We encountered Little Damon while on vacation. He is adorable! 4 years old and lots of energy, as is usually the case. He ran the show! He giggled and ran and swatted and giggled and ran and really didn't do much he was told, as I'm sure he learned from his parents lack of follow through.
Now with that said, I cannot tell if what I was witnessing was in some way an improvement. His parents may have been doing better than before, and therefore he may have been behaving better than ever and since I don't know their "before" I can only comment on what I saw.
We were by water, a lot of water, and it could be perceived as dangerous. I'm not advocating for fear-based parenting, however, when you are by water, especially moving and deep water, you should use caution.
Damon exhibited lots of control in his family. He did what he wanted, and his parents just used his name, a lot. Like "Damon, stop that, Damon, don't, Damon, come here, Damon, listen to me, Damon, hold still, Damon, wait!" And on and on... Common phrases we've all said to our children, however, this went on for the entire time we were together, approx 5 hours!
His parents tolerated everything he did. It was as if they didn't want to "Rock the Boat" so to speak. You know, "cause a scene," but in their actions, or lack of, they ended up causing a scene anyway. One of over tolerance and lack of discipline, lack of safety and actually a "look at us, we are TRYING here."
If we keep in mind that "discipline" is "teaching," then by their lack of, they were inadvertently causing a scene. We saw where Damon had all the power and Damon was "being taught" how to wield that power negatively, instead of how to LISTEN, Follow Through and Communicate clearly, especially around water.
The message I want to share out of this encounter is to STOP, step back and look at what you are "teaching" in your attempts to discipline. If you keep speaking with no follow through, no point of when things are serious then DON"T expect your child to learn anything other than what Damon learned, "I have a lot of POWER."