5 Parenting Tips for Dummies

– or, How Not to Parent: a complicated subject I know about, and will explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.

Okay, fellow parent-dummy. Here are a few tips… picked up from my own muck-ups, and observations on what Not to do.
Unless you want to be a parent-dummy, of course.

First Tip (i.e. My worst muck-up)

If you’re a teacher and contemplating an impending childbirth – Keep right on Teaching!
I did for my first trimester, then quit. BUT (second child at school, and me teaching as a reliever a class of ages eleven to twelve) I took my third baby to visit my class, all of whom fell over themselves in the rush to see what Mrs S. had produced. And, believe it or not, those rushing most were the boys. They were so sweet with my baby daughter, (and confided so accurately (as I was advised quietly by the Principal, later) the inadequacies of their replacement teacher) I softened up, and baby was in day care full time from three months to when she was of school age. And I kept teaching. For years.

Now we have all joked how the last person to fix a dripping tap at home is the parent who is a plumber. Similarly, if married to an electrician, one does not expect the fuse to be replaced, nor the hair drier to be repaired. The gardener is the last person on whom to call for landscaping his own garden.
Sad to say, a tired teacher at end of day finds it hard to interact as a mother to the children at home.

Second Tip (i.e. A Dummy move some parents do make)
Buy for your crawler rug-rat those books with tags, tabs, flip-ups etc.
Supposed to involve the young ‘un in the story, it doesn’t do it. It teaches them that books are tactile things, not something with a story to which baby listens, until years later s/he reads it on his/her own for pleasure in both the story and the achievement.

The worst of these “action” books I’ve ever seen, after five weeks only, had been chewed on, slobbered on, and ripped, torn, shredded… Nngaargh!

Third Tip (i.e. Another dummy move some make)

Take on all the parenting. After all, your partner has worked so hard all day to earn the family income … you cannot expect him/her to bath children, serve the evening meal, feed the baby, clear the table, do the dishes, fold the nappies (diapers) and other laundry … relaxation is a right, at the end of a working day!

This will result in the child/ren feeling they can totally ignore their working parent in matters of discipline, advice, school support, etc. and may also result in the children feeling Mum’s too tough, doesn’t understand.
Worse, it can lead to the children learning to play one parent off against the other.
If the working partner resents being asked to parent – sorry, you picked a wrong ’un; should have discussed this ‘way back before conceiving.

Fourth Tip (i.e. Another of my muck-ups)
Choose a day-care facility at which the staff greet your child first thing with
“Good morning {name}, don’t you look good today!”

Instead, demand they compliment your child with a remark on how they have managed preparing themselves for the day. For example:
“Good morning, {name}—haven’t you combed your hair well /chosen sensible clothes for the sandpit, today!” (Or similar)
See Fifth Tip for further explanation….

Fifth Tip (i.e. Another of my muck-ups)
Buy your young daughter a Barbie, a Barbie-clone, a Bratz…doll. Continue buying the doll new outfits, accessories, play houses…all the shite the brand can push.

From this she will learn appearance is everything, not accomplishment. She will throw hissy fits in the mornings because she’s already worn that outfit to kindy, and while her histrionics may give a sense of parental pride in her drama abilities, her self esteem will become reliant on other people’s real or imagined opinions.
Girls with low self-esteem are fair game in their teens for all sleaze bags.
Boys with low self-esteem may defy it with bullying, manipulation, or maybe by finding a sympathetic male figure.

🔹🔸🔹🔸🔹

I could go on and give more tips for Parenting for Dummies, but this is titled 5 Tips, so that’s it for now.  I Hope you enjoyed this bit of fun, and I didn’t upset or offend you.

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