Kids going to school in the 80s and 90s did not get the same exposure to “bullying” as kids do now. The bully back then was a real stand-out kid, the stereotypical macho, hyper-aggressive, low-intellect, unhygienic, knuckle-dragging waste of human flesh. Well, that’s I looked at them.
Don’t let your kid do anything that will cause you to dislike them.
I have only ever heard this from one person: Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. I had to hear it a few times, in different lectures, for it to resonate with me. My first reaction was that it’s impossible to control a child’s behaviour, but the more I listened the more it made sense.
If you tell your kid you’re gonna do something, actually do it. Then the moment before you do it, remind them that you said you would.
This is not meant as an in-your-face kind of thing. This is meant as a demonstration of committing to your word. You said you would, and you did, and that builds trust in you. It will not take too long for them to recognize that you keep your word, for better or worse.
Don’t do anything that you’re not prepared to repeat a million times.
Can you make a funny voice or a crazy face? Before you pull out your special moves consider this: the child will ask you to do it until it is broken. Have you ever heard of a child watching the same movie back-to-back all day long, for weeks? They do it.
I get caught in this one all the time because I am always trying to be fun with kids. Naturally they want me to do that thing over and over again, but I don’t let them win.