Parental Trolling

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Swlabr
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Parental Trolling

Postby Swlabr » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:44 am UTC

Dear XKCD forum,

I was wondering if I could pick your minds for a moment. This thread is somewhat inspired by XKCD 573 (although I have been contemplating this for a while),

Image

Now, my wife is due to have a child very soon (well, her due date was 3 days ago) and I, naturally, want to carry out some sound scientific experiments on my offspring without them (or, indeed, my wife) knowing, or at the very least freak them out at some point.

My "good" ideas have been few and far between.

There is the trick of taking a photo of them when they're, say, 3 and using age-progressing software on it to see what my child will look like when they're older. I then put this aged photo on a wall and convince my teenage child that they're a time traveller. I doubt this will work well though (I can't imagine the software begin accurate).

Unfortunately, I am not having twins as then I could go for the separate them at birth thing, see if I can create an evil one and a good one etc..

Therefore, I was wondering if any of you have any ideas of nice experiments I could perform on my offspring?

Regards,

Swlabr

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Menacing Spike
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:49 am UTC

Avoid the usual Santa/God/Easter Bunny lies? Don't shield him from anything?

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

or better yet, invent a new one.

perhaps the toenail goblin! :lol:

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby JamesP » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

You tell them about religon, kids'll believe anything.

Make them believe in machine spirits and the Omnissiah. Tell them they can't tell anyone till they're 15.

Swlabr
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Swlabr » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:51 pm UTC

I have to admit, I was expecting something more novel than "religion"...

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:54 pm UTC

Swlabr wrote:I have to admit, I was expecting something more novel than "religion"...


without any sort of control, and without your wife finding out, and without breaking some sort of child protection laws, there's not a lot of options

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

Swlabr wrote:I have to admit, I was expecting something more novel than "religion"...


All right?
Murder your wife, put her head on a stick. Now hang the stick in your basement, out of reach, and lock the child in. Introduce live cats and stale water every few days (she has to EARN her food).
Five years later, ditch her in a random alley.

edit: You might want to use snakes, giant spiders... instead of cats.

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Fighting Lettuce » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:37 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Avoid the usual Santa/God/Easter Bunny lies? Don't shield him from anything?


That's not a challenge at all. What about the opposite? What about trying to make them believe all that Santa crap until they are 30? Hiring magicians and all that stuff.

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Deva » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Could spike unhealthy foods with an unpleasant substance. Substitute salt for sugar in cookies, for instance. Doctor their vegetables with something pleasing (probably sugar) or pair them with foods that dull the taste. Feed them the tampered junk food on occasion to reinforce their distaste. Should lead to interesting visits to the grocery store, if well-executed. Assumes no outside sources. May prevent that flaw independently, though. Will never know the taste of something refused. Has never heard of anyone forcing children to eat sweets. Remain alert at birthdays, however.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:26 pm UTC

Fighting Lettuce wrote:
Menacing Spike wrote:Avoid the usual Santa/God/Easter Bunny lies? Don't shield him from anything?


That's not a challenge at all. What about the opposite? What about trying to make them believe all that Santa crap until they are 30? Hiring magicians and all that stuff.


Convince them the rest of the world is dyslexic, and its actually Satan who does the Christmas presents
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Weeks
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Weeks » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:09 am UTC

Swlabr wrote:I, naturally, want to carry out some sound scientific experiments on my offspring without them (or, indeed, my wife) knowing, or at the very least freak them out at some point.
I think this is a bad idea.
TaintedDeity wrote:Tainted Deity
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Dthen wrote:FUCK CHRISTMAS FUCK EVERYTHING FUCK YOU TOO FUCK OFF

PerchloricAcid
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:22 am UTC

Not sure if trolling about parental trolling or having actual intentions of parental trolling. :shock:

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Beardhammer » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:05 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
Swlabr wrote:I, naturally, want to carry out some sound scientific experiments on my offspring without them (or, indeed, my wife) knowing, or at the very least freak them out at some point.
I think this is a bad idea.


What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby NeilFann » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:48 am UTC

Pick a rarely used word and make up an alternative for it. Use it all the time in the house and wait for them to discover by themselves that it's not what the rest of the (English speaking) world uses.

My father used to tell me he was going to sell me and make me stay whilst he went and quietly asked a stranger the time.

Instill a sense of competitiveness by sending them to school a year early so they're always the slowest and weakest in the class (this happened by accident to my wife since Indians call "age 1" what the English would call "age 0" so she ended up in a class with 5 year olds when she was 4).

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby NeilFann » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:50 am UTC

Since you have long enough you could probably do something cool with auto-hypnotic suggestion. A tape played every night by their bed telling them to kill the president in 2025, that kind of thing....

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

NeilFann wrote:Pick a rarely used word and make up an alternative for it. Use it all the time in the house and wait for them to discover by themselves that it's not what the rest of the (English speaking) world uses.

I believe this one might be a fine idea, but most of the others seem too extreme for me. Its a child, not a lab experiment that you could repeat if something goes wrong :roll:

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
Swlabr wrote:I, naturally, want to carry out some sound scientific experiments on my offspring without them (or, indeed, my wife) knowing, or at the very least freak them out at some point.
I think this is a bad idea.

I quite agree.

The original post could perhaps be rephrased as "I'm looking for a way to abuse my child and hide the abuse from my spouse, but in a way that the XKCD community will endorse instead of condemning. Ideas?"

I see no reason to assume that it is a joke, and hence, I don't think we should be treating it as one.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby iChef » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

I don't see why this couldn't be repeated if something goes wrong. It's not like it's hard or unpleasant to make more kids. Adopt a few there are kids lined up waiting to be experimented on.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

I believe that carrying a baby is not the pleasantest or easiest of states/tasks.

Elvish Pillager wrote:The original post could perhaps be rephrased as "I'm looking for a way to abuse my child and hide the abuse from my spouse, but in a way that the XKCD community will endorse instead of condemning. Ideas?"

I see no reason to assume that it is a joke, and hence, I don't think we should be treating it as one.

Agreed. :!:

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:05 pm UTC

iChef wrote:I don't see why this couldn't be repeated if something goes wrong. It's not like it's hard or unpleasant to make more kids. Adopt a few there are kids lined up waiting to be experimented on.
No. That's not Science, that's just dicking around.

You need TWINS for it to be Science, and only one of them do you experiment on, because the other is the control. Even shit like being born a year or two later is enough to throw off an experiment like this, due to popular entertainment changing and so on.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Dason » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
iChef wrote:You need TWINS for it to be Science, and only one of them do you experiment on, because the other is the control. Even shit like being born a year or two later is enough to throw off an experiment like this, due to popular entertainment changing and so on.

It's a better start but even here you don't have replication so you wouldn't be able to say too much.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby thicknavyrain » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

Love them unconditionally, raise them as best as you can, teach them about the world and give them a good sense of curiosity, take them out out for regular exercise, feed them a good diet, give them a sense of discipline and morality but be fair when it comes to fun and play and constantly reassure them on their abilities. Also, name all the children Richard Feynman
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby mayhaps » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:55 am UTC

Give all of your serious, parental talks while sitting pant-less on the toilet.

Or, you know, treat your children and wife as people that deserve love and respect and don't fuck with them for your own amusement.

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Weeks » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:57 am UTC

mayhaps wrote:treat your children and wife as people that deserve love and respect and don't fuck with them for your own amusement.
THIS
TaintedDeity wrote:Tainted Deity
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Dthen wrote:FUCK CHRISTMAS FUCK EVERYTHING FUCK YOU TOO FUCK OFF

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Deva » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:10 am UTC

Might have blown this out of proportion. Personally placed greater emphasis on the time traveler example than the good and evil twins. Supposes "experiment" could have conjured images of mad scientists or something too. Think parallel to the lines of a proper prank. Should not cause any real damage.
- Show the child that, if held correctly, a quarter is the same size as the Sun.
- Use a magic trick to instill the belief that you can extract currency out of ears.
- Divide by zero.
- Teach the importance of donning a tinfoil hat when entering an unfamiliar sandbox.
- Create a word ("peligal") and refer to a specific object (a shoe) as that word.
- Bestow a "good luck charm" (see: spare change) upon them.

May still go haywire, of course. Could be terrified to enter the sandbox without a tinfoil hat, for example. Include an easily obtainable alternative (such as a stick or a pebble) into the explanation. Categorize all sandboxes that you will not be present at as "familiar" (stated less explicitly). Give them a verbal charm that wards off the ill effects (Example: "Amazing headband of justice in place. Protect me now, amazing armor of justice."). Immediately abort the prank if bad omens appear.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Weeks » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Deva wrote:Should not cause any real damage.
[citation needed]
TaintedDeity wrote:Tainted Deity
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Dthen wrote:FUCK CHRISTMAS FUCK EVERYTHING FUCK YOU TOO FUCK OFF

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:11 am UTC

Because deliberately sabotaging children's intellectual development by feeding them false ideas never hurt anyone, amirite? It'll teach them valuable lessons, like "Your independence is less important than my amusement", and so forth.

Maybe you should read this nice article I wrote about how we treat children. (I'm cynically expecting you not to actually read it, but I think it would be great for the people who agree with me to read it too. :P It's only partially related to the subject at hand, but it's the closest thing that I have right now.)
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Beardhammer » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:44 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
Deva wrote:Should not cause any real damage.
[citation needed]


Well ain't that the point of the experiments? Shoot, it's like you gotta do, I dunno, research or something these days instead of just going "hey I wonder what Cletus will do if I tell him this and convince him it's the truth."

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Arancaytar » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:16 am UTC

- Use a magic trick to instill the belief that you can extract currency out of ears.


Until I was five, I was convinced beyond a doubt that my mom was able to snatch raisins out of thin air.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:17 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:Because deliberately sabotaging children's intellectual development by feeding them false ideas never hurt anyone, amirite? It'll teach them valuable lessons, like "Your independence is less important than my amusement", and so forth.

Or teaches them that everyone lies about everything. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, Jesus and Mohammed, Justice and Equality, and so on. Things people just made up out of nowhere.

Seriously, doing crazy shit to your kid for the hell of it - like teaching them that Red is Blue or that No means Yes and so on is a fucking stupid thing to do, and while it might not result in your child being taken away, it will lead to a very interesting visit from Social Services or whatever the local equivalent is.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Deva » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:24 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
Deva wrote:Should not cause any real damage.
[citation needed]

Meant "a good prank". Admits that that is entirely subjective. Has not abolished April Fools Day on grounds of cruelty yet, though. Already anticipates trouble on that day, however. Might dull the sting. Can hurt feelings still result? Absolutely. Can most people enjoy themselves or be unfazed? Yes. Boils down to knowing your audience. Do not do it if it only irritates/terrifies/confuses/so on. Strongly advises against a prank if unsure.

Will run with April Fools Day. Enjoys hearing about the pranks that websites play. Released official news about renaming themselves as Topeka or offering new two ounce beverage sizes. Viewed these as amusing. Would you complain about these?

Might also grant everyone administrative powers and the ability to see Internet Protocol addresses. Found that concerning. Does not matter if the addresses were true or false (for the purposes of this argument). Created worry. Was not a good prank.
Elvish Pillager wrote:Because deliberately sabotaging children's intellectual development by feeding them false ideas never hurt anyone, amirite? It'll teach them valuable lessons, like "Your independence is less important than my amusement", and so forth.

Maybe you should read this nice article I wrote about how we treat children. (I'm cynically expecting you not to actually read it, but I think it would be great for the people who agree with me to read it too. :P It's only partially related to the subject at hand, but it's the closest thing that I have right now.)

[horrible argument]Teaches a lesson on trust too. Will not be scammed by con artists.[/horrible argument]

Wants to say that the myth of Santa Claus adds something positive. Cannot supply any benefits over telling the child who is really behind everything, however. Feels "mystique" is insufficient. Functions as a non-parental figure that cares about their morality. Became well-adjusted without it, though. Will post again if something comes to mind. Assume agreement until then, if ever. Desires rest currently.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby feyayeruka » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:24 am UTC

You could go for what I did with my kid.
Radical Unschooling.
I was assured by many, many people far smarter than me that she'd turn out to be totally spoiled, never eat anything but candy and spend all day watching tv and playing video games, and never learn anything.
Sadly, this has not gone according to plan. Now, at 8, she's obsessively fascinated with learning Physics; she saved up her allowance to buy herself a computer which she is now learning to program in BASIC; her favourite food is broccoli and she frequently refuses junk food.


Another option I recently read about - totally interesting - is to ensure that the child *never ever* be told what colour the sky is. I just saw an article about this (written in Hebrew, don't have one in English), someone did this with their kid, and while she knew all the colours, and was able to identify them, and so on, when asked what colour the sky is, she said it has no colour.
All this came about because there is no mention of the colour blue in the bible, and apparently many more primitive cultures don't have a word for "blue" at all.

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Kizyr » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

I wouldn't troll my kids when they're young and impressionable. It's less likely to lead to fun, more likely to lead to some kind of psychological damage or, at the very least, a lot of resentment. I'd rather wait 'til they're older and can take a joke.

Our plan is for a few things when our future son/daughter is, say, in the 11-15 age range. Stuff like:
- The first time their friends our over, we dress up. I'll be going with a lungi and a stained wifebeater myself.*
- Learn a whole lot about some specific interest of theirs (some TV show, video game, band, etc.) that they wouldn't expect us to know about, and hide the fact. A little while later, strike up a deep and detailed conversation (between us, not with our son/daughter, but in front of them) like it's nothing.

* Got this idea from one of my friends -- or more accurately, his father. He just walked around the house like that once or twice without saying anything. After his son's friends left, he went "Have fun explaining that on Monday!"

I recall that my dad used to mess with me after Temple of Doom came out, by holding his hand over my heart and repeating the chant from the movie. My mom used to do things like intentionally mispronounce stuff and make me think it was her accent instead of her just messing with me. KF
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

Deva wrote:Wants to say that the myth of Santa Claus adds something positive.

Yeah - a lot of people want that. It's not a good thing to want, but it's hard to help it if you're not totally gung-ho about rocking the boat, as I am. I hope you recover from your affliction.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Deva » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

Do not fret. Has no schemes to plant that in a child. Will not shatter any beliefs either. Would not visit a department store near Christmas time and yell that Santa is a fraud and that the adults lied shamelessly, as an extreme example. Plans to take the route of:
Child: What nature of gift do you envision Santa will deliver to me?
Deva: Will probably receive something shiny.
Never claimed that Santa played a role. Leaves it to them to uncover. Should be able to solve it, right?

Might make an exception if the parents employ Santa routinely, especially out of season. Is unsure why that seems worse. Comes off as a threat, perhaps, as opposed to positive reinforcement. Partially depends on the wording of the contract between the child and Santa. Prefers "Will receive presents if you are good" over "Will receive presents unless you are bad".

Is curious. How do you intend to halt the Santa myth, Eli? Would you appeal to adults, inform the children, or both? And would you be direct, nudge them in the correct direction, or use another method? Assumes a type of direct approach after skimming other posts (and recalling a recent post on a different section of the fora).
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby TheChewanater » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:07 pm UTC

Teach your child lambda calculus at the age of 4, but tell him/her that it's pronounced "cal-COO-lus".
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Plasma Man » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:27 am UTC

Similar to Menacing Spike's first suggestion: Whenever they ask a question, do your very best to answer honestly and completely, explaining anything you need to along the way. Don't do the usual parental evasiveness or "you'll understand when you're older" things.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Ptolom » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:57 am UTC

TheChewanater wrote:Teach your child lambda calculus at the age of 4, but tell him/her that it's pronounced "cal-COO-lus".

Adorable!

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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby Felstaff » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:43 pm UTC

I'm a fan of deliberate idiomatic malapropisms.

You could care less, or you may consider it beyond approach and accuse me of ad homonym attack, but for all intensive purposes it makes people curl up in the feeble position if I accuse the pot of calling the kettle back. I guarantee, your kids will give up the goat and think you coal-hearted when they realise the fax of the matter; they've been duped and consider it a deformation of their character that you've been misleading them their entire lives. They will extract vengeance upon you.
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Re: Parental Trolling

Postby rigwarl » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:51 pm UTC

You could teach them masturbation, premarital sex, and homosexuality are bad and should be avoided at all costs.


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