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8-Step Guide to Messing Up Your Kids

By Dr. Margaret Paul
March 31, 2008



This tongue-in-cheek article outlines some of the major ways that parents may be inadvertently messing up their children.



problem parenting, problem childrenMost parents REALLY want to be good parents. But since it is rare for parents to take parenting classes before becoming parents, we inadvertently do lots of things to mess up our kids. This tongue-in-cheek article may help you to see what you are doing!

1. Ignore the crying

The tiny infant comes into the world equipped only with its cry to let us know when it is distressed. Its cry is the only power it has. A great way to created deep-seated life-long fear, insecurity, and feeling inadequate, is to ignore the baby's cry, instead forcing the baby to follow your schedule.

2. Control

Instead of following your baby's lead, be sure to impose your own wants, needs, will, and desires on to the baby and young child. Disempower the child by ignoring his or her way of being in the world and impose your way of being with your anger, disapproval, and withdrawal. Your anger, disapproval, and withdrawal of love work well to control your child - at least until adolescence. Then, of course, you might be faced with rebellion.

3. Processed food

Make sure that you plan for your own convenience rather than for your child's health. It is so much easier to just pick up packaged and processed food than it is to cook wholesome food. Your children will love all the processed food and get addicted to it. Be sure to create a sugar addiction by putting juice in a bottle and offering sweets for rewards. Then, when they can't focus at school and exhibit behavior problems due to bouncing blood sugar, you get to punish them for their poor performance and behavior!

4. Spoil - Don't spoil

Be sure to spoil your child by substituting things for love. Because you are too busy to be really present with your children, offer to buy them whatever they want. However, be sure NOT to spoil your children by giving them too much loving attention. By giving them things instead of loving attention, you can train them to be addicted to things and approval. By not paying attention to them, you let them know that they are not worthy or lovable enough for your attention. This way, they will be easily controlled by the need for others' approval.

5. Undermine their trust in themselves

Be sure to let them know that they don't know their own minds and don't know what they want or feel. After all, you don't want them to be independent thinkers. Independent thinkers are not easily controlled, and you definitely want to keep control! Let them know how stupid they are for their unusual  or out-of-the-box ways of thinking and behaving.

6. Hit your children to discipline them

Hitting your children to control and discipline them lets them know that they are not to expect to be respected or treated well by others. It is excellent way to undermine their sense of self. Create confusion by letting them know that you are only hurting them because you love them.

7. Frighten them with a punishing God

Make sure that they never feel safe enough to think for themselves by instilling in them the fear of an angry and punishing God. Let them know that God is always watching them and they will go to hell if they don't follow the rules. Then, create more confusion about love by telling them that God loves them.

8. Take no responsibility for yourself

Make sure you provide no role modeling of personal responsibility for your own feelings, instead being a victim and blaming others.

If you follow these 8 steps, you will be doing all you can do to make sure that your child will not know who he or she is, and will always be dependent upon others' approval for a sense of self. You will be doing all you can to make sure your child is addicted to food, alcohol or drugs, or to other forms of addictive behavior to take away the pain of the inner emptiness.

Learn to be a loving parent by learning to love yourself. Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."



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