Let's face it: Most parents don't really have a plan for their kids. They kind of just tell them to go play on their own and make sure the matches are out of reach and the liquor cabinet stays locked. And maybe that's for the best, because when fathers decide to get too involved with mentoring their kids, things can get a bit weird ...
#5. Father Refuses to Speak to His Son in Anything but Klingon
The most underrated benefit of having children is that you are free to conduct experiments on them to your heart's content. You've got your own little human being, why not tinker with it? That's why D'Armond Speers decided that, rather than teach his son, Alec, a traditional second language like Spanish or German, he was going to speak to him exclusively in Klingon, a made-up fantasy language that has never been used to conduct a single professional conversation in the history of time. Just to see what would happen.
"Mom! Johnny just called me 'The honorless bastard of a bi'hnuch'!"
As a student of linguistics at Georgetown University, Speers was curious to see if a fabricated language like Klingon would be more or less difficult for a child to learn than a real language that might actually come in handy later. He also insists that he isn't a hardcore Star Trek fan while maintaining a straight face, which must have taken a heroic effort considering he admits to owning a Klingon costume and being the only person in America trying to raise a child to be fluent in Klingon in the same interview.
Maximilian Reininghaus viaWikipedia
"What's weird about this? Those are back scratchers."
To be fair, it's not like the kid won't learn English -- Alec's mother refuses to speak to Alec in anything but English. So, in theory, the child will be fluent in both, and Speers insists it's no different from teaching a child Spanish. However, when you consider that there are almost 500 million Spanish-speaking people in the world today, and approximately two dozen Klingon speakers, some flaws in Speers' reasoning become immediately apparent.
Like the fact that Klingons and children don't mix very well.
At any rate, little Alec spent the first several years of his life growing up in a household where one parent spoke English and the other gurgled out harsh throat farts randomly strung together as words created for the explicit purpose of making Christopher Lloyd sound like a more-convincing alien. The experiment eventually fizzled out as Alec got older and spent more time around English speakers. Fortunately he still has his bat'leth training.
#4. Man Turns His Son into an 8-year-old Bodybuilder
In the mid-'90s, Ukrainian immigrant and martial arts instructor Pavel Sandrak decided that he would transform his newborn son, Richard, into a muscle-bound freakzilla, because he was a middle aged man with no marketable talents who really wanted to be famous.
So, Pavel started putting Richard through a daily regimen of stretching exercises to improve his son's flexibility when Richard was just 2 months old. We hasten to point out that a 2-month-old infant can barely move, doesn't yet have the strength to support its own weight, and believes any person or object removed from its direct line of sight has simply vanished from the face of existence. We cannot imagine what these "training" sessions could have entailed beyond a sternly concentrating Pavel tugging his infant son's limbs in various directions while listening to a Gloria Estefan CD.
As soon as Richard could walk, Pavel started him on martial arts training that segued into bodybuilding, resulting in the most bafflingly un-Photoshopped human being to ever walk the Earth.
Ah, so that's where the Hulkamania wound up.
Pavel kept his son on a strict diet of vegetables and protein powder and home-schooled Richard to allow for their daily eight-hour training sessions, because those so-called "education professionals" would've only tried to hold Richard back by pointing out that trying to turn a prepubescent boy into a diamond-chiseled muscle farm is a form of reckless endangerment. Richard wasn't allowed to interact with any other children besides his younger sister, presumably for fear they might tell him about the strange world of pizza, little league, and video games that existed beyond the walls of his sweaty free-weight prison, and was required to sleep on a hardwood floor instead of in a bed to maintain perfect posture.
Letting a kid built like Lou Ferrigno play tee ball might not be entirely sporting.
We're not saying it didn't work -- by the time he was 8, Richard could bench press 210 pounds, three times his own body weight. This earned him the title of "Strongest Boy In The World," the sort of instantly regrettable moniker that an 8-year-old can't possibly recognize the full implications of until he's trying to convince women to have sex with him 10 years later. He went on publicity tours, earned thousands of dollars from endorsements, and became an overnight celebrity on the same level as giants like Tony Little and the ShamWow guy.
Many doctors believed that Richard was being put at serious risk, primarily because of the fact that muscle requires testosterone to grow, and testosterone is simply not present in a boy that has yet to reach puberty. This would seem to indicate that Pavel was giving Richard anabolic steroids, because otherwise it would've been impossible for Richard to sport huge pec meat and rock hard flexin' arms without wearing an elaborate costume. Richard also reportedly had less than 1 percent body fat, which is fatally low for adults and probably not much better for someone whose internal structure hasn't completely solidified yet.
Raising a toddler isn't challenging enough? Add roid rage.
Despite this overwhelming scientific evidence, Pavel emphatically denied any claims of child abuse and insisted that he never forced Richard into doing anything he didn't want to do, because, as we all know, 2-month-old infants have both the speech and the cognitive awareness to demand a calisthenic training routine. Pavel further defused allegations of abuse by gallantly assaulting his wife (Richard's mother) and getting sent to jail for three years. Meanwhile, Richard went on to pursue a film career, rewarding humanity with the memorable classic Little Hercules in 3-D.
#3. Man Decides to Raise His Children as Chess Prodigies Before They Are Even Born
Laszlo Polgar, an educational psychologist from Hungary, fully believed in the idea that genius is something people learn rather than a trait they are born with, a radical viewpoint hotly contested by the docudrama Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Laszlo decided he would test his theory on his own children by seeing if he could hone them into brilliant chess players simply by exposing them to the game at a young age and having them train constantly throughout their adolescence. Makes sense. The problem was, he didn't actually have any children. Laszlo had devised an experiment wholly dependent on a group of test subjects that didn't exist.
It seemed only fitting when you consider all the hardcore fans of competitive chess.
So, he got together with his wife for what was presumably the most romantic dinner of all time and "submitted a request for research materials." The end result was three children -- Zsuzsa, Zsofia, and Judit, because Laszlo could apparently see into the future and wanted to frustrate Internet comedy writers and their spellcheck programs by drowning his children's names in unnecessary consonants. With a ready pool of subjects now available to him, Laszlo could begin testing his theory. We aren't necessarily saying that the only reason he had children was to prove his master thesis, but it was clearly his favorite reason.
Second favorite reason? Finally having someone to refer to as "his pawns."
Laszlo home-schooled all three of his daughters, starting their day off with a few hours of table tennis practice followed by a full eight hours of chess playing and research, because he apparently wanted to arm his daughters with all the tools necessary to get the shit hammered out of them at recess. Not that interacting with other kids was ever a problem -- his daughters never spent a day in an actual school, despite the fact that the government at one point threatened to toss him in a mental institution if he didn't have his children enrolled in the education system (he finally pacified them by agreeing to have his girls take the appropriate final exam each year to prove he wasn't destroying their futures).
The girls weren't allowed to play with any toys or any friends, because it would take up valuable time that could be devoted to perfecting their chess game. They were essentially raised as guinea pigs by a batshit Hungarian Santa Claus:
However, it would appear that Laszlo was crazy like a fox -- all three of the girls became Grand Masters, while Judit is ranked among the top 20 chess players in the world and is considered the greatest female player of all time. And they're all grateful to Laszlo for his efforts, because pathological obsession, like genius, can be both taught and inherited.