Your Girl is Gonna Have Issues


daughterI’m not going to make up some lame lie as to why I’m writing this. Either he’ll get it or not.

There is a man who is fifty years old: he is a single father bravely raising a beautiful twelve year old daughter all on his own. His eighty five year old mother lives with them too and she  helps out a lot.

Here’s the problem. This dad, I’ll call him Gary, does a great job selling cars. He makes good good money in the little town he lives in. People love him at work, then he gets home, he drinks and then all he does it make fun of his daughter, he’s a jackass, a smart ass who mocks and teases and makes fun of his own beautiful daughter. He says she’s dumb, fat (she’s very thin) she’s slow, she’s selfish. He makes fun of her and pokes and criticizes until she cries. Every night ends in tears. Nothing the girl, I’ll call her Sara, is good enough.ry is breaking the girls heart and the grandmother’s too.

Here’s the weird part. When you talk to Gary all he does is brag about his daughter, constantly. It’s incredibly annoying. And this is coming from a woman who brags about her kids a lot.

I think Gary believes his being funny, I think Gary assumes he’s funny and that his daughter is being too sensitive.  Gary is wrong. Like lots of fathers.

Here’s the deal. Dads, you have one chance with your daughters.  You gotta love them and support them.  The first thing you say in the morning should be sweet, the first thing you say when they come home from school and the last thing you say at night has to be sweet and loving. Otherwise your daughter is gonna have big ass issues.

If you don’t adore her and say sweet things and support her here’s what will happen. She’s gonna get boyfriends way too early cause she needs male approval. She’s gonna have way too much sex way too early cause she wants a man to love her and she wants to punish you. She’s gonna hate men but still chase after them because you never really acted like you loved her.

So, dumb ass dad, get your act together and love your daughter, adore her, hug her and tell her you are proud. Along the way there will be plenty of time to correct her, to tell her purple hair isn’t a great idea, to tell her she can make better grades, to tell her she can do better.  But if you love that girl your words will be heard differently, they will be coming from a place of love. And they will make a difference.

She needs you to be sweet and loving. The world is harsh and ugly and unfair. You have to be her safe place so get your freaking act together.


Beat Your Kid and They Will Love You

I was going to write about Kanye West but the video of the judge and his wife beating their daughter with a belt got to me.

I have four kids, they make As (ok a B now and then) they get scholarships to college, they are respectful and really fun to be around. They say “yes maam” and “no sir” and help do chores around the house. And not one of them has ever had a “beating”. I think I’ve given out two spankings in 23 years of parenting. Here’s the strange thing. I’m a “strict” parent because I demand my children be decent human beings. And I do it without hitting them.

I do remember one spanking. It’s a  famous Hampo story about 3 year old Mary. She pushed Jack off an ocean pier 15 feet above the water into a bunch of barracuda. He was four years old. I went in after him and when Jack and I climbed up the ladder, wet and terrified, Mary was laughing. Yes, she got a spanking.But that’s the last one I remember and it was 20 years ago).

Spankings and beatings are a lazy form of parenting. If you can’t come up with a more effective form of punishment you are an idiot.

We tell children not to hit each other or us, but we are allowed to hit them. Why is it legal for a 200 pound man to hit a 50 pound child? If he hits his wife or mother he goes to jail. But hitting a child is ok. That’s absolute bullshit. It’s also ridiculously and obviously hypocritical.

Here’s another problem with spanking/whooping. As the child gets older you have to escalate the whoopings  year after year. You can “spank” a four year old on the butt and make an impression. But by the time they are teenagers guess what you have to do to make an impression.?You have to beat them, hard, with a belt, to get their attention. That’s just inevitable.

Yes, I got spanked when I was a kid. But I’m a better parent them my parents.

If your child abuses cell phone privileges, take the phone away for a week. If they abuse the computer take it away for a month. If they don’t cut the grass they are grounded, from everything, until they finish your yard and the old ladies’ grass next door.

A smart and creative punishment makes a lot larger and longer lasting impression than a dumb ass whooping.

And the truth is, if you beat your sixteen year old daughter with a belt like Judge William Adams and his wife, she will probably fear and do what you say, but it’s doubtful she will love or respect you.