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Am I too strict?

Posted by Dr. D , 30 August 2012 · 344 views

He is eight-years-old and has lived with me all of his life.  His mother abandoned him when he was five-weeks-old and everyone was begging me to adopt him.  At last, I took him in.  He now thinks of me as his Papa and he is like my son.  I call him “hijo” or “niño,” which means “son” or an endearing “kid.”  I love him dearly; I really do.  It isn’t always easy having him around the house.  Sometimes I take trips and have to find someone who will take him in while I’m gone.  He doesn’t like that and complains a lot but there really isn’t much choice.

When he was six I entered him into a school.  There were all the promises about the great things he would learn but when they started teaching him things I thought he would never need, I took him out and he has never gone back.  His teacher visited a couple of times to try to convince me to re-enroll him but I refused.  I think he was happier not to go.  He obviously can’t read but I read books to him.  I read to him a lot.  He’s kinda’ bilingual.  He understands everything in English and I think that’s pretty amazing.  He can’t speak, of course, but he understands everything.  I’m very proud of him for that.

Some people think I’m too strict.  He sometimes wants to go out and play, especially when he hears others having a good time.  I let him go out only onto the patio.  He cannot go beyond that point.  I think discipline is important but he cries a lot about the limitations I put on him.  I am strict about his diet, his hours (that’s not very necessary because he’s always droopy eyed around nine-thirty) and his conduct.  I don’t tolerate noise in the house, I need quiet to concentrate while writing.  I put him in his bed around nine-thirty and he knows not to get up until I do.  If I have company, he knows to go to the bedroom and stay there.

I see others who are not as strict as I am and the results of it.  The noise, the disordered house, the lawn destroyed and all the bi-products of a general lack of discipline.  So I admit I am strict but I am also compassionate.  I gave him a birthday party with a special cake.  It was just him and me and the lady who does the cleaning but he really enjoyed it.  We go for long walks and I show him all the wonders of nature.  He especially likes butterflies.

At this moment he is being punished.  I called for him this morning to come to breakfast and discovered that he had gone back to bed and was ignoring me.  I will not condone that type of behavior!  He’s now sitting in the corner and I told him he cannot move without my permission.  He’s giving me all that childish whimpering routine but I ignore it.  The housekeeper feels sorry for him and wants to give him something to eat but I will not allow it.  There are consequences to the things we do in life and he needs to learn that now.

If I listened to people like my housekeeper, what would happen to him?  He’d be running in the street in some gang and learning nothing.  He’d be terrorizing people and who knows what would become of him.

I think it’s best that I do things my way.  After all, when you have a dog like Oliver, you need to take good care of him.

As long as you spend good time with him, walks etc., read to him and always let him know that even when he needs correction you still love him, I think it will be good.  If he feels that you see him, know him and still love him that goes a long way.  Are you too strict (?), I don't know my friend.  It is kind of your to take him in, that says a lot.

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