Teaching Kids about Disappointment and Adversity: What Valentine’s Day is All About!

Argh, it’s another one of those “holidays” where parents, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc. are suppose to buy “gifts” for each other to prove their love to one another.  I view this as an opportunity to teach your kids (and your significant other) about Disappointment and Adversity.

You should know by now that if I talk to you or live with you, that you are pretty special.  This extends to my friends as well.  I’m pretty picky on who I hang out or interact with.  If you are reading this, you are even more special than others.

One of the ways you can teach your kids about Disappointment and Adversity is to NOT give them gifts or cards on Valentine’s Day.

What?  But…but…where’s the love?

You want love?  You want gifts?  Here are the gifts of love you should be giving them: Disappointment and Adversity.

They shouldn’t expect this day to be any more special than any other day.  It isn’t Christmas or their birthday; they shouldn’t get presents.  And according to my friend Mike, if you bought a Valentine’s Day card for your wife (or husband), you spent too much on her (or him).  His wife and he have mutually agreed not to exchange gifts or cards on these kinds of “fake” holidays.  I admire that.  They both get a gold star.

If you shower your kids or significant other with gifts now, you have already set unrealistic standards for them later in life.  You have created the opportunity for them to be disappointed later in life, yet not given them the experience of adversity to overcome their disappointment.

For example: What if you are in a different country and are gone for Valentine’s Day?  If you give your children gifts all the time for every Valentine’s Day, you have already set a standard you must constantly live up to.  Your kids will still expect a gift even when you are gone.  You just gave yourself more work to do.  You have to plan something and that takes work and effort on your part.  And will those kids remember your gift in a week?  Will your husband remember that gift in 24 hours?

No, they won’t.

All of your hard work, planning, and effort for nothing.  Your hard work wasted away in the hands of time.  What did you learn from this experience?

What if you don’t do anything?  You just taught a valuable lesson to our children about Disappointment.  After they cried their eyes out and say their mommy and daddy doesn’t love or care about them, they will be stronger.  Nothing makes your kid tougher than tears streaming down their dirty face, a little disappointment entered into their thought process.  They will learn a great lesson on how to overcome adversity.  How will they learn from this experience?  How will it make them stronger?  How will it toughen them up?

Let’s fast forward to your kid in a relationship with someone they care about.  This person forgets about Valentine’s Day.  Because you were such a “good” parent all these years, your kid (now an adult) goes ballistic because their significant other screwed up Valentine’s Day.  But really…whose fault is it?  As a parent, it is your fault because you chickened out and didn’t introduce Disappointment and Adversity at a young age.  For Pete’s sake, everyone knows that ALL problems stem from “daddy” or “mommy” issues we have as children.  Ask any stripper; they’ll tell you.

Life is all about Disappointment and how to overcome it.  A lesson in Disappointment will also teach your children about Adversity.  Your children will cry but this experience will make them stronger, they will overcome the adversity that they are now experiencing.  This lesson would be better taught to your children at a younger age.  Better to learn a valuable lesson at a younger age than later in life (when it will turn you bitter and just make you a miserable person).

As always, your sarcastic and bitter comments are welcome.  Heck, all of your comments are welcome.

Please Stop Being Good Parents and Teach Your Kid Something!

Note to Future and Current Parents: You aren’t doing your kids any favors by cooking them dinner, doing their laundry, and cleaning their bedrooms.  Do you know what you are doing by taking care of them?  You are making them burdens on society.  You are making them dependent on you (and society) for the rest of their lives.  You’ll make them want to live with you forever if you provide them a nice room, food in their bellies, gas in their fuel tank, and a Smartphone in their hand.  Stop being a good parent.

I didn’t realize that parents took care of their kids so much these days until I was on another Boy Scout camp out this past weekend.  As I’m supervising the youngest scouts (in the age group of 11-12 years old), it dawned on me that they don’t know how to cook a meal or clean up after themselves.  They keep thinking that “somebody else” is going to do it for them.  That somebody is their mommy or daddy.  It definitely isn’t me (the grumpy old Assistant Scoutmaster).

Sure, in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the scouts are supposed to learn from other older scouts (or adults) how to survive on a campout.  However, like any preteen or teenager (whether it is a boy or girl) they get distracted by…anything.  An older scout might have taught them what to do six minutes ago or six months ago and they don’t remember that information now when they really need it.  They don’t remember that you cook your meat on medium heat, not high heat.  They don’t remember that cooking takes time and you have to pay attention to the meal on the stove lest it be burned to a pile of charcoal.  They don’t remember that in summer camp someone showed them that to clean a pot you need to use soap, water, and some good old fashion elbow grease.  They don’t know that hot water is their friend in the cleaning process.

What can you as parents can you do to help your child?  Stop doing everything for them.

But wait, you say…that’s my baby we are talking about!  Should I just throw a tent in the backyard and let my ten year old live with the dog?  Of course not, start with baby steps.  One simple thing they can learn this afternoon is “How to use the laundry washer and the dryer.”

Side Note:  I mentioned this to my ten year old daughter and she laughed at me.  Ha. Ha.  The joke is going to be on her when she doesn’t have any clean clothes and she is know as “The Stinky Kid” at school.  Boy, I can’t wait for that call from her teacher talking about my daughter’s aroma and personal hygiene issues.  That phone call will prove I’m a great parent.

Then show them how to properly clean the dishes in the sink.  Show them how to wash out that pot so all of the old oatmeal is gone.  Use the cleaning pad to get it clean.  If you are a camping family, you can even pretend you are on a camping trip.  Make some stations in your kitchen with three tubs:

  1. Wash Pot/Tub: Hot Water with a few drops of biodegradable soap.
  2. Rinse Tub: Hot/Warm Water (plain water)
  3. Sterilization Tub: Boiling Hot Water (use tongs) or cold water with one teaspoon of bleach added to two gallons of water.

I recommend to the Scouts that they soak/pre-wash as much as possible.  Example, if they have a dish that has a huge sauce build up, after they are done using that pot, fill it up with water and let that pot sit.  Scrub as much as that build up off as possible and dispose of in your food garbage pit or into the garbage.

Wouldn’t it be great if you taught this to your kid at home now instead of him having to learn it from some older scout?  Give your son or a leg up in society and teach them something as simple as cleaning a dish will be an invaluable skill for him later in life.  He won’t be the little dweeb that doesn’t know how to do anything at Scout Camp because his mommy loved him too much.  Don’t be that good parent be that awesome parent that teaches their kid something useful in life.

That’s all for today!  As always, your comments (hopefully sarcastic) are always welcome.

Pajamas in Public…Just Say No!

  I recently wrote about my travels to Kauai and how I disliked the airline system now.  Upon talking with my friend today, he mentioned that I had totally forgotten to mention how much I hate passengers who wear their pajamas while traveling.  Mind you, it isn’t just airline travel I see this trend happening in.  I also notice it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, and even at my kids’ school (most often parents being the offenders of good taste).

  It floors me to see grown ups wearing Hello Kitty pajamas at 3:20 pm in the afternoon.  For example, I was walking my daughter home with her friends and two adults were putting something in their car wearing their pajama bottoms like khaki slacks.  It is 3:20 in the afternoon and I have to see your Hello Kitty pajamas?  How old are you? Three years old?

  Getting back to the air travel pajama problem, I really don’t think that as an adult I need to see your pajamas.  The only acceptable people that are allowed to wear pajamas on an airline flight are children under the age of 5.  If the kids are in Kindergarten, I’ll cut them some slack.  However, first grade and above, you need to put on your “big boy” pants and act respectful.  Heck, the next thing we’ll see is teenagers wearing diapers and pooping their pants on a cross country flight.  How would you like to sit next to that mess on a five hour flight?

  So grown up and stop wearing your pajamas around like they are a pair of jeans.  Society made sweatpants so you could wear pajama style clothes in public.  Sweatpants are marginal more acceptable to wear in public.  You really should wear sweatpants when you are working out at the gym or jogging in the park.

Places I don’t want to see you wearing your pajamas:

At my kids’ school

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Post Office

Shopping malls


Liquor stores

Pizza parlors (really any kind of restaurants)

  Again: Grow up, wear some jeans, some khaki slacks, or even a kilt or skirt.  Leave the pajamas at home so I can keep my lunch down.  Just give me one day where I don’t get grossed out by your lack of compassion to my sensitive stomach.