectly healthy kids out to play kickball in the street without an armed escort. What does that really tell the kids? The world is so dangerous a place you can't risk sunshine, fresh air, exercise and making friends. Let's drive to a mall and you can walk as far as the food court, always where I can see you. Yeah, those kids are going to be neurotic, weird and fat. It bodes well for our future as a nation that these kids are surveilled from birth so when they join the corporate world they won't even notice their bosses counting key strokes.
Michael and Debi Pearl, authors of To Train Up A Child, have a point about willful, angry, overindulged children. It makes me crazy to listen to parents whine at and negotiate with children. I read the online chapter. Folks, I don't know what to make of this.
As in the military, all maneuvers in the home begin with a call to attention. Three-fourths of all home discipline problems would be instantly solved if you could at any time gain your child's silent, unmoving attention. "TO THE REAR - MARCH" translated into family language would be: "Leave the room," or, "Go to bed." Without question they turn and go. This is normal in the well trained family.
I was logging with a fifteen-hundred-pound mule that sometimes wanted to run away with the log. In moments of stress (actually I was panic stricken), I found myself frantically YELLING the commands. The owner would patiently caution me, "Speak quietly and calmly, or he will pay no attention." I never did learn the art of calmly saying, "Whoa" to a runaway mule pulling a twenty-five-foot white oak log with my foot hung in the trace chain. The point to remember is that the animal learns to identify not only the sound but also the tone.
I don't know about him, but I learned to keep my distance from logging. To add to the confusion, sometimes the Pearls sound so rational.
If you raise your voice when giving a command to your child, he will learn to associate your tone and decibel level with your intention. If you have so trained him, don't blame him if he ignores your first thirteen "suggestions" waiting for the fevered pitch to reach the point where he must interpret it to be a real command.
...even concerned about what the reader might think.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6)." Train up, not beat up. Train up, not discipline up. Train up, not educate up. Train up, not "positive affirmation" up. Training is the most obvious missing element in child rearing. Training is not discipline. A child will need more than "obedience training," but without it everything else will be insufficient.
Parents should not wait until the child's behavior becomes unacceptable before they commence training - that would be discipline. Discipline is a part of training but is insufficient in itself to effect proper behavior.
The Pearls seem to worry about the discipline thing. I can't quite put my finger on what's bothering them - I've read a whole chapter of their book, you'd think I'd grasp their entire thesis, and I hope you know sarcasm when you read it - but it might be important.
Remember, you are not disciplining, you are training.
This is not discipline. It is obedience training.
Again, keep in mind, the baby is not being punished, just conditioned.
Disciplinary actions can become excessive and oppressive when the tool of training is set aside and one depends on discipline alone to do the training.
Except where the very smallest children are concerned, training at home almost entirely eliminates the need for discipline - especially public discipline.
Then we come to this gem:
If you are consistent, this test of authority will come only one, two, or, at the most, three times in each child's life. If you endure, conquering the child's will, then in the long run the child wins. If you weaken and let it pass to the victory of the child's will, then by winning it is a character loss for the child. You must persevere for the both of you. The household cat who, regardless of protest, door barring and foot swinging, is occasionally allowed to stay in the house will take the occasional success as impetus to always try to get in. If he is consistently kept out (100% of the time), he will not come in, even when the door is left open. The cat, allowed to occasionally get its way, is trained, despite your protests, to come into the house. If you kick it hard enough and often enough, it will become sufficiently wary to obey while you remain on guard but will still bolt through the door when it sees the opportunity. On the other hand, dogs, thirty-five times smarter than cats, can be trained either to come in or stay out upon command. The key again is consistency. If the dog learns through conditioning (consistent behavior on the part of the trainer) that he will never be allowed to violate his master's command, he will always obey. If parents carefully and consistently train up a child, his or her performance will be as consistently satisfying as that rendered by a well trained seeing-eye dog.
The day I kick my cat is the day I don't deserve feline companionship but do deserve a visit from the Humane Society's S.W.A.T. team.
As a person who isn't going to raise more children, I'm not going to buy the Pearls' book and read the whole thing. I've read enough to guarantee bad dreams. Thanks, John, you bastard! Siobhan comes to the rescue with Pants Aflame's All True Bible Stories For Children.
Some say that, as a parent, Beth Christian was less than perfect.
Some say that as a moralist, she left something to be desired.
But everyone agrees that she knew how to take the Bible's advice - very, very literally.
Genesis 34 is my little corner of the sky. I know it inside and out, forward and backward, and All True Bible Stories For Children's rendition is an absolute panic.
Three days later, when all the men were still sore from having the ends of their penises cut off, Simeon and Levi - Dinah's brothers - came into the city with swords and killed all the boys. Then they killed Hamor and Shechem. Then Jacob's whole extended family looted the city. They took the sheep, the oxes, and the donkeys because their sister had been ruined. Then they took all the valuables in the city, and all the children, and all the women, and they ruined everything that they left behind.
After that, Jacob said "People are going to be mad at us for what you did."
"Well," said Simeon and Levi, "we couldn't let them treat our sister that way."
"Wow," said Beth, "I guess women are pretty valuable for all the men in Jacob's family to get so upset."
"Women are valuable, Dear One," said Beth's mother, "At least until someone has put a penis in them."
Beth thought about this for a moment. "Well, I'm sure glad that nobody's put a penis in me!" she said. Then she smiled and hugged her mother. All her questions had been answered.
That right there must be some newfangled definition of love.
I must be hopelessly old-fashioned.