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I Am Always Ready to Shout At My Child

I am always ready to shout at my child. 

It is a brilliant idea to say the same thing three times in a row and increase the volume each time.

You can double your productivity by shouting loud and fast, so the child is motivated to pay attention to you twice as fast.

I joke, but I am ashamed at how many times I find myself about to bark an order at #Babybernie and seriously expect him to drop everything he is doing to fall in line with my command.

I have a Gatlin gun-type mouth connected to an unfiltered stream of consciousness, so it must be a nightmare for #babybernie to work out where he stands.

I use humour a lot because I’m just crap at confrontation and scared of him rejecting my instruction. By making it a joke I have “an out” when he does not comply.

Compliance is not a character trait I am enthusiastic for him to develop, so even if he does not do what I want I have won.

There Lies the Problem

Having the need to maintain control often feels as if it is built into my being and no other way is available.

I was reading about a team of software developers who took a project in an unplanned, unscheduled, unauthorised and every other type of ‘un’ you can imagine, and it ended up saving the whole project.

When the developers were at an event sharing their experiences, the audience just could not get their heads round that there was no leadership involved.

They insisted ‘the company’ must be responsible for an environment where this kind of thing can happen, or that one of the group must have led the rest to change direction and follow through.

It could not have been a group collaboration, after all – workplaces can only function under leaders and managers.

Being Quiet is the Best Thing I Can do

Every day I am working this out a little bit more, and I often end up with egg on my face.

I try to stay quiet or ask questions. TELLING #babybernie what to do always seems like a waste of breath.

The amount of people who managed to inspire or motivate me by TELLING me stuff is very small.

However, the number of people who bothered to ask me questions and made me think is even lower.

I can recall people asking me questions and my brain coughing and spluttering into life like a crap old car on a cold, wet morning.

Not only were they asking me to think, but some of them were also even asking me what I thought.

Somewhere along the line, I had forgotten how to build a thought, position or stand on anything, so being asked to think for myself was pointless.

I have gobbled up books on asking questions, and how to ask new questions.

For instance, “How was school?” is a crap thing to ask a child 200 days of the year.

As is asking ANYONE a question to which you already know the answer, or issuing commands and pretending they are a humble enquiry.

Trust and Running Away

We were in Hyde Park in London, and #babybernie had run ahead. He was heading for the gate that leads to Bayswater Road from the Diana Memorial Garden.

Our friend asked if he would stop – I was not sure he would.

However, I trusted him to know when to halt, even if I could not guarantee it.

I was confident I’d be able to race and get him if he went out of sight.

I could have shouted and screamed at him, and he might have stopped sooner, but I wanted to give him the chance to be autonomous and make his judgement on the situation.

That was summer 2015 and even more has happened since then.

I am delighted with my uncompliant child; he can think for himself. 

image: Stefano Borghi