The 5 Creepiest Parenting Tactics Ever Attempted
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 ...
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.
"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.
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.
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:
Fun is relative. Right?
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.
Father Winds Up Sharing a Prison Cell with His Son for 15 Years
Bernard Peterson didn't have any special genius or talents to pass onto his son Scott, but in some ways the two share a closer bond than anyone else on this list. And by that we mean that after a career in crime together, Scott and Bernard Peters have been sharing a prison cell for 15 straight years. This was after the two teamed up for a string of robberies that ended with them shooting a 61-year-old Salvation Army employee in the leg over $726 and getting fucking arrested.
They grow up so fast.
Both men were given 25 to 50 years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence for a crime spree that netted them a total of $2,900. That's two generations in jail for a sizeable downpayment on a mid-tier luxury sedan, or (more likely) all of the crystal meth in the county. Initially, Bernard and Scott had thought they were never going to see each other again, but when they found themselves incarcerated in the same maximum security facility, Bernard wrote a letter to the warden asking if he and his son could bunk together. The warden read the letter, stroking his mustache contemplatively (we assume all prison wardens look like Tommy Lee Jones in Natural Born Killers), and granted the request.
"This will be the perfect gift after I chip it into a shiv!"
Fifteen years in prison have given the two men time to bond in ways that their adventures together as freewheeling bandits never could have, sharing a cell the size of a Taco Bell restroom almost every single night since Twister came out in theaters. Scott, for one, views their joint incarceration as somewhat of a blessing, because it allows him to keep a close eye on his aging father's health, which apparently wouldn't have been possible unless they were locked up together in a maximum security broom closet and forced to stare at each other for three presidential administrations.
Brandon and Scott become eligible for parole in 2020, so they still have a few more years left to perfect their duet of "Cat's in the Cradle" and sweep the annual prison talent show.
'Eagle Dad' Turns His Son into an Indestructible Warrior for No Reason
Subjecting your child to grueling, torturous conditioning in order to achieve athletic or academic success is behavior we generally regard as douchetastic but unsurprising. Father of the Year candidate He Lieshing, however, decided to take it a step further -- he is putting his son, Duoduo, through brutally demanding mental and physical training for absolutely no reason whatsoever, other than simply to mold Duoduo into the hardest bastard that has ever lived. Well, that's fine, we suppose -- who doesn't want their kid to be a badass? Wait, did we mention Duoduo is 4 years old?
"Unfiltered Camels and a .44 magnum? Your dad packs the best lunches!"
Yes, Lieshing has filmed his implicitly trusting and thoroughly defenseless toddler son jogging and doing push-ups in the snow wearing nothing but a pair of briefs, manning a one-person dinghy with precisely zero assistance, and climbing 11,000 feet up Japan's Mount Fuji, where the two became stranded and had to be rescued by park rangers because Lieshing didn't have the foresight to bring enough rations to account for the fact that every climbing shelter along the summit was closed for the season. However, he did comment on Mount Fuji's dispiriting lack of stairs, which seems to indicate that he doesn't fully understand how mountains work.
"Can I still do the arms thing if I took the escalator?"
Lieshing insists his parenting choices come from a Chinese proverb about eagles pushing their young from the nest to teach them how to fly, earning him the nickname "Eagle Dad." He immediately latched on to the image and is trying to publish a book based on his expertise, citing Duoduo's premature birth and early battles with pneumonia and jaundice as the inspiration for his unorthodox parenting. Lieshing doesn't seem to realize that if Duoduo should fall, freeze to death, have a heart attack, or drown because of his "Eagle Dad" bullshit, he will be going straight to jail, because a man raising a child and eagles teaching each other how to fly are not exactly the same thing.
Related Reading: Of COURSE we have more stories of crazy parenting- just click this link. And prepared to get really, really annoyed whenever you hear the term 'Indigo children'. Parents get even crazier: as proof, we present Baby Juggling. Round out your course in ruining children with this shopping list for violently unfit parents.