If the instructions given here are carefully followed, we guarantee that your child will become delinquent and subsequently be tried in a juvenile court. If found not guilty, we will be glad to return him for further training, because we are certain to get him eventually. This formula is almost infallible.
Don’t give your son any religious or spiritual training. Merely take care of his bodily needs.
In his presence, don’t be respectful of womanhood, or of law and government. Belittle “dames” and the courts, the police, public officials, the school, the church, and business. “It’s all a racket!”
Never look for the real cause of untruthfulness in your child. You might discover that he learned the art of lying from you.
Never try to answer the endless “Whys” and “Hows” of your children, because it pays to be ignorant.
Be sure to humiliate your child in the presence of his friends. It adds to his respect for you.
If a conflict in wills arises between you and your child, don’t try to reason with him. Knock him down. Your father was boss of his homer and the kids may as well learn the hard way.
Don’t have any constructive discipline. Disagree with your wife or husband in the child’s presence, so the child will not learn on whom to depend.
Be sure to criticize departed guests in the presence of your child.
Never give your child a reason for the commands laid upon him. Let him guess.
Don’t consider his educational and emotional development as a parental responsibility. What are schools for?
Don’t let him discuss his plans, problems, or pleasures with you. Be too busy, so he won’t develop trust in you.
Don’t open your home to his companions; they will muss up the place. Don’t be concerned as to where he spends his free time.
Don’t teach your child to be tolerant toward people who differ from him in race, creed, or color. Teaching unfairness toward others will develop a bad citizen.
Don’t give him an allowance; he might learn how to save or spend. Don’t ask him to give to community needs or services. “Dig down,” yourself; that’s the easiest way.
Don’t be calm and poised. Be shocked and explode when he tells you he has down something wrong. Then he won’t confide in you next time.
Don’t make a pal of him. Go alone to your sports and entertainment. He would only be in the way.
Always buy your children the most expensive games and toys, because if you get them something simple they might have to use their own imagination, and who wants that side of a child developed?
Be sure to keep your home from being a center of cheer. Make it a dumping ground for your grouches.
Be sure to forget the promises you make to your child. He will forget the promises he makes to you later.
Never praise your child for any worthwhile effort; he might try harder to please you the next time.
Never give your child any affection or tell him you love him. You don’t want him to think you are a softy.
If you forget all the above, remember this: Be a poor example yourself. Follow the rule: “Do as I say; it’s no one’s business what I do.” —From “Listen.”
(The original ten rules above were composed by William Q. Harper, Director of Probation, Westchester County, N.Y. Others were added by officers of the Juvenile Court of Denver, Colo.). — Gospel Advocate, Nov. 10, 1949.