Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Honk

It really is unbecoming to brag. It is unflattering to shamelessly boast. Blowing your own horn, flying your own kite or singing your own praises are all examples of self-serving demonstrations that eventually lead to an empty audience.

But, I’m going to do it anyway.

Recently, I developed a discipline strategy that is nothing less than genius in nature.  It is particularly useful in redirecting the wayward attitude of a pre-teen or teenager, allowing for almost immediate behavior modification. It is similar to the shock collar used for dogs minus the mild discomfort and release of bladder.

Never let it be said that we are not humane in our household.

The simplicity of this method makes it available to all parents. Classes don’t have to be attended; manuals don’t have to be read.  Personal aptitude does not influence its effectiveness and commitment to consistency almost irrelevant.

It will snap straight the most circuitous of attitude and remove the sizzle from a sassy tongue. Improvement in disposition is instantaneous, leaving a peaceful environment that makes prescribed sedatives seem unwarranted.

The breakthrough discipline technique I have created is a little something I like to call THE HONK:

                                        Hindering Orneriness of the Nearest Kid

The HONK method is used in our household to remind a misbehaving child that we are not above using embarrassment as a tool for correction.  Recent implementation of this breakthrough technique occurred when driving my oldest son to an after school activity at the varsity football field.  I explained that infractions like unnecessary squabbles with siblings, sarcastic responses to simple inquiries or the polluted condition of his bedroom would each earn a resounding car honk when dropped off at a desired destination.

To reinforce the objective, I offered a free demonstration honk as Chase exited the car. “But I haven’t done anything yet!” my oldest exclaimed over his shoulder as he scurried away from the noise. 

 “I love you, sweet boy!”  I joyfully bellowed in front of his staring friends, further emphasizing a rather well made point.

Throughout the day, honks can be given or taken away depending on the behavior exampled by the child. Because this is a program designed for flexibility, parents can improvise their own method of honking, adding very long honks for more serious offenses or multiple honks for repeated transgressions.

It is crucial to deliver the child to their destination in a vehicle possessing a horn with a sound that carries. Timing is also important in that the discipline is most effectual in front of a crowd of peers or group of upper classmen.  Remember, this hurts them more than it does us.

 As a final thought, I wonder if Proverbs 22:6 would have proven even more useful to parents if wise old Solomon had written the verse like this: 

“Honk to train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

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