I often wonder, while watching parents fail miserably with their children, what could they possibly be thinking?
To aid in your pursuit of becoming the worst possible parent, here are the top eight tips:
  1. Discipline your children only when you lose your temper. Let them get away with anything until you’re fed up; then, in a spirit of hostility and anger, let ’em have it! Blow your top, holler, get wild, clobber them and really make a brawl out of it. The children will get a bang out of you.
  2. Don’t make yourself approachable, you might have to listen and reason with them. If you get too chummy, they’ll want to talk things over with you. And who’s got time to waste with kids? You’ve got more important things to do.
  3. If they’ve done wrong, never let them forget it. Keep rubbing it in; they’ll loathe you for it. A father was telling me in front of his son about the trouble the boy had gotten into 5 years ago when he was 13. The boy was ashamed and disgusted. When the father went to answer the phone, the son said in an undertone, “He makes me sick.” I felt like saying, “Me, too.”
  4. Give your child all the spending money he wants; don’t make him earn it. Money in large quantities is an acceptable substitute for love. After awhile he’ll want only your money and couldn’t care less about you. It’s something like starving him on cream puffs.
  5. Compare your child with someone else to make him smarten up. Use that beautiful expression, “Why can’t you be like Johnny?” He’ll despise you and Johnny both!
  6. Mother and father should disagree in regard to the rules for their youngsters. Children will then learn to play one parent against the other.
  7. Never let the kids think for themselves. They haven’t the equipment. (The reason may be in their heredity or environment). Make all the decisions for them so they’ll never be able to handle life.
  8. Treat them with suspicion. Never trust the sneaky little characters.

At first read, each of these ‘suggestions’ seems so obvious and harmful–yet, I have seen each of these ‘tactics’ play out more times than I care to count. It is especially difficult when you see the consequence of inconsistent discipline displayed within a child’s personality (and harder still, a child who you love deeply).
So easy to find a concrete list of the things to do to scar you kids–yet so difficult to find a comprehensive list of the RIGHT things to do. I’m so grateful I don’t have to navigate the parenting world alone–having both a supportive spouse and a faithful God.