Rule #63: Lie to Your Child About How Important You Are

in Rules of Parenting

What, you think they let just anyone sit here?

Watch, son. I sit here and people just hand over money. They call that respect where I'm from.

There was a time when people used to look at you with a mix of envy, awe and desire to make out in the bathroom at Big Willie’s Bar & Notary.

But you were younger and infinitely more ambitious then. Your life was a canvas framed in the gilded trappings of potential.

That’s the word people used about you—potential. “He has the potential to do big things that don’t involve wearing a smock or a hair net,” they’d say. But then, sometime in the past 15 years, they sort of stopped saying that about you.

Which means your career has either flat-lined or you’ve delayed the success that will inevitably come your way just as soon as you lose a limb or get violently maimed on the job and collect long-term disability.

Until that time, you have to lie to your children about how important you are, because every kid wants to brag on the playground about his parents’ success.

Lie Big and Lie Often

You’ve been thinking small your entire life, so now is the time to manufacture enormous lies. In fact, the bigger the lie about your standing in life the better your child will feel about himself.

Practice uttering B.S. in front of the mirror, which showcases humility, bravado and just general douchebaggery. Some ideas:

Humility: “You know, son, people tell me that when I invented air I kind of changed everyone’s life. I just look at air as an easier way of living—if I hadn’t invented it, I’m sure God would have gotten around to it eventually.”

Bravado: “You’ve heard of Canada, right Tommy? Well, mommy owns it. I bought it when the market was down. I might buy something cute next, maybe East Timor. Would you like mommy to buy East Timor?”

Douche-baggery: “If you have to remember one thing about your daddy, Katie, remember that I’m pretty much the boss of everybody. But also remember that you could live to be 100, and you’ll never be as successful as daddy in business, relationships, sports, piety, overall intelligence and, of course, darts.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Forgotten December 11, 2009 at 9:29 am

Have your kids think you’re with the mafia. (“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” – how many times did you hear that one growing up?) All you have to do is threaten to call Guido. They’ll run.


Tyler February 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Love the blog. I will be spending the next several days soaking up your vast parenting knowledge. Check out my blog and the baby calming advice that I have developed.


Tyler February 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Love the blog. I will be spending the next several days soaking up your vast parenting knowledge. Check out my blog, “,” and the baby calming techniques that I have developed.


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