How to turn a teenager into a man
It was 1993. At that time I was renting a 2-room apartment in which we lived with my youngest son, Ilya, who was twelve years old. The eldest son studied at a music school and lived in another city, often coming for the weekend. Then I had good opportunities in the implementation of new knowledge on the education of the youngest son.
He studied poorly, but thanks to his good memory and quick wits, he managed to finish a quarter without twos. And taking into account the transitional age and its difficult nature, I decided to focus more on the formation of masculine qualities.
I realized that you can bring up without prohibitions and punishments, the main thing is to transfer the desired freedom to a teenager along with responsibility. For this, I set myself the task: to learn not to emotionally respond to any tricks of my son, that is, to maintain complete inner calm. Only six months later, I coped with this task. This was necessary to realize the goals of education.
One day, when I arrived home in the evening, I found that a large Chinese thermos was broken. In a calm voice, I began to ask Ilya what happened. It turns out that he wanted to get into an open thermos with a thin long wand, and, it seems, he succeeded.
I took a thermos and began to talk about its device. I said that this is a vessel in a vessel, and both are made of glass, inside are covered with a mirror composition. In addition, air is pumped out between the vessels. All this is done so that in a thermos the water remains hot for a long time. Now, going to the countryside, we will have problems with tea. Ilya listened to me with interest. Keeping calm and good nature, we ended the conversation.
This weekend, at our trouble-free Zaporozhets, we went out into the countryside. The morning was cold, so I wanted to eat something and drink hot. I always took a thermos with me. Ilya, forgetting that he broke a thermos, asked for tea. I said that there is no thermos, so if he wants tea, then you need to make a fire and warm it in a pot. “I can help,” I suggested, “if I’m ready, then we’ll go for the wood.” Then, Ilya broke firewood, made a fire. I helped him put the stake for the fire, the rest he did himself. After half an hour, we drank excellent tea, besides we managed to get hungry and ate with pleasure. I thanked my son for the tea. To which he replied: “Now we do not need a thermos.” “And if there was heavy rain?” I asked in turn. Without waiting for an answer, I said: “A man should be prudent and be prepared for any surprises.” Ilya silently reflected. I, in turn, thought that the lesson with a thermos was a success.
Once I noticed that Ilya began to steal small money that was in the public domain in a closet in the hallway. He was a boy with a strong character and was already desperately eager for independence. I already knew that sermons and exhortations would not work for him, so I did the following: I added some more money to where they were. I began to conduct daily counting. I kept these notes for two weeks, strictly observing conspiracy. In communication, I retained the humor and irony that have long been built into our lives. Conversations in this vein gave him a sense of freedom and mutual understanding, and also developed his extraordinary thinking.
Two weeks later, we had the following conversation: “Do you think you want to become an adult, go where you want to buy, what you want? If you had enough money now, would you become an adult? ”
Thinking, the son replied: “Probably not.” “You see,” I continued, “adults differ from children in that they are responsible in society not only for their actions, but also for the actions of their children. I understand that you want to become an adult. Perhaps that’s why you took money in the hall for your needs without telling me about it. ” “I didn’t take it,” Ilya said.
Looking at my son with love, I calmly explained to him when and how much he took the money. Ilya stood, blushing slowly. “You know,” I said, “I have an interesting offer. You can have your money, but with a small condition. – Ilya perked up and began to listen with great attention. “I will give you part of my money along with the corresponding responsibility.” As a father, I am responsible for your nutrition, that is, I buy food and cook food. Now I’ll calculate how much money is spent on your food. ”
After a minute, I told my son the amount, which was specially a bit overstated, to interest him in this experiment. “Every day I will give you this money. You will have the right to manage your money at your discretion. Buy food yourself and cook your own food. You can negotiate with me, and I will prepare for you a moderate fee that you do not yet know how. You can use the saved money at your discretion. If you agree, then we, as adults, will draw up a contract, and tomorrow we will begin to implement it. ” Such a proposal from my son interested me, and he agreed. We spoke and wrote down everything, noting that the contract might be terminated by the son at any time.