The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Free Ginsu Knife With Every Order

I saw an infomercial on the weekend hawking a parenting method called Scream-Free Parenting. For 30 minutes I sat on the couch nonplussed, staring at the screen; I was completely mesmerized. It's not that I wanted to buy the book, I was just blown away that there are people in the world that think screaming is an effective communication method. Even though adults might cave to this obvious loss of self-control just to restore peace, pity the parent who thinks screaming will work on their kids.
And what sort of lesson would you be teaching your children?
Whenever you don't get your way, start yelling. And if that doesn't work become more shrill. Keep it up until you win. Twirling and flapping your arms is a nice added touch, and can really sell your side of the argument.
Bad advice for children, but that would be great advice for a debate team.

"Be It Resolved: It is Role of the Federal Government to Create Equality Between the Provinces."

Mr. Speaker. I would like to open my argument by saying that my honourable opponent is clearly wrong. He is a little man, with a little mind and manhood to match. Not to mentION HE SUCKS. HE'S A LOSER AND DRESSES LIKE A LOSER. LOSER LOSER LOSER. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT. ALL OF YOU ARE LOSERS! GAAAAAAH AAAAAAH AAAAH.

Now that's a debate I'd pay to see.

Anyways, I'm not so naive to think there aren't parents who use screaming as a way to control their kids. I just thought they were a small minority. Apparently it happens enough that someone can turn it into a living.

During P's pregnancy I would always get asked whether I was prepared for fatherhood. "Yeah I guess, I'm really good with cats." was my standard reply.

Watching the Scream-Free infomercial made me think about how we raise The Boy. We don't prescribe to any particular parenting technique, but the more I thought about it, the more my glib reply rang true - we're raising The Boy pretty much like we raise our cat(s). I could have my own infomercial.

Be patient, loving and devoted. Set boundaries, "listen" to their concerns, play with them and belay their fears. Take care of their needs and clean up their shit. Hmmm... sound familiar?

Oh sure there are some differences, litter box and opposable thumbs for example, but I really think I'm onto something here.

Raise Your Kids Like You Raise Your Cats [tm].

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