It seems parents everywhere are racing to create the most horrendous monster on the block. I’m not sure why, because when I was young, parents wanted to make sure children were enjoyable, hard-working, and God-Fearing. But if you are one of the parents who wants to raise a monster, here is my advice:
- Let your child be in charge—have them choose the restaurant, vacation location, what to cook for dinner, or whether they will do chores or not. Never discipline your child when they tell you no or hit you—and make sure to laugh at how cute it seems in the moment. (e.g. “Listen, Linda”)
- Constantly tell your child how great and amazing they are at everything, and be sure to lie to your child by saying they can be whatever they want to be. When your daughter brings you an ugly picture, don’t say, “What is this?” Instead, act like the drawing will be the next to hang in the Louvre. Also, do not be honest about your child’s natural talents or gifts. If your son is uncoordinated and slow, I’m sure he can still be a pro football player if you say it enough times.
- Instill in your child the idea that they are better than everyone else and should always come first. Make sure your child has lots of t-shirts that brag of their superiority and accomplishments. You might also buy your child several shirts that put others down—just for good measure.
- Make sure your child spends all of their extra time involved in activities and entertainment so they will never discover a passion that could actually turn into a career. Fill every waking minute with fun and games so that when your child graduates from high school, they won’t know how to work hard for an extended period of time, nor will they have any idea where their useful, productive talents lie. This will assure that your monster is on your payroll for much longer.
- Make sure your child always has a screen available. Make it possible for them to watch TV or play games anywhere at anytime: church, the line at the grocery store, driving 10 minutes across town, or when visiting with their grandmother. This will insure your child has a 60 second attention span, learns conduct and morals from TV stars, and is incapable of conversing with adults.
- Raise your child on cliches and slogans instead of the truth. Here are some useful ones:
- When God closes a door, He opens a window.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
- If God leads you to it, he’ll lead you through it.
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (of course this is a real scripture, but just remember, it has nothing to do with sports.)
- And maybe the best one: Everything happens for a reason.
This, of course, is not an all-inclusive list, but it should get you started on the best beast on the block.
Sarcasm aside, as parents, one should always ask, “What does this action or attitude look like when my child is 16 or 36?” Because after all, there is no magic day when your child will “wake up” and be a grown up. Becoming an adult is a process that begins as soon as a child is born. As parents, we must always remember that we are raising our children to be successful and enjoyable adults– not monsters.
Parenting is a challenge, but it’s the best job on earth. Stay tuned for great ideas for raising your child into an outstanding adult instead of a horrendous beast.