Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raising Insecure Children in a Few Easy Steps

It's not an easy thing to do, you know, instilling a sufficient sense of insecurity in one's children. Especially when they're so confident to start out with. But I, the most extraordinary of mothers, have apparently managed it! Want to know my secrets? Today is your lucky day, as I'm ready and willing to spill it all.

You have to start early in life, like when they're first born, by doing everything for them. Of course they seem to expect this as a natural occurence so it's not too difficult to accomplish the first step. They key to heading into the second step is to keep doing everything for them!

This can be difficult, as too many toddlers are under the impression they can do things for themselves. One should certainly allow them to accomplish a few things, you know, to keep them from realizing what you're really doing. For example, I let my kids pick out their own clothes. But then I look them up and down, shake my head, and say, "Do you really think that goes together?"

Suddenly they're filled with doubt, ask Mom's opinion, and begin to rely on me just a tad more than before. Sneaky, I know. My methods are truly subtle.

As they get a little older you keep doing the same thing, but add a new level. Every time they ask to help, you allow them to do just a little, then suddenly take over when they think they're getting the hang of it. The next time they ask to help you shake your head and say, "Maybe next time, honey. I know what I'm doing and can do it faster." This way kids eventually stop asking to help and find themselves convinced Mom really can do it better and faster, and should continue to do so for the rest of her life!

Eventually kids begin to think their friends know more than their mother. I know...but kids are just silly. This can be used to your advantage as well, as their friends will utterly be proven wrong at some point. So the next step is a little more complicated, for you have to combine argumentative with patience. All the time you're chirping in your child's ear how wrong his/her friend is, you have to wait until that friend is (at last!) proven to be wrong. Or mean. Or more wrong! Then you can take your child in your arms and say, "See? I was right all along." Not only will you come across as loving, but your child will begin to realize in ways never to be proven before how much you really do know about the inner and outer workings of this crazy life. Dependance upon your constant wisdom will be secured!

The last step is to be all knowing. Not too hard for us moms, right? This is as easy as finding a missing shoe/backpack/book, etc. We all know kiddies aren't the greatest searchers (unless they're looking for your stash of chocolate), so the last step is to hide one of the shoes. They'll search their room over, becoming increasingly frantic, until your assistance is at last called upon. Then you swoop in, distract them by making them look under the bed, then magically find the shoe right underneath the blanket they've all ready searched. It's brilliant I tell you! Before you know it, they won't even bother looking under blankets. They'll just make a cursory search of the obvious, then immediately call you in for help while they finish watching the last few minutes of kids shows before school starts.

Before you know it, your child will look to see what you think of every outfit. She'll immediately change her opinion to meet your own on any subject. He won't even try to look for a missing shoe without first enlisting, then entirely depending upon, you! Your mission will be comlete. You will have an entire posse of children who believe they can do great things like sing in front of everyone at church, can even make their own bowl of Double Noodle Soup, but when it comes to basics like having enough confidence in his/herself to know he/she can ace a math test, read a book, or tie their own shoelaces, your mission will be complete. They won't be able to do any of it without your constant supervision!

I had no idea this was my ultimate goal, but I've apparently done a really good job of it. I just thought I'd pop in and share my wisdom with the world.


Cynthia said...

You are so funny! It makes me think of something I recently heard in our Stake conference, "the most selfish mother does all the work herself."

Jen said...

This is cute! I'm not sure if it's true, but it's cute. :)