Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leave It to Beaver - Patrol Method?

If you watch Leave It to Beaver, you may have come across an episode where the Beaver becomes part of a record subscription.  He doesn't return the postcard each month to tell the company he doesn't want the record.  He gets a lot of records he doesn't want but is forced to pay for them.  Finally he owes a little over $17.60 and the record company sends him a demand letter for the money.  The Beaver doesn't know what to do.  He approaches his father and lets him know the situation he is in.  As a father, I really appreciate that!  Beaver takes full responsibility for his actions.  Again, as a father, I appreciate that.  Beaver comes down hard on himself calling himself a "dumb kid".

He asks his father what he should do.  Ward tells him "Lets put our heads together and see what we can figure out."  There is silence as Ward tries to let him try solve his own issue.  Finally Beaver says "I was kind of waiting for you to go first."  Ward recommends a solution.  I wonder if in some small way, Ward was trying to use the Patrol Method (allowing the Beaver to find a solution for his own issue) in some small way.  Granted there wasn't a patrol but the patrol method doesn't have to be used just in a small group.

I appreciate parents who try to let their kids learn things themselves.  Rescuing your kid, in most situations, isn't helpful for them to become responsible adults.

In the end, Beaver gave up 50% of his allowance each week until the bill was paid.  Painful but effective.  

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