It was recently brought to my attention by a few blog commenters that baking cookies with my kids is an unhealthy choice of activity. Actually, I think the exact word used was “destructive.” Basically, I’d shared a post recounting a “fat day,” on which the shadow of my eating disorder was being a particular bitch. Instead of allowing the critical self-talk to send me back into a spiral of unhealthy behavior, I’d chosen to focus my energies on bonding with my kids. I mentioned that we baked cookies.
BIG MISTAKE. Apparently, I wasn’t just baking cookies with my kids. I was setting a poor example for them by not “loving myself” or “taking care of myself and my body.” I was teaching them that it’s OK to ignore the inner critic inside of you, the one that tries to goad you back toward destructive behavior. I was letting them believe that — gasp! — it’s perfectly acceptable to eat a damn cookie every once in awhile.
Thank God someone pointed out my misguided thinking. I would hate to continue to set a poor example for my children. They should probably know that baking and eating cookies is irresponsible and could land them in the same position as those hyperbolically overweight humans riding around in hovercrafts at the end of Wall-E.
This refreshing revelation got me thinking about some of the other “fun” things I do with my kids, and how those activities might negatively affect them in the long run. It seems I’ve been parenting irresponsibly for quite some time now.
What can I say? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And, apparently, cookie dough.
For those of you looking to join in on the destructive parenting trend, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of ways to do so. Here are 21 activities you should do with your kids if you really want to screw them up.
1. Bake cookies. If you want them to be fat and lazy.
2. Take them to the zoo. If you want to teach them that captivity and bondage are amusing concepts. You might as well just start reading 50 Shades of Grey to them at bedtime.
3. Fly a kite. If you want to instill a disrespect for nature. What if it gets stuck in a tree? BOOM. Littering. Or, worse, what if a bird flies into the string, strangles itself, and dies? You’re basically raising animal abusers. Before you know it, they’ll be throwing plastic six-pack rings into the ocean to murder all the dolphins.
4. Push them on the swings. If you’re really stupid. I mean, whoa. You’re doing two taboo things here: (1) teaching them that it’s OK — fun, even — to push people, and (2) encouraging them to be “swingers.” Bullying and sexual promiscuity for the double-win.
5. Allow them to race their Hot Wheels down one of those plastic racetracks. If you want to bail them out of jail for reckless driving someday. On that note:
6. Hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru while you’re out running errands and split a milkshake. If you want them to think it’s cool to drink and drive.
7. Draw with sidewalk chalk. If you want to raise graffiti-loving hoodlums. If they’re not incarcerated for the reckless driving or a DUI (see above), they may end up in the slammer for defacing public property.
8. Build a fort. If you want to mold them into deranged sociopaths by encouraging seclusion and unhealthy antisocial behavior.
9. Take them to the library and let them pick out a few books. If you want to raise shoplifters.
10. Play dress up. If you want to lay the foundation for a life dedicated to sleazy identity theft.
11. Take them to a fast food place with a play area and allow them to hang out in the ball pit. If you want them to know it’s cool to play with someone else’s balls. IN PUBLIC.
12. Play a card game together. If you want them to end up in Gamblers Anonymous.
13. Play tag and/or hide and seek. If you want them to learn to hide or run away from their problems.
14. Start a (leaf, stamp, rock, etc.) collection. If you want to see them on Hoarders: Buried Alive one day.
15. Play with puppets. If you want them to think they have the right to speak for someone else.
Note: If you have a son and pretend it’s a girl puppet, you’ll be raising the quintessential anti-feminist, male chauvinist. You’ll also be implying that it’s perfectly acceptable to shove his hand up some random girl’s hoo-ha.
16. Exercise together. If you want them to develop an unhealthy exercise addiction and body image issues.
17. Push them in the stroller. If you want them to grow up to be lazy bums always looking for a free ride.
18. Play Simon Says. If you want to raise little dictators. Better yet, just change the name of the game to Adolf Says.
19. Plant a garden. If you want to inspire them to start their own marijuana plantation. You’ll want to really focus on the weed-pulling aspect.
20. Go for a bike ride. If you want them to join a motorcycle gang when they’re older.
21. Write a bitchy, satirical article exposing the ludicrousness of some random sanctimommy’s unsolicited advice. If you want to teach them not to give a fuck about what other people think. (This one won’t actually screw them up … I hope.)
Related post: Smoking Pot Doesn’t Make Me a Bad Mother