Monday, February 18, 2013

A Word on Parenting

For the time being I am not a father or at least I am unaware of any prodigy I may have spawned with any of the women I have done “stuff” with. In saying that I have many friends and co-workers that either are having kids or have kids or seem to be reproducing themselves as kids. Either or I often take part in conversations about how to raise your kids, and what parents used to do that they don’t do now which could be the cause of the behaviors of today’s kids. I find that during these conversations there are a lot of good points brought up, but more so there is a larger number of what ifs that appears out of certain lines of questioning. It is during these “what if” moments that I find my brain giving honest answers to the hard parenting questions of today. So, to bring it around the bend I have here a simple list of scenarios and my automatic answer to these what if questions. Please note that I am pretty much evil, or at least chaotic natural for most encounters so my parenting models follow the same general idea.

Q: What do you do when you kid gets in trouble in school?
A: More over than anything else you have to make sure that you are honest and upfront with your kids no matter the situation. So, if my son or daughter came home from school after getting in trouble I would get them something to drink and ask them to have a seat at the table (dining room, kitchen, nook, box in front of the TV, whatever). Then look them straight in the eyes and ask them what happened?  Listen to them tell the story, and when done take a deep breath (for dramatic effect) keep a straight face and say these lines to them.
“I understand what you have said and all I can say to you about it is that I am disappointed, what was done seems to merit a punishment but I am too drought with what took place to decide on your punishment now. Please understand that I am disappointed and that your punishment will take place in the next few days once I figure it out. That is all, go to your room and please think about what has taken place.”

Then just let it be for a good day or so. The kid most likely will think I forgot or that it was not important by going about business as usual. Then one of the nights after the conversation while the thought is still fresh in their head go into their room around 2 or 3 in the morning. Take with you a pair of oversized novelty scissors and a big creepy grin. Place yourself in a chair at the edge of their bed and sit with scissors upright and grin firmly across your face. Make sure to be quiet and wait for them to wake enough to notice you are there. Then when you can see the resemblance of recognition in their eyes smile even bigger, and say in a hushed voice “It’s time.”
In most cases at least two of the following will happen:

1.       Your kid will scream like crazy and wet the bed as a reaction to what is going on.
2.       Your spouse will rush in thinking the world is on fire only to find the kid screaming and you literally rolling on the floor with laughter. *Note: you most likely will get beat for this, plan to sleep on the couch*
3.       Your kid will never do anything bad again because they do not want to have to go through that again. *Note plan to save money for therapy bills later in your child’s life.*

Q: How do I get my kids to stop looking for presents, or even stop begging for presents/ gifts all the time?
A: This one is a fun one because when you give your kids treats for doing stuff you might as well make them sleep in the yard and go potty outside. Kids are not dogs and should not be trained as such. But this is still a good question on modeling appropriate expectations for real life at home and outside. For this one do the following:
1.       Create a file folder with each one of your kids name on it, as well as some overly complicated serial number. Example: Smith, John CIM#: 09115-2014-03-29-2451CD15F (makes sure to work in their birthdate for added official look)
2.       Put in random statistical data and pictures of your kids with a whole lot of science and math equations all over the place. But most of all in big red letters stamp in FINAL RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE, MOVE TO STAGE GREEN, AUTHORIZATION FOR COMPONET (smudged or blurry word) USE GIVEN BY HIGH CONSOUL.
3.       Place said folders in a random area of the house like a coffee table or your office.
4.       Tell kid/ kids that you are heading out for a run and/ or to do a chore
5.       Wait for kids to get bored enough to look for stuff to get into.
6.       Watch as kids find folders and start to look through them.
7.       Watch and listen as you kids start to go through all the notes making sure to keep a straight face as well as not laughing.
8.       Then when you are sure they are worried about all the info step out from behind them and say the following: *OH, I see that someone has been snooping for their Christmas/ birthday/ graduation day present?” “Father/ Mother is not amused.”
9.       Take the folder/ folders from them and just walk out of the room leaving them to absorb the moment.
10.   Try as hard as you can to not laugh while you walk away.
Your kid/ kids will easily learn that you and/or your spouse are evil and thus should not be questioned about the goings on of day to day life. They will then never look for a “present” or beg to be rewarded again because they will think you are trying to complete some possibly horrible experiment on them. As well your kids may just stop talking to all together which I am told is a blessing to some parents.
The point to all of this is again to be open and honest with your kids. If they know right where you are coming from and have clearly defined boundaries then they will be less likely to act out in an effort to test or get attention. If you kids think you are evil all the better because everyone knows that evil always wins because good is dumb. As well make sure to understand that if you are evil like I am then your kids will most likely be just as evil and will come up with their own ways to teach you to be a better parent. In saying this please expect to wake in the morning buried up to your neck in the sand of some unknown shore with a simple note in front of you that says “Happy Father’s/ Mother’s Day.” Again if you kids know where you are coming from, you should also know what to expect from them in return.
Thanks for reading, and happy parenting.

*Note: Everything stated here is for jest and meant to be understood as such. If you and/or your spouse act on anything written here please let it be only the idea to be open and honest with your kids, as well to communicate clearly with them at all times.