I had a groovy time last night at my show in San Francisco at the Punchline.  It’s one of these clubs where the crowd is smart enough to get heady concepts yet down to earth enough to laugh at fart jokes.  I try to make my comedy a marriage between smart and silly so the Punchline is right up my alley.

The most notable audience member was a girl I went to elementary school with in Brooklyn.  Veronica was in my same class from grades 1-6.  She was the smartest person in my class.  (I’m keeping myself out of contention, for all my readers whose jaws just dropped. 🙂 We also lived in the same building. She’s from a concrete Brooklyn jungle raised during the crack years and she went to Stanford and is now a civil engineer.  I’m as proud of her making it out of the hood by way of education and she is of me making it out by way of jokes.  She was clearly on a trajectory for greatness even as a child.  Veronica was always well behaved and studious.  I was always studious but no one ever accused me of being well behaved.

I see there’s a Chinese dad in New York making his toddler run in the snow with his underwear on.  The father calls himself the Eagle dad.  It’s a part of the father’s “toughen up” regimen.  Huh?? The boy is 4 years old.  For every child hazed by their parents I can show you a child raised with leniency that will accomplish just as much.  I really don’t feel all that bad for the boy.  It’s just snow and he’ll be fine and maybe it will toughen him up.  I just question the effectiveness of it all.  Nothing trumps love.  I’m sure my childhood friend was held to a high standard growing up but I’m also sure that she was loved.  I never even had a curfew growing up but again, I was loved.

My father took my pacifier away from me at a very young age.  Tough Love.  Making a four year old run half naked through snow? Bananas! I don’t believe in coddling but I also don’t believe in treating a child like he’s a Navy Seal.  The video doesn’t show the parents, but unless the father was out there in the cold with his undies on I call BS.

If you want your kids to be productive members of society try cutting off the TV, limiting video games, cutting out processed foods.  When levying out discipline ask yourself child development or Russian secret service training.   I don’t think Veronica was ever forced to run in the show.  Dodging bullets was challenging enough.