I am no parenting expert. I make mistakes. Big ones. I’m good at some things, bad at others. Patience for example. So by no means do I position myself as one who has the authority to lecture. However. There are just some things that I thought most people would get. Y’know, just the basics. Simple parenting common sense. Like, oh, I don’t know, let’s say…not locking your kid in a closet. But, no. I see parenting decisions on a daily basis that make the skin peel off my eyeballs.
So for the good the bad and the truly incredible, here are my basic parenting dos and please don’ts.
1. Do not have the same haircut as all of your kids. This goes along the same vein as not having the same name as your kid/s. I’m lookin’ at you George Foreman. I was driving past a school that shall remain unnamed and I saw, crossing the road, a Dad with his three kids (looked so close in age they could have been triplets) all with exactly the same hair approximating this guy. Except the ponytails were mid-back length. Good looking. Very very good looking. While we’re on it, same goes for naming your kid after a car or a type of petrol.
2. Do not let your toddler drink Red Bull. Yes indeedy, I have seen this. On more than a few occasions. Simply put, if you are doing this to your little one, then you deserve every little bit ‘o crazy that’s heading your way. Hold on to your hats. FYI, for the rest of us, please don’t feed your child Red Bull and then bring them to school. We don’t wanna play that fun game.
3. Do not let your 8 year old play Call of Duty for 8 hours straight. Or at all. See that bug eyed expression? See those shaky hands? See that kid who cannot, cannot focus on something as tame as reading, writing or conversing? Gaming addiction. Don’t go there. School simply cannot compete with 8 hours of brain blastin’, ear drum poppin’, adrenaline flippin’ violence. Education will lose out every time.
4. Do not let your kid watch any of the Saw films. EVER! Especially if they are under the age of 25. Or maybe 30. If you ever want your child to have a sound night’s sleep ever again, and believe me this is a good thing, stay away from horror. It says 18+ for a reason.
5. If your 11 year old goes out in the middle of the night. Go get him. Really, do what ever it takes and go get him. Don’t let him camp overnight in random locations with random homeless dudes to supervise. But if they must camp, teach them that aerosol cans and camp fires do not mix. You’ll thank me.
6. Do not, under any circumstances, use the F word or the C word to, near, about or within earshot of your child. Monkey see, monkey do. Believe me, calling your teacher or classmates f***ing c***s really doesn’t wash. It’s not under the radar type language…*target-back*.
7. DO talk to your child. In a conversational, friendly way. You know, chat.
8. DO spend time with your child doing stuff that does not involve Foxtel. Outside type things are good.
9. Do ensure your face lights up with delight when you see your child enter a room. Rolling your eyes when you see him doesn’t fill him with a sense of self worth. Same goes for telling him if he doesn’t behave you’re gong to hand him over to The Department. Oh, and don’t drive him to the jail to freak him into behaving.
10. Last but not least. Kiss, cuddle, touch, pat, stroke, squeeze and hold him. All the time. Every day.