Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Three Fundamental Rules for Not Raising Brats or Being One Yourself

originally posted at Reepicheep's Coracle

One of my favorite hobbies is getting myself worked up into a frenzy, calling Jenn, and ranting about all the people, ideas, blog posts, news articles, overheard snippets of conversation, and scenes from movies that are WRONG. I have found that whenever I get into an uproar about any parenting issue, my complaints and solutions (of course, I always have the RIGHT one) come down to three rules. If I were going to make a trifold pamplet on parenting, these three rules would be the headers of each section. They apply to parents and kids alike. Here they are, for you edification.

1. Mind your own business.

Ex. 1: Child doesn't want to play soccer/read classic English novel/learn piano/do the thing his parents wish they had done and have now decided to inflict on child. Solution? Parent, mind your own business.

Ex. 2: Child: "Mom, (insert sibling name here) is (insert annyoing but not dangerous activity being reported solely to get sibling in trouble here)." Solution? Child, mind your own business.

2. Get off your butt.

Ex. 1: Child is doing some annoying thing and won't stop when parent says, "Stop doing that annoying thing!" Solution? Get off your butt. Armchair parents, like armchair quarterbacks, never go to the Super Bowl.

Ex. 2: Child yells, "Will you get me some milk?" Solution? Is child sick or injured or 14 months old? Then child needs to get off his butt. Same answer applies for "Mom, I'm hungry," "Mom, I'm cold," "Mom, I can't find my shoes," and "Mom, I spilled water all over the bathroom floor."

3. Suck it up.

Ex. 1: Parent: "My child is intense/sensitive/introverted/extroverted/stubborn/slow to warm up/whatever other temperamental trait annoys you." Solution? Suck it up. You get what you get. Stop whining about it, stop "putting the I wish above the It is," and suck it up.

Ex. 2: Parent is afraid little Johnny may be forever scarred by mom having a life away from Johnny, by finding out that he isn't the smartest or funniest or fastest, by not winning a trophy, by not getting all the things he wanted for Christmas, or by hearing "no." Solution? Johnny will have to suck it up.

I really think that these rules might be the fundamental ones for all human interaction, but so far, I have only applied them to parenting. I'm pretty sure they would work just as well in romance, friendship, and the workplace.

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