Unsolicited Advice—Parenting

 

“My kid’s dad is a total asshole. He’s always trying to get out of paying for stuff, he never wants to actually see his child, and when he does have the kid he totally neglects them so he can do his selfish BS. He never wanted a baby, and when I got pregnant he totally freaked out and ran off, pretty much ruining my life. Oh hey, sweetie, dinner’s almost ready—go wash your hands.”

Does this sound like you? Well if it does, I have some unsolicited advice.

First of all, you do have my sympathy. It’s hard feeling like you’re on your own, especially when the stakes are so high. HOWEVER, you are not doing your child any favors by bashing their other parent right in front of them—and you’re setting up a pile of issues that will affect you both for the rest of your lives.

When you’re a kid, things should be simple. Kids should feel safe, see their parents modeling stable behavior, and shouldn’t need to negotiate a world of politics and loyalty. Kids should be allowed to believe they are loved to the best of each parent’s ability. Kids should carry no guilt for causing the divide between their parents or for ruining their parents’ lives. Kids should be taught to be polite and to communicate with respect.

Kids need that bubble, even if creating it means shielding them from the truth about their possibly douchy parent. Without the bubble, they stress out and start messing up in various ways as they try to please both sides. Ultimately it will affect every area of their lives, from peer groups to relationships to school work. If you can spare them that chaos, they’ll eventually grow up and see that Dad didn’t put them first, and appreciate that you did.

On the flip side, douche-Dad, maybe it’s time you thought about things from your kid’s perspective. Wouldn’t it be great to have a dad who shows you he cares, and protects you from creating bad habits? Wouldn’t it be great to have a dad who treats women with respect and helps out when he can? A dad who makes memories with you and has heart-to-heart talks?

How about turning off the electronics during your precious parenting time, instead of relying on them to keep your kid out of your hair? FYI—there is a thing called Rule 34: pornography or sexually-related material exists for any conceivable subject. If you let your 6-year-old daughter loose on the Internet searching for My LIttle Pony videos, she will come home to her mom with lovely anecdotes like “I saw a video, and the pony said ‘My daddy makes me shove broken glass up my vagina.’” Yeah, that ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

In conclusion: putting your child’s needs first will make your life better in the long run. Don’t lay all your drama in front of them, and don’t let them be scarred by disgusting pony-porn when they’re 6 years old.

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