guidelines for child-rearing


As a parent, I have a responsibility to equip my offspring to deal with life in an effective way. Lots of people feel this way about parenthood, and fear for their little ones being influenced by dangerous ideas they know are wrong. Now, I have a pesky habit of arrogantly thinking I’m right all the time. I’ve noticed a lot of other people feel this way too, and I’m quite sure we can’t all be right. Therefore, someone is wrong. I don’t think it’s me, but then no-one else thinks it them. How do we resolve this dilemma?

1. feel free to discuss your dearly held beliefs with your children, but present them as an opinion, not fact, e.g. I will tell my child I don’t believe invisible deities exist in another dimension but that many people in the world do believe this to be the case.

2. allow your child to mix with other children from different backgrounds and receive instruction from adults who aren’t like you, e.g. don’t homeschool your children and restrict their input to what you know or what they can find on the strictly controlled computer.

3. let your child choose to do things that interest them, not things that interest you, e.g. take your child to a library and let them choose the books, don’t pick out books you think they should be reading OR if they don’t like reading, take them to the park.

4. encourage your child to analyse situations and think critically, e.g. discuss issues for which there are no ‘correct’ answers (even if you secretly think there are), explore different opinions and listen to their take on the subject.

5. brace yourself for them turning out to be the opposite of what you’d imagined and accept that it’s their life.

If you are unable to follow these simple guidelines, consider retraining as a computer programmer and buy a robot.