10 Ways To Ruin Your Kids

Children01Kids… Just so you know I have three of my own, 2 girls and 1 boy ranging in ages from 21 to 9. Now, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to parenting. Not even close. If anything, I have experienced far more mistakes than successes. But the past 21 years have taught me a thing or two. And so, I thought I would share just a few of my own life lessons with you today. So, here are ten sure-fire ways to “ruin” your kids. In no particular order (and written very, very tongue-in-cheek)…

10. Teach them that promises are only words. Tell them you will be there and then don’t show up. Tell them “yes” but then come up with excuses when the moment arrives. What does it matter if you are making promises you can’t keep? Besides, who cares about promises when you can just excuse yourself on account of wishful thinking and good intentions? The best thing you can do is teach them to lie. That way they are prepared for adulthood.

9. Disrespect and disregard your spouse in front of them. There is no better way to ensure your kids will mistreat their own spouse then to provide them with a living example. Berate, belittle and  bemoan your partner at every possible opportunity. Speak ill of them. Only highlight the negative. Undermine their authority. It doesn’t have to be overt. Sometimes the best technique is subtle and consistent criticism. But whatever you do, make certain that your kids hear it frequently and make sure they understand that a spouse is not someone who should be respected and treated with love.

8. Give them whatever they want whenever they want it. The checkout line at the grocery store. Christmas. Birthdays. Anytime and every single time their mouths utter the words, “I want it.” Make certain that you respond quickly regardless of the personal cost. Who cares if their behavior doesn’t merit such a reward? Who cares if you are setting them up for future disappointment? It’s your job to reinforce their belief that the world revolves around them.

7. Model to them that love is conditional. Show favoritism if they have siblings. Frequently use the expression, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” Let them know that love is earned not given. No one in life gets a free ride and family should be no exception. Last thing you want is a child who is secure and confident as they move forward in life. Far, far better that they should always be questioning their own personal worth and value.

6. Prioritize work and other personal pursuits over family. A parent who makes time for family is a parent with misplaced priorities. Your kids will be around for what… 22 years at best? But a career? That lasts a lifetime. People will come and go and family is just one more person in that equation. Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice your career for family. Last thing you want them thinking is that they are the most important thing in your life.

5. Emphasize their failures and minimize their accomplishments. Take advantage of every opportunity to remind your children of their failures and shortcomings. My philosophy? If they spill milk, they should be crying over it. Why focus on 5 As when they made 1 C? I mean, really? Who wants an average child? Avoid positive reinforcement at all costs. Look for opportunities to crush their spirits so that they stay humble and motivated.

4. Ignore the value of celebration and memories. Birthdays are just another day in the year. Graduations? Accomplishments? Accolades? Who wants to fill their kids with a false sense of pride? Besides, if you make a big deal out of it once, they are going to expect it every year. Make it easier on yourself and just ignore those moments that deserve celebration. It will make it easier for them to forget their misguided sense of success.

3. Say one thing but do another. Be inconsistent. No matter what, your actions and your words should never match. Whenever possible tell your kids, “Do what I say not what I do.” Besides, everyone knows that parental example is overrated. What are the odds that your kids will follow in your footsteps and emulate your behavior?

2. Always do for them. Never allow them the opportunity to learn through personal experience. Make their beds. Clean their rooms. Cut up their food and feed it to them. That way they will understand that other people exist only to serve them. Last thing you want is a child who is responsible, dependable, and self-sufficient.

1. Give them neither rules nor expectations. Rules equal boundaries. Expectations are only setting them up for failure and disappointment. Cast off all restraints. Let them do whatever they want, with whomever they want, whenever they want. Who cares about consequences? That’s what you’re there for. You can bail them out and rescue them whenever they get in trouble. It’s not like they will be on their own one day…

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