Parenting and minimalism are synonymous. Minimalism, in art and literature, emphasizes spareness and simplicity. If you apply this definition to your values, the meaning incorporates intentionality. For example, Tiyaanah and I are trying to “be intentional” with our actions, decisions, and purchases. We only buy and live on what we need. In short, minimalists attempt to decrease their desires so they can get the most out of life and their experiences. Similarly, parents are trying to minimize how much they ruin their children, so our kids grow to better jerks than we are.
I know that I’m ruining my children, and I’m okay with that.
Before having Kairo, I immortalized myself.
Noob Shif: I will be an amazing parent. My kids will be obedient soldiers that march on command. They will bend to my will. These slaves will know that I am DAD!
Single people have the luxury of sleep. Therefore, they deserve to have these thoughts. A mind unclouded by weariness should fantasize endlessly.
I miss you, old boy. One day, the kids will get out of the house, and you’ll be back to averaging 8 hours per night. Don’t worry, chap. They can’t live at home forever.
Of course, this ideology changes after the child is born. A good friend of mine recently had a baby. The guy looked exhausted, and he admitted too.
Noob Dad: I’m tired. This ain’t nothin’ yet. I know.
No, good sir. That first day is everything. In fact, you will NEVER recover from these 72 hours. That child stole your soul when it exited the womb. The most tiring day of your life will be sleeping in the hospital. Unfortunately, you never bounce back.
If you haven’t abandoned your child after the first few years, you deserve a trophy. Or a cookie.
After gaining parental experience, my thoughts grew dark and twisted.
War Survivor: I ruin my children.
Don’t worry. This thought is natural. It’s actually unnatural to think you’re perfect.
Actually, it means you’re a liar.
97.7%** of parents are garbage. How do I know? I’ve met a lot in my day, and all of them suck at some part of their job. Sure, they raise decent people, but even those people have complaints about the jobs their parents do.
**This figure was not obtained via scientific research but through sheer observation. If you have a non-sucky parent, congratulations. We hate you.
You have experience
Whether you realize this or not, you are a parent. You understand more about this job than anything else in your life. Why? You have parents or guardians. Even parentless children know what they need or missed.
Everyone knows, in some form or fashion, what we want to do for our kids that our parents didn’t do. Therefore, the first act of parenting is to overcome our parents’ flaws. Unfortunately, that’s all that some of us rely on.
Few people spend years researching parental techniques. There aren’t many classes at local colleges to enhance our communication and delivery. If you ask the average person, “What percentage of inmates were spanked as a child?” no one would know the answer.
We walk into the job using what we’ve seen and what we know. In other words, parents don’t try to maximize our childrens’ abilities. We try to minimize the flaws that we create.
All children are born unique, beautiful, creative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, godly, worldly, and utterly fantastic. However, they are each shaped by parents that are lazy, insecure, and fearful. In short, we ruin them.
My flaws get in the way of how I raise my children, but I consistently work to improve by reflecting on my actions and taking steps to enhance my intent and interactions. So when I yell or punish, give too much TV time, or ignore the poor souls, I take a moment to think about what I could do better next time. That way, I don’t try to make up what I missed as a child. I try to make them the best of who they are.