President-Rearing 101: A Guide To Coping With Your President’s Misbehavior

Are you feeling exasperated with your president’s attention-seeking behavior? Are his late-night twantrums causing you to lose precious hours of sleep? Does your president have trouble expressing himself in meaningful ways? Does he often resort to name-calling or bullying behavior?

If your answer to any of these questions is YES, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 60 percent of US adults now express grave concern about their president’s erratic and irresponsible behavior.

While the situation can be frustrating, confusing, and even seemingly hopeless at times, don’t despair. We’ve prepared this handy guide that covers some of the most common presidential misbehaviors, along with an easy-to-use guide on how to deal with them effectively.

Does your president’s outrageous behavior embarrass you?

Have you ever taken your president out to a nice place, only to have him embarrass you by asking the waitress if she wants to see his wee-wee? Has he ever called someone “horseface” in front of a huge crowd of people? Does he routinely make obscene comments, use foul language or otherwise offend nearly everyone he comes in contact with?

Have you ever found yourself asking “Why does he do these outrageous things?” or “What is wrong with him?” or even “Should we have him committed?”

Regardless of what kind of negative behavior your president is exhibiting at the moment, whether it’s calling names,  or inventing outlandish stories about women with duct-tape over their mouths, this kind of misbehavior is almost always motivated by your president’s desperate need to be the center of attention.

Does your president lie a lot?

Have you ever caught your president with his hand in the cookie jar and confronted him, only to have him tell you he doesn’t know anything about any cookie jar? Has he ever sworn up and down, while eating a cookie, that cookie jars aren’t real?

If your president sometimes seems unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, like most grown-ups, you likely see this as a somewhat terrifying development.

Admittedly, if your president seems to believe that invisible airplanes are real, or that impoverished immigrant families are barrelling across the southern border driving futuristic high-tech vehicles that nothing in the US can possibly compete with, there is obviously cause for concern.

If your president tells so many lies it seems hard to remember what the truth even is, keep in mind that his motive for doing so is simply to distract you from the facts and keep you from staying focused on the facts.

Does your president engage in bullying behavior?

Does your president lash out at people when he’s feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or maybe just sleepy? When people try to talk to your president about the consequences of his bad behavior, does he attack, belittle, threaten or try to intimidate them?

While it’s not unusual for toddlers to go through a “temper tantrum phase,” most children outgrow this type of behavior as they develop more advanced verbal and communication skills. While it can be stressful to put up with a toddler’s tantrums, parents and caregivers can take comfort in the fact that most toddlers will soon progress out of this phase.

Presidential tantrums, on the other hand, are a much bigger concern.

The motive for the behavior in both presidents and toddlers is the same. These children just want to get their way and they don’t care who they have to hurt to get what they want.

Does your president have a warped self image?

If your toddler has ever told you that he is the smartest or the strongest or the bravest person or the most extraordinary person in the whole entire world, you probably smiled and nodded your head in agreement (even though you know the odds of it being true are pretty slim.)

It’s fine for toddlers to imagine themselves to be things they’re probably not. We understand how important it is for children to be able to pretend that they are astronauts, doctors, scientists, soldiers or superheroes with super powers. We encourage kids to play make-believe, because we know they can grow up to become anything they want to become.

At some point by the time they reach puberty, most children have graduated from role-playing to self-awareness. While they may still have big dreams about what they want to do and be, by this age kids also have a realistic sense of their abilities and limitations.

Some presidents behave like toddlers who have yet to reach the age of self-awareness. Adults become concerned when presidents pretend to be doctors, soldiers, scientists or superheroes with super powers. When your president says he is smarter than all the national intelligence chiefs, all the doctors, all the scientists, all the businessmen, all the politicians, all the historical figures (and on and on) — there is plenty of cause of concern.

How to reign in an out-of-control president.

We’ve already established that much of your president’s bad behavior is motivated by his desire to be the center of attention all of the time. Like the kid who pulls his pants down in front of the class, or the one who sticks his finger up his nose just to get people to look at him, some presidents believe negative attention is better than no attention at all. Knowing that, the most important thing we can do is to avoid reinforcing the negative behavior, by giving him the attention he is seeking.

Here are a few other tips for coping with your president’s bad behavior:

  1. Be clear about what you expect from a president.
  2. Don’t accept excuses or justifications for unacceptable behavior.
  3. Don’t allow the president to shift the blame for his actions onto other people.
  4. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the president’s preposterous comments and outlandish lies, stay focused on the big picture.
  5. Explain the consequences of the negative behavior. (This step has been done – see the criminal code)
  6. Enforce the consequences.
  7. If all else fails remove the president from the situation.

Featured image credit: T.J. Hawk via Flckr, cc 2.0