The title is meant for shock value. But as I consider the way that kids are more isolated now than ever, I am blogging about this list as a catharsis for some things I would do differently. I didn’t raise goblins. But I really think the following list would be a way to get there. . .
1. Let the Screen Raise Them
If you want an antisocial, isolated, impersonal kid: give them a screen every time they are bored. Plop them in front of the TV for a little “mom and dad” time. Be sure they have a cell phone with plenty of apps. Don’t regulate their screen time at all. And be sure they have access to the Internet in their bedroom. If you would like to raise a child who struggles to make eye contact and to carry on a 5 minute conversation then be sure to give them plenty of technology and a big bedroom where they can be sure to remove themselves from the life of the family.
2. Enforce No Rules
One of the hardest things about parenting is the consistent enforcement of rules. Nobody has time for that! Instead of enforcing any standards, just let them go do whatever they want. Or give them undefined and unclear expectations. Be sure to get angry and upset when they break your rules that you have never communicated to them beforehand. A kid who grows up without clear authority is a kid who will not be ready to recognize authority when they are adults. Nobody will be the boss of them!
3. Buy Everything For Them
Kids will not learn the value of money or the power of saving if they never experience it. We live in a day and age when everything is expected. Immediate gratification instead of long term rewards of saving up to purchase something is a good way to ensure that your kids always expect others to come through for them.
4. Do Everything for Them
Do their laundry. Pick up their dishes after dinner. And complete their homework projects for them too. And also be sure to call their teachers and complain when you get a “C” on their project. If we never let our kids face the reality of responsibility while they are in our home, they will grow up to be surprised that life is full of taking responsibility.
5. Schedule Your Life Around Them
Skip church during their baseball season! Or better yet, switch churches to fit their preferences. Be sure that no other family obligations get in the way of their social life. Children who observe that their family will bend every value to match their schedule will grow up to expect the world to revolve around them.
I obviously am using the word “goblin” loosely – because not all goblins are super selfish.
But seriously, the hope for our children is not in our parenting, but in the God who can win their hearts to the fruit of His Spirit. I have not nailed these things in raising my own children. So let me pass along my true hope to anyone who has read this far that hears judgment and hopelessness in this blog.
To counteract these things take some steps to shine a light on the pathway away from a goblinish future. But there is a more vital calling as parents. Pray for your kids. Pray that they will grow beyond the poor example of their parents. I pray regularly that God would help my kids to grow past whatever I have taught them that is a detriment. And further I pray that God would multiply anything in their life that they have received from me that is of benefit.
Parenting is hard work. Each family will need to decide standards for itself. And never forget the hope that God sent His Son to die for goblinish people. Wherever you are at in your parenting journey, there is always hope in God.