#2. Thinking They'll Always Be That Way
The First Child
The odds of you having a kid with some annoying behaviors are approximately 100 percent because they're human, and humans can be really fucking annoying. My ex-brother-in-law had kids who were so hyperactive, we couldn't be around them for more than 30 minutes at a time without feeling like we were about to flip out and attempt to put them back in their mom for a do-over. All three of my kids were colicky, which means that they cried almost nonstop for seemingly no reason, to the point where we thought they needed to be hospitalized.
Later in life, they spilled virtually everything they touched. There wasn't one square foot of our house that didn't have massive, disgusting stains on it, over half of which were their fault, and almost a quarter of which weren't blood. After a while, you just sort of give up and accept that this is the way they are, and that they are beyond repair.
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Yeah, you won't be smiling later when you're trying to pass that table back out your asshole.
But After That, You Realize ...
It's impossible to make sweeping statements about personalities, but for the most part, they level off. Bratty kids don't tend to stay bratty. Well-behaved kids will eventually go through a rebellious phase. It's unavoidable -- they are biologically programmed to do so. It's part of the software that teaches them independence and disconnection from the nest. And it's a huge part of what teaches you fist control as a parent.
In every family I've ever known, there has always been a period where the kids listen to one parent but not the other. In most of those cases, it was them obeying the father and blowing off the mother as if her rules didn't count. It doesn't mean that you have to accept this as a problem that cannot be fixed and controlled, but know that it is common. It's not just you. Unless you're a squishy pushover who lets them do whatever they want, in which case, yes, it's you. Man up or live with it, pussy.
"Well, OK, but after this, no more severed horse heads for another month, got it?"
The fix in almost every case is consistency. Sticking to punishments as well as rewards. You can't ground your kid for a week and then give in two days later, saying, "Well, I think you learned your lesson. We'll let it go this time. Just remember, it's wrong to set other people's houses on fire." It tells them that their punishments are flexible and work out in their favor. It teaches them that you're a pushover who can be manipulated into giving them what they want, regardless of their actions. You also can't give kids an allowance for their chores one week and then nothing the next. They eventually fall into the frame of mind of "I don't know what to expect if I do this thing, so fuck it."
Children are very routine-based creatures, and they need that stability. If you provide a steady, predictable ground base for them, they will eventually fall in line and outgrow the bullshit that drives you crazy right now. But remember, it works both ways. They're not always going to be loveable, huggy daddy's girls. Eventually, they need their freedom, and their antivirus software will boot your ass out like a Trojan-laced porn site.
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"Unless you brought us some hair gel, you need to fuck completely off."
#1. Assuming That You're Screwing Them Up
The First Child
Every time you turn on the news, your parent alarm goes off because there is always a new thing trying to kill our children:
Believe me, those news stories are harming them just as much as every product those dumb cockholes are talking about.
We've grown accustomed to this bullshit ratings trick that's designed to play off of our parental instincts, forcing us to tune in to their show. Because what if they're right? What if looking at a computer screen is frying your kid's brain? What if ice cream turns out to be the horrific tool of a murderous industry bent on population control? Have I unknowingly been turning my son into an emotionless monster by letting him eat grapes?
But After That, You Realize ...
You are the product of hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution, designed specifically for survival and procreation. You are quite literally programmed on the molecular, DNA level to be a parent. The basics are already woven into you, without you ever having to read a book or talk to an expert: You know when to feed a child, when to apply first aid, when they need emotional comfort ... all of that stuff is in you right now, and it will come out like projectile vomit when you are face to face with the product of your filthy, dirty fucking.
You are the culmination of our sexual depravity.
Trust your instincts, because the fact that you are alive and well today proves that they work.
Yes, there are going to be times when you make mistakes. Maybe you let your mood get the best of you, and you go a little overboard on your child over something fairly insignificant. Or maybe you found out the hard way that they're allergic to pickles. They'll live. Obviously, you need to apologize to them in a way that they'll understand, but I promise you that they won't be scarred for life because of it. In fact, it's probably better that they see those things occasionally because you are not a god, and they need to understand that you're fallible, just like everyone else. So when they make mistakes themselves, they won't feel like they are complete fucking failures, unworthy of your perfection.
"I'll never be a lyrical gangsta! Why does Fred Durst have to be my father?!"
But trust me, you'll eventually look back on the way you raised your first child and think, "Holy shit, I worried way too much." Which is fine, I suppose. Worrying too much is probably better than not worrying enough. You'll get it, though. It's not rocket science. Although if you raise a person so well that he or she becomes a rocket scientist, you totally get to take credit for that shit.
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