Mark A. Shatz, Ph.D.

Bad psychologist? Good father?

The parental odds were always in my favor. It was a given I would rock as a father. No doubt my son would hear repeatedly, “Your dad is so cool!”

I had inside information. My Ph.D. in psychology meant I knew all the secrets to successful childrearing. Like you should always watch TV with a toddler. It’s good for bonding, security, and whatever.

So, I did. Me and the kid and Barney. After a few bonding moments, I didn’t want to be Barney’s friend. I wanted Barney to die. Preferably, a slow, painful death.

At first, I was ashamed of my open hostility toward a purple fictional character. But, like any good psychologist, I channeled my negative emotions into productive actions.

When my son needed to be toilet trained, I wasn’t going to waste perfectly good Cheerios as urinal targets. Instead, I cut out pictures of Barney, floated them in the toilet, and gave my kid a nickel for every time he peed on Barney. I ate Cheerios, the kid was paid for peeing marksmanship, and Barney got what he deserved. Win, win, and drop the mic.

But, I digress. The point of this blog is to highlight parenting obstacles and help parents succeed. The problem is that the parenthood gig is a rigged one-way vortex of money, time, and emotions. And, it ain’t headed in your direction.