I don’t have children. So, of course, I will now share my sage advice on how to raise them.
Here are some basics: stay married (or get married); and parents: love each other. . though not too much PDA in front of the kiddees. Have nourishing family meals together. Don’t drink too much alcohol, and a big no-no to marijuana, medical or otherwise.
Turn off the TV and the technology, and have phone-less meals and outings. Help the kids with their homework; don’t over schedule them; and tell them that you love them every day.
OK: you are now wondering why I am boring you to death with the same-old, same-old that you could read in this month’s Good Housekeeping magazine. Moving on here, I am now ready to give you the most important piece of advice of all — that vital piece of info that you won’t hear from anyone else but me.
DO NOT RAISE YOUR CHILDREN IN BERKELEY. Ditto for Oakland, Emeryville, El Cerrito, San Francisco, Albany, Richmond, etc. etc.
There is no exception to this rule. I don’t care if you come to Berkeley and “fall in love” with the place. Please know that you are not in love: you are having serious mental health problems and need to get yourself to a psychiatrist asap.
It doesn’t matter to me if your grandma, your best friend, or even your mother live around here. You need to leave — and bring your loved ones with you. It is the least that you can do for those you love.
And I don’t care if you get your dream job, at Facebook or Google or some hot-shot new start-up. Read my lips: If you move here, you will lose your soul.
Is is worth eternity in the netherworld to make big bucks and be able to do whatever you want — no limits? There are a whole lot of limits in Hades.
My general feeling on the subject is that anyone relocating here for the long run is a fool (yeah, right, I moved here, so guilty as charged). I mean, there are so much nicer, less expensive, safer, and just generally saner places in the country to live (like anywhere). But — hey, if you want to ruin your life, don’t let me stop you.
But do not –I repeat, do not — under any circumstances destroy your children’s lives as well. Meaning: if you want to live here, go for it. But do not subject your children to the horrors that are Berkeley and the local environs.
While raising children here is not technically child abuse, frankly, I think it is. To subject sweet, innocent children to the tough, rough streets around here would be bad enough.
But then there are the schools. Even the supposedly “good ones” are really bad. The test scores around here are some of the lowest in the country, making small towns in Mississippi look Mensa-like in comparison. (1)
But putting aside the sub-par schools, your children will be brutalized emotionally. Many of them will learn very quickly to hate themselves because of the color of their skin. I mean, how is that okay??
Likely they will adapt, and become full of self-hate. They’ll start doing self-destructive things.
They’ll get tattoos all over their bodies and get septum piercings that make them look like Nellie, the cow. Many will get involved in injurious sexual practices, and perhaps even decide that “she” is actually a “he.”
Meanwhile, since you are now a full-fledged member of the Berkeley luny bin, you will celebrate your child’s “freedom,” instead of rushing as fast as humanely possible to the nearest psych ward. Before too long, your sweet, adorable little offspring will be a hardened, Berkeley freaky radical.
Dearly Beloved Readers: Does that sound healthy to you?
Hence, I return to the theme of this blog, which is: how to raise healthy children. I do not have any of them — healthy or not. And thus I am not anyone’s authority.
However, I do have common sense — and eyes to see the widespread nihilism, anger, and vacuity of most of the youth around here. And that is just not a healthy sight.
So if you want to have well-adjusted children, feed them right, spend quality time together, blah blah blah, you know the rap.
But please — pretty please, with sugar on top; and I’m not above begging: Do not raise them anywhere near here.
And good news for parents: living with your tykes anywhere else — Atlanta, Charlotte, Seattle, or Small Town USA — anywhere but here, you are mostly on your way to raising the happiest and healthiest children ever.
(1) I don’t mean to diss on Mississippi. But for years, California schools were so bad that only Mississippi was worse. But yeah to Mississippi: last time I heard, they surpassed California.