Parents, It's Your Turn to Listen

May 31, 2010
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Too often, parents are shoving information down their children's throat telling them what they feel are good choices or great decisions for them to make. That's just the thing that I find humorous, having someone tell you they know the right decision for you to make. They always feel that they have the upper hand simply because they have "been in our shoes before." Well, I've got to say that the shoes these days are not quite the same, so to put it nicely, parents really should not try to put them on our feet. Despite the fact that most elders would say that someone younger giving them advice is a joke, I disagree. The younger generation has a better sense of what goes on in the world because they don't have to take the extra few seconds to reach for their glasses to read a newspaper, or take twenty minutes to find youtube online. So this one's for you parents. I hope you have your glasses on.

Let's start off by telling you that it is pretty much the biggest waste of time to even give advice to youth. It's really not worth the breath, we don't listen anyways. You might tell your son or daughter to put their laundry away and then go in their room an hour later to find that it's not done. Wipe that surprised expression off your old face because it really shouldn't be a shocker. Give it up, they simply did not listen. If your child actually obeys you when you tell them to do something and they do it after being asked just once, then my goodness put some slack in those reigns! You are obviously being way to overbearing and must be physically abusing them for them to actually do the task after being asked just one time. Let your child do the task at the time of their choice because chances are that's when it will get done anyways.

There is another important matter that I would like to bring to the attention of all parents. Whether you think so or not, there is absolutely no chance that you are actually comical. The thing is, you're only funny when you're just being elderly or having a major senior moment. Most of the attempts to be funny turn out to just be embarrassment for your children so I'm begging you to refrain from making this effort. For example, when in a dollar store, don't ask the clerk three times for a price check. I will save you the time and tell you myself that yes, it is a dollar. Did you hear that Dad? Oh, and absolutely never try to reenact a funny scene from a movie or television show. It's only funny when they do it. So mom, don't ever do the Elaine dance from Seinfeld at a gas station ever again. Honestly parents, just be yourself though.

Parents, if your children ever grace you with the privilege of accompanying you to a sports game, refrain from all absolutely nauseating cheers. Your child braved the outing with you so the least you could do is try to act civilized. That does not include yelling, "Sha-boo-ya sha sha sha-boo-ya!" from the stands. It also does not include trying to start the wave or any other interactive activity with the crowd. Be sure to never ask your kids, "What time is it?" wait for them to respond with the actual time of day, and then return with, "No, it's peanut butter jelly time!" I can assure you that they don't find it remotely funny. Save that stuff for the comfort of your couch at home. That way, if you throw your back out cheering, there's a place for you to rest. It's a win-win situation for both parties.

Now let's shift gears to the one thing that most families do together every day, eat. It's fantastic when your child decides to try a new type of food at their own risk. However, I don't care if you just had a new born baby or your kid is in college, don't ever try and tell them that they'll like a type of food that you suggest they should eat. This generation has now acquired the instinct to know that you are lying. Don't ever whip out the famous line, "Try it, you'll love it." The last time that was said to me, it was to get me to try crab legs. Well let me tell you Dad, it's no pizza. The golden rule of all eating rules is that you should never tell your child that they should really try eating some mushrooms again because this time they might like it. Get it through your head that they really don't like it. If they didn't like it the last two hundred times, they are not going to like it this time.

I am certain that your children are very thankful for all of the loving threats that are thrown around when it comes to achieving good grades or doing well on the ACT. It is understood that you want us to do well, so back off. The threatening comments don't tend to help us improve. I'll even clue you in on the fact that some kids will then just want to do worse out of spite. I can hear the gasps now. If you're not sitting down, you may want to, we don't want any heart attacks on our hands. As soon as your breathing regulates, you may continue reading.

The absolute worst thing that any parent could ever do is tell their kid not to do something and then the parent turns around and does it. Why can't I reach for my purse in the back seat while talking on the phone and eating a snack while driving? Being a hypocrite is the worst characteristic any parent could harbor. I mean is it really necessary that I call my parents whenever I change my plans or go to a friend's house? My favorite is when a parent gets upset when their child doesn't pick up their phone the first time they call because it isn't surgically glued to their child's hip. However, when their child tries to get a hold of them, they have to call about twenty times until someone picks up.

When it comes down to it, the main gist of this advice is that parents should simply try to act a little more normal. Don't always try to switch things up by trying to be funny because it comes off as being embarrassing. Never give advice to kids because they probably aren't listening. Also, just let your kids worry about their grades, you worry about the taxes. Most importantly parents, always stay true to yourself.





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