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. But there is a way to keep it alive…
The terrible twos and the threenage wasteland and the eff-you fours go a long way towards revealing the flaws in your child’s behavior and, potentially, their ultimate personality. But just because your kid sometimes sucks doesn’t mean they’re doomed.
It’s possible to convince yourself that the negative traits the apple of your eye is displaying at the tender age of three or five or seven are a good thing, and will actually serve them well as an adult. It’s glass half-full parenting!
Make no mistake: if 2017 is has been any indication, hope is dead and optimism is futile. You’re definitely kidding yourself, but hey, self-delusion is a key aspect of surviving as a parent! Besides, you could get lucky: depending on your kid’s path in life, their worst traits might help them be successful!
Because while we parents 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 it’s possible your kid’s jerk personality will actually be a boon when they get older.
Here are a few examples of terrible behavior that might pay dividends down the line, especially if your kid grows up to pursue a career in politics.
Glass Half-Full Parenting
- 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 7-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?
- 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 their cards right, they just might end up securing the Republican nomination for president!
- They throw fits when they don’t get their way: Pure Congress material! The kid clearly has a bright future obstructing others from accomplishing worthwhile goals merely because they are spiteful, petty, and selfish. Count your blessings!
- They refuse to budge, literally and figuratively: Sometimes when my 7-year-old doesn’t want to go somewhere or do something, he’ll not only refuse, but 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 something? Let’s be honest, the world’s biggest assholes all enter politics. There’s no other option.
See? Don’t be too hard on your defiant little tyrant. With glass half-full parenting, you can imagine that one day, those personality traits you find most obnoxious and most difficult to deal with will be the very attributes that get him elected to public office and/or the subject of investigations and indictments. Hooray!
Kids and adults aren’t all that different really. The primary difference — besides bills and responsibilities and being mostly dead inside — is that adults learn how to control their emotions, at least in public, most of the time, not including while driving or when drunk.
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. But not in the Oval Office!
I’m sorry, going into politics isn’t exactly a dream scenario for everyone, especially right now. So I guess some of this isn’t exactly glass half-full parenting after all… unless you consider a future of getting paid a ton for doing nothing besides making sure the gun lobby is satisfied a good thing!
A slightly different version of this post originally appeared on Scary Mommy