Posted by on Dec 24, 2012 in Articles, Blog, Dinosaur Dad, Uncategorized | 2 comments

“THE LOOK” at Christmas

While Christmas shopping over the last few days, I’ve noticed a couple of incidents of parents…(ok…moms), screaming at their children in the store…and yes, I wondered, where was dad? It was the weekend and, ok, maybe he was working. Whenever you see something like this, don’t you wonder, “how did it get to this level?”. Who is in charge when a parent has to take it to “Defcon 4” in public? Actually “Defcon 4” would probably be a public spanking…so “Defcon 3” then. Discipline starts in the home, at an early age. Young children, while doing certain things, are cute, smearing food on the face, passing gas, using certain words, getting up from the table and running around. But there needs to be stated out loud and often, that certain behavior is not acceptable. This is where a strong, loving dad can really have an impact. If a dad sets the standard at home for what is expected in public, i.e. manners, courtesy, clothing, then a public beat down or screaming match is not going to happen. A parent has to start this process early in the child’s life. Consequences for bad behavior can range from having a privilege taken away, writing sentences, standing or sitting in a corner (“time out”) or, yes, if need be a swat on the behind. Once standards are set, it becomes easier for mom or dad to curb bad behavior in public with just….”The Look”. “THE LOOK” is that knowing stare, that look on your face that, without saying a word, says, “I see what you’re doing and it had better stop this instant.” “THE LOOK” only works if the child knows that it is a warning and it is backed up with action. Once the child gets “THE LOOK”, they know from experience that, if the behavior continues, things will not be pleasant. Dad can try and try to get results with “Please, honey, stop acting this way.” but unless there are no consequences, it’s just an epty threat and your threat is a joke to the child. I have perfected my “LOOK” over the years…dead serious stare, slightly raised eyebrow, tight lips, clenched teeth. Discipline comes from the word “disciple”, meaning to teach:

Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.



Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.

Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.

A systematic method to obtain obedience: a military discipline.

A state of order based on submission to rules and authority: a teacher who demanded discipline in the classroom.

Punishment intended to correct or train.

A set of rules or methods, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order.

A branch of knowledge or teaching.


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Today, parents want to be a friend to their kids, which is OK once the child becomes an adult and can speak with you on an adult level, but your kids already have friends…what your kids need is a loving, strong, consistant, parent who is not afraid to discipline and give ’em “THE LOOK”


2 Responses to ““THE LOOK” at Christmas”

  1. Tracy Taylor says:

    Great article! What a scary look! lol You are right it is important to start when they are young. My dad was great and we knew that when he said no he meant it. Mom on the other hand was not serious until she blew up.
    What I’m finding in the divorced world is that too many separated or divorced parents are hesitant to discipline properly out of guilt. We see a lot of overindulged children running around and playing their co-parents against each other. Married or not, it’s important for both parents to be on the same page and back each other up.

  2. Jan Hayne says:

    I’m not okay with spanking/swat on the behind. Hands are not for hitting … ever! What lesson are we teaching our kids with spanking, that it’s okay if you are bigger, stronger, more powerful, in control? And I think we also need to consider that sometimes parents drag kids along on excursions (shopping or otherwise) knowing full well they are setting them up for a meltdown (too long, tired/naptime, lack of interest in whatever is happening, too many distractions, not age appropriate, etc) and then discipline them for what is a natural reaction. Having expectations is fine, but we also need to remember they are kids, not mini-adults, and not perfect.

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