So, just in case you're still in doubt if Old School is for you... Here's a little piece of persuasion to help you in your decision making journey. I just saw this little nugget online, and HAD to copy it.
Let's call it "How To Raise a Juvenile Deliquent"
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they won’t be so shocked when the home is broken up later.
3.When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute.
4. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own.
5. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is twenty-one and then let "him decide for himself".
6. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that his every sensual desire is gratified.
7. Avoid the use of "wrong". He may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
8. Let him read any printed material, and listen to any music he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
9. Pick up everything he leaves lying around. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.
10. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, "I could never do anything with him."
11. Take his side against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will likely have it.
WOOT WOOT! Whoever wrote this is my new hero. I should have claimed it myself.
Listen. No one's saying Old School is easy. But the way I see it, we can put in the hard work NOW, and reap the easy times later. Or, we can go the easy road now and reap the MISERABLE times later.
Since someone so eloquently wrote 12 ways to raise a juvie, I thought I would write "12 Ways to Raise a Winner."
1. Say what you mean, but more importantly, mean what you say.
2. Mandate things like "Yes Ma'am," "No Sir," and "Thank You." People notice kids with manners. And kids who are noticed with manners gain great favor from others.
3. Enforce looking in the eye when you talk to your child, or when they talk to you. This teaches them that people matter.
4. Pray together, every day.
5. Make church a non-negotiable function.
6. Point God out in the blue skies, falling leaves, and warm summer sun. By doing so, we teach our children to bring recognition to Him all along the way... not just when we need Him.
7. Periodically make them call their grandparents, and if they're fortunate enough, their great-grandparents. Yes, I said make them.
8. Be the fun house. Create an atmosphere where even though you're a dork, your kids and their friends want to be in your presence. If you involve food, it's a sure thing. If you feed them, they will come.
9. Praise them often. But praise your spouse even more. This teaches them the world doesn't revolve around them.. specifically YOUR world.
10. Say I'm sorry as needed. (UGH)
11. Reserve the right to say NO. Use this right as often as you see fit.
12. Communicate very clearly that you are NOT your child's friend. You're not their buddy, compadre, or amigo. Wipe that train of thought out of your brain. There will come a day when we can be friends with them... That period is called adulthood.
So, the other day, I had spent the majority of my time with Abi frustrated at her for this or that. I had reprimanded her ALL... DAY... LONG. At the end of our day, we were playing a game and she said to me, "Mom, you're a great Mom. Don't ever stop."
In that moment, I realized. She's getting it. All the blood, sweat, and yes, tears. She's getting that it's all about me loving her enough to do what I have to do to get her to adulthood with as few regrets as possible.
I love this glorious, emotional, militant, exhausting, rewarding, loving job of mine.