Being the perpetual bachelor, as well as being firmly in touch with my inner child, I am probably not an ideal candidate for giving advice on child rearing.
That said, I have observed many versions of the said activity in my day, and am now being exposed to many more through my wonderful blogging connections. And for some reason (maybe because I occasionally come off as having a clue) people ask my suggestions in how to do things when I have no credentials for answering. I am much more Mr. Spock than Dr. Spock (who incidentally is no longer the end all to parenting wisdom).
So I am going to list a few lessons I have learned that seem to be universally acceptable for parenting guidelines:
- WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. This may be one of the most important things to remember. Every evil, manipulative, blood-curdling thing you ever did to your parents WILL come back to haunt you. After all your kids have your genes in ’em.
- SLEEP IS AN OPTION. At least in the early years. And then again when they get old enough to actually have friends and go out on their own. Worse yet date. It is probably advisable to learn how to survive without sleeping for 18 or so years.
- BE SMARTER THAN YOUR KIDS. Eat lots of fish!! At first you may think you have one up on them, but again remember the tricks you tried when YOU were young. Gotta be able to out-think ’em!!
- GRANDPARENTS ARE ON THE KIDS SIDE. If you think mom and dad are gonna throw useful advice your way, and back you up when needed, think again! They are sitting there holding in their “Thank You Jebuzzes” and laughing hysterically into their palms whenever you look away. Not to mention supplying weapons and armor to the enemy (i.e. the kiddies). You know it! Cuz you will probably do the same. Karmic justice and all.
- UNCLES AND AUNTS ARE NOT GOOD ROLE MODELS. The average parental sibling will go into any encounter with the nieces and nephews with the basic theory: “I can give them back.” That of course means they will do all the cool things with the kids that parents want to do but realize the consequences will not actually be worth the potential fun. Uncles and aunts are quite adept at escaping fallout.
- DUCK TAPE AND CLOSETS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE PARENTING TOOLS. As useful as it may appear to be able to restrain your children, or put ’em away for some good parental quiet time, these highly effective methods are apparently frowned upon in most social circles. Avoid temptation at all costs!!
There are probably a few other suggestions I could come up with, but I think these are the ones that stand out the most from my observations. Of course as I said my credentials are questionable so you may want to take them with a grain of salt.