Sunday, July 3, 2011

456. 10 Easy Steps for Authentic Parenting

  1. First, drag out dictionary and look up “authentic” to make sure you aren’t misusing the word (again). Sigh a big authentic sigh of relief when first definition listed is “true to oneself.” Yay—lying to others is still acceptable!
  2. Give children solid positive role models, other than lying parents. Maybe there are some nice authentic neighbors who live close by?
  3. Be true to yourself by lowering (obsessively high) pre-children standards. Replace gorgeous glass coffee table that must be Windexed every five minutes with wood coffee table that can withstand being kicked and spilled on every five seconds. To go with new child-centric lifestyle, consider painting formerly pristine “Snowy Morning” white walls a popular new shade by Benjamin Moore called “Spit Up.”
  4. Try to maintain a regular routine to make life easier. For example, go to library Tuesdays at 9 AM, music class Wednesday afternoons, swim lessons Monday and Thursday mornings, and happy hour every day starting at 5 on the dot. Children crave consistency!
  5. Make your children follow rules. Rules like cleaning up art supplies after making clay dinosaurs, clearing the table after dinner, and paying all your bills for you. Hey, isn’t that what a paper route is for?
  6. When nosy people in your life criticize your questionable parenting methods, look them right in the eye and say sarcastically, “Sure, I suppose I should listen to you because you obviously know all about children because you have some yourself, huh, Mom and Dad?”
  7. Try to add cultural enrichment to your children’s lives on a daily basis. For example, go to the zoo, or if you don’t feel like driving anywhere when it is 95 degrees out, just flip on the Nature Channel. Try to teach your kids how to cook, or if you don’t feel like turning on the oven and getting any pans dirty, just flip on Top Chef Masters.
  8. Studies have proven that children of all ages can benefit from naps. The best times for naps are 9:30 AM, 10 AM, 10:45 AM, 1 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:15 PM, and 4:20 PM. I recommend all those times.
  9. Feed your children authentic food. Good choices are foods made with real sugar (not fake sugar) like Baskin-Robbins ice-cream. (That is only if Haagen-Dazs is not available in your area.)
  10. When your children are behaving in an unacceptable way, such as whining incessantly in the check-out lane at Target, authentically turn to the clerk and say, “They are not with me. They followed me in here.”


  1. When we brought our newborn home I kept him on the same schedule as the hospital (SP?) and everyone was horrified when I woke him up to eat. Hey, if it was good enough for the nurses it was good enough for me. I am also the mother that made him eat dinner in the finished basement alone when he was around 13. Worked for us and for him as he is now the best son ever. Ya gotta use what works for you.

    Although this was the same child that found it amusing to announce in 2nd grade that his mother loved spaghetti and wine and I do not think I served spaghetti that often.

  2. Nola, love that! My older son told his preschool class that Mommy's favorite food was "vino". When the teacher said, "What?" he had to go and clarify: "You know, you drink it? it comes in a bottle? Mommy really likes Chardonnay. Although she'll drink Pinot Grigio in a bind." Nice.



When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)