Wednesday Wisdom: 12 Ways to Ruin Your Children

My parents are moving and while going through some things, my mom found this short article she had cut from a local newspaper dated November 23, 1959. It makes you realize just how far we have strayed from common sense parenting.

Here it is, in its entirety:

The Police Department of Houston, Tex., is distributing a leaflet entitled “Twelve Rules for Raising Delinquent Children.” The New Era is reprinting the article in full, as a public service:

1.  Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.

2.  When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up “cuter” phrases that will blow off the top of your head later.

3.  Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and then let him ‘decide for himself’.

4.  Avoid use of the word ‘wrong’. It may develop a guilt complex.  This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5.  Pick up everything he leaves lying around–books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

6.  Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.

7.  Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

8.  Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?

9.  Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.

11.  When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, “I could never do anything with him.”

12.  Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.

11 thoughts on “Wednesday Wisdom: 12 Ways to Ruin Your Children”

  1. I teach children every day whose parents have already “ruined” them by following these “rules.” And that’s second grade, only seven years old.

    1. I think the saddest thing about this list is that so many Christian parents have fallen prey to the modern philosophies of parenting– which includes much on this list. Instead of helping them, like we are promised by psychologists, we are ruining them.

        1. Thank you! I appreciate that very much. It’s pretty good wisdom from yesteryear, isn’t it? My mom told me yesterday that it was actually my grandmother’s clipping, as my mother was only a child in 1959! Thanks again.

  2. I’m a tss and so work with kids with behavioral problems and their family’s. With the exception of Autism, every one is parent created. I do think should argue in front of their kids and make up in front of their kids though, as long as the fight fair. It teaches kids conflict resolution. Nice post.

    1. I agree! I think what you said is important: make up in front of their kids. So many people argue, but then the kids never see loving resolution. “Parent created” – not a phrase that is too popular in your line of work I would imagine!! :) Thanks for your comments!

      1. You’d be surprised actually. It is quite popular with the people in the field not necessarily with the parents. =)
        Half of my job is transferring skills to the parents, so they can do what I do and become an independent unit.

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