9 Things I’ll Never Do With My Kids

August 30, 2013  |  
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Before we get started let me just qualify all of this by saying I don’t have children yet. But I think about kids and how I’ll raise them all the time. And while I know you can never simulate what it’s like to have a child, I am 98 percent certain that these are things I’ll never do with my kids. I’m sure the parents in the house will have some disagreements so do feel free to share in the comments section.

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Cuss at them in the street

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve witnessed mothers cussing their toddlers out in the street. I’m talking about babies. I realize raising children is hard, frustrating work and I won’t know if my child will be one of those easygoing types or whether he or she will delight in wreaking havoc in the lives of the people who love him/her most. What I do know is, I vow not to cuss them out in the street. Now, when we’re behind closed doors I can’t make any promises. No, I kid. I would really like to go to my grave having never cussed at my children just because even when they’re behaving terribly, they deserve better than that, especially from their parents.

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Teach them to believe in Santa Claus

I know people are going to be in their feelings about this one. And I’m ok with that. I’ve detailed my reasons before , but I’ll say here briefly that I just feel like teaching kids about Santa is just flat out lying. I’m not saying I’ll never lie to my child but lying about Santa isn’t really worth it to me. I know people will say parents have to maintain a child’s innocence for as long as possible. But children are fundamentally “innocent.” They don’t have to necessarily believe in Santa to maintain that.

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Force them into performing

I’m always so horrified when I see a toddler in a tiara, wearing a pound of makeup, a set of removable veneers in her mouth and tears streaming down her face.I pray to God I don’t become one of those parents who puts my child in beauty pageants, acting classes or ballet trying to recapture my wasted youth. Sure I’ll try to place my child in a lot of activities to help them discover their gifts and abilities. But if they tell me they don’t like something or they’re not into it- we’re out.

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Disown them if they turn out to be gay

The others I’m 98 percent sure of. This gay thing I can say with 100 percent certainty. There would be nothing my child could do or be to make me disown him or her…nothing. It just doesn’t make sense to my brain. But I’ve seen too many examples of parents who will have nothing to do with their children once they find out he or she is gay. First, coming out to your parents has to be one of the hardest things to do and in a time where they need support and love, I would never want to be the person that pushed them away.

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Avoid the birds and the bees talk

Thankfully, my parents…really my mom mostly kept it real about sex. Throughout childhood and even today, I’m always shocked to learn what people’s parents didn’t tell them. I’m shocked but I get it. Seeing your child as a sexual being is terrifying…and weird. But even more terrifying is the thought that they would be misinformed by their peers and then they take those lies and start having sex. *Shudders*

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Refer to their genitals as winky or any other demeaning nickname

And on the birds and bees note, I will tell my children to call their private parts by the proper names. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I love to use words like peen, wang, the almighty D word, cooch, poon, fishy (if it stinks–not mine) etc. But those come with age and intentional immaturity. When they’re young I need them to know what it’s really called so I won’t raise a thirty year old who is afraid to say the word pen!s.

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Ride bikes without a helmet

I’m always astounded by the number of children who ride bikes, scooters, or roller blade without a helmet. And I live in New York City, where it’s nothing by cement. Why, Lord? Do you know how easy it is to fall off a bike?! I know I can’t protect my kids from everything but I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to my future child while I knowingly allowed him or her to ride without a helmet.

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[If she’s a girl] Leave her alone with a man other than her father

Ya’ll heard what Iyanla said. But even before her I got this rule from my own mother. I remember once my sister and I decided to sit on one of my uncle’s laps. My mother looked at us and immediately called us over to her. “Don’t sit in your uncle’s lap.” She didn’t provide any further explanation, she didn’t make a scene. She just told us not to do it. As a little girl, I thought it was weird but as I got older I see why she did what she did. I’m sad life has to be like this, really I am. But I can’t even potentially risk my child’s safety and well being to appease an adult’s feelings.

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Talk badly about their father

I want to be clear, I want my children to know that both me and their father have our issues. I don’t want them to think we’re perfect because a.) we’re not and b.) I don’t want the realization of our imperfection to mess with them too much. But I really don’t condone parents talking badly about a child’s parent to the child him or herself. After all the person you’re dogging is a part of them. They’re going to need them at some point in life so putting them down not only reflects badly on you, on the other parent and it can even negatively influence your child. There’s no upside. If you need to vent about your child’s father being no-good, find a girlfriend or a family member that doesn’t share his DNA.

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