Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Give Parenting Advice in the Most Annoying Way Possible

  1. Make sure that the person you're advising wants no part of your insight. Your input should come out of nowhere, without provocation, and at the most inconvenient time. If you can muster a condescending tone, use it as much as possible.
  2. When "offering" your coaching, make sure it stems from information that is either clinically unsubstantiated, or was popular in the 1950s.
  3. As a next step, begin with the assumption that children are hell-bent on deliberately making their parents' lives miserable, instead of just trying to get some need met, especially when the child is under the age of 1. Try phrases like, "He loves to push your buttons."
  4. Next, make some sort of character judgment on the child for his/her behavior. Say things directly to the child, such as, "You're manipulative," and "you're going to grow up spoiled." Use other terms involving the words "monster," "brat," and "pig-headed" for good measure.
  5. Lastly, whatever you do, use the word "control" several times in your counsel. This control should be exerted for no other purpose than its own sake. Make sure that the parent you're advising knows that it's better to forgo relationships that are based on love and understanding than to lose control of the child at any given moment. Dismiss the greater lessons the child could otherwise learn about choice, responsibility, and working things out together with others instead of doing as told in every situation. When the parent says the only control she plans on using in the situation is the Janet Jackson album, look confused and a little put out.

To recap: Be annoying, be brusque, and if possible, take matters into your own hands while the parent isn't looking. After all, you're the expert.


Rebecca said...

Spot on! Reinforces what I've believed all along!

Sarah forwarded this to me- you are hysterical! Can't wait to read the rest of your blog!

Jody Reale said...

Hi Rebecca! Let's co-author a parenting manual. I'll hold the money while you handle the death threats.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

So you've met my mother, then!

Jody Reale said...

Yes, your mother's terribly disappointed in my parenting skills.

Verna Wilder said...

This is great, Jody. And wouldn't it be wonderful if the person (people) who need to read this could really see themselves - and then change? Nah, what would be the fun in that?!

Lucky kids to have you for a mom.

And I love Megan's comment, too!

Love your writing!

Jody Reale said...

Come on, Verna, I say we hold our breath waiting for them to catch on.

Laura Benedict said...

Oh, my. I do hope you didn't injure her too badly!