how to be a parent
First Tiger Mother author Amy Chua wanted to educate all of us on how to raise our children the Chinese way. And now Pamela Druckerman is planning to share French secrets on how to bring up a “Bebe.” I’m wondering – what qualifies either of these ladies to dispense parenting advice?
Absolutely nothing. That’s what.
So in keeping with the theory that anyone can be a parenting expert, I’ve decided I want to share my own theories. Here’s the great thing though – I won’t make you buy a book. Or read a book. I’ll just summarize my advice – absolutely free!
- Don’t over-indulge children. Just because Dr. Brown has a fabulous marketing department promoting his bottle warmer doesn’t mean you actually have to run out and buy one. If you only give your child cold milk then cold milk is all they’ll ever know. Does this sound crazy? Maybe. But you’ll thank me when you’re on a flight to London and a bitchy flight attendant refuses to heat up your baby’s bottle. (Have you heard a baby scream for 11 hours? It’s not pretty. Save yourself.)
- Chicken nuggets are the exception, not the rule. I learned early on that in order to get your kid to love things like seaweed, green beans and swordfish you actually have to feed them seaweed, green beans and swordfish. They’ll give in eventually. Parenting is a battle of the wills and in my opinion, mini-people should not have a will.
- Teach kids how to behave. Bratty/messy/rude kids are not cute. Teach kids how to use a fork and a knife, how to sit still in a restaurant, how to write thank you notes, how to use a napkin, how not to interrupt, how to wait their turn, and most importantly, how to think about others before themselves (although I obviously need to practice what I preach here).
So I’m a bit harsh – I get that. But the thing is that I have so little patience. So. Little. Patience.
Anyway, I could go on giving advice for hours – but I’ll spare you. Instead I’ll just conclude by saying that these so-called experts don’t have all the answers. They’re just regular mothers like me and you. Except they have book deals.
Which I don’t.