How to Suck all the Fun out of your Kids’ Childhood.

bubble-wrapped-kid

Forbid all TV, thus depriving your kids of their popular culture.   Now they can feel totally left out when their schoolyard pals talk about Hannah Montana and Sponge-Bob.

If they MUST watch cartoons, only permit milquetoast morality plays like Arthur, Caillou and The Berenstain Bears.    It’s important to teach kids that entertainment always comes with a price:  you can’t just be amused for amusements’ sakes; you also need to LEARN something.

No junk food in the house…EVER!  Not even as a treat.   Only serve carrot sticks, raisins and hummus.    And God Forbid should any child come within 50 yards of a Trans-Fat molecule.   They could DIE.

Never mind that WE were raised with Barbie dolls and toy guns, and WE turned out okay…  No, these toys are  EVIL! EVIL! EVIL! and should NEVER be given as gifts.   They perpetuate sexist and violent stereotypes and are causing the downfall of Civilization as We Know It.  (Did you know that Barbie Dolls alone are responsible for the Iraq War, Global Warming and Sara Palin’s hair-do?)

Keep breast-feeding your babies, even when they’re old enough to play computer games and  order their own Happy Meal. (Rest assured, their playmates would NEVER tease them over that…Goodness, NO!)

No witch costumes for Halloween.   It’s an affront to all the innocent women who were persecuted and burned at the stake 400 years ago.    No death-related costumes like vampires or ghosts either.  Instead, let’s encourage the children to Treat-or-Treat  wearing UniSex earth-toned jumpsuits made of organic fiber.

And don’t give out candy either…give out carbon-credits instead.

Eliminate all those awesome retro jungle gyms and replace them with retard-proof plastic play forts where there isn’t the remotest chance of getting hurt.

Keep the kids restrained and buckled in those special car seats until they’re old enough to drive.

If a box of Lucky Charms somehow makes its way into the house, remove half the marshmallows, and righteously preach that there’s already ENOUGH sugar.

Give the kids arts-and-craft projects with Bristol Board and construction paper, while providing them with lame-ass safety scissors that can’t even cut warm butter.

Fairy Tales are EVIL EVIL EVIL, and should never be read as bedtime stories.   They only serve to teach children that ugly people are evil, and that women are helpless creatures who need a Handsome Prince to rescue them.  Read Caillou, or a Urinestain Bear Book instead. (Now, wouldn’t THAT be more fun?)

When decorating the Christmas Tree, make sure they wear glasses and bike helmets, and wear certified fall-arrest safety harnesses.

If a child is delightedly popping bubble wrap, tell them to  “Stop it…I need to save that for later!“.

There isn’t a kid on the whole planet that doesn’t love squishy white Wonder Bread.   So naturally, it’s your duty to BAN IT from the household at all costs. Only serve Dempsters Ultra Colon-Blow Fibre-Bread, made with 28 kinds of grain, including chunks of actual hay, topsoil, and un-shelled sunflower seeds.

While you’re at it, make sandwiches using only natural peanut butter (peanuts only).   Sure, it tastes like oily nut-shit, but at least it doesn’t have that nasty SUGAR in it…not like those tasty store-bought brands that everyone likes.

Don’t ever allow your kids to just loaf around, and do nothing.   Teach them to be workaholics like Mummy and Daddy.  Make sure EVERY HOUR of their day is scheduled with organized activities.

Convince your five-year old that he WANTS to take karate class, swimming, yoga, bag-pipe lessons and Junior Origami.   (And that’s just for Monday night…).

Someone, somewhere…will pretty much be allergic to ANY kind of food.  So ban ALL snacks and foods at school recess and lunch.   Only permit triple-distilled de-ionized water, and Nabisco Gluten-Free Cracker-Like Edible Wafer-Discs.

Prohibit any games with any hint of aggression, like Dodge Ball or British Bull-Dog.  It’s important to stifle little boys’ rough-and-tumble antics.   Try to emasculate them by encouraging them to play dancing games wearing beanbags on their head.  Medicate them as necessary.

Remove any sense of competition, as we don’t want our little darlings to feel stressed out.   Have them only play games where “Everybody Wins”.   It’s important to learn that we must all abide by the lowest common denominator.

Replace all wooden playground swings with those heinous pelvis-crushing rubber straps, and shorten the chains from 20 feet to 5 feet.  This way, nobody will ever know the joys of touching their toes to the sky and jumping off into space and feeling weightless.

In case anyone chokes on a small toy, remove any fun prizes from CrackerJack or cereal boxes.  Replace them with cheapo-stickers and lame-ass games.

Show your children that Mommy and Daddy care.   Buy them humiliating “Time-Out” accessories.

Drag your toddler to a protest march.   Because there’s NOTHING a three-year old likes better than to hold a sign they cant’ read and stand outside for hours with screaming grown-ups.

Bodily functions, or any mention thereof, are highly discouraged.   We just don’t DO THAT HERE.

Playground Merry-go-rounds?…Tree-forts?…Homemade Go-Karts?…Slingshots?…Water rockets?…Potato guns?…Army men?…Cap Guns?…Setting fires with Magnifying Glasses?…Fire crackers….?

….DON’T EVEN GO THERE!
PS: One more thing:

Hold a candle-light vigil to protest this blog post. ;-)

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42 Comments on “How to Suck all the Fun out of your Kids’ Childhood.”

  1. Steph Says:

    LOL!! I totally hear you on most of these, though of course there’s some serious hyperbole here, too! I hope people see that and don’t get all indignant! The point is, let kids be kids, for shit’s sake! My brother- and sister-in-law are way too strict with their kids, in my mind, and talk about helicopter parenting!

    Of course, it’s all well and good for kidless ol’ me to say, but with my nieces and nephews, I am pretty much of the school of having fun and letting them figure out stuff for themselves. I do believe in boundaries, but I think things have become far too exaggerated these days!

  2. Friar Says:

    @Steph

    I agree…today’s kids are being raised as wimps. I think our generation was the last one that had freedom and fun to explore and grow up and just be a KID.

    If we had a REAL crisis right now, like World War II, people wouldn’t have TIME to worry about half the pointless things we obsess over right now.

    But, oh, I bet you the Oprah-Moms will be crawling out of the Day-care centers and holding candle-light protest marches against me.

    I can just hear them clucking now: :-)

    “Yes, Friar, but you see, we have to think of our kids SAFETY and if it helps even ONE PERSON, than it’s all worthwhile…

    “Oh, Friar…times have changed. Maybe we were okay as kids, but that dosent’ mean it was right…we need to look out for TODAY’S kids, because some parent’s aren’t as smart as ours were…”.

    Yadda…yadda…yadda.

    Oh well, bring it on. I said what I hadda say.

    (At the very least, I”m waiting to hear Kelly give me an earful about Caillou! ;-) )

  3. Brett Legree Says:

    Did I mention Cameron figured out how to install Grand Theft Auto: Vice City via my Steam account (!) – not only that, he was doing pretty well at it when I caught him playing…

    He’s actually a better driver than I am on that game *sigh*

    (In truth, he wasn’t really doing anything terribly bad, he just liked trying to outrun the police cars.)

  4. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    HAHAHAH! Like Father…Like Son!

    But I bet you Cameron is weaned by now, right? :-)


  5. Friar,
    Did you come and visit my neighborhood without stopping in to say hello? Shame on you!

    OK though, you got me on the wonderbread..I wouldn’t serve that stuff to a dog. Or the discusting breakfast cereal. Maybe Friar, a little more fiber in your diet and you wouldn’t be so crabby by fridays..(heehee just kidding, but we do eat whole grain breads and healthy food here. I look the other way when they sneak in the pop tarts.

    You KNOW I want the playgrounds back. Sigh. The good old days.

  6. Friar Says:

    Wendi

    I wish I was allowed Wunderbread as a kid. Not necessarily every day. But even once in a while would have been nice. Whole wheat has a BITTER taste to me.

    Of course, I’m the only one of the family who feels this way. The entire family is crunchy-granola. So I’m a Friar without a Cause.

    Mom was pretty stricit. We DID have junk-food cereals. As a special treat..on camping trips (or wrapped up as a gift under the Christmas tree!).

    Though all is not lost with you…you DO allow Pop Tarts! (I dont’ think we’ve EVER had those in our house…ever). I finally got to buy my own in University, in my 20′s.

    PS. Did you see that link to that Rocket Ship Jungle Gym? There was one like that next to my grandmas’ house when I was three. It was AWESOME…I still remember it.

  7. Betsy Says:

    A-friggin’-men! How about this one: Totally obsess about which school they’re going to get into – not only the Ivy League college, but also the country day pre-school that costs $20K/year. Then, when the kid turns out to be (whispering) not – so – smart, go into individual and joint therapy. Harp, harp, harp until the kid is suicidal or runs away to join the circus, then put a positive spin on that outcome at book club – but drink too much wine so everyone knows you don’t mean it.

  8. Friar Says:

    @Betsy

    Hahahah! Wow…that’s prettyspecific! Sounds like you know people like this! :-)

  9. Writer Dad Says:

    I knew kids that could have easily fit into most of these categories. No joke. I knew this one girl when I was in elementary school, and she practically lived in a tupperware container. She called soda “bubble water,” and had never been to the movies or anything. She was pregnant at sixteen.

  10. Friar Says:

    @Writer Dad

    I feel sorry for kids like that. They usually end up getting duct-taped to the flag-pole in the schoolyard or somethhing.

    (Like that episode of South Park with the home-schooled kids). ;-)

  11. veredd Says:

    There are these parenting forums. I came across them when my kids were babies and I was looking for support. They are filled with moms who take themselves and their role as mothers WAY too seriously.

    Poor kids.

  12. Karen JL Says:

    Know what all this “everybody wins” crap is creating? A whole generation of people in their late teens and early twenties that can’t cope with ANY kind of challenge or stress. Everything is “too hard” and they seriously can not compute why things don’t work or conform to the way THEY want them to.

    They are angry and frustrated individuals that are horrible to be around or deal with.

    It’s a friggin’ crime.

    Parents, please! Let them *lose* once in a while and learn to *deal* with it. They will suck at some stuff and excel at others. Giving kids everything on platter and making them think they are larger than life and ‘perfect’ can be damaging more than you know.

    It’s not preparing them for the real world. You *can’t* win at everything and you’re *not* perfect. And that’s OK!

    Whew. I think I’m done. ;)

  13. Friar Says:

    @vered
    It’s very refreshing to hear this coming from a self-labelled Mommy Blogger like yourself. You seem to be one of the few SANE parents left. (Bless you!) ;-)

    @Karen
    Hear! Hear! :-)

    Right now, we’re just raising a generation of Wunder-Kids who think the world should revolve around them, and everything should happen their way.

    Life’s not like that….dealing with hard knocks is part of growing up! Yes, sometimes some things will suck. Kids…..DEAL WITH IT!

    (But what the hell do WE know, eh? We don’t have any kids of our own, so obviously we have no idea what we’re talking about!) ;-)

  14. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar
    I’ve taught people like this. And my guy is filling in at the same school right now for another instructor.

    There’s a girl (20′s) in the class that has literally said, “But why can’t the computer work the way *I* want it to!?” Then she huffs and haws and leaves the room because she ‘can’t deal with it’.

    Half of them do the bare minimum. Anything remotely challenging is ‘too hard’. They slack off or quit so they don’t have to cope. Some of them are very frustrated and pissy individuals.

    Yeah, I don’t have kids and don’t know anything. But parents, at least think of your kid’s future teachers and employers!

  15. Karen JL Says:

    And I must add that’s at a friggin’ ANIMATION school! Drawing…cartoons…funny stories!

    Geez.

  16. Kelly Says:

    Steph,

    I have seen it and I plan to be all indignant. Right after I stop laughing.

    Friar,

    Get the camera out of my living room. Now!

    Steph’s right about the hyperbole, because on half of these I half-recognized me, as you probably half-assumed I would.

    Hard to choose a favorite, but this one made me think: “Drag your toddler to a protest march. Because there’s NOTHING a three-year old likes better than to hold a sign they cant’ read….”

    Umm, how about dragging my one year old to Caucus events for Al Gore (2000) in Iowa? Are you trying to say the cute photos of her giggling while helping Mama campaign are a problem? I thought it was a sign of her brilliant early activism and oven-fresh-cinnamon-bun-cloth-diapers. No?

    Oh, and what the hell do you know? For a guy with no kids, the way you skewer those of us with kids is scary. You know an awful lot.

    Thanks for the laughs!

    Regards,

    Kelly

  17. Kelly Says:

    P.S. The time-out rocker is REVOLTING.

  18. Brett Legree Says:

    @Karen JL,

    If that girl wants the computer to work *her* way, tell her to download Linux From Scratch and build her own operating system, her way… hee hee

  19. Karen JL Says:

    @ Brett – She’d be all, “What’s a Linux? That kid from the Peanuts comic?”

  20. Friar Says:

    @Karen
    Geez….if the girl can’t handle ANIMATION SCHOOL (which is supposed to be FUN), how’s she expected to deal with the more mundane aspects of studying?

    As her to write a Book Report or make her hand in an assignment, and she’d probably have a conniption!

    @Kelly
    Oh, I knew a few of you Moms don’t do junk food (and that some of you think Caillou is darling). But there wasn’t’ any one person I had in mind when I wrote these.

    But feel free to be indignant! (Then I’ll know my mission is accomplished!) :-)

    @Kelly Again
    What’s worse is a “Time-Out” Clock I actually saw at a friends house (though I couldn’t’ find it on google). The clock frowns, but as the time elapses, the frown turns into a smile.

    The poor kid had received this from her Aunt..as a birthday GIFT!

    Niiiiice….really NICE!!!

    It says something about the kid….AND the aunt!

    @Brett
    Do you think any 10 year olds even KNOW what an Operating System is?

    Remember DOS Prompt? :-)

    @Karen
    Would a 20-year old even know what Peanuts is?

  21. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – Considering she’s studying animation, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    But…probably not. *sigh*

  22. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    She probably dosen’t know the Katzenjammer kids or Mutt and Jeff, either! :-)

  23. Brett Legree Says:

    Friar,

    Cameron does… ;) well, he is my kid!

  24. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    ..he probably can recite the Hávamál too! ;-)

  25. Brett Legree Says:

    You should see him with a battle axe…


  26. Morality kids shows … does anybody remember Davey and Goliath? If things went well, God did it. If things went bad, Davey did it. Wow! And I never missed an episode. But that could be because ti was on the Commander Tom show, and Commander Tom was hot! Gotta love a man in a uniform.

  27. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Ah, y’know, not much ever makes me indignant. I didn’t think you were writing about me (though the camera in the living room does make me suspicious), only that you somehow mange to capture and then magnify 150x my motherly, protective behaviors, until I’m giggling at what might be if I went off the deep end—and thinking of a few I know who already have.

    My no-soda, no-Spongebob, lord no Barbie,crafty kid might bug you, except she’s also an underscheduled, “free to be a kid” kid, a super-pro loafabout who knows everything about Pokemon and doesn’t own a single piece of clean clothing because she has to spill something, paint herself, or fling herself in mud on the first day she owns a piece. I call her “One-Wear” Erickson. We’re a bit old-fashioned, but there’s a lot to like in that. All things balance out around here.

    She can’t recite the Hávamál, though. Brett’s kids probably understand nookular stuff, too.
    Am I (I mean is she) falling behind? ;)

    Until later,

    Kelly

  28. Brett Legree Says:

    Kelly,

    You’re doing a damned fine job. I know this without having met your kid.

  29. BrettHead Says:

    I always like your ‘list’ blogs. Good laughs!

  30. Friar Says:

    @Panther
    Davey and Goliath!? HAHAHAHA! Oh, yes, I remember. (Boy does that take me back). One of the only few kids’ shows they’d air on Sunday. We’d watch it by default, but was it ever lame!

    There’s this spoof cartoon late at night..(on Teletoon, I think). “Moral Orel”. It’s a take-off of Davey and Goliath…it’s so BAD, it’s hilarious!

    @Kelly
    Well, if your kid gets muddy and scrapes her knees and such, I suspect she’ll turn out okay! (Just don’t over do the Caillou…that can cause brain damage!) ;-)

    @Brett
    Maybe you kids can meet Kelly’s. It would be a great cross-pollination of Viking cultures.

    @BrettHead
    I think only a Crazy Uncle can make a list like this! (Easy for me to poke fun, without having kids of my own).


  31. Okay you’re going to love this. There is a weekend camp in Arkansas, sponsored by the very wonderful Heifer International, that gives children whose parents can afford it, a weekend in faux Thailand. They can pack only necessities ( and musical instruments ) in their little back packs, but no cell phones, ipods or things like that. They’ll be in a tent, and have to barter for water among other things…400 bucks for the 3 days in Feb.
    Hm a bubble wrapped experience of poverty….making my head tilt a bit. Can’t decide if it is all kinds of wrong , or the hint of a clue .

    What cha make of that Friar?

  32. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    Oh…that’s just great! 130 bucks a night to pretend to live in Poverty. I can do that for free, if I put a tent in my back yard. :-(

    You know what? The kids would be BETTER off with a canoe trip. Then they’d at least get some excercise, cook their food and boil their own water. Aand if they wanted to bring their musical instruments and shit, then they’d have to decide whether they wanted to portage everything into the bush.

    Nothing like a few days of Interior Camping to make one truly appreciate hot showers and a warm bed.


  33. That was my thinking. I mean I know it’s a good org. And a kind school doing this, but sheeesh…run ‘em over to the Ninth Ward and look at what Nothing looks like, or as you say some Interior Camping. This paying to simulate poverty…I went, huh? NO actually I went WTF!!! About as real as those drive through Safaris. And sensitivity training…Kum Ba Ya I guess, Kum Ba yah….sheesh.
    For 130 bucks you could catch a cab to any inner city…a camp? A CAMP?Thailand indeed. Let’s see what else we could bubble wrap…hm.

  34. XUP Says:

    Amen, dude. Don’t forget to homeschool your kids so they don’t mix with undesireables. I raised my kids this way and while they are currently institutionalized for some kind of legally recognized unsociable behaviour, they’re learning to share and will be better people for it in middle age.

  35. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    Yes…go to the Inner City! That would be a REAL life lesson for the rich little kids! Probably a lot more realistic than fake-Thailand camp.

    XUP
    Ah, yes. Homeschool. Because EVERY parent is a qualified teacher, and can do a better job than all those silly people who went to teachers college. ;-)


  36. [...] “There isn’t a kid on the whole planet that doesn’t love squishy white Wonder Bread. So naturally, it’s your duty to BAN IT from the household at all costs. Only serve Dempsters Ultra Colon-Blow Fibre-Bread, made with 28 kinds of grain, including chunks of actual hay, topsoil, and un-shelled sunflower seeds.” Deep Friar http://deepfriar.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/how-to-suck-all-the-fun-out-of-your-kids-childhood/ [...]

  37. MiMi Says:

    Karen JL: Hear, hear! Get ready for Generation Can’t.

  38. lfamous Says:

    I totally disagree-if you really want to suck the fun out of Christmas you shouldn’t have a Christmas tree at all.

    You can either make environmentally friendly natural ornaments (like pinecones covered with birdseed and strings of cranberries and popcorn strung on some type of natural fiber that biodegrades) that you hang on a living pine tree outside, or forgo the tree and instead celebrate Jesus’ birthday with a diary & gluten-free cake and presents you wrap and give to The Salvation Army for kids because “some kids don’t have ANY toys.”

  39. Friar Says:

    @MiMi

    Yeah, Karen’s makes a great point, there.

    @lfamous
    Wow…that’ pretty crunchy-granola! (Are you sure you don’t bubble-wrap your kids?) ;-)

  40. poop Says:

    you bitch who made this shit is a psycho
    ps: im a kid
    i love all this stuff you cant ban this

  41. DPS Says:

    hubby and i are kids of the 80′s. we have an 11 year old and a 3 year old

    breakfast is pop tarts, lucky charms, fruit loops, or whatever other cereal they threw in the cart when we werent looking.

    sometimes a banana for good measure.

    now, the little one does like caillou (groan) but on the upside he also likes tranformers and phineus and ferb (i love P&F!!! if you havent seen it- youtube a couple of episodes- pure hilarity)

    they have video games.

    they eat cookies for desert.

    they run around and terrorize our animals.

    they play in the mud

    they play in the snow

    they are allowed outside when they cough

    we dont take them to the doctor every time they sneeze. in fact, only the 11 year old has ever gone to the doc ONCE because she was sick- she had strep throat.

    we have a playset in the back yard that might be older than me. we did have to replace they swings though, the chains were rusted (swinging is good, but a chain breaking mid swing… not so much)

    the 11 year old roams freely around our neighborhood of about 150 homes

    they look forward to the UPS man because bubble wrap and packing peanuts are pretty much guaranteed.And they pop pop pop pop pop pop (you get the idea)

    they have a tv in their rooms

    and cable

    odd thing, they are so busy PLAYING, they rarely turn it on. funny thing about that.

    we eat wonder bread. and bologna and hot dogs and chef boyardee. not all at the same time. that would be gross. well…maybe not.

    and my kids…. have fun. my 3 year old was recently caught with a screwdriver and had taken off the bottom hinge on the front door (true story). Somehow in our laughter we confiscated the offending screwdriver. They are healthy, smart (not geniuses or anything, but plenty intelligent- sometimes too much so) and (mostly) well behaved, independent and funny kids! so…. yeah, i like how we do things. we have fun. :)

  42. Friar Says:

    @DPS

    I grew up in the 70s and I think that’s the last generation where kids had fun.

    It’s encouraging to hear that some parents (like yourself) still raise their kids normally.

    If kids are deprived of stuff like video games, Lucky Charms and such…well, wonderful. You’ll just end up raising a bunch of weenies, unable to cope with anything. (Anyway, that’s my opinion!) ;-)


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