I try to treat my boy the way I like to be treated… not with the hitting and the hurting (silly!), but with our normal human interactions. I know that will shock some people *shocker!*, but really it shouldn’t and I hope the shocked are in the minority (I suspect so, I know enough of you to know that you all live in the real world…).
I speak to him honestly, I am clear with my expectations, I keep my word, I mean what I say and say what I mean, I am considerate, I read his moods and treat him accordingly, I support him when he needs it, I give him positive feedback when he does well, I let him know that he is desirable (and sexy and hot and… well you get the gist), I comfort him when he is upset, I celebrate his successes… all of that I do, and I expect the same in return.
Recently I called him to task for being late for a date and not contacting me to let me know that he had a problem. His reason for being late was legitimate, but not letting me know what was going on was unacceptable.
We talked about it, and it turns out I am not as good at being punctual as I thought. I had been late for a couple of dates also and had not contacted him to let him know. The consequence of my behaviour is that he thought being late wasn’t such a big deal because, well, I did it, so it obviously wasn’t all that important… I find it difficult to argue with that. Punctuality and communicating if there is a problem is not something we have explicitly discussed; I expect it, it is one of those things that goes without saying, but I also thought that I practiced it. I don’t, not as diligently as I should.
So, the outcome… he was not punished, I explicitly stated my expectations about punctuality, and about being in touch if he is running late, I apologised for my own tardiness in the past.
Leading by example. I try. Sometimes, I get it wrong.