One of the great lies that many parents tell themselves is that their kid is perfect.
You know how it is — they’re your little angel and can do no wrong. They’re the cutest baby in the world, and you’re pretty certain they started walking and talking before everyone else’s baby because they’re so smart. Bow down before the greatest child who has ever lived!
This delusion gets harder to maintain as your child gets older and the things they can — and do — do wrong start piling up. Luckily, there’s a chance their insufferable behavior will set them up for success!
The terrible twos and the threenage years and the eff-you fours go a long way towards revealing the flaws in your child’s behavior and puncturing the idealized vision of parenthood you may have one day entertained. But have no fear — there are ways to overcome and push through the challenge of acknowledging your child’s flaws so you can continue to pretend they are God’s gift.
One such way is convincing yourself that the negative traits the apple of your eye is displaying at the tender age of three or five or seven will actually serve them well as an adult. And depending on their path in life, you might actually be right!
Because while we all do our best to teach our kids well and raise kind, generous, open-minded individuals, we all know the real world is quite flawed, and in many cases, nice guys finish last. So maybe your kid’s dickhead personality will actually be a boon when s/he gets older!
I made a list of some few examples of some typical terrible behavior by kids Detective Munch’s age that makes life miserable now but might pay dividends down the line. Especially if your kid chooses to pursue a career in politics!
- They don’t take “no” for an answer.
Perseverance is an important trait and can help them overcome challenges and become a successful person who isn’t easily deterred and is willing to fight for what they want.
- They don’t take “yes” for an answer.
My 6-year-old is rarely satisfied. He always wants more. As a child, it’s obnoxious and ungrateful. As an adult, he’ll be among the 1%! Greed is good!
- They never stop talking.
I’m actually not sure how this translates into a positive adult trait. Maybe if they need to filibuster in Congress? I just hope there still is a Congress by then!
- They do whatever they want because they “like it” and “want to.”
Doing whatever you want whenever you want regardless of the context or consequences is not something most adults can get away with, but if your little one plays his or her cards right, many people are saying s/he might just end up becoming President!
- They throw fits when they don’t get their way.
Again, the kid clearly has a bright future in politics. Count your blessings! And keep track of your kid’s enemies! Actually don’t. Your kid probably has that covered already, the little psychopath. We’ll find out at his first press conference.
- They refuse to budge, literally and figuratively.
Sometimes when Detective Munch doesn’t want to go somewhere or do something, he’ll not only refuse, he will also make his body like jello so he has to be dragged. I hate to keep relating this to politics, so instead let’s say he’ll maybe have a future as, I dunno, a hockey goalie or maybe like one of those tree-hugger environmentalists or something? Ugh, never mind. We all know the world’s biggest assholes all enter politics. There’s really no other positive outcome from this behavior besides one day running the most powerful country in the world. SAD!
Children and adults aren’t all that different really. We often feel the same way as our kids – and would probably even have many of the same reactions they do – except for the fact that we’ve grown up constrained by the tiresome rules of civility and decorum. But even then, most of us would probably still throw tantrums if it weren’t so humiliating and wouldn’t get us fired-slash-divorced-slash-arrested-slash-committed.
The primary difference between us and our kids — besides bills and responsibilities and being mostly dead inside — is that we’ve learned how to control our emotions, at least in public, most of the time, not including while driving or when drunk. Because if we don’t, we’d destroy our own lives and/or win the presidency by the largest margin of all time and/or just say that all the time even though it’s not even close to being true!
So don’t be too hard on your defiant little tyrant. Some day, the tiny jerk will either grow out of those personality traits you find so obnoxious and difficult to deal with, or those will be the very attributes that get him or her elected to public office!
A slightly modified version of this post originally ran on Scary Mommy.