Parenting for Dummies

Apr 5th
Posted by shambo  as Education

 Let me say this about that.

Raising kids is hard work.¬† That is precisely why I never had any.¬† But apparently that¬†hasn’t stopped the rest of America.¬† For the 40 year old¬†and¬†younger generations, the decision to have kids is done with the same forethought¬†as buying a pair of St. Bernards as pets to share their one-bedroom apartment.

But as poorly prepared to¬†bring kids into the world as today’s parents are, their ability to raise them to maturity¬†is nothing short of pathetic.¬† Today’s parents have developed a sort of perverted philosophy of raising children based¬†on life as it might be lived in¬†Disneyland.¬† In this fairytale world, every kid is a winner – every kid is “special” – every kid is the best – every kid is a success – every kid is, in short, a little angel who can do no wrong.¬† Kids are never punished for wrong doing¬†- they are given “time-outs”.¬†

If you don’t believe¬†today’s kids are being raised in a sugar-coated, “everything is beautiful” world,¬† go to a…¬†¬†¬† kids’ soccer game sometime.

I was forced to go to a kids’ soccer game once.¬† There were four teams playing.¬† Keeping score was forbidden by the parents, as keeping score might do some permanent emotional damage to the losing team of “little angels”.¬† After the games were over,¬†everyone could see¬†that one team was head-and-shoulders better than the other three.¬† One was so bad it was¬†obvious their parents were cousins, and the remaining two teams were both equally average.¬†¬†There was an elaborate¬†awards ceramony¬†afterward and¬†the team of klutzy little retards¬†got trophies for winning the “Sportsmanship Award”.¬† The best team got trophies for “Excellence”,¬† as being declared “winners” would imply that there was a “loser”.¬† The two average teams in the middle were given trophies for “Achievement”, even though what was ‘achieved’ was mediocrity.¬† Every kid got a trophy – every kid was a “winner”.

Sadly, when these soccer kids enter the real world, they will be about as well prepared as a Beverly Hills chihuahua at Michael Vick’s house.

Parenting was different when I was a kid.¬† In those days, if you survived childhood, adulthood didn’t present that much of a challenge.¬† Let me give you an example:

My younger brother and I always liked to visit my Dad’s sister and her family.¬† She had three boys about our age and we would spend the days chasing each other through the woods behind their house.¬† There was also a creek that ran through their property that formed a small¬†swimming hole¬†and was the site of many family picnics.¬† One day my cousins, brother, Dad and uncle were at the swimming hole when my Dad looked at me and¬†made the following announcement:

Shambo’s Dad:¬† “Ya know, kid.¬† You’re eight years old now¬†and you still don’t know how to swim.¬† Why is that, son?”

Shambo:¬† “Cause we live in the mountains Dad.”

Shambo’s Dad:¬† “Hell, that’s no excuse.¬† It’s high time you learned.”

And with that, he grabbed me by the back of my shirt and the seat of my pants and threw me into the water - where I promptly sank like shares of Enron stock.  For the next five minutes, I learned a great many things.  Regrettably, none of them was how-to-swim.  I did learn that it is not a good idea to try to swim with a pair of sneakers full of water.  I also learned that being in water ten feet deep when you are 4 feet, 10 inches tall presents a challenge to one of my favorite pastimes Рbreathing.

Shambo’s Uncle:¬† “Damn John, I think the little¬†bastard’s gonna drown.”

Shambo’s Dad:¬† “Nah.¬† The kid’s pretty smart.¬† He’ll figure it out.”

Shambo’s Uncle:¬† “Did ya see the look on his face as he was flying through the air?¬† Pretty funny, huh?”

That’s how I learned most things as a kid ……..¬† slam – bash – cut – bleed – stomp – break – slash – bump – and puke.¬† By the time I finished college, I had broken fourteen bones.¬† But it was no big deal, because I was prepared for a hard world by hard parents.¬† I feel for today’s kids spending their childhood being taught they are “special” when they should be taught how to be a “surviver”.¬† In this life, you can learn how to deal with difficulty when you are ten – or you can learn when you’re thirty – but you¬†ARE going to learn.

And, that’s all I have to say about that.



One Comment

  1. Phoebe  6th April 2010  

    Gotta luv me some Shambo, even if you did stay under the water a little too long! I agree, skills of survivorship will go a long way in life.

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