I was never one of those parents that spoke in a high, patronizing voice to my kid, like so many aging hippie dopers with the gray pony tails who had their first kid in their 40’s. I always thought such parents are sure to drive a kid crazy.
I have always treated my kid with the expectation that she had native good sense, and didn’t need to talk to her like you talk to a pet. I told her at a very young age that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. I don’t believe in BS’ing your kid. I remember the pressures that “depriving” your kid of cable television, video games, and other trappings of the modern filth called “pop culture” was some kind of child abuse. I trusted my own sense, that exposing your kid to modern media is child abuse, not the other way around.
She has to earn time on the Internet by doing videos from www.khanacademy.org and writing out the math problems or taking notes, as well as practice piano. She doesn’t like weeding or watering the garden, but she doesn’t mind harvesting, even digging potatoes, and she is happy to help with processing the harvest, such as shelling beans or making tomato juice. She is always very proud of what she accomplishes. It’s so innocent and yet very real. I have always made her earn privileges or money, and you know what? This is still the right way to raise a kid. I see the little monster brats that get something for nothing, and they hate themselves and their parents, and they don’t know why.
So we had a little family drama recently. The wife wanted to spend a considerable sum of money every month on a cleaning lady. I am the financial manager of the family, and I said no, the kid can do it. She’s 11, almost 12, she can do it, and it will help her character. And we’ll pay her 30 dollars each time. Why have a cleaning lady over, while the kid hangs out and idles and gets the attitude in life of “hiring servants.” No way.
The kid knew we were fighting over this, and she stepped up to the plate and accepted my offer to clean the house twice a month. It’s a big job, but 60 bucks a month is a pretty good allowance for an 11 year old.
The most important thing is to be confident in yourself as a parent. Father does know best.