Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parenting 101

I just read Amy's blog and felt quite comforted by the fact that parenting doesn't look much different than it did 30 years ago. As you all know, I've taught Child Development for many years. I've also taught more parenting classes than I can remember. Since I'm old and you're not, I thought you might benefit from some of my wisdom and experience. So, here are twenty things I think every parent should know about children and parenting:

1. Kids are and always will be smarter than you. Even if they're not, you're
usually too tired to challenge them.

2. God made kids cute so we wouldn't drown them.

3. You'll like your kids more if you dress them cute.

4. Forget putting your kids in time-out. Put YOURSELF in time-out - preferably
on a beach or cruise ship.

5. Your spouse's genes are responsible for all the psychotic and neurotic behaviors
in your kids.

6. Never leave your kids alone - not even if they're 30. They have "trouble finding"

7. Kids have radar. They know when you're in the bathroom, even if you're quiet
and the room is dark. They have sensors on their fingertips, so when you see
those fingers under the door BEWARE!!!

8. Kids have an impairment which prevents them from hearing you the first
88 times.

9. Never have more than one kid. Sibling rilvary and fighting don't exist when
there's only one.

10. Boys are great, but their "handle" has been known to destroy bathroom walls
and floors. It seems there's no way to control it. (Same when they're grown.)

11. Girls are great, but they turn on you like a rhino when they reach 13.

12. Tell all of your children they are the favorite. Write them each letters
to verify it. You never know which one will be rich enough to take care of
you in your old age.

13. Make sure, if you do have girls, they are ugly as a dog's backside, so boys
won't come sniffing around.

14. Don't ever let your sons drive. Their brains are disconnected from the foot
that presses on the gas pedal.

15. Hide everything you own. Kids don't understand the notion of personal ownership.
They think if it's in your house, in your room, in your drawer, and you paid for
it, it most certainly is theirs.

16. Never enter a teenager's room without proper equipment. Your backpack should
include Lysol, a medium strength acid, a shovel, a mask, gloves, and several
garbage sacks. Also, NEVER enter alone. Parents have been known to disappear.

17. Don't get too caught up with safety and child protection laws. YOU know what
works best for your kid. See below for suggestion. If you get caught, claim
that you've never seen the kid before in your life.

18. Lower your expectations. If you expect them to act like they were "raised in a
barn"...and they do....you're not disappointed.

19. Don't sweat the small stuff. They don't really need to eat or go to school.
If they steal candy from the store, they were probably just hungry. Let them
yell at you and hit you. It's important that we teach kids to be assertive.

20. Finally, be sure that you always show your kids that you love them. They will
use this love to bribe and torment you, but at least you can say that you did
your part.


  1. The sad thing is that more than half of the list is true. I could sit down with you for hours and listen to your suggestions on raising children. I'm sure you know of some books to read that may help with raising a 3 year old(red-headed girl), any suggestions?

  2. Love the list!!!! It is so true about how you dress your kids..when B drives me crazy, it makes it easier when she looks cute! And...you mean I am not really your favorite? What the......

  3. I needed a laugh today and this was perfect. I want to add that they have a radar for the minute I get on the phone--they harass me and bug me non-stop. They also know it is the time to do whatever they want and I can't yell at them (as well). I'm getting good at the evil eyed whisper yell and it scares the hell out of them. Nice list.

  4. Wanna read that 10 times. Might even link to it! SUPER FUNNY!!!!

  5. I nodded and laughed to each one of those! What I want to know is, where was my mother BEFORE I had my kids to tell me these things! No one warned me. And you ALL knew! I might have given this whole "have a few kids" thing a second thought! ha ha ha

  6. Amy, in answer to your question I'm adding #21. Your Kids never believe what you tell
    them. They're dead set on doing it their way.
    Then, they blame you for not intervening.

  7. Your last comment is my favorite one so far! This was great. I would also add that a freshly washed kid is easier to love. I have a hard time being really sweet to kids (my own or others) if they smell gnarly!

  8. Funny thing, Ashley. I almost put KIDS SMELL.