Keeping It Real: A User’s Guide for Parenting

 

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.”

Carl Gustav Jung

Being a good example is very hard, especially when trying to raise children to be successful, happy and law abiding citizens.  I tried the good example program for a while and realized it is just not possible and leads to lying, cheating and other kinds of subterfuge which are basically contrary to the desired outcome.  Hence, I ascribe to the bad example philosophy of child rearing.  It’s easier to do than one might think, and actually comes quite naturally to most parents.

First of all, you must abide by the cardinal rule of bad exampling, and that is, keeping it real.  For, if you cannot keep it real, the child will see through your efforts and do everything they can to frustrate and anger you.  So, keep it real at all times.

I will begin with potty training as this is a time in life when children’s brains are capable enough to understand what you are trying to teach them.  Some children have no problem with potty training, and if so, you can skip this section and move on.  If not, read carefully and do everything as it is written.  Now, if your child refuses to use the toilet and refuses to give up their diapers the best thing you can do is to wear diapers yourself.  Make sure you don’t change them until your child starts complaining, and that is the time you start negotiating with them.  Tell them you will change your diaper if they will agree to use the toilet.  If not, you will continue wearing your soiled diaper and holding them in your lap until the smell from that diaper makes them resort to proper toilet behavior on their part.  Sooner or later, that child will be more than willing to use that toilet, and when they do give them lots of praise.

The next problematic childhood behavior I will address is that annoying habit all children have with putting things in their mouths.  Kids are naturally stupid when they are young, and they tend to test everything by putting it into their mouths.  There are several ways to break this habit, but I found the very best way is to make them watch you put things in your mouth which no child ever should, and then reacting as you should react when you put something in your mouth which does not belong there.  You can start out with simple items such as safety pins and dust balls, and then move up to electrical cords and poisonous chemicals.  The important part is how you react to what you insert into your mouth.  Never act like you enjoy it.  Screw up your face and make painful noises like you are about to die, and then make the child do the same thing with whatever object is being used at the time.  For instance, a safety pin, make sure it is open and maybe has some urine or fecal matter on it.  In no time at all, that child will get the point, as it were, and will know never to do that again.  If your child takes longer than usual to learn this lesson, it is only because he is not very bright and you made need to increase the number of lessons per your child’s level of stupidity.  However, if this lesson takes more than three attempts, you may want to consult your doctor.

To cure my children from not being afraid of strangers I did this simple trick.  I have someone who my children don’t know come into the house and start screaming at them and wielding a weapon the child will for sure recognize like a knife or a gun.  Once the child gets to crying and carrying on and such, I come to the rescue and take the child into another room and leave them there alone to think about what just happened.  About an hour or so later, I repeat the process.  Some children learn this lesson right away.  Others need more reinforcement.  You’ll have to decide which one your child is by yourself.  The key is, don’t stop until you are absolutely for sure.

Now, I should take time here to explain there is a difference between adopted children and children which are your own.  Adopted children tend to be slow learners and due to all that rejection they have suffered through the years they may need extra lesson exercises.  Be patient, but always keep it real.  If you are angry or frustrated with them, don’t be shy about showing it.  Most adopted children are used to this are may be somewhat immune, so you might have to take it up a notch or two before it will take any real effect.

Crying children are always a problem.  While you can never completely stop a child from crying, you can slow it down some.  I have found that if the parent starts crying, the children tend to take notice and get confused, and sometimes it is enough to make them stop crying.  If that fails, then the parent should just leave the room and let that child cry itself to sleep.  If that fails, turn the TV or stereo up real loud and just try ignoring it.

Teeth brushing is certainly a problem most parents have to struggle with.  No child wants to brush their teeth, and with good reason.  After all, those teeth are going to fall out anyways, so why bother?  Therefore, don’t even bother with this.  Your children’s teeth will teach them the same lesson they taught you eventually.  Now, if your children see you brushing your teeth and flossing all the time, they may just decide to do it without prompting, but avoid this at all costs.  Toothpaste and floss are quite expensive and the money you save not letting them properly care for their teeth you can use for other things which help parents survive the onslaught of child rearing. If nothing else, use that money for when the Tooth Fairy needs to come around.  In the end, you will be thanking yourself.

Remember that first time your child defied your authority?  Every child does this at some point or another and it can drive a parent literally crazy.  The age old question of how to make someone do something they don’t want to do cannot be taken lightly.  Some parents try reasoning with their child, but I found this only makes the child want answers and reasons for everything and that swiftly becomes a pain in the ass.  “Because I said so”, is a good strategy, but fails after a while, especially when the kid has learned they can frustrate you even further by continued defiance. If your child is too young to drop off at some strange place for a while until they change their mind, you might try just leaving the premises for a few hours so they can think about it.  Usually when you come back, the situation has changed and they are more compliant.  If that doesn’t work, your child may be retarded and in need of proper psychiatric care.

I find that helping a child with their schoolwork tends to only make them more dependent on the parent, so not only do I never offer assistance, I never even ask about it in the first place.  Let’s face it, your child is who they are, and whatever genetic code you gave them is set for life and no amount of help is going to change that.  Smart kids like to learn.  Stupid kids do not.  So, if your child does not want to do school work, then don’t make them.  Chances are they are stupid to begin with so no matter how much help you give them they are going to fail anyway, so why bother?  Just be glad there is a place for them to go all day and be out of your hair. If your child persists with asking you for help, then give them all the wrong answers or make stuff sound so confusing no one could understand it.  It may take some time, but sooner or later they will figure out not to ask any more.  Smart children figure this out quickly, but stupid children can take some time.  Be persistent with the stupid children.  They just don’t know any better.  Furthermore, never attend any parent-teacher conferences.  If your child is stupid, you will be embarrassed.  If your child is smart, there really is no need, so why waste that time?

Even though me and the wife smoke, we didn’t want our kids to.  It can be expensive supporting the nicotine habit for yourself, your wife, and your kids, so the best thing is not to let them start to begin with.  Now, some experts claim making your kid smoke cigarettes until they get sick is the best method, but I disagree.  You get much better effect if you make your child eat some cigarettes.  That tends to stay with them much longer, and you just might save some grocery money in the process.  Of course, you should use filter-less cigarettes if at all possible because the cotton tends to be hard to swallow, but you can just break those filters off in case of an emergency.  Some children might actually enjoy this lesson, and for those you may need to add some extra ingredients to the cigarettes like antifreeze or dish soap.

According to the news reports, bullying is becoming quite a problem in society today.  If your kid is not a bully, then chances are they are being bullied.  The only solution to this is to turn your kid into a bully.  With some children this is outright impossible and for those, who always turn out to be snitches, there is nothing you can do.  They will just be like that forever.  Moreover, once they start snitching, they will be bullied even more on account of their snitching.  But, for the rest of the children, the solution is much simpler.  All you have to do is let them practice on their siblings, or if they are an only child, on the neighbor’s children.  Bullying is not a verbal exercise, it is a physical exercise, so send your children out swinging.  Blows to the nose are the best.  They make a child bleed and scream, and most children tend to run away.  In no time your child will have a reputation and since they are now a member of the bully fraternity, will no longer be threatened or intimidated.  Other parents may not like this sort of behavior, but just tell them their child started it and is to blame.

Which brings me to the tattle-taling problem.  Most parents, like myself, hate when their child tattle-tales on one of their siblings.  For one, it makes you have to do something, and secondly, it is a hard habit for a child to break.  The only solution is to punish the tattle-taler twice as hard as the child they are tattle-taling on, maybe even three times as hard.

Now, note that not once have I recommended striking your child.  I do not believe in hitting children.  I am not saying it doesn’t work, but nowadays Protection Services has snitches everywhere and you could go to jail.  Parenting from a jail cell is darn near impossible in most cases.  Most jails won’t even let kids in to visit, for one thing, and even if they do, the guards are always watching you so hitting them in there would just lead to more jail time.  So, never hit your children.  Make Protective Services work for you, instead.  If your child just refuses to behave, call Protective Services and file what they call an incorrigibility complaint with them.  They will come and remove your children and not even put you in the jail.  And, if you do get your child back, they usually behave much better after that. Make the system work in your favor, not the child’s.

The first time my child said a cuss word, I took a Sharpie and wrote than cuss word on their forehead.  At first, he thought it was funny and ran around pointing it out to everyone.  After a while, however, the hilarity lost its steam and he spent hours and hours trying to wash that cuss word off.  I am not exactly sure of the science behind it, but it seems to work no matter how many times I use this method.

If your child refuses to go to bed on time, the best solution is to move their bed into the garage for a spell.  This gets their attention rather quickly and after the novelty wears off and they realize the garage is not heated or air conditioned, they might even start going to bed without even being asked just to get you to put the bed back into their room where all their toys are, by the way.  Once you wake up to find they have snuck back into the house to sleep on the couch, you know you have them and can move the bed back inside.

If you have any good parenting advice, please send it to me.  Remember if your child is already screwed up, its actually hard to make them any worse.