The Logic of Good Parenting

*this article employs a heavy dose of sarcasm and is not intended to be used as advice. The use of “good” is based on generalised behaviour judgements and meant to simplify the concept for use in humour rather than define it.

Good People: Do not hit

Somebody might employ violence in an extreme circumstances such as self defence but in general, it is not considered appropriate to go around hitting people one disapproves of. Well, except for…

Good Parents: Hit their child/ren

If you’re hitting your child? That is not only appropriate but applauded! Any behaviour you find undesirable can justify violence if it is directed towards your own child which is a really convenient loop hole in that violence is wrong stance right?

And the best part is that it actually ISN’T violence anymore. Because it is your child, the same action is completely different. I know like hugging is hugging whether that is your cat or grandma or life partner but whilst hitting is hitting whether it is your cat (don’t), grandma (don’t) or life partner (don’t), hitting is not hitting if you are hitting your child (do). There is no real explanation for why this is the case but who cares? It is what you want to hear!

Oh and whilst it is actually not an effective form of behaviour control (and a damaging form of soul destruction), it is something that you can legally partake in (in this country) so that’s good enough reasoning to not pass up the opportunity.

Good People: Do not lie

Somebody might tell a “white lie” (ie. “this soup is delicious”) to protect… uh, themselves…

One thing we deceive ourselves about is that we’re lying to protect others’ feelings. That’s not usually true. We often lie because we want another person to love us—we’re trying to protect ourselves from others’ disappointment, anger, or abandonment. — David Livingstone Smith

but honesty is generally highly valued and sought in our relationships. It is the aim and intention, if not always the practise. Well, except…

Good Parents: Lie to child/ren

Parents are given a free pass to lie about all sorts of things as long as it is manipulating their child to meet their expectations.

They might hide vegetables inside of the child’s favourite foods, they could say “be good for Santa” so they don’t have to support their child in meeting age appropriate needs, they might even lie to tell you how you’re feeling “you’re not hurt, you’re okay” because that is far quicker than empathising with genuine emotions. As long as you are avoiding; meeting of needs that would be an inconvenience for yourself, uncomfortable yet necessary conversations and completely valid and appropriate feelings then you are all good.

Good People: Do not steal

It is generally understood that taking something that is not yours is not okay. Well, except…

Good Parents: Steal from their child/ren

If you’re a parent than anything your child owns? Fair game for you to make decisions about instead.

When they get birthday money? Yeah, you can totally restrict how that is spent, you can even decide it shouldn’t be spent but saved instead. When they own something? Yeah, you can totally restrict how they use it (customising it to their particular preference would clearly be ruining it and not making it better), when they use it (using something in the morning is totally completely different to it being used at night) and for how long they use it (because distance makes the heart grow fonder and I mean you want them to grow fonder of this thing you disapprove of because you so enjoy disapproving). You can also decide that “we” are finished with that toy and disappear it behind their back!

Good People: Do not shame

To be honest, a lot of people struggle with this even in regards to adults but I think that is mostly because…

Good Parents: Shame their children

It is completely acceptable to shame your children in order to inspire them to make different choices, you know those choices you want them to make because they reflect best on the ego you insist on keeping linked to your child’s autonomous self and because it would be far less time consuming than having to explain things honestly (and I mean, you get to avoid justifying all those things you actually couldn’t reasonably too so that’s a bonus).

You can shame them about how they use their time, what they wear and eat, who they are friends with;  basically, anything. I mean, they asked for it by being so shameful and we all know shameful is an absolute truth rather than a cultural construct of control and completely effective in encouraging conformity (because clearly the holy grail of a worthwhile humanity is being less like yourself). So what if it is their existence that will end; you deserve the final say in how they use their finite experience and to employ whatever technique gets you to your goals quickest and easiest with zero regard for the impact on the other person involved.

Good People: Do not name call

Generally it is considered unkind to you know, use unkind descriptors about another person. Go figure. Oh wait, except well…

Good Parents: Call their children names

I mean how else will children know that their behaviour DEFINITELY is the sum total of who they are? “You’re so naughty!” “you’re so selfish” “you’re so lazy” are perfectly accurate phrases and helpful ways to inspire a child to you know, be less themselves.

There is no way this could backfire and have a child feel as though it is an intrinsic and unavoidable part of who they are so there is nothing they can do about it except feel consistently bad because how dare they, you know, make mistakes, be learning, consider their own feelings and desires about their own existence and spend time enjoying it rather than in constant production towards somebody else’s aim. Literal monsters… oh hey, that might be a name to consider using if you haven’t yet.

Why would being a “good” parent involve ceasing to be a “good” person? And not to mention involve doing all the things which “good” parents expect their children not to do? Does that really seem logical?

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1 Comment

  1. This is an excellent post! When it’s all laid out like this, even with the heavy sarcasm, it does seem illogical! And the more you get into it, the less sarcastic it seems and the more absurd, unfortunately!

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