How To Be A Parent: 20 sure-fire ways to guarantee* happy, well-adjusted children

*honest <lies>

Here is what you should do in order to provide the best for your children, to ensure that they are healthy and happy and that they grow up to be good and successful adults.

What follows is the information I have gathered from my 38 years experience of being alive and my 13 cumulative years of parenting, presented to you in a concise, easy to follow list. I’ve read books, watched documentaries, listened to Woman’s Hour. I have done my research, so you don’t have to.

Brace yourself. You are about to become the best parent ever:

  1. Get pregnant when you are not too young but not too old. The optimum time to give birth is when you are 27 years, 6 months, and 4 days old. Anything else would be irresponsible to society, the economy, yourself, your baby, your family, or possibly all of the above.
  2. Enjoy every minute of the painful, sometimes frightening, sometimes bewildering, sometimes life-threatening experience of childbirth, or risk damaging that bond between you and your child for all eternity.
  3. Never put your baby down.
  4. Don’t spoil your baby with cuddles.
  5. Dictate a minute by minute routine to your child to be 100% for-sure for-certain that you have a baby that sleeps through* from the age of 2 weeks old. Your tiny child who is yet to form its own thoughts, ideas, or sense of self is the best person to ask what this routine should be – be led by them.
  6. Breast is best. Unless you think it’s not. Then it’s fine not to. But it’s not really.
  7. Baby-led weaning is definitely undoubtedly, indubitably the best way to introduce solids to your baby’s diet. As is spoon-feeding them puree.
  8. They should have five portions of fruit and veg a day. Or 10. But never grapes. And definitely not raisins, for they are really just baby-cocaine. And actually, make that primarily veg, not so much the fruit. And never ever the fruit juice. That is the work of the devil. But one portion of fruit juice is fine. Perhaps. Or is it….
  9. The sun is the enemy of that delicate skin: hats, shade, covered in clothes and factor 50, please.
  10. Ensure they have sufficient vitamin D so they don’t get rickets. Note, the best form of vitamin D is direct exposure to sunlight.
  11. They require fresh, organic, produce, with a good variety of oily fish and prime cuts of meat, or their brains will seize up and will be the size of walnuts and just won’t work.
  12. If you can’t afford fresh, organic, produce with a good variety of oily fish and prime cuts of meat then don’t go moaning at me love. Get out the rice and lentils and learn to make 3-course meals from leftovers and a packet of cuppa soup. Never did me any harm.
  13. Let them share your bed so they know they are loved.
  14. Let them have their own cot and own room and shut the door so they know they can love themselves and self soothe.
  15. Destroy all dummies, but let your child have one if you feel appropriate.
  16. Telly is evil. Unless it is not evil. Then it is fine.
  17. Don’t rush them into potty training. They will do it in their own time when they are good and ready. To pressure them could give them anxiety issues well into adulthood (did I tell you that all mine were clean and dry and wiping their own arses by the time they were nine months old?).
  18. They should have time to play freely, to be bored, and to also attend breakfast clubs, after school clubs, rugby tots, singy songy tots, swimming tots, and three languages by the time they are five tots.
  19. They will be more successful and learn quicker if they start in a good preschool environment from the age of 2, but be warned if they start in education before they are 7 they will grow up loveless, heartless bastards.
  20. Still struggling? Things still not going as you imagined? Child still not behaving quite as you expected? Go see a doctor – it’s probably a virus.

It couldn’t be clearer.

Could it?

*’The author notes that ‘sleep through’ is defined as between the hours of 11pm to 1.30 am. Seriously, how much sleep do you need?


If you are a fan of myth busting writing then try Southwark Belle’s blog  Here is an extract from her about page:

“Since becoming a Mummy I’ve discovered just how much contradictory information, dubious science and outright nonsense is thrown at parents. This blog is my response.”

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