Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Happy Mothers' Day, To Those Actually Doing The Job

J. and I have decided that the low self-esteem training starts really early, and yes, it is your parents' fault. I don't care what they say, they are guilt-tripping, because they know deep down it's true, and they got all that stuff from their parents.

When your kid comes home from school and says that their teacher is treating them unreasonably, perhaps you should at least hear the kid out before deciding that teachers are good and little kids make up stories to make themselves look better. Maybe, just maybe, you are teaching your kid that his/her opinion doesn't matter to you, and that when they come to you for help, they will only be told to soldier on, be a good boy, and listen to the authority figure. Enough episodes like that, and the kid will surely learn to doubt himself, turn away from school, and begin to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

When your kid seems to like art/music/animal husbandry/whatever, maybe you should just let the kid run with it for a while, rather than jamming the sports/military/doctor/lawyer/whatever track down their gullet. A small percentage of those kids who are forced into piano lessons become Elton John or Alicia Keys. The rest of us resent all those hours spent inside with Mr. Miller with the god-awful breath, when we could be outside having fun, and for the rest of our lives will avoid pianos like Canadians during a SARS outbreak. Kids will find their own way, and you should guide them, not tell them their plans for their lives are stupid. If you think all their ideas are stupid, it's a small logical leapt before they believe that, you guessed it, you think they are stupid. Way to go, Moms and Dads!

Another tried and true method, although later down the line, is to call attention to those embarrassing bodily changes that announce the beginning of adolescence. It's bad enough going through it in the first place, without family members calling attention to your secondary sex characteristics and paying way too much attention to everything you eat and every bit of exercise you attempt. Way to go, you've just molded another female with body issues! And let's not even get into the issue of parents making comments that would be called sexual harrassment, were they to happen in a workplace. You don't need to live in the back woods of Alabama to hear stories about this stuff, stories that would curl your hair.

Most parents try their best to give their children everything, every comfort, advantage and tons of love. To those people, particulary the Moms, who for the most part are the main nurturers in our culture, I doff my hat. For the rest of them, it's amazing that you need a license to drive a car or own a gun, but any idiot can procreate. Well, if you insist, at least just LISTEN to the kid, okay?

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