Back in the day (I won’t mention the time period, since it’ll reveal my age), my parents would shove me and my younger brothers out of the house in the morning and not expect us back until the street lights came on in the evening. We’d ride bikes, hike in the nearby woods (no longer there), wrestle the alligators in the canal (okay, maybe not that extreme), and occasionally steal from the 7-11 in the front of the development. My parents couldn’t call us to check on things because we didn’t have phones. They couldn’t track us with ‘Find My iPhone’ App. They never knew what we were up to, and I don’t think they cared.
My parents were pros! They knew exactly how to ignore us…I couldn’t wait to get a job when I was 15, my own car when I was 16, or out of the house when I was 18. I worked hard and accomplished everything I set out to do; however, after some rather stupid decisions on my part, I got married and had children of my own.
And then…times changed. I had to pay for expensive daycare, aftercare, babysitters…because I couldn’t leave my children alone. I was not allowed to spank them if they misbehaved, but rather try ‘positive and negative reinforcement’ techniques that didn’t work…trust me. I’ve taken everything away from my son with the exception of a few clothes and I still can’t get him to pay attention in school. The promise of a new X-Box for a report card of A’s and B’s…nope. Now we have the ‘Find My iPhone’ App, and I’m all about checking to see if they are where they say they are going to be. I even introduced that app to a colleague for her to track her daughter in college. She loves me…her daughter not so much.
Let’s not even go into the entire ‘be involved’ initiative that every single school and club pushes on us parents. NO! I don’t want to be a part of the damned PTO. So, how does one ignore their children and alienate people these days? We truly have to work hard to do so, and here are a few simple exercises to get you on your way:
1. Stop doing their laundry (this one will irritate you when their rooms start to smell…buy a lot of Febreze).
2. Learn to say No! and walk away (sure, you’ll suffer with a bit of whining and crying…buy earplugs).
3. Slowly stop preparing dinner (buy many frozen pizzas and soon they will get hungry enough that they will learn to use the stove – added bonus for this one, it’s also a good technique to get rid of your husband – you’re welcome).
By ignoring your kids, people eventually want to stop hanging around you, unless they are rednecks (they should be teaching classes on this shit). Another added bonus…when your kids start smelling, people naturally back away. It’s awesome!
Or, you can become a writer and all of the above works itself out naturally.