How to Traumatize Your Children! - A Handy Guide
They say knowledge is power. They also say ignorance is a bliss. So, basically, that means that you can find a good quote for any claim you make! Today, I proclaim the power of knowledge.
This little book taught me something. Seriously, for the short 144 pages, it’s packed with invaluable advice on parenting. It’s smartly disguised in grotesque sarcasm, which makes it that much more fun to read, and no less wise.
The very first piece of infinite wisdom relaxes you into being less stressed as a parent. Because you are guaranteed to screw up! And this book begins by giving you a peace of mind that no matter how hard you try, you will screw up. We all know it, yet we often forget. How comforting it is to be reminded that being a parent doesn’t make you immune from making mistakes! Seriously, acknowledging you can't do it perfectly is very comforting. Kinda like chicken soup.
The next excellent point in this book is the reminder that our mistakes have the potential to make our children stronger. Quite literally:
Letting go of perfectionism and accepting the fact that some of our mistakes as parents can actually have a positive impact on our children is extremely reassuring. I'll go as far as admitting that it makes me want to be a better parent. I want to try harder knowing I'll screw up and it's not the end of the world.
Seven traumatizing styles are identified in the book: controller, pusher, narcissist, indulger, best friend, self-esteem killer, and neglector. Each chapter describes the traits of the style and likely traits the child will develop as a result. The first time I read the book (yes, I read it multiple times), I laughed out loud at the descriptions of parental behavior! It was hilarious! Until I hit my traumatizing style. At which point, I scratched my head and thought, well... it's not entirely unreasonable... Or is it?... Food for thought!
More food for thought is provided in disturbing statistics and celebrity quotes. There is also a list of movies by traumatizing style. I love drama (on TV, too), so several titles immediately made it onto my personal watchlist. Now I can deepen my skills by watching traumatization played out by professionals, or just identify with the trauma by sparing a minute (or hours) from actually inflicting trauma.
I’m not going to spoil the ultimate joy of reading this masterpiece by revealing too much. Read it yourself. It's worth it.