Note to self when I become a parent

July 13, 2009

  1. Let him learn from his own stupid mistakes – you learn a lot faster from your own mistakes than other people’s experience. A parent’s experience is handy as warning or advice and should never be used as a threat ie “don’t do it that way because this bad thing is what happened to me when I did it.”
  2. Let him roll in dirt and be a grub (to a certain degree) when young – best way to build up antibodies apparently! When you expose children to the great outdoors their immune system is faced with all this new information which it will use to prevent possible future diseases, making it stronger than if they were kept in a 100% sterile environment. Not to say leave the kid in his own filth, but a little bit of mud never hurt anybody.
  3. Never impose your own life ambitions onto him- when you make the kid do what you wanted to do in life that is when you fail parenting. Your child is not a mini-me and you have no right to force him to live his life as you would have wanted to live yours. A parent’s job is to provide for the child, not the other way around.
  4. Never tell him that he cannot do something – a little phrase I picked up from the Will Smith movie “The pursuit of happiness”, never tell your child that they cannot do something or that something is impossible because nothing ever is… sometimes it’s just fucking hard.
  5. Expose your children to art and literature and music early – there is nothing like a bit of education in creativity and art appreciation. Children are sponges, and if they can absorb as wide a variety of creative juices as possible then I think I am giving them a headstart on all the other kids who are trying to do algebra out of the crib. If there is one thing that is harder to learn than anything else in the world, it is how to be creative and to appreciate creative efforts.
  6. Give him whatever he wants – but make him work for it every single time. There is no such thing as a free lunch in life and it is better to learn that the hard way starting young than to suddenly impose it on them when they reach a sentient age. If he wants some candy, make him do some chores. Let him know that he must work for everything that he wants, and that things that he wants most are hardest to earn. Don’t stop until it is ingrained into his psyche. On the flipside…
  7. Always reward good behaviour instead of punishing bad – don’t forget to give him a dollar for mowing the lawn. Do forget to beat him up for mowing over mum’s prized flower patch. It is probably your fault that you forgot to tell him about it anyways.
  8. Encourage independent learning – if he is interested in something, do everything you can to help him learn, even if it means learning yourself to make sure you can help him out. If he’s 5 years old and wants to know how to solder or weld, let him watch you and teach him like you would a friend instead of a child. (probably not for dangerous activities)
  9. Talk to him as an equal – the only time you should talk down to him is when he is shorter than you. Treat him like a fool and he will think that it is ok to be a fool. Not saying to treat him like an adult and talk to him about your day and how the global economy is making it hard to put food on the table but you should never have to “dumb down” to his “level”, just explain it to him as clearly and as patiently as possible.
  10. Let him talk to whoever he wants – almost. If he wants to talk to somebody, let him, as long as he is exposed to no risk and you accompany him. Social interaction is important and he should know how to talk to different types of people and how to respond to people’s reactions.

I’ll stop at 10 and pray that I also marry someone that has better sense than I.

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One Response to “Note to self when I become a parent”

  1. anon said

    I’ll stop at 10 and pray that I also marry someone that has better sense than I

    haha nice finale :P, im sure you’ve got enough sense though 😉

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