Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: bad parenting

Bad Parenting Just Keeps Coming!

I always enjoy watching the news in the morning.  It’s just a nice reminder to know that I’m not the worst parent alive. 

Just a week or so ago, we had a family let their kid climb into the Gorilla World at the Cincinnati Zoo.  The kid falls in and the zoo officials shot and killed the gorilla.  Concerned parents all over are asking “Who the hell was watching the kid?”

But let’s be honest, who hasn’t been too busy on their smartphone to watch their kid?  I mean, people text and drive and nothing bad ever happens.  Why not let your kid run around and do whatever they want?  Being a parent is hard.  Those clever Facebook posts aren’t going to post themselves.  The boy’s mother also had three other kids she was watching at the time, so losing one isn’t that bad.  I can live with a 25% kid loss ratio.  I bet that is acceptable in most places.

The other story that was on the morning news was the seven year old Japanese boy that was lost.  I wasn’t sure why this story made international headlines.  It was one kid and he had two parents watching him and yet they still managed to lose him.  Sure, they left poor Yamato Tanooka by the side of the road to discipline him for throwing rocks at people and cars but they did go back for him (after a few minutes).  Yamoto just had wandered off by the time they got back.  They probably called out for him in low voices but he ignored them because he was sobbing so hard after being abandoned by his parents.  I know I cry every time my cat Mr. Whiskers leaves me.

Don’t worry; the story has a happy ending.  He was found six days later after sleeping in an unmanned building.  No wolves chased him down.  No bears made him jump over a cliff into a river below.  At least he will have a great story to tell of how he sat around in a building for six days without his smartphone, TV, or internet.  Think of the trauma of no internet or video games for six days.

“Hey Mom and Dad…remember how you lost me for six days?  You do? Ya, so do I.  Now can I have that cookie?”

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How to Foil the T-Shirt Thief: Decoy Shirts

Image from http://www.mainstreetts.com/t-shirts.jpg

  Who wouldn’t be insane witImage from http://www.mainstreetts.com/t-shirts.jpg

I have a T-shirt thief in my house; my T-shirts have become her pajamas and I only get to see my old friends as I do the laundry.  However, I have a clever plan to foil this T-Shirt thief.  Well, more like limit the shirts she decides to use.  I have a decoy drawer of shirts!  To give you a little history of men and their love for T-Shirts, I have two drawers of T-shirts (Tee Shirts).  Why two drawers? I have two drawers because everyone knows men NEVER throw their T-shirts away.  Unlike my worthless advice, my T-shirts never become worthless.  If a man does get rid of a T-shirt, it is clearly a mistake or an accidental lapse of sanity.  Who isn’t insane with your T-shirt collection is in consent danger of being stolen?

Keeping that in mind, I put all of my least favorite shirts in the top drawer and move my nicer shirts to the bottom drawer.  We won’t talk about the other stack of T-Shirts in my closet; those are back up T-Shirts and we don’t need to talk about those.  Then there is the guest closet with the T-shirts that I only wear during the winter months because clearly they are used underneath my sweaters.  Those T-shirts aren’t allowed to mingle with the summer T-shirts.  Everyone knows Summer T-shirts have sarcastic sayings so you can express your brand of humor to the world and show everyone how clever you are.

Now, I have my T-Shirts in two drawers which allows the thief to use my least favorite shirts as pajamas.  She ALWAYS gets the T-shirts from the top drawer, thus never accessing the bottom T-shirt drawer.  So the good T-shirts go in the bottom drawer.  She gets to use some of my T-Shirts and I get to keep my favorites hidden away in a safe location.  It’s a fair deal, right?

Organizational Tip: Instead of stacking your T-shirts one on top of another, put them sideways in your drawer.  This way you can see the different colors of shirts quickly.

Another Tip: Always organize your shirt drawer by color.  All the red shirts go together, blues, greens, etc.

I think I failed to make this a worthless advice blog post with those two awesome tips.  Oh well….

6th Grade Camp and the Worthless Advice Blogger Colide!

Let’s Whip Out Some Blog Posts!

Sorry my dear readers…but I write my blog for fun…it’s not a job. I just check in to see that I have really slacked off in the blog posting schedule. I have no excuse other than the fact that I am lazy. Sure, I could say I have been busy (and I am honestly busy) but if I say I’m lazy, people understand.

My daughter finished up her elementary career in June and will head to the middle school this coming fall. In my last blog post, we were headed off to 6th Grade Camp. Most of the 6th Grade parents were happy to have 6th Grade camp reinstated after a four year absence. Why did 6th grade camp disappear? Four years ago, one of the 6th grade teachers decided she didn’t want to do 6th grade camp anymore. Some of the 5th grade teachers volunteered to take her place but she put up quite the fuss about it. And thus we had four years of no 6th grade camp. She finally moved to another grade level to teach and our new 6th Grade teachers wanted to do camp.

We were able to attend 6th grade camp if we had enough parent volunteers. As you can imagine, I volunteered to do it. I’m lucky because my career is somewhat flexible and I can do volunteer assignments.
I was assigned to a group of 6th Grade boys; which overall wasn’t too bad. Keep in mind, the 80/20 rule of good behavior versus bad behavior applied to my group; most of the kids were good but some didn’t think that they should be good. I feel sorry for them…they now belong to me.

You have to remember, I’m a tad bit sarcastic. If you are a good kid, maybe shy, I’ll be a nice guy. But if you are a little punk, I will shut you down and give you a very good dish of your our own medicine. I will make you question why you bothered to open your mouth in the first place.

Two of my little minions, were a little on the tough side to handle. One got up three times a night to go to the bathroom. I seriously think he had a bed wetting issue. The other one was a follower of the first one. He probably would be fine if he didn’t hang out with the bad seed and have to impress him. Funny, how it all comes down to that “one” kid that is a problem; if we remove him, we remove 80-90% of the problems.
Just like society in general, we have a few people who make it awful for the rest of us.

More on 6th Grade camp in the next blog post!

Happy Mother’s Day! A message from your favorite Worthless Advice Blogger!

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms that take the time to read my blog; I do appreciate you taking the time away from your kids to read my words of wisdom (or rather my Blog of Worthless Advice). Of course, by reading your blog you are really just learning how to be an even better mother than before, right?
Well, it probably has been a month since I last posted something; which is just plain awful. I was swamped with work (and still am) so I’ve put a lot of projects on the back burner. Then, when I do have free time, I’ve been working on Boy Scout projects or hikes. In fact, last month we did a service project and managed to get in a hike. I’ve decided to include my Girl Scout troop in on these hikes and the girls do just. Our last hike was on May 2 to Taylor Mountain here in King County. I thought it was going to be between 3 to 5 miles but we logged in 8.65 miles on a wonderfully sunny Pacific Northwest day! You can’t complain when you get a great hike in!
I’m still behind on my work, but I’m fairly confident, I can catch up this week. Of course, this is what I say every week. But again, I think I can do it this week. It’s all about positive thinking, right?

Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!

Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?

 

First Day of School! Happiness returns to my Home!

Back to School!Today was the first day of school for the Kent School District here in the rainy Puget Sound area.  To be honest, I cannot remember any first day of school being so rainy.  Sure, maybe we did have a rainy day on Kauai when I was a kid but usually in the Seattle area we luck out with no rain on the first day of school.  Most years, we enjoy a nice September of great sunny weather (and wish our kids were out of school in September instead of rainy June).  Last year, we had awesome sunny weather until October 1st.

That doesn’t mean that our Labor Day Weekend is always good.  We’ve had Labor Day Weekends full of solid, miserable rain where we were stuck in the lake house the whole three day weekend.  On the bright side, this upcoming Labor Day Weekend is looking fairly good according to the TV weather folks.

Yet happiness has returned to our household with the first day of school.  Over the summer, the kids did argue and have a few fights.  I know that is shocking considering what an awesome father I am and how well behaved my children are.  I also may have forgotten to feed my daughter lunch a few times during the summer.  But in my defense, she is 10 and knows how to make a sandwich.  Besides, I was doing yard projects and my hands were dirty….well, not really I wear gloves…gotta keep my hands soft.

The kids returning back to school is always a mixed bag for me.  I like having my kids around but I need them to go back before I go nuts.  The internet and Xbox can only entertain your kids so much during the summer before you actually have to do something with them.  You know, take them to a beach, do a vacation together, etc.

However, our summer is now over.  It just blew by in a hasty mess of activities, summer camps, vacations, and trips and still left me with the feeling that I didn’t do enough with my kids.

So for the next 9 months of school, I’ll plan a really fun summer of 2014.  We’ll do a bunch of hiking, road trips, vacations, river rafting, and stay weeks on end at fancy resorts paid by my hugely successful Blog of Worthless Advice!  So hit that “Like” button now.  Make some insane comments and have your cute photo below this post!

Are your kids ready to party like rock stars?

It’s 12:15 am and the kids are bored.  Sure, some parents would say that they should be in bed asleep but I disagree.  Is that really preparing your children for the future?  How will they ever be able to stay up all night and party like rock stars if they are asleep by midnight?  Doesn’t the party just get started around 11 pm?

To encourage the children to go to sleep, I like to read them the latest Department of Labor Statistics report about the recent drop in the U.S. employment rate.  Of course, the authors were a bit off the mark with their lack of taking into account the discouraged workers that aren’t included in the report’s figures.  However this report did help to push the Dow Jones (and my heart rate up) to the 15,000 mark.

If that doesn’t put the little buggers to sleep, I usually like to talk about my bad experience at the local coffee shop where the coffee shop was out of my favorite flavor.  Whoa.  Hold on.  It is a bit unsettling for the young minds of today and it does threaten their fragile belief in the miracles of coffee shops on every cover.  What injustice is it that one can’t rely on their local coffee shop in this crazy world?  It’s like not having the sun appear in the eastern sky every morning.

I try to avoid things that would give the kids nightmares.  Like the time I had to park way out in the south parking lot of the mall and walk in a light Seattle rain drizzle without a hat!  You have to have boundaries when it comes to storytelling.  It is a thin line between an educational lesson and a nightmare that haunts you forever.  Be careful when you talk about how your latte was too foamy or not quite hot enough.  Children’s young minds are very impressionable.

If all else fails at getting your kids (or the kids that other parents dumped on you) to sleep, start making a list of all the chores you’ll be doing the next day with them.  You might as well make this time into a proactive and productive planning meeting.  Nothing else says I’m a winner than a very long “To Do List” written in purple color crayon on an old PTA newsletter.

vacuum-4Dust off the old broom and rev up the vacuum cleaner, we have a house to clean and dreams to ruin!

The 10 Best Bad Parenting Tips!

It is so easy to dispense great parenting advice when you are an awesome parent like me.  However, it is a harder to teach others how to be bad parents.  Frankly, most people don’t listen to my great advice.  Keep in mind: parenting is a lifetime commitment that haunts you for the rest of your life.  Unless your kids turn out to be awesome and without any character flaws, you will most likely have them in your life forever.

That means that with some bad parenting, you can enjoy the journey of parenting  It’s not the destination; it’s the journey that is so darn fun!

10. Don’t Follow Through on Anything!

You don’t want your kids to think you (or anyone else) are reliable.  Empty promises are a surefire way to make your kids understand that the world is an unreliable place.  This gives them a head’s up that when the cable company says that they will be there in morning; that really means you’ll be lucky if they show up by 8 pm that evening.  Sure, take a whole day off from work and enjoy a wasted day waiting for your imaginary cable guy.  At least you can catch up on your Dr. Phil episodes.

9. Don’t Set Limits

Limits are for parents that want to shelter their kids from the pains of failure.  Your kids should be allowed to know that if they screw up; well it isn’t your fault.  How are they going to learn if you limit their creativity?  And if you set limits you might have to enforce these limits.  Jeez, that just makes more work for you.  You are a busy parent; you don’t need extra work on top of your yoga and latte schedule; that is just ridiculous.

8. Don’t be Flexible on Anything!

Sometimes you have to be flexible to be a good parent…nah, I’m kidding.  Never budge on anything.  If you give in on anything or if you are flexible on anything…well, you might as well give up your kids to foster care.  If plans change; too bad! So what if your kid is getting an Outstanding Student of the Quarter Award.  If it is during your favorite TV show; be firm on your schedule and don’t go.  It’s not like you’ll be able to see that show later!

7. Don’t Give in to Being a Good Parent

You’ll get a lot of pressure from your family and friends to be a good parent.  They’ll offer advice (most of it worthless advice) about how you need to “step up your game as a parent”.  Sure, their kids are doctors, lawyers, and other productive members of society…but what does that really prove?  If you are a father, you are even more important to a child’s life.  However, that isn’t going to stop you from hanging out at the football field reliving the glory years and drinking beer behind the bleachers.

6. Make Sure Your Kids Know Who is Boss!

Kids these days run all over their parents.  They are bossy and disrespectful.  You should tell them right off the bat that you are “The Boss”.  As soon as your wife/girlfriend is pregnant you should be telling your unborn child that you are the boss.  Whisper to them that they need to change their diapers at three months old you won’t be taking care of them forever.  You aren’t raising slackers!

5. Use Fear and Intimidation

If it works for 3rd World Dictators; it will work for you too!  If that kid of yours didn’t bother listen to you in the womb, now is the time to introduce fear and intimidate to their plate of feelings.  Allow them to taste how it will be like later in life when they meet the neighborhood bully.  You yelling and scaring him prepares him for what it will be like at school when the really bullies push him down and take his lunch money.

4. Never Be a Friend to Your Kid

If you are a friend to your kid, you make him a loser.  How is he going to make any friends if his parents are nice to him?  Instead, make sure to be mean and cruel.  This will allow him to have something in common with his peers.  He needs a good bonding point.  Nothing makes kids bond together faster than when they can whine about how “unfair” their parents are.  Usually this bonding occurs as they update their Facebook status on the Smartphone their parents gave them.

3. Always Comparing and Criticize

You know what made America great?  It is our ability to whine and complain about how our siblings were treated better than us.  If you don’t compare and criticize your kids, how are you going to make them competitive players in today’s business world?  Are they going to know that only the favorite child is going to win?  Sure, some of the experts out there want you to think that criticizing and public shaming leads to depression and low self esteem.  But we know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

2. Don’t Do Anything for your Kids

Do you want your kids to be crybabies?  Are you going to wipe their noses in high school?  Are you going to do their federal income taxes when they are 29 years old?  You think I might be a bit extreme.  But if you help them tie their shoes, you might as well do their do their taxes.  Oh, could you let them live in your basement until they are 40 years old too?  Thanks!  Seriously, let them learn early that having a home cooked meal by your Mom is so phony.  Point to the cupboard and the fridge and say: Have at It!

1. Don’t Pay Attention to Them

Let your nanny or daycare provider shower your kids with love; that is what you pay them for.  Really, have you seen the rates they charge?  They should be paying you for allowing them the opportunity to care for your child and experience the miracle of childcare.  If you pay attention to your kids you are making them think that they will always deserve your attention.  Well, they don’t.  If you pay attention to them, they will think everyone will pay attention to them.  That’s just plain crazy talk.  You want your kids to feel like no one cares; that everyone is just mean and cruel, just like you!

By now, you should have learned that being a parent is hard to do.  Stop trying so hard.  You can’t make water run uphill and you can’t be a good parent overnight.  So don’t even try.  If you have some worthless advice or comments you’d like to share, please leave them below.  They can’t be any worse than my worthless parenting advice.

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