How To Screw Up Your Kids Less

23 Feb

I saw a great quote on someone’s blog attributed to Maya Angelou. (Maya Angelou, like Ghandi, the Dalai Lama and “the Gemara”, is one of those people who get stuck onto anonymous quotes by people looking to give them some power by association, so don’t quote me on the source.) Anyhow the quote goes: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” I think that’s especially true for kids. If you dig deep down with a hypnotist or something, you might figure out why you hate your parents or whatever, but the feeling comes from somewhere.

Kind of unrelated, here’s a quote I think every parent should keep in mind when they deal with their kids: With no power, comes no responsibility. If you want your child to “act responsibly”, it’s up to you to give them some power. Over their own lives, over choices, friends, etc. This “protecting” your kids from everything fucks them up more than anything they could ever see on tv or learn from a child their own age.

Incidentally- it’s amazing how you have professionals come and speak in town about internet safety, bullying, drinking, ADD, anything under the sun- and the place is packed with parents. But even mentioning the psychological fact that parents are screwing up their kids more than every other possible factor out there is faux pas. Why don’t we have professionals coming in and saying that these 3 things, x, y, and z, that 75% of you are doing will screw up your kids more than anything else? To put it a little bluntly, it’s much easier to go around changing everybody else (including your kids) than to change yourself, that’s why.


6 Responses to “How To Screw Up Your Kids Less”

  1. Cohen Laundry February 23, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    On that note, thought you might appreciate this Onion article:,26452/

  2. Tinok ShenishBeth February 24, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    There are people fighting the complete over-parenting that has become the norm. Free-Range Kids – here’s her blog:

    • itchemeyer February 24, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Good blog. I liked the statistic she brings in that child abductions by a stranger are at 115 a year. I thought they were in the thousands!

  3. anonymous February 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Have you ever read Catcher in the Rye? I read it about 15 years too late (had already passed the right chronological/psychological age to really appreciate all the angst), but this post is very reminiscent of both its topic and writing style.

    • itchemeyer February 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      I’ve never read it, but I’ve heard good things. Unfortunately, I’ve come to learn that I’m passed the reading stage now :/

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