There have been a number of incidents recently that has led me to question whether I am arming the boy with the necessary tools for life. That is after all my job and a job I take very seriously.
Example 1 – The number one behaviour that parents seem to want to instil in their child is the ability to share. “Stop beating little Ethan’s head into a bloody pulp with your truck and let him have a turn, remember how we share?” That’s a very noble trait to have and I am sure you are wondering what gripe I could possibly have with that. My gripe is that in today’s world I’m not sure that sharing is very prominent, being a selfish, obnoxious, ruthless (insert preferred obscenity here) seems to go a long way these days.
Example 2 – There is a big push for children to be non aggressive, to turn the other cheek like that Jesus fellow did, *allegedly – jury’s still out on that one. My problem with that is if you turn your other cheek in the local park you will have it taken off by an angry toddler, its dog eat dog out there. Max is quite a passive fellow and is regularly on the receiving end of a bit of rough treatment, 49% of me looks on with pride as he walks away from the situation the bigger baby, 51% of me would like him to give the offending brat an epic beat down.
Example 3 – Parents are often pre-occupied with teaching children to take turns and to wait your turn. It’s a different matter when those same parents are ‘queuing’ for their morning skinny decaff soy flat white at the cafe. That patience is not going to serve you well in later life Max, wait your turn for a go on the slide and it will never come. Far better to sharpen your elbows and get stuck in I say.
Example 4 – I often overhear parents telling their pampered princess not to be greedy, as they snatch another organic, free range, fair trade, freeze dried apple slice and ram it into their gob. Being greedy is exactly what is required in a capitalist society, without greed you will be forced to scrape a living writing a blog about your offspring. And surely you are sending mixed signals about greed when you dress them head to toe in designers threads, feed them the most opulent foods known to baby, buy them every over priced wooden toy their little hearts could possibly desire and generally give them the impression that their nappies don’t stink.
I think the traits that we try to bestow on our children, all though well meaning and thoroughly commendable, are fairly redundant. Walk into any boardroom and you won’t see a shred of sharing, a glimpse of generosity, an ounce of friendliness, an iota of patience. I have already wised up to this and have devised a set of beliefs called Operation Preparation. Each day there are daily teachings on how to wave a toy triumphantly in front of another child’s desiring eyes. How to kick sand in another child’s face when their on the ground. How to steal another child’s girlfriend and how to then cheat on that girlfriend. How to make another baby feel inferior and worthless just by looking at them. And of course how to influence those around you to give you exactly what you want, and then to not be happy with it and want even more.