Posted on December 21, 2007
As most of you know, I am blessed to be the dad of two wonderful children. Parenting is a continuous learning exercise and, as my kids are two and four years old, I figure I have a combined total of 6 years of “education”.
I know a lot of people are intimidated at the thought of having children, but let me tell you, there is no more rewarding experience in the world. And, it’s really not as bad as you’d think. In fact, it’s a lot like raising a puppy, except puppies catch on quicker to the fact they are not supposed to poop on the floor and tend to drool less. Of course I am kidding, so please don’t be offended or I will make a comparison regarding leashes.
My favorite thing about kids (besides the giggling, the little voices, etc.) is how they look at the world. Everything is an adventure and they want to learn about everything. My son is smack-dab in the middle of this stage right now. He is catching on to everything. In fact, one of his favorite subjects is anatomy. Specifically, the digestive system.
Many of you may see where I am going with this. You may be thinking to yourself, “self, that David is so juvenile, all he talks about are odiferous bodily functions.” Allow me to address this thusly: you are a doodie head.
My favorite “that’s my boy” moment came recently when I was walking into the kitchen and my son was on the couch. He said “dad, come over here.” So I walked towards him and he directed me further: “sit on the couch.” As soon as I sat down he made his intentions clear: “do you smell anything? I [floated an air biscuit].” (The terminology he actually used in referring to his flatulence has been edited for the sake of any sensitive eyes. So I will definitely not let you know the actual word he used rhymed with “flart”) My reaction was the same as any responsible parent who wishes to raise a conscientious child: I immediately gave him the highest five ever and ran to tell his mom. Needless to say, she was not as proud of his display of strategy and cunning…ness.
I do realize my children’s comfort with expressing bodily terminology will soon come back to bite me in the derriere (it’s a hard habit to break). So, please take my opinions on the following subjects with a grain of salt:
One of the best things you can do is play with your children. It’s an amazing time of bonding and a definite use of time that you know you will never look back at with regret. My personal favorite game is catch. I definitely suggest you play catch as much as possible with your children. Of course, once they get too heavy you will probably have to start using a ball.
I know this topic tends to be a controversial one, but in the interest of full disclosure, I will not hold any punches. Probably the most controversial subject is that of corporal punishment. Let me be clear: I am fully and completely supportive of corporal punishment. I think it should be used as often as necessary. If a corporal disobeys the law or codes of conduct, there is no reason they should be given a free pass by their respective Sergeant.
When it comes to punishing children, it seems like the preferred method is “timeout.” This is a classic parental utilization of the mental trickery known as “reverse psychology.” Using this method, when the child disobeys, the parent “threatens” the child with timeout. While conventional wisdom and logic may lead you to believe an effective deterrent to use on a child would be some method of discomfort, the timeout tactic uses a brilliant twist. The child is made aware that, if the unwanted behavior continues, they will be sent to their room. And trust me, there is nothing a child would like less than being sent to their haven of rest where all of their toys and games are stored.
Now that I think about it, perhaps the puppy analogy can shed some light on an effective method to deter bad behavior. Next time one of the kids act up I’ll try my favorite canine deterrent, shaking a can full of rocks in their face.
So, in summary, when it comes to having children, I recommend it. It is an 18 year commitment (if you are lucky) and can be expensive, but have no doubt; there are many, many incentives that outweigh any disadvantages. One such incentive is the federal tax credit. Again, I am kidding.