This is going to make me unpopular. I know.
But I’m going to say it anyways.
Don’t prank your kids.
I know I know, “it’s just a joke”, right?
I believe in comic relief as much as the next person.
I don’t believe in taking life too seriously.
But I also think creating trust in a parent-child relationship is so important that it’s worth debunking the funniness of pranks done on children RIGHT NOW.
But they’re just kids – they’ll forget!
Will they? Do you remember a time you were pranked? How did you feel? Did you forget?
Actually, Brene Brown and the Gottman institute show that trust is built up by an accumulation of tiny connecting acts. Things like listening, explaining, caring for one another day in and day out. These small acts slowly add marbles to a jar…deposits in an emotional bank account.
Pulling pranks on kids is a pretty large withdrawal of trust in a relationship. A withdrawal, that to me, just isn’t worth it.
But candy isn’t important – lighten up!
Everything is relative. Is your cell phone important? Would you be upset if someone stole it? Of course. But to many in a third world country, seeing an intense reaction to a cell phone, is well, laughable.
Let’s not pretend that candy isn’t meaningful, highly coveted, and important to young children. That’s why people choose candy for the pranks: we all know how important it is to young children.
But it’s funny.
Yes it is. I’m certainly guilty of laughing too, but hey – I’m the kind of woman who laughs at a funeral. Can’t understand what I mean?
You soon will. And I have tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve, I have a history of…. quoting 90’s pop lyrics in my blogs.
But notice that pranks are always a power play.
Once, several years ago, my boss called me into a meeting and said those dreaded two words: “you’re fired.”
In a matter of seconds my heart was racing and my brain was flooded with thoughts of not affording my mortgage and deep humiliation.
For him – watching me squirm meant that he could enjoy a few moments of power, of security – at my expense. It showed – the very real – power imbalance between us. With a muttering of two little words he could flip my world upside down.
Would candy do that for your kid? When you’re 4 and you’ve been waiting, dreaming and hustling for that candy for months. Yeah, kinda.
We should laugh with our kids, not at them.
Besides, whatever you do to your kids – expect them to do to others. And we should be upholding a model that treats kids as equals, not inferiors. You wouldn’t want your older sibling to do the same prank to your younger sibling. You wouldn’t want your older teenager pulling the same power play hazing over freshman highschoolers.
Hey Jimmy Kimmel, you’re an awesome guy. And you know the difference between true humor and humor that comes at someone’s expense. You would never knowingly promote jokes at the expense of women, the elderly, or any minority groups…via @ParentingJunkieTweet This
Hey Jimmy Kimmel, you’re an awesome guy. And you know the difference between true humor and humor that comes at someone’s expense. You would never knowingly promote jokes at the expense of women, the elderly, or any minority groups – why do you promote humor, at the expense of children.
Leave a comment, and tell me what you think! Has anyone ever pulled a prank on you?