Aversion Parenting

There are a few things I still dislike based on childhood trauma. At least for me, these experiences were far more effective than any amount of talking later in life. Perhaps these methods are worth trying for you too.


You’re looking at the only “makeup” that I wear. If it counts. When I was 7 or so, I participated in a summer camp where I had to perform a fan dance at the end. For the show, they caked full stage makeup on my face. This involved a pencil coming straight at my eye accompanied with the command “DON’T MOVE.” It was Toddlers and Tiaras or worse. It was so bad that when I tried to talk or move my face I could feel it cracking.  It was terrifying.

I have stayed away from the stuff since. There may have been a high school dance when I let my friends do my makeup. I ended up looking like a transsexual. That was the last time. I don’t go near the stuff now.


When I was 6, my father decided to play a trick on me. He gave me a mug of my regular apple juice, but it wasn’t apple juice. I took a big gulp and spat it out. “Dad, that’s not apple juice. There’s something wrong with it.” He was a pretty good actor. He took a sip and continued his joke “No, it’s just fine — why don’t you try another sip?”

So I did. It was disgusting. Can you guess what it was? Oh, not just any beer. It was my dad’s favorite beer: Budweiser. Sweet. To this day, I can’t drink beer. It’s a visceral disgust that has generalized to all beers.


My grandfather was a smoker. He took care of me when I was 5, and one day I asked him about his cigarette.  “Oh, this?” He put his lit cigarette in my mouth. “Inhale as deeply as you can.” So I did. After an epic coughing fit, during which my grandfather just about died laughing, I told him that his cigarette was yucky. He agreed and told me not to smoke. I never have. Can’t stand the habit.

These experiences are probably also where my defiant streak and suspicion of authority come from.


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