Artificial scarcity is a useful tool

And writing that subject line became terrifying by the end. But I have a (presumably) developed idea I’d like to share, and the larger context of “artificial scarcity” will need to await another debut.

What I’m talking about specifically is: spoiled kids living in our future, and how everything is set up to sabotage them via convenience; subtitle: “How I learned to leverage episodes of anime for behavior modification”.

Lately we realize Clover has a life, and is annoying for it. That’s just about as much detail as I can get into, because the things we’re concerned with are the mundane everyday stop-asking-me-a-million-questions/demands-8-year-old stuff.

There is this sense of entitlement that I find irritating. I’m switching narrative styles, going first-person, because I’m open to caregiver-empathy. This sense of entitlement that slaps my childhood in the face, like, “ha! you’d never imagine uttering that oblivious and hurtful thing your kid just did… are you happy with that?”

And often I don’t know.

I mean, let me state straight up, I don’t believe endangering children and removing their sense of safety is a valid tactic. My childhood was brutal and violent. Of course it is different from the kids’ life you see posted here all the time.

In some ways it is overwhelming, because can I offer a framework that is beyond my experience? It is a recurring theme for me, my thoughts, my insecurity. But this kid is hot shit. Knows everyone, makes friends everywhere, cares for children and adults, empathizes. And that means a lot to me. Maybe that is a normal experience (I’d hope!), but for me it is the absence of active avoidance, no hiding in plain site, no tell-tale signs of abuse that must be concealed, this atmosphere is different.

What I’m trying to get at is: I’m moving out of the extremity, and more into the balanced segment of child-raising. I was afraid of me, so I did the opposite. That’s my jam. Because in the long arcwavey-line of my personal history, I go from the extremity I know to the extremity I don’t, and then land in the scenery I passed along the way.

I had a childhood of scarcity. Food, housing, safety, autonomy. In “correcting” these aspects of my life vicariously, I’ve gone to the extremity. Now I moderate.

In the short-term it means I have leverage over the annoying whiny conversations. It is literally, “If you keep whining at me about this, I’m not giving you this thing in the future.”

Not withholding love, nor food, nor housing, nor safety, nor autonomy (to a point hopefully age-appropriate). Just low-key anime and educational shows, silly novelties.

How long will it last? No idea. This kid is clever, like a Velociraptor. They learn. I can tell e is already gaming the “system”, looking for loopholes. Clover will make a good apprentice one day. Until then: made-up scarcity as a form of control.

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Audience erupts into sustained, thunderous applause.