Monday, June 25, 2012

Gwenn Asks ...

Hello Isaac. I have a parenting question for you. I know you're not a parent, but, since you have so many brothers and sisters, you might be able to offer advice. Like you, we have a big family that lives in Haiti. Our five-year-old son, Josiah, is a great kid. We love him like crazy, but he can be very naughty at times. He has a tendency to hit his brothers and sisters, and he doesn't respect one of our staff members well-- he'll say ugly things and yell at her. What kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for these situations? Really looking forward to your advice!

It's imperative that you get your child to respect his elders. So I will list some stuff corresponding to the appropriate offense. When he hits his siblings you should probably slap him (I mean his hand) if that doesn't work you should try a spanking or a "Dobson", which is pinching him on the shoulder.  When he says rude stuff or bites, you should put soap in his mouth.  The thing is, I've never had soap in my mouth and I never plan to. It's inevitable to keep happening. Good luck.  I don't have any experience so you might wanna ask someone else or ask God.

a note from Isaac's parents:
The "Dobson" (our name for it) used to be a Livesay family go-to maneuver. It comes from the ancient libraries at some totally obscure place called focus on the family. It was found in the controversial book "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson. (We've changed a bit since then and we'd maybe choose a different book now.)

We have never been very good at knowing what is appropriate punishment and we FOR SURE know we have failed and both under reacted and over reacted many times during our long and undistinguished parenting career   ....  But "the Dobson" sends the spanking message   - without spanking - It only became popular with us in public places on occasion because nobody wants to make a scene but a little pinch on the shoulder muscle can send a strong message and still be discreet. Most of the time we could just whisper  "Do you need a Dobson?" and that alone did the trick.

Our kids think "Dobsons" are a universally known form of correction. :-) Phoebe used to think shoulders were called Dobsons.  
Don't judge us.

Also - What Isaac said ... don't ask us - ask God.


  1. Dear Isaac - good advice and I hope Madame Gwenn finds it helpful. Oh yes, and to you Isaac's parents folk (You sound like nice people by the way). I would rather have your parenting example of over-reacting/under-reacting loving attempts at correcting childish rebellion than the parents who simply lack courage to "take on" their kids conduct because they fear either - a. the tut tut of adults, or b. the loss of their kids affection. Good on you. And as for Mr Dobson - I'm sure he just did his best before God and his kids and by his own tongue I heard him say more than once that he often go it so wrong he wondered at his own credentials for giving advice. An honest parent could never claim to be a perfect parent.
    Keep em coming Isaac!

  2. Ditto on the honest failure comments - we've all been there, done that & wished it would've gone down differently. Golly, I can think of a few occasions just this past weekend that I could have handled better, in retrospect. Keep up the great work, Livesays! You are raising children who love the Lord and understand service. For those reasons (and many more), you are top-notch in my book. :)

  3. This is probably one of my favorite Ask Isaacs so far. I am totally laughing out loud at the terminology of a "Dobson." One of my son's friends from church recently let us know that they say "You are gonna get 'judged' " to indicate they are going to get a spanking when they get home. There is so much going on with that, I don't know where to start.

    Isaac as always, you are wise and that indicates that while your parents aren't perfect, they are doing a fabulous job with parenting you!!

  4. I can't decide which is more hilarious: Isaac's advice or the disclaimer/explanation from Isaac's parents! :)

  5. Isaac, this is my favorite Livesay post ever. The term Dobson is brilliant. You are such a witty writer, just like your Mama. Keep up the fabulous work.


Hi! I'm Isaac. Ask me anything!