The Worst Your Kid Can Do
How Do You Rate Your Kid?
In my work at a Children's Mental Health Clinic, I've seen or heard of all kinds of crazy things that a child can do. Some are down-right horrible. If you think you've got it bad as a parent, read through the following list of infractions to see where your child falls. It's listed as mildest to most severe, but some may disagree on which actions should be considered worse than others; and I'm sure I didn't think of everything so if you have one that doesn't fall under these categories, feel free to leave a comment.
What Those Brats Can Do
Procrastination, short delay in responding to requests or chores, being untidy, “bad manners”
Failing to do tasks correctly or thoroughly. Missing homework, low grades
Mild lying (white lies, incomplete truth to avoid consequences)
Minor disrespect, (rolling eyes, sarcasm, ignoring requests)
Minor outbursts, (slamming doors, raising voice)
Mild Risk taking / impulsive behavior, (accident prone)
Physically aggressive with siblings or peers
Intentionally breaking small or inexpensive objects
Leaving without permission, fleeing from parent temporarily
Frequent physical fights with peers or siblings
Sneaking out at night
Mild substance abuse, (cigarettes, alcohol)
Possession of pornography
Refusing to maintain hygiene, (not showering or brushing teeth, etc)
Pattern of playing with fire, abusing animals
Mild assault by contamination, (spit or boogers)
Damaging moderately expensive objects (TV, Stereo, gaming system)
Moderate disruptive behavior (referred to principal, complaints by neighbors)
Mischievous behavior (instigating, getting others in trouble)
Moderate lying that results in significant consequences
Marijuana use or possession
Mild vandalism (tagging)
Distribution of pornography, sexually acting out
Intentionally cutting self (mild)
Severe disruptive behavior (setting off fire alarm, expelled from school)
Direct and obvious displays of disrespect to parents (directly cursing, obscene gestures)
Moderate theft (in excess of $25)
Minor Assaultive behavior towards parents (pushing, slapping, throwing small, light objects)
Obvious symptoms of a severe eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia)
Moderate Drug Use / Sales (Ecstasy, LSD, Shrooms)
Running away for more than 48 hours
Assaulting family members so as there’s lasting pain, bruises, scrapes, etc.
Major assault by contamination (urine, vomit, feces, etc)
Possession of a firearm or immediate access to firearm (in defiance of caretakers rules)
Major lies (false reports that result in investigation by Child Protective Services)
Severely injuring a family pet (cat, dog, etc)
Assault or self injury requiring medical attention
Hardcore drug use / sales (Heroine, Methamphetamines, Cocaine and Crack)
Grand larceny, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary of a Habitat
Severe lying (such as false accusations of abuse resulting in a criminal investigation)
Severe disruptive behavior that results in family's eviction from home OR...
Severe disruptive behavior that results in a parent losing his/her job.
Killing a family pet (cat, dog, etc)
Running away for several days, weeks, or more
Unintentional overdose requiring hospitalization
Severe destruction of property (wrecking car, arson)
Homicidal / Suicidal attempts or gestures
Physical violence resulting in permanent injury / disfigurement
Inciting group violence
Murder of several people (school shooting, bomb detonation)
Condoms, Condoms, Condoms!!!
So, as you can see, there's a wide range of behaviors that a child can engage in. The larger categories that this list was derived from consists of Aggression / Violence, Self Injury, Lying, Theft, Damage to Property, Drug Use, Running Away, Disruptive Behavior, Disrespect of Authority, and Sexual Misconduct.
From what I've seen at our clinic, at least half the cases that we see of serious behavior problems in children are somewhat perpetuated by the parent's own mental illness or severe lack of parenting skills. For some odd reason, many parent's believe that they will just "know" how to parent correctly by recalling their own parents and making modifications accordingly. This is often not enough, and parents are the most defensive when being told that they might be even partially responsible for how their kid is turning out. I've seen countless parents in denial and totally clueless about how they are creating little monsters.
Please remember that you can never expect a child to have more self control than his parent.
You can't expect a child to have a better sense of right and wrong than her parent.
You can't expect a child to have better coping skills than his parent.
You can't expect a child to have better anger management skills than her parent.
You can't expect a child to have better communication skills than his parent.
You can't expect a child to have a better sense of responsibility than her parent.
You can't expect a child to have a healthier outlook on life than his parent.
You can't expect a child to have a better____________ than his/her parent.......