Binky Betsy (cookie77) wrote in binky_betsy,
Binky Betsy

This guy must be Lynn's role model.

Based on his personal anecdotes, it seems he was at least neglected, if not abused outright, and his agenda is, "Anyone who cares about their children's feelings is an enabler. No one cared about my feelings, and I turned out just fine!" He brags about how his own children just had to look at him to know what was the "right" thing to do, and I'm thinking, "Yeah, because they knew you were a psycho."

I really hate to think of anyone taking his advice to heart, not least because it reminds me of books and magazine articles I read in the '70s and '80s, when people were just starting to talk about child abuse. What this author recommends is a slow and steady assault on the child's spirit, to be continued until he is broken and fully malleable. He lists methods like "Piling On" (if the kid does something bad on Monday, give him a new punishment every day thereafter until he begs for mercy, literally), "Checkmate" (with no warning, put the kid in a position where there's simply no way they can assert themselves), "Confuse the Child" (just what it says) and some others I can't remember right now. He also recommends always taking a mocking, belittling tone with your child, and taunting them, like "I guess Santa won't bring you anything this year, darling love!" And funnily enough, those articles I just mentioned often contained case histories that started with this kind of talk, presented as inevitable that it would lead to physical abuse.

OTOH, I think a lot of the author's anecdotes are completely made up. For one thing, the kids/teens in them are very base: just stimulus/response, stimulus/response, until the parents get the response they want. Same thing Lynn did with April: now that the abused is an adult, they can take out their frustrations on an imaginary kid who is always wrong, while they/their avatar is always right. And it's ALL about the parents, and what they want from the kid. If the parents are happy, it doesn't matter if the child they basically bullied goes to school and picks on other kids to vent HIS frustration, to name just one possible outcome.

Anyway, here's the heart of the matter. Link This is from his book on how to destroy discipline teenagers. Fourteen y/o girl, doesn't talk to her parents, stays in her room except for meals. Sounds like depression to me, and at fourteen, there are any number of valid reasons why she could be depressed. What I don't get is why the frak the parents would take it so. bloody. personally. Not trying to find out what's wrong is bad enough, but to take it as an act of rebellion that will not stand? Another disturbing aspect of these case histories of his is that I can't picture any of these kids/teens going to their parents with a problem. (And even if it was the natural "I don't have parents; I sprang from the head of Zeus" mindset so common at that age, so what?)

And he doesn't even give her a name: he just calls the "the Creep." Over and over, the Creep says this, the Creep does that. But you see, a depressed, or even reserved, teenager is "possessed by Satan". (I can't quite tell if he's serious or hyperbolic; either is possible.) To him, she was "the young lady who-would-be-Queen-of-the-Universe" but her teachers and other adults liked her, so "Obviously, she was a World Class Creep only when around her own family, which [shouldn't that be 'who'?] had done nothing to deserve her rude, sassy, insolent, petulant, bratty, obnoxious, creepy behavior." (Seven adjectives? Really? Even Jim Inman doesn't go that far.) So her parents sit on a tack until one evening, when, as the author anvils, she's eating THEIR food, sitting at THEIR table in THEIR house (but wouldn't they have had all that stuff anyway?), and looks up from "stuffing her long face" to declare her parents "jerks".

They don't do anything then, but when she comes home the next day, she finds that "her very own private domain, her refuge, her shelter from the storms she imagined (in the grip of supremely narcissistic fantasies) were pummeling her life -- had no door!!!!!!" Yes, all those exclamation marks are his. Funny: I thought only tweener girls did that. And I'm sorry, but at fourteen, you don't have to be a narcissist to think you're having a hard time. Imagine having a problem like the whole school calling you a slut AND it being based on a lie, and then you get this from your parents. At any rate, when asked, her parents inform her, "We're such jerks, you know, that we took your door and gave it to Habitat for Humanity to use when they build a house for some appreciative person who is an actual human." (Oh, and guess what the parents were talking about when she came in? Vacation plans.)

So there's all this about her playing by their rules for one month (and I wonder, just how far did she have to go in being pleasant? Did her parents want affection, and show affection in return, or what did they want?) and if all goes well, she can BUY a new door. Except, at the end of that, she doesn't have enough money, and "That's your problem, honey buns." So another month of sucking their dicks, and working and saving, which meant she didn't spend much time with her friends (who I guess were not retarded, refugees, or from a war zone, or the parents would have made allowances for that), and she finally got a new door. Last sentence is "And they all lived happily ever after." No joke. I guess he left out the part where she closed the door, locked it, and hung herself. Or at least, lay in bed that night thinking "I guess I have a pretty good life. I'm not too dumb, and I'm not too ugly." Furthermore, I think some teenagers would just give up and live without a door while saving their pride. And I know I personally would have told them to stop it already with the mocking tone and insulting nicknames, or that's what I would do. (And my mom did stop, I think because on some level she realized she was overdoing it.)

So I wonder how many members of Kool-Aid Nation are followers of this guy? Because his words harmonize quite nicely with the "April doesn't have any problems; everyone else in the strip does, but not Princess Picky-Face" chorus.

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