The Prom Chaperone

Because no one wants to have to go to prom alone.

Because no one wants to have to go to prom alone.

via Reddit.

The Beginning of the End

first-day-kindergarten

And it's all downhill from here, buddy.

Rule #105: Ignore Your Child’s Anger Issues

ignore-childs-anger-issues

That's not a purr. That's a cry for help.

You’ve probably noticed little Samantha requesting more raw meat with her meals, especially breakfast.

It would be foolish of you to turn down these requests. You see, Samantha is growing, learning and adapting to the world around her, and that world often needs the fuel of uncooked sirloin.

Which brings us to Samantha’s alleged anger issues. [Read more...]

Parental Supervision: Not Always Required

parental-supervision

It's all downhill from here, kid.

The Natural Born Athlete

natural born athlete

His mother's outfit and his father's athletic ability.

Rule #80: Ban All Forms of Acne Medication

THEY will learn to adapt. YOU won't have to wait up on Friday nights.

The dull pain, hovering below your skin like teenage heartache itself, began around 3 p.m.

By 5, a mere hour before you were to pick up your date, the missile penetrated and expanded your pores in a flame of shame.

That’s right, you possessed—like some kind of suburban booby prize—a mammoth zit with a fury and size that only teenagers can experience.

And it didn’t really matter where the beast presented itself. Chin, forehead, nose, ear lobe (and underrated spot that rendered earrings impossible), temple, upper lip, lower lip, cheek bone or just above the eyebrow, as if you’d gone 18 rounds with a prize fighter.

While the agony of these events are too numerous to recall with any type of clarity, there’s something you got out of these ghastly experiences of facial disobedience: they built character. [Read more...]

Rule #71: Fake Memory Loss

fake memory loss

I definitely would have remembered if I said anything about saving for your college education. You're thinking of someone else.

We all do it. We promise our children things that, upon later reflection, turn out to be impossible to bestow.

Like telling your son you’ll build him a tree fort if he sleeps past 7 on Saturday morning.

First, you don’t know shit about tree forts other than they require planning, nailing and hammering skills, and the only planning, nailing and hammering skills you possess involved several coeds as an undergrad.

So, yes, the tree fort promise was a buffoonish move, but it’s also a parental move. We’re in the habit of offering things that simply cannot happen once clarity takes over.

And, naturally, children always have clarity. They remember your every word. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to…in fact, it’s your prerogative to forget everything. [Read more...]

Rule #70: Register for Your Baby Shower at a Pawnshop

Turn that frown upside down with a neon topless dancer sign, or the leg lamp from A Christmas Story.

We figure you have a few things going for you:

First, your home décor is a cross between meth-house chic and the back office at a 7-Eleven (including the cases of unopened Yoo-Hoo in the corner).

Second, you have plenty of friends who are looking to either skip your baby shower or spend as little money as possible on it.

And, finally, you have an affinity for second-hand 14-carat gold pinkie rings, drum sets once used by convicted felons and Soviet-era breast pumps.

Which is why registering for your baby shower at a pawnshop is a most excellent idea.
[Read more...]

Rule #59: Vacation in a Third World Country

Weren't you the one complaining about taking a bath? That tub doesn't seem so bad now, does it, hot shot?

Weren't you the one complaining about taking a bath? That tub doesn't seem so bad now, does it, hot shot?

Your kid, like most American children, is spoiled shitless.

He’s got an iPod, a television in his room – which he shares with no one – and you even let him have his own seat at your dining room table.

Clearly, the rod has been spared and the child has been royally spoiled. And his entitled perspective has his expectations as high as his Uncle Leroy, who, incidentally, was never invited to the dining room table.

To combat the social retardation which will be the result of this spoilage, you should, at some time in your child’s adolescence, vacation to a third world country (no, flipping on Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t count.)

Your probably thinking that there’s no way this could improve anything, and you’re probably worried about getting your Manolo Blahnik’s stolen – or worse – dirty, and you may be right.

But you never joined the Peacecorps and you mildly regret this, so pack your bags, head to Somalia and get ready to improve the shit out of yourself and your kid: [Read more...]

Rule #58: Admit Your Baby Isn’t Cute

Either you can't look at it, or you can't look away. Either way, you're not reading this caption.

Either you can't look at it, or you can't look away. Either way, you're not reading this caption.

Your baby is an impish, miniature troll, who’s mere appearance can devastate aspiring Miss America contestants into never doing a pageant again.

You’ve been etching scars on friends and family members’ corneas with your wallet photos of “Ugly Jimmy” and in an honest moment, you realize you may have been responsible for several minor car accidents just by toting the sucker around in your stroller.

And this would be fine, if you quietly went about your business, raising the beast and ushering him patiently through an awkward adolescence.

But you keep subjecting us to “it,” and that’s something we won’t stand for, and neither should you.

Besides, admitting your baby isn’t cute is the first step in sculpting a healthy and realistic worldview for your child. Benefits include: [Read more...]

Rule #56: Join Forces With the Monster Under the Bed

Just lay low for now, and if he's still awake after 10, just crawl out and lick his hand or something.

Just lay low for now, and if he's still awake after 10, just crawl out and lick his hand or something.

Every parent needs an ally, and there’s no better source of unknown evil to a toddler or small child than the monster under the bed.

Use this sinister source to your advantage when trying to sway your child to follow any of your home’s random rules that, truth be told, most children with the brain function of a parsnip wouldn’t bother following anyway.

But that’s not the point.

The point, as we see it in our long-term, tainted-by-Donnie-Darko worldview, is to break your child’s will and foment the beginnings of rampant paranoia that will one day have him scampering up trees like a feral tabby when any sign of danger approaches your home. [Read more...]

Rule #55: Scare Away Your Children’s Friends

But he only eats one child per year, so you should be safe, Charlie.

But he only eats one child per year, so you should be safe, Charlie.

The only children who can be trusted are yours—and only if they’ve been sedated with warm milk and apple strudel.

You don’t like the idea of other children or so-called “friends” influencing your brood with talk of the “internet” and its many electronic trappings, as well as using “cell phones” to discuss things such as where they’ll meet to eat food that is fast and “convenient.”

And don’t get us started with the ugly influences on the younger set, including the ne’er-do-wells at Disney.

It’s a dangerous world of ideas, and your children like ideas…mainly because they don’t get any at home. That’s why it’s important to scare away all of their friends and would-be friends. (Studies by researcher-scientist types with bad parts in their hair and acne scars have shown that friendships are ridiculously overrated anyway.)
[Read more...]

Rule #53: Stunt Your Child’s Growth

Keep on chugging, we can't get you new shoes for another year.

Keep on chugging, we can't get you new shoes for another year.

Your child has had the appetite of a ravenous hyena since the day he was born.

It’s fairly sickening, actually, with off-the-charts growth (head, feet, adenoids), and his trips to the Waffle House have you heading toward the poor house.

Which is why you should nip his big-boned future in the fat bud and take measures to stunt his growth, both vertically and horizontally.

Seriously, did you really think your child would be in the NBA or become a lanky model? Shrimpy children are underrated for their pluck, spunk and the bit parts they might land in Wizard of Oz revivals for the Lollipop Guild. [Read more...]

Rule #38: Tell Your Kids the End Is Near

And you thought your kids were embarrassed when you wore a fanny pack...

And you thought your kids were embarrassed when you wore your fanny pack...

Everyone is going to die, and some of us are going to do it while in various stages of undress with hookers who don’t know CPR.

Which means that, even if you figure you’ve got another 30 to 40 years to kick around, the countdown begins right about now—and you might as well share this general sense of gnawing trepidation with your children.

The sooner they realize the end is near—not only for them, but also for our species and the planet—the better. It’s an outstanding disciplinary tool, and it sets expectations so low that you can absolve yourself from the hard work and responsibility of raising helpful and productive children. [Read more...]

Rule #34: Arrange Your Teenager’s Dates

Arranging dates for your daughter is sort of like buying an insurance policy.

Arranging dates for your daughter is sort of like buying an insurance policy.

A good date is to a teenager what dentures are to your Uncle Morty: a necessity for social status and the one surefire way of getting a decent meal at Red Lobster.

But just as you wouldn’t expect your uncle to gum his way through life, your child needs an assist when finding a squeeze.

Think about it. You’ve been arranging your teenager’s social circle since the first toddler play date and have managed to control her choices and tastes…which, interestingly enough, look a hell of lot like your choices and tastes.

Your child doesn’t resent this whatsoever, which is why she’ll be thrilled when you arrange dates for her. [Read more...]

Rule #32: Give Your Child an Inferiority Complex

Prepare your child for a life in the shadow of better kids.

Prepare your child for a life in the shadow of better kids.

An enormous part of parenting involves cringing at your children’s shortcomings and jealously pining for the intelligence, accomplishments and excellent traits of children who are way better than them.

This instinct to compare your children to others is natural, and from the time your offspring are old enough to blow spit bubbles, you start noticing that the spit bubbles being blown by babies the same age are somehow better—maybe they’re more symmetrical, or the baby has ingeniously laced his spit bubbles with breast milk or crushed peaches to increase their stability.

And so you look disdainfully at your baby as he blows ordinary spit bubbles and want to say to him, “Son, it seems pretty clear that you can’t even blow a decent spit bubble. Look at how large Matthew’s spit bubble is compared to yours—and he can even crap his diaper while he’s doing it.”

When your child gets older, there’s a good chance he’ll be surrounded by kids who are considerably better than him. You might see this, but he doesn’t—that’s why it’s important to point out how superior some of his friends, classmates and total strangers are. [Read more...]

Rule #29: Confuse Your Teen About Sex

If they don't know what to do, they won't bother trying. Or they'll stop in the middle and get hit by a car.

If they don't know what to do, they won't bother trying. Or they'll stop in the middle and get hit by a car.

Sex and teenagers simply don’t mix, nor does honesty when it comes to you explaining the finer points of doing the deed.

No matter what you say—or how you say it—you’ll never get it right, and you’ll wind up sounding like a cross between Dr. Phil and the guy from the Sham-Wow infomercial.

That’s why it’s important to pass along sex-related information that’s simple and entirely untrue. [Read more...]

Rule #24: Crush Your Child’s Dreams Early

Teach your child that when you try, you'll probably fail. And no matter what, you'll always look ridiculous.

Teach your child that when he tries, he'll probably fail. And no matter what, he'll always look ridiculous.

There was a time when good-natured people (parents, teachers, coaches, and the guy who tried to make you an Amway rep) told you that there was “nothing you couldn’t do if you set your mind to it and worked hard.”

You sort of believed them. But, after college, you also figured setting your mind to something and working hard didn’t sound nearly as appealing or interesting as bumming around Europe for a couple of years and not shaving things that usually need shaving. You returned home, shacked up with a person who would later steal your cat and the fez you bought in Amsterdam, and finally settled into a job that satisfied you about as much as licking stamps.

Your children share your slacker DNA, which means they’re prone to fits of general laziness and ambivalence during times of great opportunity, as well as when people are counting on them—so it’s important to let them know now that they probably won’t amount to much. [Read more...]