So you’ve had a son or daughter and, as if that weren’t a bad enough mistake, you’ve decided to actually raise said child. Yourself. Even though you are clearly unqualified. Even though, literally anybody would do a better job. Even though you were never fully licensed to be a parent. In fact, you are so not-qualified, you weren’t even aware there was a licensing program for that. Well there is. Not that it matters, you wouldn’t have passed it anyway. Mowgli in The Jungle Book received a better upbringing from a pack of jungle wolves than you are capable of providing for your seed. Do you know how I know that? Answer the following question:
Do you want what is best for your child? Yes ____ No ____
What did you check off? You checked off Yes, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU!? You poor, misguided fool. Why would you do that to your innocent and defenseless child? I understand, you have only the best intentions. You want to protect your son or daughter from all of the bad things in the world. You want to provide them with the things that are good. You want them to always be happy, and never be sad, or angry, or scared, or embarrassed, or hurt, or uncomfortable. You want them to have it easier than you ever did.
Question: What type of person do you think that will make them?
We are shaped by the entirety of our experiences, and a fully varied and diverse spectrum of experiences is absolutely essential to creating a well-rounded, functional, durable human being. Let’s face it, eventually your child is going to grow up, and eventually they are going to be confronted with difficult situations or disappointment, and you won’t be there to shelter them, and how they respond is going to be determined by how they learnt to deal with difficult situations and disappointment during their formative years. Will they persevere with grace and dignity? Or will they bitch and moan and blame everyone else for their failings? You are doing them a disservice by trying to protect them from these tough situations in their youths. You may consider your little Suzy or tiny Tim to be a perfect diamond, but you never really thought about what it takes to actually make a diamond, did you? Intense heat, and incredible pressure. Where’s the pressure when tiny Tim gets a bad grade in school, and you punish the teacher? Where’s that heat when little Suzy demands a brand new car for her sixteenth birthday, and you buy her one instead of helping her apply for jobs, so that she can learn the value of a dollar, and eventually purchase one herself? You know what doesn’t take intense heat and incredible pressure to form? A big pile of poop. That’s what you or your woman squeezed out of your/her front butt and are currently clogging up your friends’ Facebook news feed with terrible pictures of. A big steamy pile of human shaped feces.
Do you know what Helen Keller, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Steven Hawking all have in common? They overcame great hardships in their lives, and they achieved incredible things. I postulate that there is a causal relationship between the former and the latter, that perhaps the very hardships which so affected these great people forced them to rise up, and find within themselves depths of character and determination which may never have been discovered had they simply gotten everything they ever wanted when they wanted it. Now, I’m not suggesting that you blind and deafen your child, or subject them to horrible debilitating disease, or systematically oppress and dehumanize them. I’m just suggesting that maybe you let them skin their knees once in a while? Maybe you let them fail? Maybe you let them learn that sometimes the real world which we are stuck living in isn’t always fair? Maybe if you see your child fighting with another kid on the playground, instead of immediately stepping in and rescuing your son or daughter, you let them learn how to stand up and defend themselves? Nothing builds confidence like successfully solving a problem. In order to build that confidence, which they will so desperately need later in life, your child needs both some problems, and the opportunity to solve them by themselves.
I’ll admit, my reasons for providing this advice to you isn’t entirely altruistic. I’m giving it to you because, even after you’re dead and out of the picture, my children and I will still be stuck living alongside your (potentially) terrible kids. I would much prefer if those kids grow up to be useful, contributive members of a functioning society than not. Raising a bunch of whiny, bratty, overly-sensitive, entitled prima-donnas is all well and good when you live in the most powerful nation on earth. Unfortunately, I don’t think those same donnas of prima are going to be capable of keeping the good old US of A the most powerful nation on earth. Our democratic process has already become a mockery of what it once was, with our Federal government grown into a bloated, ineffective, mutant behemoth of greed and corruption, where politicians are bought and sold by mega-corporations and the Uber-rich, and citizens’ votes are worth less than the paper they’re printed on. What happens when our government finally shuts down (oops, that already happened), we default on our massive loans to China (any day now), and our Eastern rivals decide the only way they’re going to recoup their losses is by annexing some prime real estate, which they already technically own anyway, and a billion-man army suddenly shows up on our shore?
I know I’d rather be part of a nation of rugged bad-asses who know how to handle themselves in a fight, and don’t back down from opposition in a scenario like that than a bunch of namby-pambys who would rather talk about their feelings and demand someone else fix their problems for them.
We don’t need more children who think they’re special. We need children who actually have the capability to truly become special. That’s on you, parents. Don’t fuck it up.