Last week my parenting skills came into question…. again. Not by a psychologist or Child Protective Services or anything but just someone who felt the need to be condescending and judgemental for no other reason than to make herself feel high and mighty. And I’m sure she’s a stunning example of a parent – you know the ones who act like parenting is like that school “egg” project where you get an A if you return your egg after 2 days un-cracked. No this lady went to the extreme of pointing out to me that it is my fault that my son’s glasses are in slightly less than perfect shape and that he doesn’t always know where they are in the morning. She works for the eye doctor we are not going to anymore and I was simply asking about getting him contact lenses. I guess contact lenses are reserved for kids who have mom’s like June Cleaver. OK admittedly Dawson’s glasses look like may have fallen into a wood chipper once or twice – but again how is that my fault? Anyway all animosity towards the eye doctor’s assistant aside (by the way yes she does still have the use of all her limbs because my husband quickly and politely excused us and guided me outside) I’ve decided to embrace my apparent lack of parenting skills and write a guide for my kids to be given to them on the birth of their first child.
See I got to thinking about the future. I know what the parenting guides are like today and I’m fearful of what they will become by the time my kids have kids. I see a future generation of toddlers running around in little plastic hamster balls so they can’t trip, fall, hit their head on the coffee table, be bitten by an animal, touch something hot or cold, or try to eat the dog’s food. Then when they become preschooler’s they will be wrapped from head to toe in special bubble wrap suits. My kids will look back on their childhood and think OH MY GOD HOW DID WE EVER SURVIVE?
So here we go…. bad parenting tips….. in no particular order:
#254 Never assume you can leave your children watching Blues Clues upstairs while you take a shower and they will be fine. At ages 6 and 2 they can unlatch the “childproof” baby gate, go downstairs and get into a water fight using the kitchen sink sprayer. By the way most kitchens can withstand about 1 1/2 inches of water on the floor before you should be concerned.
#95 Having your 4-year-old help you make baby bottles and showing him how to put the bottle in the microwave to warm up the milk is not a good idea. (PS yes I know you’re not supposed to use the microwave to warm up a baby bottle but sometimes I got desperate.) It takes about 1 minute to effectively melt Playtex bottles in a microwave .
#173 When your child refuses to swallow the medicine in his or her mouth and is about to spit it all out – holding their nose to force them to swallow is probably not something you will find in any “good” parenting tips.
#71 If your son’s beloved bunny has recently passed away you may want to screen any movie that you plan on taking him too – because if the pet in the movie gets lost or also passes away you will have a hysterically crying 5-year-old that you have to attempt to console in the bathroom of the movie theater.
#519 When you’re at home and want to watch an “R” rated movie and think it’s OK for your 10-year-old to watch and just cover their eyes/ears at the parts you think they should miss because you know after 10 minutes they will get bored or fall asleep – you also need to know that when their grandmother is watching them for the afternoon they will put the Bad Boys II DVD in with the explanation that “Mommy lets me watch it.” Thank God Will Smith doesn’t cuss in his rap music – due largely in part to the fact that he gets all his cussing out in the first 5 minutes of that movie.
#461 According to child development experts you should limit your child’s television viewing time to 1-2 hours a day. I’m not really sure our TV has ever been turned off…..
#815 When asked by a doctor what fruits and vegetables your kids eat you should probably have a better answer than – “Do fruit snacks count?”
#62 Not a good idea to let your son teach your daughter how to swing a baseball bat.
#456 A sweatshirt, sweatpants and tennis shoes is not a suitable replacement for a winter coat and snow boots when sledding.
Hopefully these tips will help someone out there – maybe my high school friend who was recently lamenting on Facebook some of her recent parenting faux pas which aren’t anywhere close to anything listed above. By the way there are many more not listed here and I’m sure more to come before they both turn 18.
I am not a perfect parent but I’ve learned to embrace that instead of worry about it. I’m sure when I turn my “eggs” in they will more than just slightly cracked – hopefully they won’t look as bad as Dawson’s glasses. At the rate we’re going though they may actually be scrambled.