Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents
DAD.info | DAD BLOGS: Mrunal | Machiavelli’s take on parenthood

Machiavelli’s take on parenthood

I watched a little bewildered as a naked five year old boy ran through the dining room laughing like a banshee. Arun’s dark curls were flowing in his wake and he wore nothing other than a grin the size of Ohio.

I put down my newspaper. Clearly being able to put my feet up and relax was still some time away (about 20 years methinks…)

“I thought you were doing bath time,” I hollered up to Clare, my wife, as I set off in hot pursuit after Arun.

I caught my errant son and, holding his hand, marched him up to the bathroom. I saw Clare standing next to the bath as she ran it.

“Do you have any semblance of control?” I asked depositing Arun back into the bathroom. She just crooked her head and shrugged her shoulders.

Earlier that day we had been talking about discipline.

“Sometimes, they just won’t do as they are told.” Clare commented. “You don’t have that problem do you?” She asked.

“No, they’re a bit scared of Daddy,” I replied.

Clare turned to my three year old daughter Meri who was standing next to us. “Meri, are you a little bit scared of Daddy?”

She looked up, looked at me, looked at Clare and nodded her head.

Clare continued, “Are you a little bit scared of me?”

Meri’s face broke out into a big grin, “No!” she boomed as if Clare had said something ridiculous, “I’m not scared of you!”

“Not even a little bit?” Clare implored. Meri just shook her head.

So, to paraphrase Machiavelli in his historic thesis, The Prince, should a parent be loved or feared? Machiavelli argued that if a Prince has to choose between the two, he should always opt to be feared rather than loved. Why? Because a Prince cannot make his people love him, but can make his people fear him.

I’m not sure that anyone would say that parenting should follow the same rules. Love, must always, always be the first, middle and last thing with our kids. However, being a bit scared of your parents is never a bad thing (in our conversation both Clare and I agreed that we were both a little scared of our parents).

That evening, as I walked proudly down the stairs after having reasserted control over my errant children, I reflected on what a commanding, authoritative influence I was. I was just about to pour myself a congratulatory beer when a naked five year old appeared at the foot of the stairs and started bouncing up and down whilst giggling, “I’m going downstairs!”

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info. 

 

 

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

Too old for this

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

Too old for this

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

The cost of living crisis: how to cope

The cost of living crisis: how to cope

Many of us are finding that our income isn't going as far as it used to- the soaring costs of energy, petrol and food is taking it's toll. As a result, stress levels are rising. A recent study by BACP found that the cost of living is causing a major decline in mental...

Side hustle: find yours to make extra cash

Side hustle: find yours to make extra cash

Many of us are feeling the pinch with the rising cost of living. But, that aside, what family couldn't do with extra money anyway? This is where a side hustle comes in. Using a few free hours around work each week to make some extra money can make a big difference in...

Teaching Your Kids To Avoid Scams

Teaching Your Kids To Avoid Scams

Unfortunately with our kids spending so much time on their phones and online there comes the risk of being scammed. While we as adults might be wise to the tricks scammers use- Nigerian princes included- our children probably aren't. To avoid being out of pocket and...

Pin It on Pinterest