Gonzo Parenting

A happy family

Familiarity breeds contempt, and the proof of this is nowhere more evident than in the child who has been brought up to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The Terrible Twos pale by comparison, because where the two-year-old is merely exercising his resolve, the truth-telling adolescent is capable of destroying relationships with brutal, carefully-timed revelations concerning things she has seen and heard over the years. Dad's drunken tirades, or Mom's overt flirtations with the milkman, for example.

If the revelations are delivered when no one else is around, the effects may be limited to extended periods of icy silence from the parent, and revocation of the child's eating privileges. But when the payload is dropped in the presence of friends — or worse yet, significant others — all the damage-control efforts in the world generally lead to nothing but increased suspicion. After all, were there nothing to the allegations, the parent wouldn't have become so flustered — or perhaps enraged — at the child's accusations.

This is why it's so important to lie to the child from the start. Young children are easily influenced, but infancy is the best time to begin the programming regimen. At that stage of life the slate is virtually blank, so even basic responses such as smiling and cooing can be discouraged. This makes it far easier to manipulate common truths later on, such as the difference between black and white, left and right, or up and down.

Using this simple technique, the successful parent will experience none of the irritation and adversity that so often plague the modern parent-child relationship. Regardless of what the child might see or hear, any attempt at expressing it to others will result only in quizzical looks, awkward laughter, and eventually the wholesale dismissal of the child's credibility.


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