My husband and I both enjoy reading your blog, having been drawn in by the economics and intrigued by the sociohierarchy stuff. We have four boys and we're doing our best to raise them as the upper betas our demographic knows and loves (conservative homeschooling Christians). Our oldest, 9, is a total born and bred gamma though. Extremely social, conscientious, has to be right, extremely defensive, runs in a fight and then justifies it later. Nothing is ever his fault (something else he loves to discuss in great detail). He's scared of literally everything. My husband is more the Ron Swanson-type, so neither of us know how to parent this child (who it probably won't surprise you to hear is diagnosed ADHD, and has a slightly autistic looking IQ score...unevenly high and low in different areas).All right, that last bit made me laugh. I have to admit, I have no idea what the Ron Swanson-type might be, but given the female contempt for gamma all but dripping from this email, I think it is safe to say that what we have here is a nature-inclined gamma-in-the-making rather than a nurture-bred one. A few suggestions:
Any suggestions for helping pre-gammas to develop into something other than full blown adult gamma? He hates team sports but does well in parkour and is otherwise your typical boy.
He's currently cowering in the corner because he thinks he might have seen a bee, which is what prompted this email.
- Always force him to admit that he was wrong when he was wrong. Make him say the words. "I was wrong." Make him explain to you why it was his fault and make him say the words. "It was my fault because X, Y, and Z." Every time he tries to rationalize away his being at fault, refuse to accept it and dissect his excuses. Essentially, refuse to let him construct his delusion bubble.
- Call him on his revisionist histories. Every time he tries to slide one by, point out what actually happened. Force him to admit that the correct version is what actually happened.
- Don't shame his cowardice. Instead, praise the courage of his brothers and say nothing about him. When he does take baby steps in that direction, praise them.
- Don't force him into team sports, but have your husband work with him to determine if he's naturally gifted at any of them. Then slowly bring him around by having him play with one or two of the boys on the local team and point out how much they need him, how much they could use him. Obviously, if he's not good at anything, don't push him into it.
- See if there are solo sports you can get him to try, the more aggressive the better. Perhaps there are competitive parkour races?
- Have his father teach him how to fight. If his father doesn't really know, perhaps some father-son MMA classes would be a good idea. And make sure that you let him know that it is okay for him to fight and defend himself, that no matter what the school says, you'll back him up and he won't be in any trouble as long as he wasn't being a bully.
- Every now and then, let him pick and argument, then brutally vivisect his argument and show him that he's not even capable of operating on the same level. Smart kids, especially boys, need to be intellectually beaten down from time to time in order to develop intellectual humility. Be harsh, the object is to break his pride and it won't be broken easily, particularly if he's prone to historical revisionism. Multiple repetitions will likely be necessary before the lesson sticks.
- Use his social consciousness as a lever. Don't appeal to his self-respect or his honor, appeal to what other people will think of him.