10 Easy Ways to Crush a Child’s Soul

Our souls, that treasured light within each of us, reveal who we were born to be. Each soul is shy and tender; therefore, easily crushed. And I know how to do it. These steps are proven to work because I have tested them on my sons.

  1. Suppress a child’s happy giggling.  Laughter comes from the soul and children have easy access to it. It can be annoying to mature adults. (Mean-spirited laughter is another story.)
  2. Break any silence that is longer than 15 seconds with chit-chat and mindless questions. Silence breeds reflection that fuels the soul.
  3. Assume illegitimate authority by letting your child think you know what’s best for him. Otherwise, he may find his true calling and it may not be what you planned for him.
  4. Summon back a wandering mind. “Focus, buddy, let’s get this math done now.”
  5. Shush questions. Danger lurks when the soul arises to question things.
  6. Reward blind submission to authority. It is wonderful when everyone gets back on the assembly line and is quiet.
  7. Honor apathy. Caring comes from the soul so when you start to care about what’s wrong in the family or the neighborhood or the world you end up taking soul-directed action and exposing yourself to failure, rejection and pain. It is better to teach your child to live for weekends and vacation days and muddle through the rest. This is the American way, for heaven’s sake.
  8. Aim for popularity. Just do what the other people are doing, wearing and thinking. The whispers of the soul won’t stand a chance to compete with this armor of self-protection.
  9. Say, “your music drives me crazy.” (Especially if he worked really hard on the playlist. He’ll have his hope that you would love it dashed quickly and surely.)
  10. Stay busy. If your soul is crushed, you will set a good example.
  11. Bonus tip: judge and shame your child’s feelings.

If for any reason you decide to reverse this procedure, my next post will present the antidote for soul crushing.