Kids don’t come with an instruction manual.
Or so we thought. Turns out, we were wrong. There is a step-by-step guide on raising children. And it’s free. Welcome to Wikihow’s guide on raising children, where you can become the perfect parent in 23 easy-to-follow steps (pictures included).
We all love a good WikiHow – the website that literally teaches us how to do any task, from changing a tyre to cleaning a washing machine, all in a few easy steps. Recently the Wiki wizards have tackled the task of raising children.
“If you want to know how to raise a child, follow these steps.”
Are you ready for this? It’s time to see what you need to do.
Step One: “Put parenting first.”
Okay. Good start. Nailing it so far.
Step Two: “Read to your child every day.”
Okay… two for two so far.
Step Three: “Eat dinner as a family.”
Does it count if you’re all sitting at the table together, but your children won’t eat because they don’t like the food in front of them?
Step Four: “Set a strict bedtime routine.”
Bath. Book. Bed.
Then, get up for water. Get up again to wee. Request another book. Request a new blanket. Request another stuffed animal. Complain that new blanket is too itchy. Complain that the bed is too lumpy. Find child asleep on the floor.
Tick another one off, thanks.
Step Five: “Encourage your child to develop skills each week.”
Skills my children have mastered this week? Learning how to not wee all over the toilet seat and successfully breaking into my phone (even with a six digit passcode). Check.
Step Six: “Give your child enough play time everyday.”
Wikihow explains, “‘Play time’ does not mean having your child sit in front of the TV and suck on a building block while you do the dishes.”
Step Seven: “Learn to listen to your child.”
Even when she is lying on the floor complaining that you cut her sandwich the wrong way…
Step Eight: “Treat your child with respect.”
Respect is a two-way street. “Treat your child with respect and he will treat you with respect back”… or so the manual promises.
Step Nine: “Know that you can never love your child too much.”
Yep. Tick another one off.
Step 10: “Be involved in your child’s daily life.”
Another tick for helicopter parents everywhere.
Step 11: “Encourage independence.”
And there’s a tick for free-range parents too.
Step 12: “Know that children need limits.”
Has your child visited the time out corner today? Another check mark for you.
Step 13: “Reward your child for good behaviour.”
Does first bribing your children with chocolate count? I do believe so.
Step 14: “Be consistent.”
Try to stick to the same amount of coffee, wine and chocolate to cope with the craziness each day. Done. Done. And done.
Step 15: “Explain the rules.”
And pray that your child is actually listening to you.
Step 16: “Teach your child to take responsibility for his actions.”
I guess witnessing him shove his crackers in the DVD player and then blaming his sister doesn’t count?
Step 17: “Do not reduce character education to words alone.”
So does this mean we can rely on electronic devices?
Step 18: “Be a good role model.”
They are watching you…
Step 19: “Develop an ear and an eye for what your children are absorbing.”
…all the time.
Step 20: “Teach good manners.”
If you don’t have anything nice to say, go into the bedroom, put a pillow over your mouth and scream into it.
Step 21: “Only use the words you want your children to use.”
So I guess swear words are off the table? Oops. That’s a pretty big X for me then.
Step 22: “Teach your children to have empathy for others.”
Important, yes. Easy to do, no. Next, please.
And, the final step: “Teach your children to be grateful.”
But, wait, there’s more. Because one of the best things about WikiHow is their tips at the end… and the Wiki wizards don’t disappoint. In addition to teaching your children to be grateful and respecting them, make sure you also, “Meet the parents of your child’s friends.”
So there you have it – the complete guide to raising a child in 23 easy-to-follow steps (plus one excellent tip and several helpful photos). The advice is actually fairly spot-on… if only it were this simple.
So, Babyologists, we want to know – according to the Wiki guide, are you nailing this whole parenting thing? Or are you choosing to write your own rules?
I have to admit I might fall into the latter…