Archive for the ‘discipline’ Category

Team ENERGY STAR and DadLabs Get Totally EPIC!

By Daddy Clay Friday, August 16th, 2013

Save Energy and Money, Win Prizes, and Get Your Kid’s Mug in Times Square

Only a Bill

The electric bill. Not something parents typically think of as a powerful teaching tool, especially during the summer. But if you think about it, how many life lessons have electric bills motivated over the years? How many reminders, lectures and castigations about the importance of saving energy has that little monthly envelope brought about?

Without the electric bill, how much less reasoning, nagging, pleading and finger-wagging on the subject of energy conservation would there be? How many millions of times would, “When you leave the room, turn off the…” be left unsaid?

The electric bill turns all parents into environmentalists.

That’s my problem. I last paid an electric bill 17 years ago. That’s when I moved onto the campus of a boarding school. The school covers our utilities. Tough problem, you may be saying, but one consequence: My kids have grown up without being constantly harangued about turning off the lights, and it shows. Read the rest of this entry »

Raising Cheaters

By Daddy Clay Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Recently I’ve heard lots of parents expressing concerns about the prevalence of cheating in our society. These moms and dads point to elite sports and even the most prestigious institutions of higher learning and worry that cheating has become the norm.

Well, duh. What a bunch of suckers.

Parents that live in the real world are so over honesty. We know that our kids are unlikely to get ahead if they are encumbered with notions of fair play, mindless rule following, and namby pamby truth telling.

For those of you still admiring worn out role models like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Greg LeMond, I have a couple of pointers for raising effective cheaters. Read the rest of this entry »

Sibling Rivalry: Solved!

By Daddy Clay Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I have to give my kids credit for doing a reasonable job of coexisting in our household. We still have three kids, which is exactly the number we birthed, so I’d say they’re doing pretty well. They certainly do better than I did with my younger sister — which devolved into a War of the Roses-style running conflagration.

There are skirmishes in our house, for sure. We have some bickering, arguing, cage fighting, and hostage taking. We get the occasional tiffs and squabbles, maulings, maimings, rampages, and body slams. Every so often the sofa cushions get disordered or the whole house reduced to glowing, smoking ruins. But overall they do pretty well.

I’m so proud of how rarely my children perform jiujitsu on each other, I’m going to offer a few tips on reducing sibling rivalry. If you’d like your kids to only periodically pound each other into jelly, read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Guardians of Virtue

By Daddy Clay Monday, June 4th, 2012

The glowering dad and the awkward suitor, it’s the fatherhood cliché that has spawned a thousand commercials and movie scenes. Entire cinematic franchises have been build around the notion of the old man, shotgun at the ready, on guard to protect his daughter’s virtue. Have you Met the Fockers?

But the media is about as accurate a reflection of reality as a Picasso, while being a shitload less inspiring.

Which leaves me wondering what a dad’s role in the sexual safekeeping of a daughter should be. Read the rest of this entry »