My Precious Little Criminals

Who am I to be so presumptuous as to force my own values on my children? I’m only their dad. Others need to help them make this serious choice. It’s definitely not for me as a parent. I have other responsibilities to worry about. I need to make sure they’re having fun all the time and eating whatever they want, whenever they want. I’m a parent after all.

I look at my children and wonder, “Maybe they are born with criminal instincts.” If they are, who am I to try to dampen their natural instincts? I’ve seen them try to steal toys when they go to friend’s houses. That’s just who they are. And if that’s who they are, then I would be a monster of a parent if I tried to change that.

So I’m not going to teach my kids to not be criminals. (That’s an intentional double negative for the grammar police out there.) Decisions like that need to be their own choice, assuming that they even have a choice in the matter. If they choose to not be a criminal because I forced them to, then we must ask whether they have really chosen to not be a criminal? What good is the choice if it is not their own?

Once in a while I ponder whether I should talk with them about becoming productive citizens of society through going to school and receiving the training in some field that would make them feel fulfilled in their life’s work, but what if that just isn’t who they are? I doubt they would like the idea of working hard and giving back to society if they are wired to just be a criminal. If I lecture them too much, they might just think I am some old, out of touch stooge who is trying to shove my values into their brains. And I don’t want them to think that of me. I want them to think I’m their dad because I think I am their dad. Their mom has been telling me that since they were conceived, and I doubt she would lie. She had some of those bad parents who forced her not to tell lies. Soap and all.

I just want my kids to be happy. If I spend time trying to stop their criminal behavior when they are young, they might be traumatized. And have you seen those traumatized lawyers and doctors? I don’t want my kids to become one of those. I can’t rob them of their childhood by constantly correcting behaviors that they naturally want to do.

When it comes down to it, my children are pretty good. They don’t steal things or beat people up all the time. They just do it when they want to. Most of the time they are happy around the house. Except for when I don’t give them the pop they want when they want it. Or worse, when we run out of pop. That’s my bad though. I should just let them have the pop when they want it and definitely not let it run out. Because if that is what they want, then it would probably do more damage to them – I’m thinking long-term emotional damage here – if I don’t give it to them when they want it.

Some people try to tell me that I should stop the criminal behaviors that are developing in my kids. Well they don’t flat out tell me. They think they’re being all polite when they hint around. But who are they to try and tell me how to be a parent?! I’m the parent here! And they have no business picking at what my kids do! Judgmental jerks!

The school has even addressed the situation with me. But we all know that it’s the school’s fault that my kids are this way. I’m not teaching them anything at home, so it can’t be my fault. Heck, I’m barely even around them, so they aren’t getting these bad behaviors from me. Somebody at school must be teaching them these bad behaviors.

In the end, if even one of my children grows up to be a criminal, I will still be proud of him or her because they have become who they were destined to be. Who am I to fight against the forces of fate? Now, I would prefer for them not to get caught. For if they are going to be a criminal, they should be a good criminal. But even if they are a bad criminal and get caught, I will proudly go visit them in prison.

I’m a parent. And I will let my kids choose everything.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).