I try to be open-minded. As in, I can see why someone might theoretically like satin sheets...although flannel or fleece sheets are clearly superior. Or why they might like Twilight...even though it's complete crap.
Ummm, okay, I'm not all that open-minded.
There are three things that have been bugging me because they are so CLEARLY WRONG that I feel compelled to say something. And it has to do with parenting, which is already so controversial: stay-at-home moms vs. working moms, disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers, cry it out vs. attachment parenting, and so on. To show you just how open-minded I am, I will tell you that on any of the issues I just brought up, I can see both ways...except that I do think it's kind of creepy when the whole family sleeps in the same bed even when the kids are in their teens.
First let me get philosophical for a moment. What is the goal of raising little Junior? I see that the end goal is to have Junior become a successful, independent adult. "Successful" defined as pursuing a lawful passion of theirs that makes them happy and hopefully provides an income. "Independent" defined as not calling me a billion times a day with all of their problems AND not living with me after they turn 21 years old. Keeping that in mind, here are my 3 parenting issues that I have a strong opinion on.
1. Paying your kids for good grades is not wise. They don't develop an intrinsic love of learning if you reward them with money. Proponents say that it's the kid version of working, and they need to be paid for doing a good job. In response, I say, "No, that's stupid." My more articulate argument is in the aforementioned paragraph.
2. Spanking is a poor choice of punishment. Spanking is using aggression to punish. Hitting teaches....ummm, hitting. So when Junior starts hitting other people and you wonder why, maybe you should rethink how you dole out punishments.
3. Elf on the Shelf is stupid. Have you heard of this inane concept? I already think the Santa thing is stupid, but I go along with it because I have a 4 year old who's been brainwashed by her friends at school. Elf on the Shelf is basically Santa's tattletale. You put a toy elf on a ... shelf and move it around to other ... shelves (get it?). You tell your kids that it's going to watch them and know whether they're being naughty or nice and tell Santa.
So it breeds:
- Paranoia. This creepy little doll that moves around is WATCHING YOU.
- Only good behavior from Thanksgiving to Christmas (i.e., the other 11 months of the year you can be a hellion)
- Parental work in the form of reminding your children that it is WATCHING YOU, and of course you have to move the dang thing around from shelf to shelf.
I admit I'm lazy and don't want to deal with the dang elf. I also think it teaches the wrong thing...only be good so that you get presents. If you want to move around novelty items around your home for the fun of it, go right ahead. I suppose it's the "so that you get presents" part that really annoys me, kind of like paying for grades. Shouldn't you be a good citizen and a good learner because it's the "right" thing to do, not because you're trying to get the proverbial carrot?
I did find this link highly amusing: