dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

False dichotomies, emotional blackmail and other wonderful parenting techniques.

As we all know, the reason that Elly and John love Eva Warzone and believe her to be a wonderful influence on their selfish, spoiled, rotten and ungrateful picky-face Martian creature princess daughter is that she loves to play the filthy trick called "appealing to shame." Always and ever, the need to not care about the problems April has is coached in terms that make the poor thing look and feel like a total jerk because she's too busy trying to defend herself to notice the ludicrous underlying assumption. Unlike the panicky chowderhead from Stone Soup who's too dim to notice that she's relying on a repulsively idiotic assumption to silence Holly, Eva knows damned well how churlish it is to say "Since you care about immediate concerns, it follows logically you cannot care about greater ones and are thus selfish" owing to the fact that that assumption is false and stupid.

The reason that I mention this is that it's a subset of a greater problem that the children face. Time and again, John and Elly tell a child a variant of the phrase "Either you do something very inconvenient that will do nothing to benefit you and for which you will never be given any credit for or you're a bad, ungrateful child who hates us and whom we cannot love" in order to get what they want by means of emotional blackmail. Since a small child as a general rule and the Patterson children in particular live in a constant state of anxiety as to if Mom and Dad love them and want them around and also since children want to prove that they're good kids who deserve to be loved, it's kind of obvious that this nasty, selfish and brutish tactic works. The problem is not just that there is no need for the child to sacrifice to prove their moral worth or that John and Elly have no need for what the children surrender. The problem is that no matter what the children do, it's never going to be good enough because their oafish clod parents think that their children live care-free lives and never have to worry about anything. The occasional reminder that Mike, Lizzie and April groaned under the burden of the too-high expectations of tyrant parents who are incapable of love or tolerance or acceptance was blown off as drama because they don't see themselves as what they are: monsters of greed, selfishness and hate.
Tags: boomer lens-cap stupidity, child rearing disasters, john and elly versus their children

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