La yen's husband just posted an excellent and thought-provoking post about Army leadership. Why am I bringing it up here? Because the philosophy behind the type of "command climate" he discusses has been the foundation for some of my parenting beliefs and the way I try to parent. I want us to discuss.
These are the questions W. asked (replace "soldiers" with "children"):
"What are you doing to motivate your Soldiers? Do they work for you out of a fear of repercussion or out of respect for you? Do they trust that you are tactically and technically proficient, that you know the mission and your unit's role in it? Do they feel that you are actively protecting their interests and placing their needs above your own? Do you praise in public and punish in private? Do you conduct frequent counselings, either formal or informal, to let those around you know where they stand?
When I was a kid I obeyed mostly out of fear. It was the belt or the boot if I was way out of line (please don't get the wrong idea about my parents--they were and are good people--they were just doing it how it was done back then). But I felt conflicted about it. I remember as a child contemplating how I would want my kids to respect me because I deserved it, not because they were afraid of me; I wanted them to obey out of love, respect and goodness, not out of fear.
As I said I've only been moderately (on some days barely--last night hardly) successful at parenting in this way. There have been shortcomings and failures. But at the same time it feels right to me. And I have witnessed moments of goodness, honesty and genuineness (sometimes even when the rest of the outcome was not exactly what I intended) that pleased me and made me feel good about my beliefs and my efforts.
What do you think about this style of parenting? Are the results desirable? Could side affects or unintended consequences occur? Is it possible and/or practical to achieve with a three-year-old? What about a thirteen-year-old? How does one accomplish this style of parenting? What are the day-to-day applications?
What command climate do you seek as a mother. How do you attain it?