Why You May Not Be A Great Parent After All (From A Non-Parent)

Parenting and family couple From Step Brothers

Hey, new moms and dads: You and your kids aren't as special as you think you are.

I don't have any kids yet, but I've hit an age where a lot of my friends do. When I meet new people, it's also more likely that they'll have kids. I don't have any kids myself, but I'm surrounded by other people's kids. It's fine, I don't mind. It's easy to be around kids when they're not yours, because anytime it starts getting annoying or tiring or just plain boring, you can walk away.

One of the things that I've noticed is that a lot of modern parents seem to think that they know how to raise children better than anyone else on the planet ever has. I often hear a mom or dad say "Well, we're not raising our child traditionally..." and then talk about the benefits of some weird child raising technique like sleeping in the same bed until they're 19 or feeding them only hemp-based food. What's weird is that people who say things like that always say it with confidence. Nobody ever says "Well, we're not exposing our child to [insert perfectly normal thing for a child to be exposed to, for example sports where one team wins and the other loses]" like they're not sure it's the right thing to say.

There's always a cockiness to their tone. They're not just telling you how they're raising their kids, they're bragging about it. Because they're special snowflakes.

Look, it's your kid, raise it however you want to. The thing is, until the kid is an adult, then you don't know if you're really a good parent. Oh, you never let your kid watch violent cartoons? That's fine, and everything might seem fine now, but you don't know that he or she won't grow up to become a serial killer. We don't know if Charles Manson watched homicidal coyotes go after really fast fowl as a kid. Maybe he didn't. And still, he grew up to be Charles Manson.

It's like when you're cooking, and the instructions say that when you take a dish out of the oven you need to let it stand for a while before it's ready. It's the same thing with kids: Brag about how great a job you're doing raising your dweeby little kid is like bragging about a cake that hasn't finished baking yet. Maybe your kid is like a cake that never rises or tastes like garbage.

It might seem like a good idea to never let little Branderson see certain colors because they upset him, but maybe he'll still grow up and start wearing other people's faces as masks. Maybe you should've just made him deal with the fact that the color green exists when he was 3? (Also, that is the sort of thing toddlers throw tantrums about, random weird stuff and you can't use logic with them because they're basically little monsters.)

I'm just saying that you don't know that you're right, so chill with the attitude. People have been raising kids for as long as there have been people. It's a process we have pretty much figured out by this point. I'm not saying that you definitely haven't figured out a new way of doings things, but you probably haven't. Until you can find a way to rear a child that's potty trained at two months old, know that you and your kid really aren't as great nor special as you think you are.


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