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How to Raise a Hellion

First, make sure the kid has no father whatsoever.  Next, impose absolutely zero consequences for misbehaviour.  Start young, because it takes time to build a bratty attitude.  Children naturally gravitate toward being civilized people who want to socialize amicably with adults.  Reward their selfish side, and you might be able to bypass this tendency.

Another thing it's important to do is just be a plain old bad person.  Have lots of cigarettes and drugs around in the house.  Be lazy.  Also, be stupid.

Totally unrelated picture of Emperor's recent artwork.
I gleaned all that from the comments section of a story about a local ten-year-old who stole a van after he was caught smoking.  Missing is a comment online last night (and the responses to it) about how the baby mama should have gotten an abortion and saved society the trouble of this fatherless brat.  The comments that remain here and on kctv5's facebook page still indicate, though, that if you want to prevent your child from becoming a hellion, all you have to do is provide consistent limits and lots of spankings.

Okay then.  Maybe the mom is a lazy ghetto type, and maybe she's just got a very, very difficult child and needs some serious help (whether she is a ghetto type or not).  The story simply doesn't give us enough information either way.

I know parents are the last to know these things.  So I asked Emperor how he would start smoking if he wanted to.  Emperor said that he really would rather spend his money on other things, but he will play along with the hypothetical situation.  What he would do is research online what the best brand and value would be.  He doesn't want to waste his money, you know.  He would go to the store and get the biggest box (buying in bulk saves money).  He knows he also needs a lighter.  Then, he would be smoking.  He knows you light the "white end" and that "there is probably a lot more to it than that" but that is all he knows right now.  He hasn't researched it yet.

Ok.  So how would he start and drive the van?  Emperor said that there is a reverse button on the steering wheel somewhere or a lever.  He would have to find that.  But he wouldn't be so foolish as the child in the story!  He'd have to "plan ahead" if he wanted to steal a car.  He would have to watch me closely.  He hasn't been doing that, so he can't answer the question yet.  He is not sure which is the brake or gas pedal, but he reasons "it won't take long for me to figure that out."


  1. Well, you know it is always the parent's fault.

    But, the mother caught him smoking and apparently intervened and called the police when he took off with her minivan. One commenter knew this kid right away and says his mom checks him for valuables whenever he has been visiting another person's home. Maybe she is doing her best. I didn't see where she was a single mom... or that she didn't have consequences. I assume she did have legal tobacco around the house, but where in this blurb is there any mention of drugs? Or that she is stupid or lazy? Sounds like she is doing the best she knows how, which I am sure is your point. But, I hate when others impose "oughtisms" on families of kids who are behaviorally challenged.

    And, I say this even as I struggled with this just Sunday morning. Luckily, the little one I had in Sunday school was the only child in attendance that morning so I was able to stay with him and let his grandma enjoy her on women's time. I am skilled at sitting quietly, removing anything harmful from the environment and allowing a child to tantrum... I talked to her after the service, because I wanted to make a plan for if he behaved that way when I did have other students. During our discussion, she mentioned that she thought maybe he didn't hear well and that his mom had an appointment to have his ears checked. I couldn't help it, "He's nearly 5 and will be starting school in September and he doesn't really talk (he says poorly enunciated words and does not make sentences, at all) and no one has checked to see if he hears?" I kept it to myself because I knew how I felt when other people gave me parenting advise. We are a judgmental species.

    1. Yes, there were some deleted comments about how parents like this should have aborted, where is the Baby Daddy, and so on that you "missed."

      I don't doubt it's *possible* that this mom is the worst mom on the planet, but the story just doesn't say. So I'm with you... you just do NOT KNOW what all the circumstances are from two paragraphs on the nightly news.

      I am going to guess on your Sunday School child that he heard well at birth as these tests have been in our hospitals, mandatory, since 2001. He could have an undiagnosed fluid on the ears or hearing loss or all kinds of other things. At least they are looking though...

  2. It could be that the Mom is doing the best she can, and that's just not enought when it comes to this child. The abortion comment is beyond uncalled for, though. Sad little bit of the world, right there. Anyone who would say something like that about ANY child is a sick, sick duck.

    I love how introspective Emperor is when you ask him things! He really does put a lot of thought into things. I just asked the girly how she would go about this and her answer was,'I would get Poppy to start smoking and then have him buy me cigarettes, too. Grandpa's always do what kids ask them to do. Then driving the truck wouldn't be hard because I can drive the go cart and lawn mower.' (I like how she thinks she could train Grandpa to smoke then buy her some, too.)

    1. I am right there with you on the sick comments. Probably some troll, but still...

      And WOOT WOOT on your way to raising your own little Hellion! :)

  3. Your kids slay me. I love the stories with their dialogue.

  4. There's another important step to raising a hellion....give in immediately to his/her every demand no matter what that is, and do it from day one.

    On the other hand, kids like these often pop up out of nowhere. The best family, with the best behaved children, can have a "black sheep" in their midst and no one really knows why or how this happens.

    1. Exactly. I don't get how people can know all the details from about a five sentence news story. They must be extremely clever.

  5. I saw none of the comments you mentioned, but I know how people get in the comments section. I have really, really, really good kids... I know I am blessed and that there is some luck involved. However, I also started very young setting a good example and being consistent with discipline. Bad behavior in a 10 year old, especially that bad, has something to do with child rearing... unless there is a medical or neurological issue.

    1. I was thinking there might be... and that we really have no way of knowing just from the news story. The editors definitely took some comments out... which... good.


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