Parenting 101 by guest blogger Margit Crane

Be sarcastic.

Don’t let it bother you at all that the word means “to tear flesh.” Kids are plenty sophisticated enough to understand that when you say, “Yes, of course I think you’re stupid,” you don’t in any way mean it. Plus! You’ll love it when they reach their teens and start dishing it back to you. Nothing is more lovable than a sarcastic teen!

Lecture, yell, nag, and be smug.

Dude. Who doesn’t love to cuddle up for a good lecture? And yelling just makes it that much easier to be heard. Of course, if you’re one of those who (cough) doesn’t believe in yelling, acting smug works great too. Saying to your kids “I’m sorry I ever birthed a sinner like you” in a calm voice is totally different than saying it in a loud voice. Besides Listening is so last century.

Teach your kids to be perfect.

Mistakes are very, very bad. Everyone knows that people who make mistakes never learn and are branded as losers for life. No one will hire them and, for sure, no one will marry them. Ew. If your kids make a mistake, it’s your job to cover it up. Pay anything, make excuses for them, and take the blame on yourself.

Take things personally.

When your kids lie or hide some information from you, totally take it personally. How could they do that to you? Everyone knows that it’s completely natural for kids to tell parents everything and not hide anything. You are, after all, the best friends they’ll ever have and no one will ever love them more. Duh.

Project bad thoughts about your child’s future.

Repeat them quietly to soothe yourself to sleep: “My child will never do anything right” “My child will end up working at a fast-food joint” “My child won’t be able to support me when I’m old and feeble.” Parents can totally see into the future – it’s a gift. Why deny it? Jump right in and swim around in your fears until you have no hope left at all.

Double standards ROCK!

You’ve had your miserable childhood and now it’s their turn! Kids tow the line; parents get to play. Swear and make sexist comments all you want. You’ve earned it! And no sharing allowed! It’s your Xbox, it’s your car, it’s your food, it’s your house. Let those little beggars make their own money and then they can boss around their kids. It’s the Circle of Life.

Withhold love.

You’ve told them once; what do they expect? Especially when they’re SO demanding. They’re like little developing people, or something. Puh-lease! Now, if they say, “I love you, Mom and Dad,” you have to say it back to them. That’s the rule. But be sure not to look them in the eyes or smile. And, for goodness sake, don’t touch them! They’ll think you care.

Don’t have any rules

Rules make life so predictable and calm. Rules can teach respect, cooperation and interdependence. Blech. Plus, if you have rules you have to follow through on consequences, and that just takes time away from planking and reading O Magazine. No. Guidance. Allowed. NOTE – there is one exception: You may make a chart of everything your kids do wrong and turn it into a lawn sign.

Don’t limit your kids’ use of technology

Blah, blah, blah, digital natives, etc. How are your kids supposed to keep up without constant access to technology? Sure, it screws with their Circadian Rhythms. It’s true they’ll have no idea how to hold a conversation that’s longer than three sentences. Of course, there’s a chance they’ll be broadcast naked far and wide. Without a doubt, their attention spans will be… SQUIRREL!

 DO NOT, under any circumstances, get help for you or your family if you’re not getting along or you need a little support.

Let your kids learn whatever the heck they need to learn from T.V. Hello… Reality T.V.?? Plus, therapy and coaching and going to doctors is such a crock. How often did Mary Ingalls and Ma and Pa go to therapy or see a coach? Never. And there was that one show where Ma cut out her own infection with a sterilized hunting knife. Why can’t you do that? You need money for that vacation where you’ll all fight and be miserable. Or you can use that appointment time to play Farmville. Help is for wusses, damnit!

Margit Crane is a step-mom, an ADD/ADHD Coach, and a skills-builder for families with gifted kids who are underachieving, over-irritating, or both! She only works with awesome people. Margit is the author of the forthcoming, How To Train Your Parents in 6 1/2 Days, for tweens and teens. For more articles go to Margit’s website, memorize the blog, sign up for 2 killer e-reports, and just generally stroll jauntily around

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  • oooooooooooooo i get to comment on a blog on my blog that i didn't blog. THIS BLOG IS AWESOME. thank you, Margit. you are brilliant and funny and i'm grateful. xo

  • In reply to Nicole Knepper:

    I like the photo you chose as well. I need new head shots since this month my hair is burgundy and, apparently, magenta.

  • No, thank you!

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    OMG, I am so ready to be a parent now...where are my gay-bies. Phillip!

  • In reply to David Zarza:

    Gay-bies! Yaaaaay. Just follow these rules and you'll be fine, David.

  • GREAT blog Margit! I was TOTALLY going to do the yard sign thing... hmm, must rethink that one I suppose! Thanks for the awesome perspective and a good laugh this morning. Having a tween and teen.. I was totally going to take it all personally - now I won't so much (maybe).

  • In reply to SavvyParents:

    A lot of parents take things personally. How could you not when a watermelon with a personality exited your womb and shredded your privates?

  • In reply to SavvyParents:

    Yard signs are fine. And just so you know, the colors Yellow-Gold, Red, and Black are the most easily read by passersby.

    You're welcome. And thanks for commenting!

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    I will defenitely make the banner if my teens keep up messing up!!! Warning number 1. :)

  • Cynthia,

    Yes, cut to the chase! Do you not know the house rules????

    alternatively, you can stand on a street corner and show all the drivers how unruly your kids are!

    Thanks for commenting,

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    Damn this was funny! I'm working on my double standards. Have sarcasm down and will begin the list for the yard sign. Thanks for the help!

  • In reply to Amy Lang:

    Nice! Feel free to add some gnomes or flamingos to frame the sign and make it stand out.

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    Boy can I relate. I've used tips from Margit that she provides on her website. It give me tools that I can rally use. I love my son but this is really difficult stuff to handle day in and day out.

    Thanks for the humor too.

  • In reply to Kris Conway:

    Thanks Kris. Glad my tips have helped - that's always good to hear!

  • Thanks for the laughs Margit! You've given me so many new ideas to try out!

  • In reply to Kathy Slattengren:

    Thanks Kathy! Have at it!

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    Wonderful blogging!! It made me want to have demon child all over again so I could do it THIS way!!!

  • Thanks Sophia! I'm sure the government has a grant for that experiment!


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    Margit is a superstar with all the people she works with and the results are amazing.

  • Thank you, Nick! (And I didn't have to pay you at all - that's the kind of awesome YOU are!)

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