Dads are dying to share their pearls of wisdom. It’s partly natural affection, partly an overdose of ego – a rush of at least a couple of hormones. Subject to the depth of pockets, fathers go obsessed about their children’s growing up. This zeal, a result of the peer pressure in modern society and the promotions of “my daddy strongest” all over media, leads to stretching the role of a father unduly. Listen, they’re not dying to hear you. As a matter of fact, hold yourself back a bit when such ‘tell-a-tale’ urge arises. Who better than you to know that you don’t quite practise those tenets? The dos and don’ts that formed your childhood’s ‘surround sound’ have by now waned into a concoction of truth, lies and fillers. Is it your turn to pass the nostalgia on to the next soft targets as a ritual? When the destination is not clearly defined, who are you to route? You’ve already done enough damage by biologically imparting your 50 cents of genes. Not being a role model, yet being in front as a ‘father figure’ – that’s a double whammy. Just wish that the kid doesn’t grow into a clone of yours. Let them be themselves, glance from a distance, spell a word of safety or two, help in need or trouble – you’re good to be called a ‘doting father’.
I know what’s bugging you. What to do with the volumes of experiences you’ve gathered through the ups and downs? What about the truths you finally had to appreciate? The pawns, the baits, the pits, the cacophony of mumbo jumbo and all the catches that don’t necessarily win matches! Now that you’re crying for mercy, I give you a leeway. Pen a foreword of caution, don’t you dare author his/her book. Want to act as a positive dad? It’s tough since you as a person have little to offer in living your monologues. Better encourage his/her earnest efforts. Which activities? Anything he/she enjoys doing which can be deemed fruitful is an ‘activity’ here. Maybe books, sports, crafts, or maybe staring at the sky for longer than you can, or playing something with no name or apparent purpose, or laughing aloud on the floor at sweet nothings with fellows. You tell too many lies when you preach. You sound disengaged when you explain. In short, your didactic stints are pathetic. Ignite the curiosity. It’s healthier to surrender with “I don’t know” than posing as a forgetful sage. Don’t hide your follies unless your Achilles’ heel is too crass for his/her digestion. What you aspired but failed to achieve in life can’t be your offspring’s goal in life. A materialistic desire your parents denied you of can be granted. Kids don’t mind accepting ‘new’ gifts anyway. But they are bad in clinging to a toy for long. The foremost gift could therefore be your precious time. I think the quality of time you spend together may inch up your scores in his/her book on a longer run. For a child, fun rules the world of ‘quality’. So be their age when with them – for a moron it’s not really a giant leap to turn imbecile.
I do understand your misgivings about my remarks. I know I can’t generalize everything on everyone. Some of you manage better than others. I also struggle to play by my own book of parenting (4th edition) when I’m in the ring wearing your gloves. If my words are too mellow to take note of, maybe George Carlin would come handy to ease your predicament. He spat quite a few lines on this subject. Let me be choosy and share a glimpse.
“The truth is, obedience and respect should not be granted automatically. They should be earned. They should be based on the parents’ performance. Some parents deserve respect. Most of them don’t.”
“It’s a form of b***s*** that really can only be called ‘child worship’. It’s child worship. It’s this excessive devotion to children. I’m talking about today’s professional parents, these obsessive diaper sniffers who are overscheduling and overmanaging their children and robbing them of their childhoods. Even the simple act of playing has been taken away from children, and put on mommy’s schedule in the form of ‘play dates’. Something that should be spontaneous and free is now being rigidly planned. When does a kid ever get to sit in the yard with a stick anymore?”
“… these are the ones who carry their babies around in their backpacks or frontpacks or slings or whatever these devices are called that are apparently designed to leave the parents hands free to sort through high-end merchandise and reach for their platinum credit cards. ‘Cause it’s always these upscale, yuppie-looking, Greenpeace, environmentally-conscious a**h***s who have them on, you know? I say, “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Natural Fibers… it’s not camping equipment, it’s a baby. Touch the little prick now and then; he’ll thank you for it someday.”…”
“I also know that all you boring single dads and working moms, who think you’re such f***ing heroes, aren’t gonna like this, but somebody’s gotta tell you for your own good: your children are overrated and overvalued, and you’ve turned them into little cult objects. You have a child fetish, and it’s not healthy.”
“Today’s child will be sent to fat camp, or violin camp, or ceramics camp, or computer camp, or to leadership camp, whatever the f*** that is. Leadership camp; isn’t that where Hitler went? Gotta keep the little f***er busy. Wouldn’t want him to sneak any unstructured time in the woods.”