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.


 
 

 
Lisa Ferdinando

Army releases latest policies on female hairstyles, tattoos

Lisa Ferdinando 1st Sgt. Aki Paylor won’t have any trouble recalling the Warrior Ethos. “For me, the Warrior Ethos — that’s who I am.” Since all of Paylor’s tattoos were done a number of years ago, he’s grandfathe...
 
 

Combined Federal Campaign now underway on FH

The annual Combined Federal Campaign, CFC, is currently underway and ends Dec. 1. The CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country to help raise millions of dollars each year, officials say. This year’s theme is “We Make it Possible.” Donations made...
 
 

It’s a Thin Line for prescription use, misuse, abuse; dispose of unused drugs Sept. 27

SAN ANTONIO — Nearly one out of 20 Soldiers misuse painkillers, says the website Army Thin Line. The website is part of a campaign designed to educate Soldiers, their friends and Families and the provider community about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Army Thin Line encourages safe and responsible decisions when using...
 

 
PatriotDay1_20140911_Hidalgo

Fort Huachuca Community remembers the fallen

Soldiers place the wreaths for the Patriot Day Ceremony at Brown Parade Field on Fort Huachuca Sept. 11. The wreaths honored all who fell during the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Fort Huachuca firefighters raise the American Flag at...
 
 
Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM

NETCOM honors deceased members during special ceremony

Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM From left, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., Network Enterprise Technology Command commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson, NETCOM command sergeant major, and Spc. Kyle Baker, NETCOM Headq...
 
 

Army Reserve training brigade moves to Fort Huachuca

Headquarters, 1st Brigade (Military Intelligence) 100th Training Division (Operational Support) will possibly relocate from Providence, Rhode Island, to Fort Huachuca pending approval from the Department of the Army. If approved, this action will transfer 72 positions here. Fifty-eight of those positions will be part-time reservists who will only be here one weekend a month for...
 




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