Ruin your child in 8 easy steps

By AnnMary Mumbi | Sunday, Aug 26th 2018 at 00:00
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1. Be their friend. Forget being a parent entrusted with a blank canvas that needs to be taught values, structures and principles. You don’t need to aggravate them or get them to do anything. Friends don’t irritate friends. Be that friend that takes the child to the pub because they are your friend, or whom you gossip and watch weird shows with. A friend’s duty is to support whatever their friend does.  And when they get into trouble with the world later on as adults, just hold their hands and smile at them. It is what friends do.

2. Give them everything they want. They don’t need to learn the value of patience or hard work. You slave away at work to give them the latest toys and gadgets. And why should they learn the value of delayed gratification? After all, you will always be in their lives to provide everything they need.

3. Let them read/watch whatever they want. If yourtoddler is only calm when watching TV, let them. Doesn’t matter that they aren’t having enough playtime or getting developmentally dulled. Let your teen access whatever websites or TV programmes without monitoring the content. Doesn’t really matter that any idiot with internet access can write whatever they want and that children at that age are pretty impressionable. Don’t buy them informative books when they can access everything they need online, oh, and if they can learn about sex online too, saves you the trouble of the sex talk, right?

4. Quarrel with your spouse and scold other adults in their presence. Emotions sure are tough to rein in, and it doesn’t help one to postpone the name calling when someone angers you. Jayden and Kyla don’t need to be away as you give their papa a piece of your mind. Or why shouldn’t the nanny get a dress down there and then when she doesn’t follow instructions? Don’t worry that child psychologists warn about damage to a child’ssense of security and psychological development when they watch their parents fight. Or that it would ruin their ability to forge healthy relationships later on.

5. Stay in an abusive relationship for their sake. Who will help you raise little Maria when you walk away from her abusive daddy? So stay, because despite that Maria will get a skewed view of how relationships are, or a very disfigured notion of what love looks like, stay. Don’t however blame yourself when you hear that Maria’s college boyfriend slaps her around. That is love as she knows it.

6. Compare them with their sibling or the neighbour’s child. Why can’t Natalie be as academically gifted as her elder brother Liam? Let Natalie know over and over again that she disappoints you. Her self-esteem may take a beating, and she may not discover her unique abilities and gifts but again no child of yours will score anything less than Bs. Don’t pay any mind to experts who say that your constant comparisons will further fuel Natalie’s self-doubt and belief. You are just doing yourbest as a parent.

7. Don’t give him /her spiritual guidance. Let them choose their own path when they are older. They say that spirituality gives a child a moral compass and security when they feel like they have no one else to turn to for guidance. But what do they know?  You couldn’t care less about religion, after all, you are fine without it. So on Sunday, laze around and watch TV with them, play with them and don’t bother with church. They will choose their way when they are adults. Ignore the fact that you already made that decision for them when they were babies.

8. You have a life to live. Children are time consuming. They need you to spend time with them, talk to them through their troubles and even discipline them. How are you going to find time for that between work, networking, friends and trips? Isn’t staying with the children the reason you hired a nanny?  And why can’t they let you rest after a long day at work. They are too much trouble. So get home when they are asleep every day, don’t feel the need to share at least one meal of the day with them, and when they grow up and you realise that they seem like strangers to you, or become people you don’t even like, blame your busy job for it.


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