Children are stupid
(or a guide to better parenting)
Wednesday Ramblings..
Stabroek News
April 23, 2003

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It is politically incorrect to make any criticism of children. That was clear from the angry letters this column received after debating the merits of the "Say Yes to Children" campaign. We stand firmly by our position that really it should be "Say No to Children" as in "No you can't go to KFC" and "No! you cannot go to bed at two in the morning!" At most it should be "Say! Maybe" although this strategy is as good as telling a child yes. "Maybe you can get pizza for dinner if you are good" and they can be as rotten as they like and you will have to give in. Even saying "probably not" is as good as a green light. The Say Yes Campaign seriously undermined the work of parents and we continue to resist its efforts.

Now why are children stupid? Well, for one they spend a minimum of 12 years in school learning such simple things as how to read and write. These are achievements us more superior adults mastered years ago. A whole ministry has to be set up to look after them at huge expense to us taxpayers which could be better spent on promoting beer consumption and other worthy causes.

Give an infant two bottle tops and tell her to add them up - a simple 1+1 calculation - and she ends up putting them in her mouth and nearly choking. Is that intelligent? Older children instead of being smarter make even sillier mistakes. Despite numerous signs around swimming pools stating clearly that running is prohibited and repeated advice from their parents to "Don't run!" there is not a child in the world who does not run around the slippery edge of the swimming pool in their excitement to jump in the deep end and almost drown. And sure enough your precious sweetheart falls down and knocks his crown and comes running to Mamma bawling his eyes out and with a huge bump on his head. The normal reaction is to rub it better or put a hot noni leaf on it but what should really happen is they should be immediately forced to sign a declaration - upon punishment of death - that they will not do it again.

Other very silly things children do is to stand on rocking chairs and then fall over and chip your brand new coffee table with their teeth. Do you see adults standing on rocking chairs? Of course not. We are smarter than that. Look at the whole eating issue. Children fail to realise that if they don't eat they will die. This is not a debatable point. But still you have to sit at the dinner table and every few minutes say "Eat Your Food!" over and over with additional requests such as "Don't just eat the french fries, eat the salad too." After a time parents can simply make a tape recording of themselves and switch it on. "Eat up! Get your elbows off the table! Sit properly! Stop pinching your sister!"

Apart from being stupid, children are highly unprincipled, amoral and largely a bunch of liars. Have a child promise not to swing his Yo Yo around in the house and five minutes later he is back whirling it around his head like he is in the Olympic hammer throwing finals until..ooops... he breaks your cherished lamp. Children can turn pretty much anything into a weapon of mass destruction and like Saddam Hussein refuse to own up to their violations of internationally recognised treaties.

Why children write on walls is also a mystery but they do and if detected, hardly ever admit to such activity even if their name - no matter how badly spelt - is there for the world to see. Hang them by their thumbs, strap them to a mediaeval stretching rack and like martyred saints they will stoically deny any involvement. Even the threat of severe sanctions such as no more ice-cream on the weekends will not work. And tell them that you just want to know and won't punish them, they still will not own up. That is because they realise that you can be as treacherous as they are.

All in all children are a terrible bother and it is only that we hope they will grow up to be doctors and lawyers so as to support us in our old age that many parents continue to look after them. Buying them shoes and clothes is also a terrible expense given that they have the annoying habit of growing all the time.

We hope this article has given you a deeper understanding and appreciation of your offspring and will help with the difficult task of parenting. Next week we will discuss the constraints of the Reverse Psychology Approach as in 'Don't do you homework"; and "How to Deny Your Children a College Education and Spend the Money on a Holiday Home Instead."

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