Dear Mr. Capitalism,
My name is Margerie and I am worried about my children and their futures. Oy, when I just think about the choices they have made, it feels like I’m going to die.
I have three daughters and all they care about is boys and clothes and they fight with me constantly about everything. I keep saying, “Girls, if you don’t want to spend your whole life in the kitchen and laundry room, do something for yourself, go to school, get a law degree or become a doctor.” One of them wants to be an aesthetician for Jesus’ sakes! Don’t even get me started about the twins, they think they’re going to be dancers or painters or some such hootenanny.
When I see all these kids today running around with their phones and cars and other things that I never dreamed of having, I worry that they don’t realize someone had to work for that stuff! I also worry that my worrying will make them worry about their futures, and if they worry too much they might not be able to focus on their studies.
I’m so worried. I think I need a smoke. So, what should I do? What can I tell them to make me worry less?
Children can indeed be difficult. My advice is to be vigilant and strict, one day they will realize that you had their best interests at hand all along, even if right now they feel like they want to rebel.
Before I get to my brief answer, I think you have a few misconceptions: number one is that being a wife to a good man is not a solid occupation for a young lady to aspire to. Men need to be taken care of so that they can be the breadwinners, that’s what women are for, after all. Plus, when husbands want to make their wives happy for things they’ve done wrong, they buy them gifts (rings, necklaces, what have you) and this funds a larger segment of the economy that most people understand! If we had too many spinsters out there working for themselves and not getting gifts, well then the jewelry industry would practically go out of business! What would we do with all those diamond mines I bought in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Your second misconception is a small one, I know you just made a mistake, but I believe the correct term for lady doctor would be “nurse.”
First off, give them financial incentive to do anything you want them to do. I have heard so many parents complain to me that their kids should WANT to do chores, and that they shouldn’t have to be paid. Poppycock! How much volunteering do you do every week? What’s that? Nothing? Exactly! We need to get our children to understand that the only reason to do anything is for money. We also need them to conceive that the best thing they can do with that money is to go the mall. It’s the American way! (and if you’re reading in another country, simply replace “American” with yourself)
You also have to set boundaries. If you’re going to give them cash for doing something good, you have to be willing to lock them in their rooms without proper food or water if they don’t do what you want. This is another important life lesson that too many parents have become slack about telling their children: if you don’t join the economy, you’ll end up in jail, shanked in the shower by someone named Jim-Bob, bleeding to death where no one cares about your screams. It’s true, look it up.
Margerie, the thing I like most about teenagers is that they are the ultimate capitalists: they only care about themselves and thus are not concerned with anything beyond buying things that makes them happy. If only their parents could do the same. However, I know they can be self-righteous, always “believing” and “caring” about “issues” like the “environment.” We’ve got to smack that garbage right out of them! (check your state laws before doing the actual smacking though, some of the hippie states can be awfully hard on you for some old-fashion disciplining.)
If we want our kids to behave, we have to make our homes into little economies. If they don’t straighten up and fly right, no money for them. It’s what they’ll learn soon enough, so why not start early? Charge for everything: food, health care (bandaids etc.), and clothes. They have to learn that nothing comes for free and that the State (the parent) is not going to let the welfare recipients (the children) stand for it anymore.
I should win a father of the year award for this letter. Someone get on that.