Jeff Bogle identifies a handful of seemingly harmless and common parenting decisions that don’t make much sense.
The corporate American stuff is basically poison in colorful cans. High Fructose Corn Syrup? Check. Caramel Color with the carcinogen 4-MEI? Check (although Coke has finally switched to another kind of caramel coloring not yet known to have potential health issues. Give it time.) No one should be drinking this swill, let alone children. If your kid needs to quench their bubbly water fix, take a look at Izze, sweetened with real fruit, and Maine Root, made tastier with fair trade evaporated cane juice. I use their Cream Soda to make homemade butter beer for the Harry Potter fans in my family.
A Trip To Las Vegas
Sure, it looks bright and super rad, but sin city is caked in the stench of desperation, empty sex, and out of the closet alcoholism. Vegas is the most electrifyingly depressing place in the country and is no place for a child.
To Be Hurried Through Childhood
What in the hell are we doing as parents? We seem to have willfully ushered in an age where being 6, 7, and 8 is less about being goofy innocent kids and more about prepping for adulthood and the dating circuit. Are we that stupid? You and your kids have a singular chance at childhood, don’t fuck it up by treating it like a speed bump on the way to becoming an adult.
Pop Music Over Kindie Music
This is not completely unrelated to the above: At least some of the brilliant modern indie kid’s music being made today should be in every family’s iTunes library. And I’m not talking just They Might Be Giants here. Try Recess Monkey, Justin Roberts, and Lucky Diaz. That’s a good start. Maybe then your little kids won’t ever twerk like a stripper to “Blurred Lines.”
To Be Overscheduled
You know the latest parenting method to get lots of buzz online this summer, CTFD? Well let’s adapt that a bit to Slow The Fuck Down. Frantic adults are a pain in the ass enough to deal with in life, kids shouldn’t be pulled in every direction either, going from one adult-led structured activity to another, missing normal meals, spending their days in the back of a van staring at a screen as they are shuttled from one thing after the next.
Prohibition From Life’s Simple Pleasures
You may not know it, but you’ve seen the kids who weren’t ever allowed an ice cream cone, screen time, or a good piece of chocolate. They are the teens and adults who now have no self-control, who began binging on the forbidden goodie as soon as they scored a bit of freedom from their warden parent(s). To deny absolutely is to set yourself, and your children, up for abject failure. Moderation, people. Embrace it, live it, teach it. Except for soda, see #1 above.
Forgetting to Say ‘I Love You’ Every Single Day
This seems blatantly obvious, I know, but there are many parents, too many!, who choose not to be affectionate with their children, or each other. Both are needed badly in this cold, hard, and often scary world. Kids, and not only little ones, need to know that they are loved and cared about. Every. Single. Day.
But wait, there’s more…A Bonus Boneheaded Parenting Move!
For You To Live Vicariously Through Your Kids
Hey sport, I know it sucks that you never made it to the big leagues, but if junior isn’t that into playing third base, and would rather, I dunno, spend his weekends building LEGOs all day, that’s gotta be okay. Ya know? His life is not yours, so stop trying to reclaim your past glory through your children. It’s selfish and kinda gross.
—photo by Eje Gustafsson/Flickr