One of my favorite things to do on Sunday mornings is to read the newspaper and I always read the column by John Rosemond.  It’s an unlikely pastime as he writes a syndicated column for parenting advice (and I am childless).  

But Rosemond’s columns often have nuggets of wisdom regarding supervision.  I’m not in any way implying that my staff is childish, but there do seem to be some parallels between advice to parents and tips for supervisors.

Some examples:

> His belief that little deals really do grow into big deals and parents should say no to their children.  He writes that many parents give in, not because they agree with what is being asked, but because they want their children to like them.  Because of their fear of being seen as “mean” it teaches kids to give in to their impulses.  “No big deal” may be the case in many situations, but the accumulation of one ‘It’s no big deal’ after another over time is likely to result, eventually, in a Very Big Deal.”*  Supervision translation:  Don’t say yes to something you don’t want just to be “nice”.

> Rosemond believes “the most powerful four words in parenting: [are] “Because I said so.”  Instead of making a decision, explaining it, then arguing whether the explanation was “good enough”, there is a time for an appropriate assertion of authority.  “Obedient children are much happier than disobedient children.  Put even more concisely, arguing is no fun for anyone.”** Supervision translation:  Set out expectations and stick to them.

> “Children need a constant, calm, confident authority.  Authority, properly conveyed, is a form of nurturing, in fact.” In an attempt to be liked, parents often ask their children if they would do something — as if picking up toys was a favor.  Rosemond says that yelling results because parents have to exert more and more energy to get kids things to do that are phrased as requests.  “From a child’s point of view, a parent is mean when the child accepts that the parent means what he or she says, the first time he or she says it.  When you have convinced your child of that, which requires that you stop trying to be so nice, you will stop yelling, and you and your child will have a far more creative relationship.”***  Supervision translation: It’s ok (even good) to outline responsibilities and hold people accountable.

Supervision is an on-going learning process.  Embrace lessons wherever you can find them, even if it is from a newspaper parenting column.

— beth triplett

* “Little Mohawk haircut could grow into ‘Very Big Deal'” by John Rosemond, in the Telegraph Herald, August 10, 2014

** “The power of the words ‘because I said so'”by John Rosemond, in the Telegraph Herald, August 3, 2014.

*** “Are you a yeller?  It’s not good for you or your child” by John Rosemond in the Telegraph Herald, July 21, 2013

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