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Author Topic: Dudeist Parenting  (Read 3134 times)

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Dudeist Parenting
« on: October 17, 2016, 01:25:38 AM »
It's Friday. You're sitting at home watching a movie. (The Big Lebowski, obviouisly) Your 16 year old is sleeping over at a friends house. At 11:42 p.m. you hear a knock at the door. Who is it? It's your child flanked by two tired looking cops. They inform you that they caught your kid drinking in a park with some friends. You thank the officers, bid them goodnight, and shut the door. You turn and see your child staring down at their shoes. What do you do? Yell? Lecture? Break down? Do you even care?

I was wandering around Youtube this week and I visited our good friend Rev. Dudely Noted's channel. For anyone who doesn't know, his channel is called Dudeism TV. He uploaded a pretty short video in September in which he talked a little bit about how Dudeism has made him a better father. Here's a link. He records his daughter as he asks her what she thinks about his style, and she digs it. She likes that he stays calm and doesn't yell when he's mad. I can't say I'm surprised that she enjoys his style. No kid likes to get yelled at, but that doesn't mean her opinion isn't valid. My example was an extreme one, but I think the Dudeist philosophy can be a useful tool for raising a child if it's applied correctly.

His video got me thinking about my own life. I'm not a father, but I'm someone's kid. I think I'm in a position to examine how I was raised and form opinions about it. I'm 19, so all the major parenting has been done. The periods when my parents will have the most impact on me have come and gone. I think my parents had a relatively Dudeist approach. There was minimal yelling and lecturing. There was a lot of reasoned explanation and understanding. They gave me freedom to make decisions for myself. It wasn't all hippy dippy bullshit, mind you. I was put in my place if I was a shithead. I wasn't coddled or pandered to.
There's scientific evidence that supports a "take it easy" attitude when it comes to parenting. Despite their best intentions, helicopter parents seem to hurt more than they help according to a study released in 2016. Ryan Hong, from the National University of Singapore, headed the research. They observed kids in 10 primary schools and found that when kids "whose parents acted intrusively, had high expectations of academic performance or overreacted when the child made a mistake were at increased risk of being overly critical of
themselves." So getting too intense about a kid's performance can hurt their view of themselves.

Daniel Shapiro had some Dudely advice for the world in his piece on Psychology Today entitled, "4 Keys to Resolve Conflict with Your Kid". He's an associate professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. My favorite things he had to say were "Appreciate your child's concerns" and "Give your child some autonomy". He says that actually listening to what kids have to say can lead to insight into why they're misbehaving, and giving them some freedom makes them feel like they have some say in how their life goes. I think that his advice would not only eliminate conflict, but help teach the kid how to be a good adult. Asking and caring about why a kid feels upset could help teach them to think through their actions. If the reason matters, they better have a good one. Freedom to make some choices is good practice to weigh pros and cons later in life.

I honestly feel like it comes down to treating your kid like an equal when you can. Obviously you can't be hands off 100% of the time. There are times when you have to exercise your authority, but you have to keep your cool. A level head is good for everyone involved. You show your kid how to deal with conflict calmly and rationally. Asking for reasoning teaches them to be more self-aware. Would you yell at another adult? Or would you talk to them about what they did wrong? Which tactic yields better results, and which would you rather see your kid do?

Reverend Al

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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 12:45:11 AM »
I think I was fortunate that my parents dealt with me using a great deal of common sense most of the time.  If I screwed up and it seemed to them that I didn't understand what I had done wrong, they explained it to me.  And if it seemed to them that I did understand what I did wrong, they simply acknowledged that.  Either way, they rarely felt the need to blow things out of proportion.  And discipline was usually pretty straightforward:  "You made a mistake, you know what you did wrong, and your punishment is..."  It taught me that there were consequences as a result of my actions, and taught me to be responsible for those actions.  It also showed me that any parent can be a disciplinarian when necessary without a lot of yelling and anger and fuss.  Kids are supposed to make mistakes now and then--it's one of the ways we all learn right from wrong, and learn what we should and shouldn't do.

My wife and I never had kids, but in 1992 she changed jobs and became friendly with one of her new co-workers, a divorcée with a daughter and two sons.  Her ex-husband wanted nothing to do with his children after they separated, and at that time the boys were at that pre-teen age when they needed a "father figure" or "male role model" in their lives.  We all spent a lot of time together, and before long the youngest son asked me if he could call me "Dad".  And when his brother found out, he wanted in on the deal as well.  So I sat them down and explained, "If I'm going to be 'Dad', I'm going to be Dad.  I'll be there for you when you need me, and when you screw up you'll accept whatever discipline your Mother and I decide on."  And they agreed.  So my wife and I became surrogate parents to these two young men; "Dad" and "Mom II".

Now, I had to tell you that so that I could tell you this.  Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the boys "tested" us.  They got into trouble as young boys often do, and their Mother, my wife, and I, determined their disciplines.  But when the youngest started having problems in school, I joined his Mother at meetings with the school staff so we could work together to solve the problem.  And when he dislocated his knee playing football during recess one day I went to the hospital and sat with him in the ER while they treated him.  And I taught his brother how to drive a stick shift, and helped him with his homework when it was needed.  These are minor examples, but they (and any number of other little things) proved to the boys that I was serious about being their Dad.

As I mentioned, the youngest son had problems in school.  At one point his Mother decided maybe he needed motivation, so she made a deal with him--improve your grades, and we'll take you out for a day to do whatever you want to do.  He chose horseback riding, because he'd never been and always wanted to.  Sure enough, his grades improved dramatically, and we chose a day to take him horseback riding.  The day arrived, and that morning his Mother called to tell us that he and his brother had just been brought home by the police because they were causing trouble with some of the neighborhood kids, and she didn't know what to do.  She, my wife, and I, discussed the situation and came up with a simple solution.  And this is where my parents' common sense approach to raising me came into play.  The three of us sat down with the boys and discussed what they had done that morning.  They knew it was wrong, but...well, they were young boys who just got caught up in the moment--they made an error in judgement.  We could tell by the youngest son's demeanor throughout the discussion that he was certain he'd blown his opportunity to finally ride a horse.  But once we had discussed that morning's events, we explained to him that we were still going to take him horseback riding because he had worked hard for that and earned it, and that it would be wrong to take that away from him.  But we also explained that he and his brother would be disciplined for the trouble they caused.  They were two separate issues, and needed to be dealt with separately.  The boys understood that because it made sense, and they accepted it.  So we rode horses for a few hours, then the boys were grounded for two weeks.

So I suppose that's my long-winded way of saying you don't need to be an angry hot-head to be a parent, you simply need to talk with your children, explain right and wrong to them, and let them know there are good and bad consequences for their actions.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 12:48:25 AM by Reverend Al »
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way

Attracta Walsh

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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2016, 01:27:06 AM »
Hi!  As a Gnarly Dude of 58 years with three grown up kids, I would like to especially commend the young 19 year old dude who commented above.  Such wisdom and insight in one so young, therefore proof that his parents' approach to child-rearing was dead-on .(That is N. Ireland colloquialism for exactly right). 
Kids needs to be a bit kind and forgiving to their parents, Ok?  We don't have all the answers yet and we learn on the job and are bound to make mistakes.  Often it is only when you are mid-way through life with your own kids do you realise what your parents went through with you at that age and can then be more sympathetic and maybe grateful to them for how they brought you up.  Hope this is helpful.  Am new to this wonderful website, but plan to abide with you all!

Bobby Milligan

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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 05:50:42 AM »
"God what an awesome thread !!
I am a father myself and my son is now in puberty. I never yell at him. And, for example, he never had a problem with the police. I have always highly appreciated a responsible approach to parenting, I read the other day about the fact that a child cannot be praised but also not beaten and scolded. after all, only my grandfather raised me himself."
« Last Edit: June 29, 2021, 04:33:51 AM by Bobby Milligan »


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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2021, 02:38:31 AM »
so all the major parenting has been done. The periods when my parents will have the most impact on me have come and gone.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 07:48:10 AM by DonaldHayes »


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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2021, 06:15:59 AM »
It’s easy to get stressed out with kids and blow your lid. Remember the Dude wasn’t always cool, calm, and collected either. While we all have weak moments that may seem “un-dudelike” we are also only human. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, take a “Let’s go bowling” moment. Take a step back, deep breath, maybe a little light meditating; whatever you need to do to realign your Qi. When you’re ready, calmly talk to your kid about what happened, why it upset you, give her a big dad hug, and then move forward.


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Re: Dudeist Parenting
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2021, 03:24:09 PM »
 If I find myself in this kind of situation, I take a “Let’s go bowling” moment.
Take a step back, deep breath, maybe a little light meditating; whatever you need to do to realign your Qi. When you’re ready, calmly talk to your kid about what happened, why it upset you, give her a big dad hug, and then move forward.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 12:59:19 AM by cowolter »


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