posted by Joe Anaya on June 16th, 2014

With Father’s Day in the books, I thought I’d repost a blog about parenting. Enjoy.

I try not to judge other parents on how they raise their kids. Recently, Amy Chua has gotten a lot of attention as the Tiger Mom. Her book details Chinese parenting techniques like forcing her daughter to practice the piano piece “Little White Donkey” without food and without bathroom breaks for hours.

There’s always the question of context. Maybe her daughter uses bathroom breaks as an excuse to escape unpleasant tasks. My kid definitely has the sudden urge to pee when told to step away from the Wii and take out the trash. I’m sure there are plenty of things I do in the name of parenting that make sense at the time but would not hold up well in the public eye. So I accept my place as the worst parent ever and let the chips fall where they may.

I’ve been told only-children have a harder time sharing or compromising, because they don’t get a chance to practice those skills with siblings. Well, that problem can be relieved if they are forced to compromise with a terrible parent.

When it’s my turn to cook dinner, I’ll occasionally cook something my son isn’t crazy about. But screw it, if I’m cooking, I’m making something I want to eat. He complains, “Mom would make something else.” I know this to be true. She has on occasion made two separate meals if she thought he wouldn’t like the main meal. “That’s not happening.” I’m ready to sit down and eat and frankly, I’m too lazy to make a separate meal. “But I’m hungry.” “Eat it or don’t, but there’s nothing else coming out of that kitchen.” “But I’m hungry and I don’t like this.” “Then you can have a big breakfast.” Worst parent 1; Picky child 0.

Recently, we’ve decided my son is old enough to stay home alone for short periods of time (hours, not days; I’m not a monster). My wife’s instructions are very detailed and probably appropriate, but I want to catch the 7pm show, I don’t have time for all that. My parting instructions to him are, “Stay away from the knives. Don’t burn the house down. The dog’s in charge.” Figuring the worst the dog would do is pee in a corner. 2-0

Other important life lessons include:

Television: NBA championship trumps anything the kid wants to watch. Also, anything I want to watch trumps “Pokemon 4ever” for the 25th time.

Getting ready in the morning: You’re the one who has to go to the office for a tardy-slip, not me. I’ll be waiting in the car doing Sudoku.

Homework: Do it; get a good grade. Don’t; fail. Your name is on the report card not mine. (Admittedly, I’m hopeful he’ll learn to get it done on his own before high school.) 5-0

And really isn’t it about me not having to constantly help him through high school or more importantly, not having to help him after he’s moved out and is considering moving back into the house. Now that I think of it, aren’t all my helpful lessons about giving him the tools to get along in life so he can grow to be a self-sufficient, contributing member of society. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

File Under King of the Castle