Letting your child say no will condemn her to a life of misery
A few days ago, my sons were at a local playground. A toddler girl of the same age had a sweet set of sand shovels, and one of my sons asked us if he could play with this little girl and her toys. My wife told him that he’d need to ask her. This isn’t the first time such a request has been made. Other kids have approached our kids/us and asked to play with my twins’ toys. We always say yes. There’s no reason not to. And our sons have also asked other people about their toys, and have similarly been allowed to join the fun. So, my almost-three-year-old son walks up to the toddler girl and her mother, and asks if he can also play. This parent had a golden opportunity to teach her young daughter about sharing. Instead, the mom flatly said, “No. Sorry.” My son returned dejected. We explained that she had a right to say no. And she did. That “mommy” absolutely had a right to transform my son’s world into a selfish, colder place.
Hu-hu-hu, other shows, like, suck, but this one is actually, good, hu-hu-hu
Not sure if you caught the big news over the past few days. Other than Egypt going back to the time of the Pharaohs, and watching the Super Bowl commercials while wondering why Godaddy.com thinks cleavage is going to make me buy a website domain, it was announced that my beloved Beavis and Butthead are returning to MTV. This is actually an excellent show for tweens and teens to watch, and let me tell you why:
Will it provide a measure of peace, or is it the beginnings of a man-cave?
When I was ten, my parents allowed me to have a TV in my room. I loved it! It made me feel so grown up. There weren’t DVDs yet, and Atari was just coming out with Pac-Man. So I used the TV solely to watch programs—mostly MTV. Not a lot of people know this, but MTV used to play music. My wife swears that I have ADD. I’m not sure if watching the TV contributed to my short attention span. But I do know that if you blinded me, I could sketch a picture of Cindy Lauper’s old hairdo from memory. What I’m saying is it was worth it.
Or was it? Did my parents end up prematurely giving me a “man cave”? Would I have been better off in the living room interacting with my family? Or was my life immeasurably enhanced by getting to witness the unveiling of Kiss without their makeup?
A mom is charged with child abuse for putting hot sauce on her son’s tongue
On a recent episode of Dr. Phil, during a segment called Mommy Confessions, a woman showed a video of her pouring hot sauce on her seven-year-old son’s tongue, and then shoving him into an ice cold shower. She was arrested a day later and charged with child abuse.
I don’t want to join the avalanche of obvious criticism. It was clearly wrong. In my opinion, she wanted to get caught. Her “confession” was a cry for help. This woman isn’t the worst monster in the world. She, like a lot of parents, was simply pushed too far. And she abused her child instead of administering discipline.
Um, Mommy and Daddy were just pretending they were animals at the zoo
One of the worst experiences of a child’s life is catching his parents having sex. No kid ever wants to think of his parents as people. And there’s nothing more “people” than doing the thing that creates them. My sons have recently taken the liberty of opening the doors of their bedroom at night after we put them to sleep. So naturally, I now have reason to be concerned that we could one day find ourselves with an unexpected audience. As a parent, I want to protect my kids from all horrific sights. If I were near a TV and a news program started showing plane crash footage, I’d change the channel. Similarly, I don’t want my kids to see anything at home that would be cause to ask a grief counselor to come by for a visit.
Answer: when the parents are named Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
Author Terry McMillan just criticized Will Smith and his wife for “exploiting” their kids. Many of you might actually have lives, and therefore aren’t familiar with the work of their kids, Willow and Jaden (who surprisingly enough, are not named after Lord of the Rings characters). Their kids are becoming movie and recording stars. The son was in the remake of the Karate Kid, and their daughter has some popular song about whipping hair.
Most parents have trouble keeping kids from repeating their mistakes
Today’s parenting question is: “Can you ever say something that will prevent your kids from making the same mistakes you did?” And the question is brought to us by a 29-year-old man who has just become the youngest grandfather in Britain. How did he pull of this amazing feat? First, he got a woman pregnant and had a daughter back when he was fourteen. Then, to return the favor, his now fourteen-year-old daughter just became pregnant by her fifteen-year-old boyfriend. At least the boyfriend’s a year older—that child’s going to need a mature influence.
Despite the naysayers, these technologies are more important to parents than wet wipes
Occasionally I’ll hear a parent lament about how the Internet and cell phones have intruded into what would otherwise be a harmonious family life. I say hogwash! Parents need these technologies. To prove it, I’ll share portions of my typical day:
7:05 AM: Sons sit with me and watch YouTube videos of fireworks or trash trucks while my wife gets dressed and prepares their breakfast. The Internet allows me to help start my kids’ days with a visual cornucopia of loud explosives and machinery.