Monday, 16 January 2012

How Not to Raise a Child

I came across this today:
The following has been attributed to the Houston Police Department, who supposedly put out a pamphlet with the above title, and listing the following rules of raising a delinquent child.
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up “cuter phrases” that will blow off the top of your head later.
3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21, and then let him “decide for himself.”
4. Avoid the use of the word “wrong.” It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around—books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but don’t worry about his mind feasting on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.
8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his. Why should he have things as tough as you did?
9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
10. Take his part against neighbours, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him!”
12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. You’ll surely have it.
I must say that I am guilty of some of the above, namely 1 and 9, which, to me, are closely related.
Admittedly, I do say “No!” to my 19 month old, but probably not as often as I should. If I have to withhold anything from him, I tend to try to distract, rather than to refuse him outright. I know in my head that letting him experience frustration is good for him and will build character, but I cannot bear to see him cry. Partly, it breaks my heart, partly I get very frustrated when he does. Hmm… maybe I’m the one who needs practice in dealing with frustration here.
Anyway, I agree with all these points in general, and before I had Evan, I’m sure I would have said a resounding “Yes!” to Nos. 1 and 9 too. I guess it is time to let my head, and not my heart, take the lead.
As for the rest, some are not applicable yet (he has no use of money at the moment), and some are good reminders – picking up after him, arguing in front of him.
What do you think of these? Which ones do you agree with, and which ones do you disagree with?

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