© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

Don't Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them

December 19, 2018

In a prior life, when living on Lake Brazos, friends were often invited over to enjoy the water. Some of the guests were more memorable than others. I remember one pre-schooler who was such a little jerk, his family never got another invitation. I was reminded of him when reading Jordan Peterson's best selling book, 12 Rules For Life. Rule #5 is "Don't Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them." His premise is that if you let your children get away with doing things that annoy you, just think about what effect the little monsters will have on other people who care much less about them. Those folks will punish them, severely, by omission or commission. Don't allow that to happen.

 

Peterson's first principle for parents in the chapter is to limit the rules for children so as to keep it simple. He then gives some suggested rules. I can find no fault with any of them.

 

   * Do not bite, kick or hit, except in self-defense.

 

   * Do not torture and bully other children, so you don't end up in jail.

 

   * Eat in a civilized and thankful manner, so that people are happy to have you at their house and pleased to feed you.

 

   * Learn to share, so other kids will play with you.

 

   * Pay attention when spoken to by adults, so they don't hate you and might therefore deign to teach you something.

 

   * Go to sleep properly, and peaceably, so that your parents can have a private life and not resent your existence.

 

   * Take care of your belongings, because you need to learn how and because you're lucky to have them.

 

   * Be good company when something fun is happening, so that you're invited for the fun.

 

   * Act so that other people are happy you're around, so that people will want you around.

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