Packrat picked me up from work last night looking slightly disturbed.
I asked him why.
He said the JED are terrified of him.
Apparently, they made a grand mess on the floor. It included sparkles, glue and them trying valiantly to sweep it off the ground. Muffin wanted in on the sweeping but was denied a broom, leading to wails and Packrat emerging to see what the fuss was about. That led him to see the mess and asked irritatedly why they did that without laying paper underneath it and how much work it was going to be for our helper. It prompted them to employ what I call their 'pre-emptive strike' manoeuvre- Cry First, Ask Questions Later. When Packrat made them apologise to our helper, more tears, Evan refusing to go near Packrat, Jordan bawling and Muffin, now happily ensconed in Packrat's arms oblivious to the situation that his cries triggered!
My response was that at least they were scared of someone and that he didn't have to yell or punish to make them fear.
In his book, fear isn't quite a good thing, especially for kids.
In my book, I think it's a good thing. They aren't as worried of getting into trouble with me. Perhaps, it's familiarity since I am with them a lot more of the time. Perhaps, it's because I'm yelling all the time and therefore shouting is "Mommy's default volume". Someone commented that we mums were known as NASO or SONA (No Action, Shout Only) (Scream Only, No Action) and that didn't do much to instil deep deep fear.
Fear of the Father is my ultimate weapon with JED. And it was what my mom and his mom used with us. The ultimate threat was "Wait till your Dad gets home". So, not only did we get into trouble with Mom, which was bad but not that bad. What was worse was that we had to wait for Round 2. And the waiting was what killed us. I suspect, that's how it works for JED (well, at least the older two) right now.
It really isn't about how he will roar at them or brandish a cane (things he refuses to do) but because of his eyes. My eyes- the Ng eyes, are just full anger, frustration and annoyance when they get up to their shennanigans. But Papa's eyes tell a whole different story. Papa's eyes, when they get up to no good or have misbehaved is about disappointment.
That is what they fear.
Technorati Tags: JED, Discipline, Fathers