Commentary

April 19, 2013

Good parents think, act like good NCOs

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The first line of defense against child abuse certainly lies with parents – those who are most often the abusers.

Let me make a disclaimer right at the start: I am not an expert on child rearing. But I am a dad. And with the parenting thing almost at an end – my son is almost through college – things seem to have worked out pretty well.

So, on the basis of 21 years of first-hand experience I have a full set of opinions. I’ll put it in terms service members can understand. For me, to be a good parent you have to think and act like an NCO.

Look at the attributes that make a good NCO and you’ll see what I mean.

NCOs are disciplinarians, teachers, coaches, counselors, planners, supporters – whatever the Soldiers and the mission require. The same is true of good parents.

I became a parent when I already had 10 years as an NCO. It was a natural step to apply the lessons I had learned in leading Soldiers to raising my son.

I knew that standards in the Army had to be set high and that violations of rules had to be met with consequences. I found the same to be true as a father.

I also knew as an NCO, that unyielding harshness didn’t work in getting the best from Soldiers. My troops knew that violating the rules would lead to punishment, but that the punishment would be appropriate and fair.

Surprise, surprise, the same thing works with children. When my son committed some transgression, he was told what the punishment would be, and we always carried it out, but with love and compassion.

Being a good NCO, however, is far more about the positive side of things than it is about punishment and limits. It is always better to lead than to drive Soldiers with threats.

The most enjoyable part of being an NCO, for me, was teaching and coaching my Soldiers to get better at their jobs and to see them grow as individuals. To do that, I had to know them, know what their individual strengths and weaknesses were, know what they liked and disliked – know who they were.

Parenting was no different. I needed to listen to my son and observe him as he grew. I helped him when he needed it, but let him try things out on his own, too.

A good NCO has to set the standard himself. There is no “do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to the Army. And the same is true of parenting. If you want your children to grow up honest and responsible, you had better not steal office supplies or call in sick when you just want a day off from work.

The most important lesson of all, I think, was that being an NCO was a full-time job. You don’t take off the stripes when you take off your uniform.

The same is true of parenting. Nothing ever gets to take priority over parenting, not if you want to like the outcome.

So that is my tip for how to be a good parent. Being a good mom or dad is just like being a good NCO – only better.

(David W. Kuhns Sr. is a retired sergeant major and editor of the Northwest Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s weekly newspaper.)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

TBI can occur in battle, garrison — awareness important

Traumatic brain injury, TBI, has been called the “signature wound” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Injuries the Service members receive downrange can originate from improvised explosive devices, IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, gun blasts, accidents and equipment failure. Many military personnel have experienced multiple deployments due to the length of war, translating into m...
 
 
U.S. Army graphic

Traumatic Brain Injury awareness month highlights resources

U.S. Army graphic The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations or deaths were associated with a singular traumatic brain injury, or TBI, a combinat...
 
 

2015 Army Emergency Relief Annual Campaign

Since its founding during World War ll, Army Emergency Relief (AER) has provided $1.7 billion in interest-free loans and grants to 3.6 million Soldiers in the active component, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and among the ranks of the retired. AER financial assistance provides timely care and support to Wounded Warriors, Surviving Spouses...
 

 

Presidential Proclamation – National African American History Month, 2015 NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, 2015 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION For generations, the story of American progress has been shaped by the inextinguishable beliefs that change is always possible and a brighter future lies ahead. With tremendous strength and abiding resolve, our ancestors — some of whom were brought to this land in chains — have woven their resilient dignity into the fabric...
 
 

Message from the Commanding General United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca PRESIDENTS DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Originally, two days in February were set aside to recognize the birthdays of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their birthdays were celebrated on Feb. 22 and 12, respectively. Eventually, the holidays were consolidated and we now recognize all presidents, past and present. Our presidents have provided the nation with leadership and vision for over...
 
 

Brush, floss, repeat daily for good dental health!

Each February, the American Dental Association, or ADA, sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Regular dental visits should happen every...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin