1. Give your son a fashionable name like Tanner, Braden or Travis. You can handicap a child for life with a goofy name. You can give him a sorry start from which he’ll never recover. By the way, you know what’s a good name? Paul. Paul is a name that’s stood the test of time. It dates back to the Bible . . .
Tanner is not even a name. Braden is not a name. Travis is a name, but it’s a hillbilly name, like Zeke. If you’re tempted to name your boy Travis, go ahead and name him Zeke.
2. Use up your moral authority on things of no importance. I was in Subway this afternoon and heard a man telling his kids, “No soda. You’ve had too much soda lately.” It turns out by soda, he meant cola, because he let the kids fill up their drinks with a mixture of Sprite and Hi-C.
First of all, cola is not bad for kids, certainly no worse than Sprite or Hi-C. I drank about four colas a day as a kid — still do, although now I occasionally pour some rum or bourbon in them, which I don’t recommend for the kiddies. As for Hi-C, I’d rather drink water from the sewer.
Second point: it’s micromanagement. Nobody, including your own child — especially your own child — wants to listen to you tell them what to do every minute. They’re going to tune you out. So by the time you finish telling them what to drink, what to eat, what to wear, and get around to something important, nobody’s listening anymore . . .