Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parenting Manuals need my chapter

In a world fraught with contradicting advice to parents, let my advice read loud and clear.

If your child is over 1 year old, or for all you minivan driving, month-loving, suburbanites, 12 months, take the binky away and close up shop on the boobies.  

Last week, after a great Friday, I stepped outside and took a fresh air getting walk.  On my walk I discovered a mother and her son.  I stopped and chatted.  I learned, they too, were out getting some fresh air on a glorious sunny day in Cleveland. 

This mother and son seemed like every other ordinary mom-son combo, except that this mother's son was about 3, almost 4 and was sucking on a pacifier like some porn star to Ron Jeremy.  As we parted ways I couldn't help but just shake my head.  Why would this parent allow that pacifier after age 4 [that's 48 months for all you hippies out there]?

I wish I could say that this woman is the only woman I've seen letting their child suck on a pacifier.  Out in suburbia, this seems to be a trend. 

As parents we have an obligation to raise children to be productive members of society.  Children need to be active participants in their own lives.   After age 1 [that's 12 months for you hippies] the pacifier is a 'shut up' tool.  Instead of teaching your kids how to be quiet when appropriate, and doing what they are told with out back talk, you shove that pacifier in their mouth to shut them up.  How is this teaching manners?  How are you helping your child learn proper behavior?  These parents are teaching their children to be socially retarded.

I am just disgusted with this trend of not harming your child's psyche.  I can hear all you sheep parents out there, "...child will get depressed if I take that security away..." or "...my child won't know how to handle it well.."  Guess what?  It's called life.  Get used to it.

If we let our kids hold onto their pacifiers, it can give them a false sense of entitlement, and not to mention all the dental problems that go along with this whole argument. 

So why such a big deal over pacifiers?  Well it's just like what the Republicans call a pot, a gateway drug.  Ask George W. Bush, he knows. 

If you don't tell your child no, the it will get even harder when they learn how to talk.  You have to teach your kids things like, no, just like you teach your kids, yes. 

There was this book about potty training your child in 24 hours I once read.  I said, "..Often it is the parent who isn't ready rather than the child..." I think this holds true for this whole binky thing.

Often, 1st time parents have a hard time letting go of the baby phase as they grow into the toddler phase.  Again, often times it is the first born with the biggest sense of entitlement, because all those parents read what to expect when your expecting and study it like some born-again Christian studies the Bible, and thumps it like some televangelist.  

So to all those parents who might be reading this and say, "This guy has no clue" let me say this.  I am the father of 2 kids and I have a 11 year old step-daughter from my first marriage.  My first, Audrey, just celebrated her 8th birthday [96 months for you month-loving hippies] and I also have a 6 month old [today].  My oldest, on her first birthday, was taken off a bottle and onto a sippy cup.  Her pacifiers were unceremoniously thrown away, and that was the end of it.  No cute ceremonies, or stories of placing them on the Christmas tree so that Santa can use them for all the babies.  No.  We said no more, and that was that.  What is wrong with telling your child no?  Jesus Christ, get some balls! 

Was it a long few weeks as she adjusted?  You bet your ass it was, but it was a matter of resolve.  Did my daughter slip into a deep depression and start cutting her wrists while she wore black lipstick and listened to Marylin Manson through the incense cloud?  No.  You can see the affects of the quick change today.  She can handle change like no other child on this Earth.  She has small bouts of shyness that is quickly overcome.  She isn't a baby and order off the kids menu all the time either.  She was potty trained in just 1 day [for you hippies, that's 24 hours].  She is a well adjusted, great kid.  She is the best behaved kid I have ever seen.  She can interact with adults and with other kids. 

I not only talk the game, but I'm the fucking world champion.   

**picture credit here**


Vodka Logic said...

I have met Adams two children and he is right Audrey is a lovely little girl and very mature and articulate.

Great blog and I love how you hold nothing back. Where were you 14 years ago when I had a binky addicted baby.

my oldest spit hers out at 2 months and would have nothing to do with it after. She slept thru the night at 3.5 weeks and is still and "easy" child.

The next child was completely different!!! She loved her binky.. it was crack to her. I honestly don't remember the day I stopped letting her have it in public but around a year I imagine. I allowed it at home and nap time..at some point she was only allowed it at night time. I would say that was a few years.. yeah whatever you come and try and get her to sleep. She is still a terrible sleeper at 15 years old. [she gets it from me]

In parents defense they give the babies binkies in the hospital, parents think they are the right thing.

Anyway off my soap box.

Sourire11 said...

Ok that you directed this post at me shows you how little you know about me or my situation. And your right. It pisses me off.

Because it’s the one type of parenting I think is complete Bullshit:

Competitive Parenting.

It is not a competition. Period. I see no difference between the dick measuring contests over how long a child is breastfed and the self-congratulatory preening over taking away everything at 12 months. Because they are both done with the same attitude: If you don’t do things exactly how I did it you are a BAD PARENT.

Um. NO.

A whole lot more goes into being a good/bad parent than when and how you deal with this one issue.

And whole lot more goes into this than the arbitrary milestones that we set.

And yes you are using those same milestones as the month-loving hippies. Nothing magically changes at 1 year. It’s a date on a calendar. And if it makes sense to do something for more or less time than that random date than that’s what should be done.

If your readers want to know more about my situation, though it’s this: My daughter’s first birthday is next week. She stopped nursing a few months ago, hasn’t had a pacifier since she was a newborn , and won’t drink milk unless it’s through a bottle. Until my pediatrician (Not some random who knows how to work a blog) tells me she doesn’t need the milk she’s getting a bottle.

And if you have a problem with that well then fuck you.

Leah said...

I know you don't remember this, because you were about 21 months old....that's 1 & 3/4 yrs for you modern parents, when grandpa was finally able to get your binky away from you. As a family we were going through some very traumatic times....divorce, illness, and a new baby brother. The only stable thing you had for comfort in your life at that time was your binky and your grandpa. As you would lay down for your nap grandpa would climb into the playpen with you and cuddle as you tucked your ears in and fell asleep...that's how you finally were able to give up the binky. And potty training......do we have to go there???? Life's bumps at that tender age were hard on you. But I must say....I ALWAYS got compliments on how well mannered and behaved my boys were no matter where we were, so I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'm proud of you! You're a good dad!

Tricycle said...

I'm not a parent to any human child so I am sure I have no standing among you parents. And I know better than to comment on other people's child-raising [sorry Adam!] because I always hear 'you don't have one so you don't know what it's like'...blah blah blah. But as I was reading this two images popped into my head. The first was a corporate boardroom filled with executives and if the boss didn't like what one of them were saying he would just pop a pacifier into the offender's mouth to get them to shut up! :P The other was of the E-trade babies all goth'ed up with black lipstick and heavy eyeliner, listening to emo music, curled up on the floor with a lifeless look in their eyes as they stare at a picture of a younger them with a pacifier in their mouth.

Parenting is a tough thing...not an endeavor I personally choose to undertake. But I do agree that there is a time in the kid's life where they need to move [or be pushed] onto the next stage of life.

Leah said...

I have to add....your big brother gave up his binky at 12 months ONLY because he was a binky snob and would only take the Nuk binky which was new on the market and hard to find. When we lost his coveted binky and couldn't find another in any stores after 3 days we decided he no longer needed it. That was a very tough time!! Your little brother would have nothing to do with a binky after 4 months. It depends a lot on the kid and life's situations. Potty training.... Your big brother took about a month.... your little brother took less than a week.....I won't embarrass you and remind you how long it took you....but life's circumstances had a lot to do with that. So, we can't always go by a calendar in child development....everyone is different as are the circumstances. And bottle vs. sippy cup....back in the day we didn't have the sippy cups of today so a bottle until 2 was the norm. Then there are the breastfeeding Natzi's who believe breastfeeding until age 5 is a good thing. But that can get very embarrassing for mom when her son brings home his kindergarten pal for lunch!! Breastfeeding until the baby has teeth sounds reasonable and painless. I believe that a binky after age 2 and diapers after age 3 is a sign of a wimpy parent.

Will Burke said...

Do you find that younger kids want to regress when they see younger kids with their pacifiers & bottles?

Anonymous said...

wow, can I just say I think God had the right idea when I wound up NOT being a parent?

sheez - there is a lot of energy & anger going on here. Um, is that good for any kids? I'm not a parent, so I have limited right to comment. I will say that in general, I like to try & follow a "Live and Let Live" attitude.

So while y'all debate to bink or not to bink I will ask you to see if you can come to a unified solution regarding what I see as a more pressing issue - the Minivan. The lumbering aesthetic scourge of the planet.

What are the chances you can agree to get rid of them? Because I can't see around them on the road, and they all seem to want to travel at at LEAST 10mph slower than I want to. Of course, I always seem to be stuck behind them. Let me know what alternatives you guys come up with. Pul-heez!

Adam, when did you become such a hippie hater? Seriously, are there ANY hippies in your suburb? Pick-up driving NASCAR fans, yes, but hippies? I think you need to go another 10 miles down the road to Oberlin. I kinda dig the hippie thing - the whole vegetarian hacky-sac playing trustifarian scene is fun to watch.

Sooo.. Kasey's Kawfee Tawlk.... tawlk amounghst yahselves - The Minivan is NOT mini. DISCUSS

Vodka Logic said...

Adam your mom rocks and she is sooo right about life situations at the time. I would like to add baby personalities.

Kasey you are too funny, and live and live is a great motto for most things.

I am proud to say I have never owned a minivan I am now suburbanite with a Subaru.. made in the US btw Adam.. love you too...

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

My oldest would have nothing to do with it and my youngest we told her we threw it away in the trash and she said okay...that was at the age of two.

I think again it is different for everyone, but there is a point where u have to take the baby things away.

And you are right...it's usually the parents who aren't ready for it :)

Joe G said...

My mom never let me have a binky so I completely understand where you are coming from. Not only that but many of the points you make lead to the entitlement attitude that so many people seem to have these days. Apparently everything is now a right and not a privilege.

KLZ said...

HA! You got me. I feel like maybe you were eavesdropping in my house last night.

I'm a first time parent and I was talking to my husband last night. Our son will be 6 months on Thursday. We just sort of got the sleep thing under control. I can't IMAGINE going through it again - I'm still pretty damned tired. I said "What is I keep breastfeeding him just at night when he turns one?"

But I knew then, and I know now, and I needed to read this, that I was considering it for my own lazy ass. My own lazy ass who didn't want to read another damned thing about sleep techniques or schedules. I figured I'd probably do the research and stop breastfeeding in the end...I can't stand the idea of having an unnecessarily whiny child....but it's always good to get a good kick in the pants and remember what my job is here.

KLZ said...


Have you seen this?


mamaof2girls said...

Adam, I thought this was very very good...If I may put my two cents in I am going to do so....

The point here is not to traumatize a kid to take their favorite thing away it to step up and teach your child what is socially acceptable. Not all things that are socially acceptable goes with what we believe but with my years of being a mom it makes it much easier on my daughters to understand what is right and wrong when in a social situation. And for that I am proud of the fact that I have two extremely well adjusted daughters who didnt need a plug in public. This is my opinion and my opinion only but a nuk for a kid over the age of 2 is a crutch for the parent...makes their life easier because by the time they hit that age ANY kid should be able to know how to act with out the plug.

Yankee Girl said...

Great post. I admire you for being so open and honest.

I don't have kids so I really can't make an educated comment, because YES, there is a difference between an opinion and an educated opinion, but I hope when I am a mother, the boobies are locked up after 6 months and binkys (binkies?) won't even be allowed in the house AT ALL.

Heather said...

I meant to comment on this earlier. You make great points and I never have to wonder where you are coming from. That is one thing I really respect about you. That being said, With my daughter i did the majority of the things that you suggested. It worked, but she is totally different from her brother. As you know, my son was recently diagnosed with Autism. This makes many things from taking away the bottle to feeding very difficult. We actually have to deal with occupational and speech therapists in order to get him to a point where he can be more at his age level. Because of this, I have to say that your mom, as usual, makes great points and makes mine for me. All kids are different. If we are all dealing with typical kids, than your advice is great. However, if you are dealing with a special needs/developmentally delayed child, like I am, you have to do things differently.