All kids make mistakes and it’s your job as a good parent to help them learn and grow when they screw up. When they flunk a test, you remind them how worthless they’ll be if they don’t start getting better grades. When they injure themselves after an accident, you remind them how incredibly funny it was to watch them fall. When you catch them sneaking your top shelf vodka, you ground them for two weeks and then drink it in front of them. Each of these instances are chances for them to learn to make better decisions next time.
However, not all mistakes are easily corrected or forgiven. Every so often, an instance occurs that is so offensive, it equates to burning the American flag or spitting on a picture of Jesus: you child becomes a fan of the sports team you despise most. Think about it: you’ve spent you’re entire life loathing a team because you were brought up to have such fierce pride in your own. You try your best to instill the same values in your kids, but sometimes they go astray.
So, what do you do when you, a lifelong Red Sox fan, find your son’s Yankees cap? Or when you, a die-hard Packers fan, find your daughter’s Vikings jersey? Before you go for the belt and threaten them within an inch of their lives, here are a few things you might want to try:
Guilt – Even if kids act out sometimes, all they really want is for you to love and support them. Make it clear they will get neither if they continue rooting for ruthless heathens.
Coercion – Sometimes your kid roots for the wrong team just to piss you off. Play a little bit of reverse psychology on them by going along with it until they get bored and decide to fuck something else up. You could also mention how awesome your team is in front of your kid’s friends; hopefully they’ll agree and your child will succumb to peer pressure.
Revenge – So your child is going to cheer for those worthless bastards that dare call themselves a team, huh? Want to find out how long he or she can go without internet access or a cell phone?
Blackmail – Search their room and find something to hold over their head. Watch how fast your son changes his mind when he finds out you know about his Britney Spears collection hidden in his iTunes and are “worried” that this information might “slip” the next time his friends are over.
Bribery – If you can’t win their loyalty, why not buy it?
If none of these ideas work, you may have to come to terms with your child’s blasphemy and accept that he or she is just not a good person. Life will go on and, with a little luck, you will be able to rub it in their face later when your team brings home a big win or even a championship. So, if you can’t change them, live and let live.
Or you could raise your kids better. Just sayin’.