Tuesday 6 December 2016

quid pro quo -- the key to co-operation

Published 19/04/2010 | 05:00

Food writer and author Dianne Curtin (right) has used her childhood as a template for parenting 18-year-old Sean and daughter Caoimhe, almost 13.

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"When I was a teenager, my parents were quite laid-back. There wasn't much conflict in the house and I don't remember having big flare-ups with them.

"Between the ages of about 13 and 18 it was all quite mellow. They weren't very authoritarian but they were strict in a very caring way, and my father was very strong on curfews.

"He would ground me if I came home late from a dance -- my friends used to call me Cinderella because I had to be home by midnight!

"I didn't like it but I understood it -- my father dished out the discipline in our house and I always understood why he was doing it.

"He was a very gentle man and he made it easy for me to accept any punishment he doled out -- but he had a firm line you didn't cross without consequences and you knew that!

"As a parent of one teenager and one tween, I'm pretty laid-back myself. I'd be quite an open-minded modern mum. The kids rarely do anything that needs a severe reprimand, though we've had conflict over them helping out with chores!

"What I do is that if they won't help me, I won't help them by driving them here, there and everywhere and I find that usually works because we live out in the country. I'd rather discipline them that way than shake my stick at them!"

Dianne Curtin is author of The Creators: Indivi-duals of Irish Food published by Atrium

Irish Independent

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