Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parenting by Walt Disney

I read this the other day and thought it was so good that I would share it - especially for those of you who have daughters. Here is Uncle Walt:

One of the most serious problems I find confronts parents is how to make children obey. For some reason this has never been much of a problem around our home. Maybe it’s because we started very early to have the girls do things through a sense of fair play, rather than responsibility to parents or fear of them.

When we’d go out for a ride on the merry-go-round, for example, we would have an understanding in advance of how many times we’d ride. When the times were up, that was that. A bargain was a bargain! One was expected to be a good sport.

One Sunday, when Diane was about 8 or 9 years old, I took her to the old Seliz Zoo in Los Angeles. I warned her to stay behind the railing at the monkey cage because simians have a habit of reaching through the bars.

My attention was distracted for a moment. When I turned around again, there was Diane, white as a sheet, struggling to get free from a monkey who had her by the hair and was pulling for all he worth. It must have hurt plenty, but Diane never let out a peep. The only concession she made was one plea, 'Daddy, you won’t tell Mother, will you?'

'But, Diane,' I remonstrated, 'you don’t keep any secrets from Mother.'

But she took care of that situation. When we got home she dashed in and said, “Mother, you don’t care if a monkey pulls me by the hair, do you?

Mrs. Disney and I found that treating the girls as individuals and encouraging them to think for themselves was a far more satisfactory way of bringing them up than by trying to regulate every step of their conduct with an elaborate set of rules.

You can read the article in its entirety HERE

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