Yesterday Tim sent me a link in an email to the Orange Parents blog. They had an article on How to Raise a Jerk. Below is a literal copy and paste of the points in the blog. For the complete story, click the highlighted text.

Here are a few ideas to help you effectively raise a jerk:

  • Protect them from the consequences of their own mistakes.
  • Make sure you do whatever they can do for themselves.
  • Keep them away from anyone who thinks differently than they do.
  • Try to give them everything they want.
  • Tell them over and over again you just want them to be happy.
  • Convince them that they are more special than other kids.
  • Always take their side when they get in trouble with their teacher at school.
  • Always take their side whenever they are in a conflict with a friend.
  • Keep insisting that they are the best player on the team.
  • Don’t give them consistent opportunities to help or serve other people.
  • Never require them to do chores.
  • Reinforce their prejudices about people from different cultures or backgrounds.
  • Make your relationship with them more important than your relationship with your spouse.
  • Rarely express genuine gratitude to those who help you.
  • Teach them to talk more than they listen.
  • Never let them hear you say “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

Wow. What an article.

How many of us know people who parent exactly that way?

How many of us have parents that parented that way?

How many of us DO parent that way?

Well, not me. I’m seriously considering posting these somewhere in my house, so when I feel tempted to coddle or over-protect and over-serve Jack and his future siblings, I can remind myself that I am not doing them any favors. I want my children to thrive in the world. Set good examples, seek wisdom, take initiative. Tim and I are the ones God intrusted to take care of his child, Jack, and we need to be good stewards of that privilege.

When I get to Heaven I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I want Jack to hear that too, and I don’t want my parenting style to inhibit that. Jack will inevitably make his own decisions about his faith and lifestyle, I can’t control that. But I can control what he is learning in his most crucial life-learning years.

Nuh uh! My Jack Jack ain’t gon’ be no jerk!

No. Sir. E.

Not if Mama can help it.

With love, Malorie