There really was a Davy Crockett, a man who lived during the early 19th century, who served in Congress and who died at the Alamo. He has also become something of an early American folk hero, with myths and legends built up around his life.

It is said that he once came face to face with a bear when he was without his rifle.  He escaped by staring right back at the bear, and grinning. The story goes that the bear slunk away, chastened.  Hence the legend of Davy Crockett grinning down the bear.

Fast forward to today, when even parenting can have its scary moments, times when an out-of-control and defiant child can seem like a hostile beast. We presume a certain degree of respect from our children. Loving them as we do we anticipate that they will submit to reasonable limits with only a reasonable struggle. It can come as something of a shock the first time our child seems impervious to our authority.

It’s those times when Davy Crockett can come in mighty handy. Whether it’s with a 2 year old having a tantrum, with a 13 year old who’s saying we’re a has been, or with a 17 year old who’s saying we’re a never was – a parent can paste on a grin and glare. At the very least, it can buy a beleaguered parent some time, and, at best, the child might decide to get with the program. This technique incorporates AA’s brilliant aphorism “fake it til you make it”.

Popular culture can have considerable impact on family relationships and dynamics.

I’ve come to believe that there are times that neither Dr. Spock, nor Dr. Phil, nor anyone in between, has more to offer parents than Davy Crockett.