My dad has always had a very specific way of disciplining. He would weave an entire lecture to put his point across. I am often quoted as saying (in my younger years) that by the time Dad was done with a story I was married and had two kids. I would always tell my mom that I'd rather her just yell at me because my dad's stories seemed torturous to me.
Well, now that I'm all grown up it's a different story. It is truely one of those moments where, as an adult, you are grateful for the actions of your parents when you were a kid....and you know you will be repeating those "methods" with your own kids. Since they were such good lessons I thought I would put some of them down here for you.
-Heart vs Head Story-
This is a pretty frequent one that occured a lot when I was a teenager.
"Cole, when you make decisions in life you have to make them with part of your head and part with your heart. Your brother makes decisions all with his head and you make them all with your heart. You always need both.
In some cases you need to make them with a bit more of your head than your heart or the other way around, but both must always be present."
-On a Scale of 1 to 10-
I've heard this one since I was a little kid. Whenever I would get hurt either it be a splinter or a stomach cramp the following conversation would occur:
Cole: "It hurts!!!!!!!!!!!"
Dad: "Now, how bad does it really hurt?"
Cole: "Really, really bad!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Dad: "Come on. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being your arm cut off.) how bad does it hurt?"
Cole: "It's a 9!"
Dad: "Nicole, your arm is cut off! That had got to hurt a lot. How bad does this hurt?"
Cole: "It's a 5?"
Dad: "Your arm is cut off! It is no longer attached to your body! How bad is this splinter?"
Cole (sheepishly): About a 2?"
Dad: "If that. You're fine."
Okay, a side story to this one which I have told many times. When I went to deliver my kids via c-section I found out that the hospital also used the "scale of 1 to 10" pain scale.
While recovering from the c-section the nurse asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad the pain was. Can you guess my response? "3". hee, hee! The nurse was in shock and couldn't understand it. Another nurse came in and asked again what my pain was like. Again I told her 3, but this time I told her that I had been subject to the "scale of 1 to 10" thing my entire life. And I've been accustomed to believing that having your arm cut off would hurt a hell of a lot.
This one is my favourite.
For anyone who doesn't know my dad is a retired police officer. This story is about a collegue of his that he would always bring up when us kids would complain about the various problems in our lives. I don't remember the officer's real name, so I'll call him "Bob".
"There's this guy at work and any time anyone gives him something to do he always would say, "No problem". He'd get the crap jobs piled and piled on him and his response was always the same...."No problem". "Bob can you stay late tonight?" "No problem!". "Bob, can you do some extra paperwork?" "No problem!".
A bunch of the officers who were complaining about something or other couldn't understand it. Why didn't Bob ever get upset? Didn't any of this bug him?
Well, one day they asked him why everything was always "no problem". It turns out Bob was in the war. And in the war he was dirty, hungry, getting shot at and basically living in hell. Then Bob had a problem! Now.....no problem!
So whatever you're going through remember Bob and his "no problem". Is it really that big of a problem?"
Anyway, those are my three favourite. There were many others over the years, but those three are ones that I know I will tell my own kids.