There is so much to think about when you're raising a child. From the moment you become pregnant to the day he or she leaves for college, there's seemingly endless opportunities to "get it wrong." (Happily, there's also plenty of parenting advice for being an awesome mom or dad). But it's not all gloom and doom: if you avoid everything on this list of definite "don'ts", you're on the fast track to that "world's best" mug!
1. Decide to have a baby because you need someone to love you.
2. Refuse get prenatal care when you are pregnant.
3. Stay in relationships that aren't supportive or that cause you stress and pain.
4. Stay with a man who is abusive. Don't give him the benefit of the doubt or think "He'll be different after the baby is born."
5. Take drugs or alcohol to calm your stress without regard for the developing life inside of you.
6. Fathers: Resent your partner if she isn't able to be as attentive to you as you'd like in her discomfort during pregnancy.
7. Fathers: Show your partner disrespect, before OR after the baby is born.
8. Wait until your baby is screaming before you tend to their needs, under the assumption that your desires and comforts are more important than theirs.
9. Restrict your new child from being creative, exploratory and inquisitive. Reprimand them harshly for making messes and causing stressful feelings for you as they learn.
10. Ignore your child's needs or give them the silent treatment when they frustrate you.
11. Use your love and affection as a weapon to keep them under control.
12. Belittle them by telling them their thinking is stupid, silly; or silence them if you don't think you have time to listen.
13. Restrict your love and kindness with rare kisses, hugs and affection, just to keep them attached.
14. Refuse to apologize under the assumption that you're the parent, and you shouldn't have to answer to your children.
If you do all of this, you will have taught your child they don't matter, they have no value, and that life is hard. They will not know the value of their life or that of others. Since their feelings, needs and desires were not validated and acknowledged, they will see others as a means to an end without feelings, needs or desires to care about or consider.
Because you did not bond to them, they don't know how to attach to anyone except through a bond of fear and pain. As they go through life they will have the gift that keeps on giving: they will get stress and trauma will make them rigid and inflexible, combative, or fearful without understanding what is driving them. Then they will pass this on to your grandchildren. What a legacy you have created.
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