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The Jack Bauer Parenting Method

January 23, 2010

Jack Bauer makes Chuck Norris cry, originally uploaded by Mr. Muze.

My kids are probably going to give each other gift certificates to a therapist for Christmas when they grow up! I’ll be the first to admit, we are a quirky bunch! My oldest claims to be the most normal one here. Some days he can sell me on this idea, other days, not so much.
Over the last two hours, my youngest has lied and refused to share. He’s four and I know that explains part of it. He’s little and he’s figuring things out. He’s the only one of my children who seems to not have a fully developed conscience. So, today, when he told me a “story,” and I knew it was one, I pulled the old, slightly kooky, “Tell me the truth, or lightening might strike you dead.” A millisecond after this old timey, somewhat scary threat left my mouth, I wanted to take it back. But, before I could, he admitted guilt. Jack Bauer wouldn’t have hesitated to use scare tactics, why should I? I guess I need to look at parenting the way some would look at dealing with terrorists! Maybe not negotiating is the way to go.
Well, later today, buoyed by my success with the “Jack Bauer” parenting style, when my four-year old refused to share, I called him over for a little talk. I told him that I loved him and didn’t want to see him end up in jail and that he might need to rethink his attitude. I asked him if he knew what jail was. He didn’t, for heaven’s sake, he’s four and we are pretty law-abiding citizens. And I told him that it’s where people are in a cage all the time and don’t get to go out and play or see the people in their family very often. Well, miracle of all miracles, he took the box of crackers to his older brother and offered him some immediately.
In eleven years, I’ve not resorted to this style of parenting. Think of the opportunities I’ve missed! 🙂
Please don’t take me too seriously, I may have to go all “Jack Bauer” on ya!

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