Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wise Young Mommy Speaks--Parenting Tip # 1: Lying to Your Children is Good for Them

Good morning and welcome to the newest feature here at The Wise (*Young*) Mommy. I am going to dazzle you all with my stellar parenting techniques and save you from yourself (and your children). Seriously, if you aren't careful those little buggers will rip you limb from limb (or at least drive you to your very last nerve until the only thing that can save you is a straight jacket and a martini). So periodically, here on my blog, I will let you in on the tips, tricks and secrets that I have picked up along the way that keep me out of the sanatorium (well, except for that one time, but we'll save that for another day). Today's lesson, my students:


Now, don't take this the wrong way, I am in no way saying that you should make up shit like the moon is made of Gorgonzola or that their heads will fall off if they watch too much television, and I am not even a big proponent of telling kids that their baby sister came from the stork or a cabbage patch or something like that (I mean, come on, my 2-year-old know that she grew in my belly and came out my vagina, what's wrong with that?). But there are certain things that can be manipulated and gently transformed to keep your children safe and healthy and to keep you from losing your mind. Most parents already subscribe to the fallacy of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, but why not take it one step farther? "Santa Claus can't bring a Nintendo DS because the elves aren't trained in building small technological devices." "I'm sorry, but the Easter Bunny can't get his hands on a Playstation because they aren't allowed in electronic's stores due to their large feet and tendency to bump into things and break them." "The tooth fairy didn't leave you anything last night? Oh, well, that's because she's on vacation. She should be back tonight." It doesn't end with mythical creatures either. "Yes, honey, that is chicken, you love chicken!" as they take a big bite of pork chop. "Eating your green vegeatables will make you better at Wii." And so on and so forth. Then there is my favorite, "Dora (or Barney, Teletubbies, insert annoying television character here) is sleeping, so you can't watch that DVD right now; why don't you choose another one?" These lies are not to deliberately mislead our children in order to bring pain and suffering, but to make your home a better place to be--a sanctuary of healthy, happy children and non-insane, non-bankrupt mommies and daddies.

As previously stated, there are some lies that I don't believe are permissible in parenting, one of which is the whole "you're too young to understand human reproduction so we'll tell you some bullshit story about being dropped on the front porch in a basket or left in the garden" fiasco. Not that I am saying that you should describe the art of coitus to your 2-year-old, but there are more subtle ways of telling your child that they came from you and their dad, grew in your belly and came out your hoo-ha. The sooner they know the truth, the sooner you can start telling them the lie that if they have sex before marriage, their genitals will dry up and fall off (heh, just kidding, but it's tempting isn't it?). But there are other lies that I don't support. Such as that your child's face will get stuck in a funny face if they do it too much. Come on, what's more fun than making funny faces? And Jim Carrey makes quite a good living at it, so it's nothing to scoff at. Then, of course, there is the "you're going to go blind if you jerk it too much." Now, as much as I shiver to think of the day when I find crusty, balled up socks at the bottom of my kid's hamper, I would rather him be "shaking his own hand," if you will, then getting it on with some skanky girl from his biology class, so I say shake away. Actually, I personally intend on having a nice, long (terribly embarrassing) discussion with my stepson when he is old enough, telling him to enjoy masturbation as much as possible, but otherwise to KEEP IT ZIPPED. Because nothing puts a damper on your Friday nights like staying in with a crying infant. And at that point in our lives, his dad and I plan on having a life again and won't want to be taking care of the result of his rogue sperm. Right?

So take my advice, my friends, lie to your children. Save them from themselves and save your sanity. Think of it as an exercise in imagination and see how many different things you can come up with that will get your kids to eat right, exercise, get their sleep, and stop annoying you.

Trust me. I know what I am talking about.