How to Raise a Jerk…
No one that I know would appreciate being a considered a “jerk”, and no one enjoys being in the company of a “jerk”. So when I saw this article title it caught my eye. The article was worth sharing. We all want to raise our children to be healthy positive productive members of society. Interestingly enough, I think that in our attempts to raise each child to their fullest potential, we may be unintentionally doing harm and not good.
Some leaders say too many who work hard at building children’s self-esteem are raising kids who will exhibit a lifestyle of entitlement and egotism. Other specialists say those who talk about children being innately bad are raising a generation that feels inferior and insignificant. Every expert has an opinion and it’s hard to know where the line actually is. Many promote their agenda by pushing the opposing opinion to the extreme.
One of the keys to parenting with balance is helping your children develop an attitude of humility. Every child has the potential to grow up and understand why it’s important to “put others first.” There is just a fine line between raising kids who have a healthy self-esteem and kids who are too egotistical. A life of arrogance that goes unchecked can result in a sad and lonely existence for someone, and frankly there are enough self-centered people around. How does someone develop an over inflated sense of self-worth and entitlement?
Here are a few ideas to help you effectively raise a jerk:
Protect them from the consequences of their own mistakes.
Make sure you do whatever they can do for themselves.
Keep them away from anyone who thinks differently than they do.
Try to give them everything they want.
Tell them over and over again you just want them to be happy.
Convince them that they are more special than other kids.
Always take their side when they get in trouble with their teacher at school.
Always take their side whenever they are in a conflict with a friend.
Keep insisting that they are the best player on the team.
Don’t give them consistent opportunities to help or serve other people.
Never require them to do chores.
Reinforce their prejudices about people from different cultures or backgrounds.
Make your relationship with them more important than your relationship with your spouse.
Teach them that life is always fair
Rarely express genuine gratitude to those who help you.
Teach them to talk more than they listen.
Never let them hear you say “I was wrong. I am sorry.”
This blog is not intended to produce guilt or shame, and I am certainly guilty of many of the items on this list! It was just eye-opening and a different perspective than most philosophies out there right now. I do believe that we are asked to humble ourselves…and teach our children humility. It starts with me admitting when I am wrong, and walking my child through disappointments instead of washing them away with words. It means investing the time to teach them deep character traits…even ones that may create or cause pain. I would love to raise a child that looked to the interests of others first, who did not have to be the best, who could handle disappointment, and who did not believe they were entitled to all that the world has to offer. Betting you would too.
May you be a blessing and may you be blessed!