- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
Simple Rules My Father Used to Raise Six Sons
Rules to raise a bunch of boys
I 'm the second of six sons that span 15 years in age. All of us have the same parents and our father has had a significant impact in our lives, but all in a different way. For me, it starts with a set of rules (not that they were always followed).
Rule #1: There is a time for sex
And it 's not in high school. He was always big on the appropriateness of when sex is an acceptable behavior and he was clear that it wasn't in high school. He loved to tell us this over and over.
Rule #2: Don't do drugs
And don't associate with people that use drugs. This advice really centers around associating with people that make you better. I think it's true today. It's easier to feel better, be happier, laugh more, and achieve dreams when surrounded by the types of people that do these very things.
Rule #3: If you're mad
Go kick the curb. He never tolerated fits of anger, slamming doors, yelling and screaming or fighting in general. So if I or one of my brothers was very mad or angry we were sent outside to kick the curb. Of course, kicking the curb hurts and I'd like to think his view was from an enlightened perspective that sending us to do something that hurt more would show us the error in our energy and correct the behavior. But, I'm afraid he just didn't want the noise or us to hurt the house more than it already was.
Rule #4: If I can't afford it
Neither can you. This was his way of saying he wouldn't support a lifestyle for his children that were beyond his own. Looking back, this was significant. I now realize that many parents jeopardized their own financial freedom for the sake of their children. Establishing boundaries for money matters with children allows them to manage their expectations on what is considered to be appropriate financial assistance from their parents.
Rule #5: If you're misbehaving
You must not be spending enough time with me. Our punishment was often to spend time with my father where he could show us how to be a good person. We would run errands, work in the yard, clean the house and talk. Sometimes he even made pies, so it was fun. I'll definitely use this with my children.
Rule #6: Don't date someone
You wouldn't marry. This one is a bit tricky since we always asked how would we know if we wanted to marry them if we haven't dated them. He always told us we should know. He even sticks to this today with my younger and unmarried brothers, but like I said, we didn't follow all of the rules:)