How To Raise a Kid

          It’s  currently negative ten degrees outside and I can hardly even bare it long enough to make it to my car. Which DOESN’T have an automatic pre start-up, so then I have to wait another 10 minutes until I’m finally warm again. The cold is my kryptonite (along with needles and blood) but mainly the cold weather. I try to avoid going outside at all cost when it’s not close to my preferred conditions. I guess you could say that I’m ‘weather spoiled’. So when someone asks me why I don’t considering getting a dog for a pet (I AM a single guy so it does makes sense, right?) this is obviously the first thing that I consider. But it’s not just that, even more discourages me from partaking in man’s so called ‘best friend’… I would call it a second job.

In addition to taking your dog outside to go to the bathroom when it’s subzero temperatures and digging out paths in the snow so they can walk, you must give them constant attention, clean up after them, train them not to go to the bathroom inside the house and on and on…ya know it kinda sounds like.. raising..a..child! So save your time and energy and go trade your dog in for a kid. It’s basically the same thing. Unless you are getting a dog in luau of a child, or to replace a child, then why are you adding so much additional responsibility to your life? Invest just a little bit more time and energy and you can have a much bigger reward.

A child lives longer than 17 years, can go to the bathroom INSIDE, and once properly trained… can even clean up after them-self. So now it begs the question, how do you raise a child? Well, personally I have absolutely no experience at all, I don’t plan on experiencing it at all, and being a single guy who lives by himself, I very well could be the farthest thing from someone in a position to give parenting advice. But I’m going to do it anyway. So here it is, the three most important factors that there are when it comes to raising a child, from an expert. (I offer parental coaching sessions every Wednesday for anyone who is interested.)

# 1 Support. You absolutely have to support your child 100% in the life decisions that they make. Obviously I’m not talking about the bad ones, but the choices in life. Don’t pigeonhole your child down a path they may not want to go, to be someone they may not want to be. Parents, I realize that you may not have fulfilled your personal aspirations in life but don’t now pass the burden onto your child. Be a grownup (you are the grownup now) and allow your child to be whoever they want to be, empower them to make their own decisions. How can you expect a child to develop confidence in them-self if their own parents don’t support the decisions they want to make? You have to support them and teach them to invest either 100% or 0% of their time and energy into it. Otherwise everyone is wasting their time. Teach them to do what they want to do, but only if they do it 100%. This supports their decisions and also teaches commitment. Now you’re killing two birds with one stone.

# 2 Stability. Specifically, stability at home. I’m talking about you parents, and your relationship. It really DOES matter if you stay together as a couple or at least learn to have a mutual, respectful relationship when you separate, throughout the child’s life. It’s not about you as a couple; it’s about a stable environment for that child to return home to every night. The world is a mean jungle that we trek out into every day and it’s easy to forget how scary that is when you’re a kid. Think about it, if you go out into the jungle every day, it would be nice to have a stable home environment to return back to every night and regroup. If a child doesn’t have this environment in their lives then they can miss out on their personal development out in the jungle. They are wasting all their time and energy dealing with an unstable home environment rather than exploring and learning in the new world. Limit the chaos at home in a child’s life and provide them some stability. It will help them out in the jungle. And finally…

#3, Routine and Accountability. Whenever you find success in life, it always has a strong routine behind it. Teach your child to develop routine habits, doing homework, brushing their teeth, doing their laundry, studying ten extra minutes than their classmates, running an extra mile after everyone else leaves practice, and on and on. All great people have had great routines to develop their abilities. And the qualifier that makes all of these steps work is, accountability… simple. Hold them responsible for their actions. We are all held responsible for our actions as adults so don’t give your child a false impression as a kid by being a push-over/lenient parent. This sounds so basic but it’s so often not executed. If you can’t hold your child accountable then you shouldn’t have signed up to be a parent. I know, they often fuss and whine and throw a fit just to make your life as difficult as possible, but don’t fold to your own child’s peer pressure, that’s pathetic. Teach some discipline so you don’t raise a spoiled brat.

It’s just that’s simple. Whether it’s a dog or a child, I’m your all access source of advice and information. Go trade your dog in for a kid and raise them to make enough money to support you as a parent… now that sounds like a plan to me.