K is seven. Very seven. I was reading on the behavioral development of seven year olds to better arm myself when dealing with him and his inexplicable moods.
A coworker came in, and I expressed my frustration with the situation. You'd think I'd know better than to discuss parenting dilemmas with someone who isn't a parent and never intends to become one. But I forgot. Here's how it went:
"Just smack him."
"Just smack him. Swat him."
"No. Fuck no. What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"I'm not saying give him a roundhouse punch. Just smack him on the butt."
"No. Physical violence in response to mood swings is completely inappropriate. If I hit him, he'd go cry in his closet for three days."
"Well. Maybe he needs to toughen up."
"Bullshit. This kid took a full on dive into the hockey boards, and kept skating with a walnut on his head. You're going to tell me my kid isn't tough? Bullshit."
**moment of silence**
"I'm just saying, my mom hit me on the butt when I was doing something I wasn't supposed to, and I turned out okay."
"This isn't about misbehavior. It's about normal patterns of cognitive and social development. Hitting a kid for not understanding himself at seven is stupid. I can't think of a better way to fuck them up. Any other ideas?"
Of course he didn't have any.
Ah, I love parenting advice from nonparents. But what I truly loved about this conversation is that now the pro-spanking faction can't say my kid isn't tough. Score one for ice skating.