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February 20, 2005 / TildeWill

Examples

I was thinking about Paul G, the former fencing coach, since he was coming to town to give lessons. One of the things that I think makes Paul so successful with the Purdue fencers is that he could easily set up a superior-subordinate relationship with us, but he instead treats us more like peers. In this situation everyone benefits because it helps him stay young, and for us we feel more comfortable making mistakes. He tells us stories of his adventures, dirty jokes, and plenty of other things that let us know he’s just as human as we are.

So I was thinking about it, and yeah you learn a lot about a lot of things from your parents and superiors, but you also learn a lot from your peers. So in thinking about parenting (because Big Daddy is on) I started to wonder if one could raise a child in a peer-peer relationship as opposed to the standard issue superior-subordinate relationship.

It would easy enough to reward a child in a peer-peer setting, but punishing might be tough. You run the risk of destroying the friendship and then you’ve got nothing.

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